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“Things are not what they seem.”
This is a triggery phrase for me. I didn’t realize how triggery until yesterday. I was watching a show on TV when one of the characters pronounced this line. It’s important to note that it’s a little different than what people normally say. The usual line is “Things are not always what they seem.” A one word difference. By removing the word ‘always’ the sentence becomes a statement of fact rather than a philosophical pondering.
Let me explain what this trigger is about. For yes, I do actually know what hides behind this one. I was talking to my therapist back in hometown about high school one day. Just sort of random memories, what it was like what I was like, how those years affected me etc. I mentioned a specific teacher and suddenly remembered a conversation we had when he pulled me aside after class one day. It seems he knew I was having great difficulties with a court case that was happening against one of my perpetrators. (Another teacher from elementary school was prosecuted for one incident that I, me, myself remembered) Anyway, my high school teacher told me as sort of an afterthought to this conversation, as if hesitant that things are not what they seem. I had no idea what he was trying to tell my little teenage brain. I thought maybe he was just trying to convey some conventional wisdom about life in general.
However… saying that phrase years later in therapy awakened a strange sensation. Almost a knowing inside. I discovered that this teacher was likely trying to tell me that my life was a little more complicated than I realized. I believe now that the teacher knew there was something more going on with me. Now whether he was on the side of dark or light, or merely a bystander, I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps he was on dark and then saw the light, I don’t know. What I do know was that his message was to obscure for it to trickle down to where it needed to go. He told me something that day that would not come to fully realized until 15 years later.
I wonder what life would have looked like had I seen then what was actually happening to me. But wisdom tells me that I was not meant to know until I knew. Life unfolds as it should. Do I really believe that? I think maybe I do. Even if it leaves a sour, bitter mix of poison in my gut. Do you believe you were meant to suffer? Do you believe you were meant to be tested? Were you worthy enough to survive? You did survive, so maybe yes?
I am living in a very cold place. I don’t mean that figuratively. I mean literally a cold place. It’s currently -14 degrees Celsius with a windchill of -25. It has warmed up a little. This place is not my original home, though I have managed to make it feel like home now. I have been here for a little over two years. My wife and I moved here with 5 days notice. We packed up our lovely 2 bedroom apartment in a 19′ moving truck and put the fur babies (2 cats, 1 dog) in the car and hit the open road for two days. it sounds like an interesting adventure doesn’t it? The truth was, we were scared out of our freaking minds. Neither of us knew what the hell we were getting ourselves into. No job lined up, no home, no friends or family. What would become of us? But we were running for our safety, running for our well being, running for our lives!
I was abused by my uncle since the age of 3 or 4. He belonged to a group of men that exchanged children to be used as play things. We were objects, pawns in a game meant only to satisfy whatever twisted, sadistic needs they had. There were some women involved too, though they weren’t major contributors. Women were beneath them.
When I went into counselling at the end of 2007 it was to deal with anxiety and depression that were interfering with my work life and personal life. It was through the process of self discovery that memories bagan to emerge. It’s a long ongoing saga but the point is that once it became clear to my uncle and his freinds that I was talking they began to apply pressure. My abuse was ongoing unbeknownst to me in the beginning of counselling. eventually I was able to connect to those parts of me that held the abusive content. As a customer service specialist in a big box store I had to deal with people all the time. These men began to harass me at work on a weekly basis. This escalated to the point in which I was sexually assaulted in a locked bathroom at work and also being attacked in my own home. Numerous threats were made against my wife as well. These assaults were revealed to my wife in a counselling session where the social worker said enough is enough. We need to get you out of here and safe now. So the planning began and 5 days later I was living in a homeless shelter in a new city.
I guess I don’t really have a point in telling you all of this. I just felt that I’d let you all get to know me a little better. What my history involves. I’m not really telling it right. You see,, this is the problem. I rattle on about things while I’m completely devoid of human emotion. This was a very big deal and it affected my life greatly. I don’t think that’s getting across. I can feel that my writing doesn’t contain any feeling. Perhaps I’ll just leave you with a little piece of writing.
Have a good night.
Mind is racing, child’s bracing for the night to come.
She try’s to think of things up a-bove so she doesn’t see.
Heart is pounding, thoughts are founding members of a club.
Stairs are creaking, life force leaking further from her grasp.
Memories forming. All is storming. Never will forget.
Though she hides it, ignores this one bit, she will soon grow up.
When this happens she will tell friends. Don’t believe a word.
My whole brain is stuck on all his crimes against this world.