Friday, February 3, 2012

Less (13)

A week went by. The sweet realization that I was healing from the revelations of recent weeks comforted and encouraged me to continue searching the hidden recesses of my memories. Though the pain and heartache were unbearable at times, I was quickly learning how to cope and not allow my emotions to overwhelm my day. This took a great deal of effort and left me mentally exhausted each day. With practice, I was becoming better at it.

I was beginning to have strange new emotions. I found them hard to identify at first. Unfamiliar light-hearted  feelings that seemed to cause laughter and soft-spoken words. "Happiness?" I thought, "No that is not possible. Not after what I have been through. It would be impossible to think I could feel anything other than pain."

The momentary and welcome relief from the everyday torture came and went. With the sounds of giddy glee still ringing in my ears from the day before, I packed my lunch, put my Navy pea coat on and went out into the cold darkness for another Monday at work. I was . . . . happy???

It was a good morning.  My co-workers left me alone to do my job. I was on one side of the production line and everyone else was on the other.  I had LL Cool J playing on my iPod.  I bent over the handcart and picked up a raw metal airplane part . . .

 Vulnerable. . . . Violated. . . . OH SHIT! As quick as a flash of lightning my heart stopped.  I felt as if I had died. I was sinking lower and lower into the deep cavernous depths of hell.  I was being suffocated by cold clammy air. My skin felt almost as if I were covered in heavy sticky syrup. Looking down on a moderately appointed office I saw a  few piles of papers covering a cherry wood desk with a credenza and bookcase behind it.  There were 2 chairs set at opposite angles in front of the desk. One was out of alignment. To my right, there was another credenza and bookcase. Next to the desk in the center of the room there were two people, a naked light brown haired boy bending over the desk. Directly behind him, an older man with his pants around his ankles making thrusting movements. From my perch above it all near the door leading to the receptionist outside, I gazed upon this grotesque scene in horror and disbelief.  

Suddenly, I can see what the boy sees. On a disheveled stack of papers nearby, handwritten notes on a typewritten outline.  I struggle to focus and read what was written there. . .

My Deity-In-Proxy became my rapist.

Crash! the sound of  multiple aluminum pipes falling onto the hard concrete floor.

WHAT?!?!  Was I that boy!? That sure looked like AFB's office. That boy looked like me! A ghostly pain shot through the lower part of my digestive tract. "Damn It!" I said out loud as I picked up the aluminum pipes that fell to the floor.

I really didn't want to know this. I thought that out of all the scenarios that ran through my head over the last several weeks this was not one that I could handle.  My breath came in short bursts as if I had forgotten how to have an automatic response.  The factory whirred around me.  I could not let anyone know what was going on.  Not here.  I had to put it away, tuck it inside, put Pandora back in the box.  My outside was a cool facade, but inside I detached--separated from my new reality.  Denial was my savior and my betrayer.  God had left me, turned His back.  How could a good God let this happen to me?  How could a supposed man of this God do this to me?

Locked inside my cacophony of silent dissociation I thought I was surviving.  I was almost proud of my performance.  I had survived the day.  I was still alive.  It was time to clock out for the day.  Swipe.

NO!  My head was screaming NO! as the scene played on a constant loop in my head.  How am I going to go home and deal with this?  I couldn't tell my wife.  I didn't want to make it real.  I didn't want her to look at me differently.  Did this mean I was not me?  How could I face my kids?  I was somehow . . . less.  I pulled into the garage and my wife met me at the door talking about the day and the kids unaware of the river of despair running just under the surface.  I snapped.  My automatic defense was anger and I played it well.  If I could get them away from me I could process.  She didn't buy it.  She did her thing--trapped me in the bedroom until I told her what was going on.

The words came out in a flood of expletives and tears.  "He raped me!"  As soon as the words rolled out I braced myself for the inevitable judgement and the words that she was leaving.  How could she want such a broken man?  I was nothing.  He had made me nothing.  Every muscle in my body was taught.  I didn't breathe.  I didn't blink.  I waited.

She took a deep breath and then grabbed me and held me.  She didn't say anything for a long time, just held me as my body shuttered in wracking sobs.  I heard her softly say over and over, "I'm so sorry," and, "I love you," and, "it will be ok."  She didn't hate me.  I don't know how she still wanted to be near me.

The next several days afterward it felt as if I was swimming in a deep pool of thick liquid with someone firmly pulling on my ankles downward into the abyss. I needed more help. This was too much for one person to bear. So I placed a call to a support group dedicated to survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Their wait list was full because of the Oprah show dedicated to male sexual abuse.  I would have to wait it out.

 I called Derrick.  I went to my Pastor's office and spewed obscenity and hurt at him as if he were AFB.  He sat and listened and got angry with me.  He cried with me.  He told me there was hope and I didn't believe him.  I found the courage to ask him to pray for me.  Even though this God that had allowed this to happen wasn't worthy of my trust, somehow, inside I knew He could help me.  I was desperate.  He had to help me.


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