Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Inside My Head, Installment #9

Sometimes love can come from the strangest places.

In the darkest recesses of my history, a bitter season stands out to me. A time when pain branded me with lasting memories of razor-sharp clarity. When the culmination of twenty-one years of more than one child's soul can carry finally brought me to my knees. The pain is tangible still; the days blur into an eternity of hell.

Time was rushing by as the whirl of my world collapsing rushed by me. I could make out little bits and pieces. Heart moniters whirring. My face scraping against a window screen as I pressed in terror away from spiders created by the medication I was given. A strange man's arms covered in deep slashes reaching toward my baby brother. A strong, deep comforting voice pulling me toward the big black man who could protect me. A visit from a church that was not mine on Easter Sunday, and a little bunny that I clung to when night fell. A drug prescribed that left me curled in a fetal position at the nurse's station all night, tightening every muscle like lockjaw until I shook uncontrollably and tears streaked my face.

The scene changed, but only to add a new set of horrors. A car ride home in which my family tried not to stare at the bruises on my face. Getting up at 4 am to jog because the medications coursing through my blood allowed no sleep. A fight with dad that ended with me clutching a steak knife desperately, and oddly, at my own throat, not his. A little girl clinging to me as her dad yelled and my mom cried in the other room. A sense of absolute disbelief and despair as my mom pleaded with her eyes that I understand why she would ever back the man who drove me to a ragged edge.

The few scenes that were softly happy were rudely interrupted with fierce slashes. For the first time in my entire life, standing up to the man who easily crushed a little girl's world several times daily. The feeling of self-confidence as I shoved the man into a wall, as he had so often done to me, was quickly overpowered by a keen hollowness as I thrust myself into homelessness. A lulling into security as I settled into a home I could trust, with a woman whose love knew no discrimination, was harshly shaken when my mom ran away to another state and my siblings-aka children-became pawns in a cruel game of chess between my mother and stepfather.

And in the midst of this, I was having flashbacks. Scenes flashed through my memory leaving me gasping and aching. A little girl staring for hours into the middle of the night as her mentor and role model impressed on her the need for perfection and her lack of worth. A teenager who hated the hugs that were forced on her and the physical reaction it produced in her father. These flashbacks tormented me until I would turn inward, seeking to relieve myself of mental hauntings with physical pain.

This is where I would talk about the bright moments that invaded the darkness, but there were none. The nightmare followed me through school every day; mocked me as I sat with my 'other family' in the evenings, and terrorized me all through the long nights. I didn't find comfort in the boy who insisted on chatting with me. He was a strong, quiet type, which led me to a quick assessment: he was dumb and lonely. And so I let him be interested in me. It didn't affect me much; he was an easy distraction from an impossible situation.

The kiss caught me by surprise. No boy had ever been allowed the privilege; he was not an exception. I physically resisted him and walked away. However, it led me to study him a little more curiously. He was not what I would consider my type. Not a polo shirt and trim appearance kind of guy. He had obviously worldly taste in music and entertainment. He startled me with little thoughts I had never ventured to think. Such as, perhaps god is more of an element, and less of a personal Father like being. Or maybe homeschoolers are actually blind to how arrogant and proud they seem to those who were raised in the public education system? The boy was a symbol of progression, and I was all about that. But did progression really look like this?

I knew that my mentors were against the union. I was encouraged to stay single until things worked out. I was advised to let the boy go and pursue a healing period of independence and solitude. I quite agreed, and yet I couldn't help liking the boy who stood for normal to me. And so when the kiss presented itself to me at a later date, I hesitantly whispered that I felt like I was at the last place to get off before a wild and unforgettable ride. And when he whispered back, 'Are you ready for that ride?' I closed my eyes and let myself fall into the rushing plunge to who knew where.

And I didn't look back. Nor have I regretted for one moment that I succumbed to restless abandon. The small spark that was ignited that evening grew into a flame on the day he vowed my step dad would never touch me again. It thrived when he softly said 'I love you' for the very first time. And by the time he knelt before me with a ring and asked to spend the rest of his life with me, the fire was a strong, seemingly unconquerable thing. The charred remains of my childhood weakened and hold less power over me than they ever have. This love, the boy who became a man before my eyes, became the forever friend that I needed to realize that I will not be alone in my fearful world again.

Sometimes love can come from the strangest of places. When such an occasion occurs, you better believe you're in for the ride of your life.

1 comments:

Princess Jo said...

The bright moments invading the darkness... Oh how many times have I written those words! I am so glad I am not the only one that thinks that way!

I stumbled across your blog, and I am so glad that I did.

I believe you.

Jo