Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Lonesome Organist (14)

Derrick's words and prayer comforted me for the moment. The thought that after all he went through growing up with his alcoholic and sexually abusive step-father gave me the will to fight the desperation and the courage to allow the truth of what happened to me sink in. I went to sleep that night at peace that perhaps I am stronger than I thought. Perhaps I will survive.

The next morning, I woke up to the sound of my soul caving in upon itself. My heart was pounding overwhelming pain throughout my body. I was like a flat sheet of white paper suddenly and violently crumpled into a ball being squeezed tighter and tighter, then covered in wet, heavy latex paint. I had to get to work.  That same day, my wife had a second interview in Denver as an area director  for a national low income housing company. We were excited in the possibilities that a promotion like this would bring to the family. After all, the reality of our home being foreclosed upon and the four of us living in a cardboard box inched closer and closer. I had to be strong for her. I had to send her on her way, projecting a belief that God would not let us down and fail to provide for us like He promised. However, internally I thought, "How could a good God let this happen? How foolish of me to think He is going to answer THIS prayer and at the same time allow me to get ass-raped by His very own representative? There is no God.  All of life is cruel and random."

All morning my mind whirled in dizzying circles.  I was unable to focus on anything. My body was sitting static at my machine yet I felt as if I were running a marathon. I needed to focus on my job because the agony I was in was getting too heavy to bear. I pulled my iPod from my pocket and scanned through my music collection to find an album to match my despairing  mood.  I landed on "Dresden Dolls," touched the triangular shape representing play, and turned the volume up. The songs played and my mood failed to improve until I remembered  my therapist suggested how to find present time out of the past. I stopped working, closed my eyes and began to focus on the lyrics of the song playing. . .

"He told me that I knew just what to laugh at
And I wanted to, but I just couldn't ask if he would take it back so I could know for certain
So, on the bench I watched his left hand crossing
While doubling entendres with the voicings
He said, "Oh darling, you're charming, please don't find it alarming
If I pull this stop out to free up a hand for heavy petting"

Deep breath, focus on the words. The song played on. . . 

"This is as far as I could get. He jabbed a needle in my neck
Erasing all the evidence, but there were matchsticks in my pants
And if a rock should hit my head and I remember what he did
You'll be the very first to know
Maybe I'll find out why this damn thing won't stop bleeding"

WHAT DID SHE SAY?  Was she singing about what I am experiencing???

"So several decades have gone by
I am still sitting by his side
I turn the pages faithfully
He turns his head and smiles at me
And with a wink he said "I doubt
We would be anywhere without
Your gift for keeping truth and consequence from meeting"

Was she talking about. . . No. . . Nobody sings about such things. I listened to that song four times in a row. By the end of the fourth time I was feeling better.   I began find it easier to focus on what I was doing and slowly my mind became less cloudy.  However, that's when the real torture began. I started an argument with myself.

"The bastard! Why did he do this to me?"

"This happens to other people. I am not other people." I screamed back at myself

"He did this! Its true! This isn't right!" 

"No he didn't. This isn't real. You are the bastard for making this shit up!"

"These memories are real. They match the news reports," I argued back.

"You need to be committed. You perverted son-of-a-bitch." 

Back and forth I went for the rest of the day. I was exhausted; I needed some good news or I was going to pop. Later that day, after work, my wife pulls into the driveway with a beaming smile on her face.

"I got the job!" she says as the car idled to a stop. "We are moving to Denver! We won't be homeless!"

This was the news I was longing for--God answered our prayer. "Perhaps He does exist but why didn't He protect me and keep AFB from doing all of those horrible things?" I was still very confused and frightened as to what I would find out next.  At the same time I was elated that she was able to find a job so quickly. This was in stark contrast to the typical length of unemployment in the rest of the country due to the stagnant economy and the stock market crash of 2008. I honestly expected her not to find another job for at least a year.

In the days and weeks that followed I continued to work at my job as a material coordinator at a manufacturing plant, and when I got home my family and I finished packing the house for our move to Denver. We also listed our home for lease as the sagging home sales market caused the attainable asking price to be less than what was owed to the bank. This was unacceptable.

It was a frigid and windy January day in 2011 as I drove the overstuffed rental truck north on highway 83 toward our new home and our new lives. I was looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life and I needed  to try and move past these recent revelations that had been so devastating.  I felt as if somehow I would find healing this year whereas the previous year brought only mourning.  There was . . . hope?  If I was going to be the man I wanted to be when I looked in the mirror, I needed to find healing. But how I was going to accomplish this was unknown to me.

Then the phone rang.


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