Thursday, November 08, 2007

Me, Then

I saw him again last night.

I found him this morning.

In a very private place, where no one will ever look, I keep a few things of my own. Having been part of a couple for coming on to 39 years, it's very difficult to have something that's just my own. It's beside me now as I type, open to the page. He's there.

Slightly turned looking at the camera, standing in front of the kitchen counter spreading peanut butter onto bread. Even though caught by surprise, his eyes show no shock, no outrage, just a continuing sense of humiliation. Surprisingly he's no where near as fat as remembered, no where near as fat as made out by others. But it's his eyes. Already dead.

It's the only picture of him in the book, other than a frozen smile located to the left, at the back of the class photo. It was put there for laughs, 'fat guy makes self food' what a riot, what fun, here let me look at that again.

He doesn't know that he's a year away from falling in love. He doesn't know he is a lifetime away from who he will become. He thinks there is no hope. He gave up on hope as too painful a proposition. He just works at survival. He's got the message that he's stupid, he knows that he's ugly and, of course, 'worthless' tops the list. But he's only a year away from someone believing in him - and what he'll do with that belief is beyond belief. He doesn't know that there are gentle people in the world, there are teachers who will want to teach him, there are friends who will want to be near him, there are even those who will depend on him.

But he doesn't know this yet.

I put the yearbook back in it's hiding place. I close the cover on his dead eyes. I hold the book to me and try to yell down the corridors of time.

"Abuse will end."

I'm guessing that's why it matters so much to me now.

I want him to hear that.

I want others to experience that.

I never know why he visits me, that guy in that picture. I feel disconnected to him. Disconnected to my own past. But he's there, always there. At the back of my mind, at the edge of my words, in the deepest part of my work.

No one held him then, so I try to gently hold him now.

6 comments:

wendy said...

Oh Dave,
I so understand that feeling. There are pictures of myself, too, that are painful to look at, where I see so plainly what others apparently could not.
I'm so sorry you were so hurt. I'm so glad you found love and that it allowed you to become you!

theknapper said...

Hi Dave, Thank you for this profound sharing of you. That lost boy has taught me so much. Please send him my gratitude.

I just came back from a powerful workshop on attachment and abandonment. The powerful parts were the experiental pieces.
We each had to do 3 drawings...one of our abandonned child, one of our adult self & another of the wise part of us that could connect the two together. Some of us were able to connect more than others but it was the knowing that we each needed to connect that lost part to ourselves with gentleness.
We also did a grieving ritual (this is the West Coast....)where ones who wanted, could go into the centre & be on a blanket and there were 4 symbols on it. There was a piece of Arbutus tree that represented anger, cedar roots that symbolozed sorrow, a tibetin bowl that represented inadequacies (tho' a bowl empty then could be filled) and a rock that represented fear. We could use these symbols to help us speak or not, After each woman spoke (this was a diverse group of women who work with survivors of violence)we all said, "We hear you". We ended with a meditation of loving kindness and a connection with holding hands and looking around the circle at each other . Our facilatator has immemse wisdom & compassion. We need ways to take care of parts of ourselves that feel disconnected. You remind us of that...thank you.

Mieke said...

Good people never seem to become bitter as a result of the pain life inflicted upon them. On the contrary, they carry the burden with dignity and in some "adult" way, so as not to increase the amount of pain in the world.
And there is even s.th. gained in the end: the empathy we all need to understand other people's sorrow.

Anonymous said...

it is odd, the abuse does end and the pain is not as keen but there is still a wound, an occasional achey pain. Hidden away and kept from general sight, that "who we were" is no longer "who we are" but is still part of us.

I wish you well Dave, like you I wish someone could reach through time and give that "little one" the love and comfort they crave.

Kei said...

Dave~ thank you for sharing that. *No one held him then, so I try to gently hold him now.* The next time you take him out of his hiding place to hold him gently, you won't be the only one holding him...

Linda said...

You are beautiful, Dave.