Why is it that in the darkest of times, we look for the brightest of things?
I’m asking because I’m not sure myself, yet that is exactly what I did on the beach, alone with my mother in April 2005.
The day I told my mother I was sexually abused.
My voice teacher, who was my trusted mentor and also godfather for two years, had been molesting me for months, and I had “frozen in numbness” to block out that devastating loss in my life.
After months of keeping this secret inside, I could no longer take it. I told my mother that I needed to take walks with her every day to “heal”—although I could not say what from.
Then one day I transferred the weight of a very heavy secret to someone else. As much as I have always trusted my mother, it was difficult to trust if these words could ever be safe to say out loud.
The moment I told my mother, put in her words:
“Amy and I were walking on the beach in Fairfield, CT. She had taken a month off from school, and I promised that although I didn’t know what she needed to heal from, I would be at her side and help her through. She was so different at this point than she ever was before. Her personality was sullen, she was anxious, losing weight, not focused, in turmoil.
“We had just gotten back from Kripalu where we did a mother-daughter retreat, journey dancing. Amy has always been such a beautiful, soulful dancer, but in one of those dance exercises, she went into the middle of our circle surrounded by me and many other women. A woman touched me on the arm, looked into my eyes, and said, “Look, your daughter is dancing a dance of such deep pain. You have to find out what the source of her anguish is about.” I will never forget this woman’s voice and how it jolted me into reality.
“We were walking on the beach in Fairfield, and suddenly I looked into her eyes and asked for some unknown reason, from the deepest part of my soul, ‘Has B [her mentor, voice teacher, acting teacher and now ‘godfather’] ever touched you?’
“She began speaking; it was as if a plug was pulled out of a dam’s wall. She said, ‘Yes,’ and began to describe what he did. I went into complete shock and craziness. I started to scream, ‘No, NO, how could he? I trusted him with my precious child, and he was a son of a bitch.’ I couldn’t stop raging until my intuitive daughter screamed, ‘Stop. Now tell me one thing good, because I can’t witness all this negativity right now,’ and she insisted I find something positive to say.
“My head went numb, and I started to look all around me. I paused and finally looked up to the sky. It was a really beautiful, sunny day, and I noticed that the sky was a shade of deep blue.
“And for some reason, I said, ‘The sky is blue. Yes. The sky is BLUE.’
“And my precious daughter simply said, ‘That’s good.'”
Thanks, Mom. I remember feeling a closeness and safety I hadn’t felt with her before. Things were going to get better now. We were going to heal, think optimistic thoughts, get therapy, and purge this man from our systems.
Two weeks later, we had a Passover Seder. Forty-eight hours after that, I was in a coma.
Months later, I awoke, and according to my brother’s journal entries, the first words I could stammer out were…
IT WAS HIM.
I wrote a scene based on this powerful moment between my mother and me. And together, my mother and I sat side by side, in such a clearly different place, time and mentality.
This scene, appropriately called The Sky is Blue, was the start of how my mother and I healed together. And a favorite memory of mine. It reminds me that in the darkest of times, the sky is always blue. We always have positivity and gratitude to cling to when life feels terrible.
And even if the sky isn’t blue…it will be eventually.
There’s always a tomorrow. Or the next day. The sky will be blue.