The Bible says that one of the first things God did after He created the world was separate light from darkness.
I realize that yesterday’s post was cryptic and leaves a lot to my readers’ imaginations. And that’s how it will just have to stay because bloggers must have boundaries lest they become crazy attention-seeking sensationalists who exploit their lives and the lives of their loved ones for stats and Amazon affiliate ads.
I believe that at the end of this series there will be hope and light and joy, and everything that’s happening now will make sense. But first we must go into the darkness and blindly fumble our way around for awhile trying to find our way out.
As you can likely guess from previous posts, in my past lies much darkness. I’m going to take you there, but I will forewarn you; where I’m going, there be dragons.
When I was sixteen years old my father dragged me into the hallway of our house, held me up against a wall, and beat me up. As he physically assaulted me, he screamed in my face, “You are such a SLUT! Not even the Pope would be safe with you.”
What precipitated this vicious attack, you ask?
I’d come home from a date with someone I barely knew. I wasn’t haven’t sex with this guy, but my father thought I was. (Being vastly ahead of my time, I was actually having Friends-With-Benefits-Sex–which in the 1970s didn’t have a name–with someone else, but that’s besides the point.)
When my date drove up to my house to drop me off, my father was standing in the driveway wielding a bat. I jumped out of the car (don’t ask me why, but I’m pretty sure it had to do with my date wanting me to get the hell out of his car so he could get away) and the date–who, shock upon shock, I never saw again–sped away from the scene.
At the age of 50, I now understand that my father’s attack was more about him than it ever could have been about me, but at sixteen I did not possess the wisdom and insight necessary to understand this. All I knew for certain was that my father was a violent, crazy madman, and that I was trapped with him in that hallway with no way out.
Although I have considered suicide a few times in my life–which is probably only natural for a child raised by two parents who openly pronounce, often and loudly, that your very existence is the cause of their mutual abject misery–I’ve never truly had the level of hopelessness needed for such a drastic action.
No. That’s not entirely the truth.
The truth of why I’ve never committed suicide is this: I have this belief (not backed up by any religious texts that I know of) that life is this learning thing and we’re supposed to be here learning shit and figuring stuff out. If you off yourself in the midst of a lesson–especially a hard one–then you go to hell, and the punishment of hell is that you are forever trapped in the pain of the lesson you refused to learn.
Since I’m sure you can easily understand now–knowing what you do about just this one past experience with my dad in that hallway–being trapped in any way, shape, or form is my absolute, ultimate worst nightmare. Therefore, the thought of eternal entrapment has been more than enough to keep me from taking any final fatal steps, no matter how desperate or hopeless I’ve ever felt.
This terror of entrapment follows me everywhere I go, even into the most innocuous places.
Most people desire to park their car close to the supermarket front door, but not me. I’m the sort of person who willingly parks far from the door into the supermarket and walks because I always want to make sure I can get out of the parking lot.
Anyway, back to the main point. Today I’m going to tell you One True Thing.
During my time up against the wall, I made one key life decision:
I would never be held up against any wall ever again.
This one decision has informed most of the choices I have made from that point forward. The moment I feel trapped is the moment I run. And just about anything can make me feel trapped.
I can now tell you One True Thing. It is very exhausting living your life like a crouched animal always on the brink of fight or flight; always checking to make sure your way of escape is clear.