In the late summer and fall of 2016, I made several grave errors in judgement. My poor response to one person’s cruel mockery cost me dearly, setting in motion a course of events that contributed to the death of my then best friend and future wife (I came to find out well after the fact that she had already settled in her heart that she would accept my proposal when I gave it). The pain and grief have been hard to bear, especially since learning of this. I would have been lost if it weren’t for my faith and several friendships that gave me strength through it.
In case no one has told you this today…
I believe in both freedom of conscience and liberty in action between consenting parties. I believe in peaceful, non-violent protest in support of seeking redress for grievances. I love the USA—my country, my home. I support the classically liberal ideals on which it was founded, the same ideals that gave rise to the historic Republican party and are supported in part by people affiliated with every political party (although I recognize and acknowledge that there has been a significant shift on some of the issues in both directions between the two major political parties over the last century). I detest what both of the major political parties have become and are becoming. I loath forced shows of nationalism under the guise of patriotism.
If you give your word, keep it, regardless of the cost.
For reasons that I won’t publicly disclose, I parted ways with a community theater at which I was a regular volunteer late last year. After a relatively short period of time, the management was asking me to come back although for me, it was too soon. Eventually I was willing but it took me a while for me to get over the pain of the betrayal and insult that prompted my departure. I decided to take the risk and allow them to re-earn my trust. Given how things have progressed of late, I guess that I did come back too soon.
I had a run-in with her* this morning. I’ve actively and successfully avoided her for nearly a year—until now. Our paths have crossed only twice before this (of which I know) since early last winter but I believe that she didn’t see me at that time: I would’ve heard about it if she had, I’m sure.
Certain recent experiences have caused me to realize that a lot of the stress and discomfort that I have felt in my adult life is a direct result of my not recognizing and accepting who I am and how I was designed to interface with the world as an empathic, deeply emotional person. Learning to tap into and channel my emotional energy has uncovered a well-buried pit of pain and sorrow that I had long forgotten is still haunting and driving me throughout my life.
I mark this weekend as the close of a particularly painful period of my life. What began a year ago with a performance at a community theater has come full circle with another, bookending some of the greatest hurt and betrayal I have ever felt in my adult life. It’s sad and a little disheartening when a darker chapter of our life closes without full resolution in some areas or with some people but hopefully we can rest in the understanding that it’s time to move on to new and better things and that we have learnt and grown from the experience. I do and I have.
In this series of articles, I share stories of events and traumas through which I have grown and suffered, including loves past and missed and the bullying, sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse of my childhood and teenage years and later; however, I also share how Jesus has given me the promises, hope and strength to survive and grow through these situations. If you have unresolved issues in your life in any these areas, you may want consider whether or not you should proceed with reading these articles at this time.
I have chosen the format of a fictionalized, semi-autobiographical first-person narrative to allow me to change details regarding specific events and situations, including merging and splitting persons, places and specific details, altering the time-line and using different names, as necessary, to protect the identity and preserve the privacy of those involved, especially the guilty. I have no desire to retaliate against or otherwise to harm anyone, having already forgiven all of them in my heart and several of them in person.
I have experienced both a blessed and troubled life. I have suffered through many abuses from my early childhood through my adult life, including bullying, harassment and torment, as well as sexual, physical, verbal and emotional traumas, at the hands of my peers and adults. I am emotionally damaged, still working to overcome some of the negative and destructive patterns and habits that I developed as self-defense mechanisms in grade school through early high school.
It’s the most horrible day of the year… (with apologies to Pola and Wyle!)
… well, it is for me, at least. But hopefully not forever. Actually, yesterday went rather well, all things considered. It all comes down to a promise with a little faith. And hope.