You can’t know what you don’t know. Part I

The Newest Book from Larry L. Franklin
Mnemosyne: A Love Affair with Memory

I was a young boy, six-years old as I recall, and about to enter the first grade at the DeLand Elementary school.  This was a big day for me, a chance to show my older brother and his friends what I was made of.  The older boys had physically and sexually abused me and I wanted to be just like them.  (Sounds crazy doesn’t it.)  My plan was simple.  I would act up in class until the teacher took out the paddle and spanked me.  (Spanking was common decades ago.)  My young teacher kept telling me to stop but I was persistent.  Finally she removed the paddle from her draw and with tears in her eyes, she spanked me.  (I later wondered if I was the first student she had ever spanked.)  I couldn’t wait until school was out so I could tell my brother and his friends what I had done.  But much to my surprise, they turned and walked away as I was sharing my experience.  I believe they said that I was crazy.

Fast forward several decades later when I had been diagnosed with PTSD brought on by memories of childhood sexual abuse.  I was talking with my therapist about my past behavior.  Of course I had more troublesome experiences than my first grade spanking.  “Why did I do such things when I was younger?” I asked.  I was ashamed of my past behavior and didn’t understand why I had committed such acts.  “How could I have done such things”

“You can’t know what you don’t know,” she said.  Simple and powerful, that was her statement.  I sat quietly as I reached for a response.  It was obvious that my therapist wanted me to discover the meaning of her statement.  This was the key to my past behavior.

(Part II will be coming soon.)

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