Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tiny Ball of Shit (46)

It has been a long time since I have written a story.  To be honest, my treasured reader, I have struggled to find something interesting to write about. The last year has been rather ordinary. For that I am very grateful. I have continued working on healing. I have gone to therapy every two weeks and have discussed many different topics ranging from how to be a better father, a better husband, to politics, and the classic freudian discussion about my mother. I couldn't have asked for a better therapist. She sincerely took the time to listen and give wise advice when I really needed it. I know that I am a better man because of her.

I have come to writing this page thinking of all the stories that I could tell you about. For example, the time after my total knee replacement in August 2016, while at physical therapy, I experienced flashbacks that were so very intense and real that I layed on the table and openly wept for over a half hour. Tears streaming down my face because during that moment I felt like my body was no longer my own. I was not in control of my body. I could tell the story of how I found myself in jail, a week before Christmas because of an expired driver's license. I kept putting off the minor inconvenience of getting it renewed because I just didn't want to leave the safety of my house and comfortable couch to get it.

I could write the story of how I continue to fight within myself each morning to wake up and go outside rather than stay hidden in a dark room where it is safe and quiet. I could even tell you about the time this past holiday season I was able to step inside a church building. The victory I felt that evening was as if I had won a congressional medal. I must admit that I was armed with a very stabby and sharp pocket knife. Part of the victory was not going through with my baser desires and stabbing the pastor for no other reason than he was a pastor.

The last several weeks, I have attempted to write several stories about my old tattered sofa. How I would clench its cushions until my knuckles turned white and eventually went numb. Yet, somehow, the story just wouldn't come out right. I wanted to tell you about all the good times and all the hard times in its soft embrace. Like the time I received news that I was going to be a father for the second time, shouts of profanity emanating from the bathroom down the hall as my wife discovered she was pregnant. Something the doctors said would never happen. For now I will keep those stories close and perhaps I will write about it later.

This year (2017) so far, has been full of transitions. Earlier this year, my wife accepted a position as Director of Property Management by a small non-profit low income housing company south of Miami, Florida near Homestead.

In February, we traveled from Denver, Colorado to Miami to find a home to rent.  One that would be close to her job in Florida City. In March, we packed all of our belongings that we could fit into a shipping container and sent it on its way. Just two weeks later my family and I loaded the remaining items into our car and drove over two thousand miles from Denver, Colorado to Miami, Florida. Thanks to the kindness and help of those around me, and especially my therapist in Aurora, I felt comfortable enough to put my agoraphobic fears away for the moment and do what was necessary to accomplish the task. Here is the story.






A New Start


With a thud I slammed the overfilled trunk closed, climbed into our Chevrolet Impala along with my wife, two kids, a cat, a dog, my treasured bonsai ficus named “Freddy”and all the things that accompany a five day drive across the North American Continent. We were excited, nervous and numb to what we were doing. We were pulling up roots from everything we knew and moving to a new town, a new state, a new climate, a new culture. Everything was going to be strange and different. We were embarking on adventure that none of us had experienced before.

It wasn't long before the Rocky Mountains faded out of view in my rear view mirror. The car was quiet as we were listening to one of our favorite old time radio programs “The Jack Benny show” on XM. Occasionally there was a chuckle from the back seat as the scenery flew by. It was night fall as we approached Kansas City. I remarked to Amy that it seemed as if the highway through town went a different way than it did some 15 years earlier, the last time we were driving this way. A few hours later we made our first stop at a hotel on the outskirts of Columbia, Missouri.

The next day after a brief detour in St. Louis to see the Arch and the Mississippi River, we began the journey south toward our next night in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After that we headed for Tampa, Florida. It was during this time, as Colorado became further and further away, that I began to feel hopeful that I honestly could make the transition from being a survivor to a thriver. Perhaps in Florida I could create a life free from the depression and rage that consumed me in Colorado. I could be free from the me that is constantly fearful of his life by navigating between the triggers and flashbacks day by day. I could finally be the one who just lets them pass by as if they no longer caused the deep pain as before. In fact it had been several months since I had experienced a severe flashback.

As we approached our hotel for the night, We decided that after three solid days of driving that we would spend an extra day in Tampa to rest from the road and let the children see the ocean for the first time. Not to mention that we were all very tired and irritable from being in the car for so long.  

The next morning after breakfast we all piled into the car sans the animals and the ficus. I unlocked my phone and set Google maps to navigate to the nearest beach. When we arrived, it was a beautiful warm day as we began to lay out our towels on the white shell covered beach. Excitedly, the children ran out into the water and began to play and splash. They would later tell me that they thought it was “mind blowingly big.” The water was very shallow, and even though they were 10 feet from the shoreline, they were only ankle deep. I felt safe that they wouldn't be eaten by a rogue shark or washed out to sea.

