And, despair. My childhood was plagued with signs of it.
Beyond my reoccurring nightmare of my father raping a woman, I did many other strange things trying to work out this mysterious puzzle that I hid inside me. Trauma takes on funny ways of revealing itself when it is outside of your mind’s eye.
The body keeps the score, right?
When I was a preteen, I came home alone each day after school to our home on Lessard Road. This was the property where this woman’s body had been, and still is, buried. I hated alone time and maybe I still do. It’s like a horror movie, nothing ever goes well when someone is alone – the script is written that way.
I’ve sometimes had dreams of the police being called either by my family or someone else. The problem is that, in the dream, I am the one being accused. The other strange things about these dreams; if there is someone being comforted, it is never me.
Circa 1968, Delaware Lane, I’m laying in bed trying to expunge and process this woman being killed in front of me. I have yet to turn four.
The night shadows danced around my bedroom and I’m terrified. My father had been taken to the hospital, so I had no one to go to. I often used him as a place to return to – to silence my fears and bring me a sense of comfort.
In walks my mother. She’s angry and talking mean to me. She wants to know something from me and I can’t answer her. I cannot speak. I need her to protect me, love me – bring some kind of softness to me.
When I cannot return an answer, she slaps me in the side of my head, tells me to lay down and go to sleep. She leaves the room.
Last night I had a dream.
My mother tells me she is calling the police on me and puts me in a dark room, walks out and closes the door. I’m 56 years old today. I have been in counseling for well over 20 years and this kind of dream still wrenches at my soul.
Don’t cry for me. I got this.
I just wonder when the evil folks get there just reward? Do they suffer in the night hours or do they just continue on in their lives full with dinner parties, traveling and shopping.
When does justice get served, if ever?
But, this I am sure of. I will continue to walk in the land of the living – making sure my feet don’t walk on the path with the wicked.
I had to do that as a child. I no longer choose that road.