I'm sure there were times before my memory that you played your cruel game. There has to be. The tears come too quickly at times when I see certain things, things that cut to the core and leave me not understanding.
There is a first memory of you though. It was in the trailer park. We were alone with strangers. I was only three, and he was only two. He was a baby...and so was I. I couldn't protect him from her words.
You were smirking when I fell from the top bunk and again in the fort. You were laughing as I sat terrified in front of the TV in that dark house when the sun was shining through the curtains.
I remember you on the walk from the school bus when I misjudged the length of the big dog's chain. Why were you with me that day as I walked to a stranger's house? I was only six.
You were there when we were told to line up against the wall because we woke her baby. We weren't naughty. I remember your cruelty even though I don't remember her name.
When they came, you were there, leaving me to care for them. I was seven.
I remember when you stood at the pulpit and made sure no one was involved and insured everyone whispered.
You punched me in the gut when she knocked and I still bleed. I handed over my new baby and went after her. That was the first of many times you visited me in the form of his indifference.
Remember the damp grass on that April afternoon as my little ones and I became one in a heap? I was only 29, yet I felt 12 and 60 at the same time.
You've hung around in the form of lost dreams, cruel words, silence.
I don't regret everything about you though. Sometimes you did the right thing. Like the times I ran away and you met me on the road. I didn't like you, so I turned around.
I have realized that the fear of you invites you into my soul. I have survived your torcherous acts, yet I fear that you might kill my heart someday.
But if I look truth in the eye instead of you, I will see that I am surrounded by love. And love is the opposite of what you have to offer.
Today I grieved the toll you took on my life as the kind man listened, and a little bit more of my wall came down. You steal without regret, but I continue to survive, and I am okay. Beat up but standing. Loved not forgotten.
I know I will see you again someday in some form of devastation because life can be hard, but I will wait until then to acknowledge you. Until then, I will live in this place where you aren't. This home. This family that I am a part of. You helped a little bit in that, you know. Without you, I wouldn't have understood the dire need of the human soul to have a place to belong.
I love the epilogue at the end of a good book. A peek into why the author wrote the story, the life experiences that brought the author to that place. Here is my epilogue.
Loneliness has haunted me a good deal of my life. I am trying to understand the toll it has taken and how to not fear it. But I do fear it. Maybe more than anything else. I have felt the effects of loneliness more than some and not as much as others. It is a powerful thing that I have to recognize. Then heal. Thankfully, I have someone to help me walk through that...everyone needs a good counselor at one time or another. I am okay with that.
I tend to apologize for who I am and how I think. I doubt myself which means I doubt the truth in me. I am working to break free one real moment at a time.