Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thoughts on the Holocaust…Similarities in Surviving (post #3)

The Color of Night by Samuel Bak


Every day, every moment, I struggle with my beliefs about God and what role He takes in our lives.  Some people believe that God is ‘punishing’ them when bad things happen.  Others may believe in destiny and that our lives are predetermined.  I believe that each person has choices.  We can choose to do good or we can choose to do evil.  These choices that have been made by mankind since the beginning of time trickle down and affect our lives.  Many things are passed from one generation to the next and are repeated over and over until someone breaks the cycle.  Most of the time, people who abuse have themselves been abused.  Please do not take this wrong…I am not excusing any abusers or letting them off the hook.  They could have been the ones to choose to break the cycle.  But, they did not. 

What I want to express and write about today is the abused child’s soul.  Let us contemplate on “…the death of God in the soul of a child who suddenly discovers absolute evil?”  This is a quote by Fracncois Mauriac in the Forward of Night by Elie Wiesel.  Mr. Wiesel writes, “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.”  In my mind, this is the exact way we who have endured abuse view our circumstances.  We never forget.  At least, I cannot forget.  For those of us with D.I.D., maybe another part holds the memory, but it is still not forgotten.  It is there forever and its memory has forever changed us.   It has done something to our psyche, to our soul.  The abuse caused death.  It cause the death of innocence, self-love, and in some cases the will to live.  I have to agree with Elie Wiesel when he states in Night,  “Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live.  Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust.  Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to life as long as God Himself.  Never.”

By no means am I saying that we cannot heal from abuse.  I do believe we can heal to a certain point.  But after years of trying to overcome my past, I feel its breath on my neck; I feel its memory haunting my sleep; I feel the pain of not belonging; I feel the scars on my body; I feel the emptiness in my soul, the longing for connection.  I wonder where God was when all of this was taking place.  Again, I found an answer in the Forward of Night, “‘Where is God?  Where is He?  Where can He be now?’ and a voice within me answered:  ‘Where?  Here He is—He has been hanged here, on these gallows.’”  This is a difficult concept for me to accept.  That God is with us through all things, good and evil.  Because when you are abused, even before you are aware, you feel totally alone in the world.  You feel abandoned, by God, by the world.   I try to make connections with others.  I try to practice ‘faith’.  But in the end,  I am still in the prison created by my past.  It has left my soul hanging.  It has left my inner home broken.  It has left me blue.  The above picture by Samuel Bak, The Color of Night, represents how I continue to feel.


  1. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog recently. In your article,you ask some very difficult questions about God.

    For years, I felt abandoned by God. Then one day, I turned around and saw that He had been with me the whole time. I think our thoughts and beliefs about God are a very personal matter that each of us has to reach for ourselves.

    I have always reframed from forcing my ideas about God onto others and have asked in return that others do the same for me. We each have our own right to our view of God. I wish you well.

  2. Dear Patricia, I appreciate your comment. However, in no way am I 'forcing my ideas about God onto others'. This is my blog and I write about MY pain and the way I feel and how some of my feelings are similar to survivors of other horrendous abuse. Please feel free not to read my posts on God if it offends you. That is how I react to other peoples blogs if it offends me. I only leave comments on posts that touch me or to which I can relate. I think my comments on your blog were very appropriate. I am sure you are aware of our freedom in this country to express ourselves. By no means are any of my posts intended to "force" my ideas on anyone. NO ONE can 'force' anything upon you uless you LET them. I am very sorry if this post offended you in any way or brought up troubling issues for you. I wish you well also and hope that you will feel free to continue to comment on my blog, as I will yours.

  3. Interruption, I thought this was a very good post and your comparisons are excellent. I did not feel that you were trying to 'force' any ideas about God. It realy felt to me that you were just trying to relate the connection you felt when you were reading this book, which be the way is a superb re-telling of what it was like to be a survivor of the Holocaust. I would like to thank you for this post. It is very unique and intelligent. I hope you will post more on this subject. Thank you very much.

  4. I'm sorry. Child abuse sucks! Sorry about the abuse, the pain ... then and now.

    I cannot imagine what that does to a child's soul ... it's almost too hard to even try to comprehend. Though I've not lived through what you have, I've asked many of the same questions ... especially after almost losing my leg and my life in an accident 7 years ago and now living with pain, limitations and a deformed leg. Everything I thought I knew about God from my Mennonite and Christian background was thrown into a hurricane and I'm still trying to sort it out. I've had to go through various seasons of renewal to move forward.

    Keep writing, processing and "Doing what you, where you are, with what you have." (Roosevelt)

    I look forward to reading more of you #Trust30 posts.