After our towels were laid out and sunscreen was applied, I ran out to join the children already laughing and playing in the warm Tampa Bay water. It was a picture perfect day of familial bliss. I was happy to see that the children were taking to the water so well. There is something spiritual about seeing the ocean for the first time. After a while, I decided to let the children play on their own and I would go back to the towel and relax. I closed my eyes and let the sounds around me hypnotize me into a half sleep. It was a hard fought dream come true.

Abruptly, like a suicide bomber exploding in the center of a public gathering, blood, bodies and shrapnel flying outward in all directions, chaos and screams of the realization of what had happened begins to set in. I am play wrestling with AFB on the floor of his office. I am pinned to the ground and his sweaty, salty, hairy nipple rubs against my lips. I am repulsed and absorbed by the past.  My skin no longer feels the sea shell covered beach, but instead I can feel the rough industrial carpeting causing a painful rash on my elbows and upper back as I struggle to get free. His weight compressing my lungs and I can't breathe. For him it wasn't just play.  I am pinned to the sand, I am crushed against the cheap maroon carpet.

“It's not now. It's not now. It's not now.” I mutter to myself. I am fighting to regain control and come back to the present.

Suddenly, I am arrested again and I find myself taking communion with him as he instructs me to take off my clothes and place them neatly by the door.

“Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Fuck, Why now? Why now? I just want to be happy for one fucking moment in my fucking shit life. Why does this fucking CSA shit come at the most inconvenient fucking times?” My grounding tools were not working so I closed my eyes and accepted the flashback. Perhaps, it was here to tell me something.

Blackness covered me like a heavy shroud made of thick corn syrup and stinging angry bees. I can't see. I can't move. There is a deafening annoying buzzing in my ears as the only sensation I feel is a tiny ball of shit moving back and forth inside my anal cavity. At one point it felt as if it would fall out of my anus, yet there was something in the way. Some large cylindrical thing inserted that was preventing it from falling out. As it rocked back and forth inside me,  I remember thinking that I wished the tiny ball of shit would disappear so that I wouldn't be able to feel him raping me over and over again. It was all I could think about as it moved toward the sphincter then away from it. I began to visualise its path in my head and question, was the tiny ball of shit round like a baseball or was it oblong like a football? What did it look like? Did it have different shades of brown? Was there undigested food stuck in it like the yellow corn on the cob I ate night before?

The tiny ball of shit was all I could think about. Why was it there? Did I not wipe properly? Am I dirty and deserving of this punishment? Could he feel the tiny ball of shit against his penis? Should I be embarrassed because of it? Will he not like me any longer because I have a tiny ball of shit inside my asshole?  Will he abandon me like everyone else?

The noise of static and buzzing slowly faded into a strange sound of “Unnngh--uh-Unngh-uh” and the tiny ball of shit moved much more freely after that, as if some lubricant or perhaps vaseline had been inserted. I could feel his entire length and girth after that. As he slowly pulled out, I prayed he wouldn't notice if the tiny ball of shit left any brown marks on him.

“See you next week?” He leeringly smiled in my direction as he began to pull his pants up around his waist.

“Sure,” I said. I was relieved he didn't notice the tiny ball of shit that had now fallen out of my colon and was resting on the carpet where I stood. I quickly picked it up with my bare hands and exited his office just as he sat down at his desk and began writing his Sunday sermon again. I walked by the receptionist as she waved and called out to me “Tell your mom hi for me.” I didn't reply.

I left the church building and began to walk north toward home. I had almost gotten to the street corner on third avenue when I realized I driven my car .  .  .

------


“Fuck, I can't have one happy day!” I turned to my wife, she was fast asleep and peaceful. I would have to try and calm down on my own. I didn't want to disturb her just yet.

“It's not now, It's not now, It's not now, It's not now, I am safe, I am in Florida. I am on a beach. It is 2017. I am safe. I am safe. It's not now.

I look around me and notice the cloudless blue skies.

I am safe. It's not now.

I look to my left, and it looks as if the nearby restaurant might serve an awesome burger and beer.

I am safe. It's not now.

I reach down and search the sand for the sharpest shard of shell I could find and jab it into my palm. As the skin in my hand began to separate, I heard a familiar voice next to me, “Sorry, I fell asleep. You ok?” my wife inquired.

I am safe. It's not now. I thought once more.

“Yes, I am fine, just some CSA shit. I am better now. Have a good nap?” I put the shell down, got up and went into the water. There was a buoy in the distance I wanted to walk to.

As I walked to the far and distant point in the shallow ocean, Liam was holding my hand jabbering about how we were going to touch the “butt.”  I began to understand that even though I was now two thousand miles away from where the scene in my head occurred, I was still going to suffer from the effects of the abuse.  I was still going to be me. The PTSD was not going away.

I took a deep breath and touched the “butt.”  AFB was a looooong premeditated drive away. I needed to be here with my family.

Later that day at the hotel, the children weren't quite ready to stop playing in the water, so we decided to let them go to the hotel pool. As the children laughed and chased each other around the concrete edge I began to write.

“Fucking flashbacks. I guess it really is called “Perpetually Healing” for a reason.

iamnotbubba