Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Early Spring-the beginning of the beginning

As I thought last night about this blog that I'm starting, I really tried to think about where I should start this story. My life has undergone so many changes over the past several years...from being at the top of my profession to spending three years in a Federal prison. But as I thought about it, it doesn't make a lot of sense to talk about the end of the story before looking at the beginning. The problem is, I don't even know or understand all of the beginning of the story and I'm hoping and praying that as I write, more and more of it will be revealed to me so that I can understand my own past...and the future that it led me to.

It is hard to talk about the things that I have to say. As a friend of mine calls it, it's the "heavy stuff" and that has never been easy to acknowledge. Everyone has the "heavy stuff", but I think most of us think ours is a little heavier than the next guy' least it seems taht I do. Like many individuals in our society today, I'm a victim of abuse. Even writing that and seeing it in front of me is difficult. The forms of abuse were varied. Physical...emotional...even sexual. I've read stories of people, both men and women, who had it much worse than I did, but it is still my pain...they are my scars, and they are real and they are deep. Some of them are so deep that it is only slowly that I am even realizing some of them are there. I have difficulty accepting some of them, and the truth is, I haven't accepted all of them yet. They are as if they are things that happened so someone else, and I was just a silent spectator, in the shadows, observing the abuse. I find myself detatched and not being able to feel the emotions. It has been so long since I've cried, but I know the tears are there and they come so close to the surface at times, only to be sucked back down and the hard shell cover back over my heart...and my mind.

I'm not exactly sure when the sexual abuse started. I've had memory flashes of some of the earliest abuse occuring before I ever entered school. It was at the hands of a man who used to milk cows for us on my parent's dairy farm. They are memories deeply repressed because of the pain and of the fear that accompanied the abuse. I had completely forgotten about it until I was undergoing some counseling and I mentioned to the counselor the near panic attacks that I would have whenever my wife would place her hands on my throat. It was as if I could no longer breathe and my entire body would tense. I love physical's my love language, but the feelings of hands on my throat created the deepest panic in me that I have ever encountered. The counselor asked if I would be willing to try to go back in my memory, to different times when I experienced the panic of hands on my throat to try to find the source and I agreed. Through healing prayer, I found myself back in my early childhood and in an old barn that we had on the farm. It was the original milking barn and I was watching our old milker do some of his work there. It wasn't uncommon for any of us kids to go to the barns. There certainly was no reason not to trust the hired help. It was the early 60's and no one really ever thought about child predators and sexual abuse. At least if they did, they forgot to give me the lecture. During the course of one of these visits to the old barn, the milker forced me to perform oral sex on him and touch him sexually. I discovered that the fear and the panic I experience when hands are place on my neck came as a result of him lowering himself down on his haunches and looking at me level...eye to eye. He placed his hands on my shoulders, near my neck and told me that if I ever told anyone what had happened, he would find me and hurt me. He told me that he could snap my neck like a dry twig...and he could have. I remember crying and trembling; standing in front of him so afraid. And so, it became "our secret" that I was diligent to keep my entire life. And sadly, it was only the first of many. My wife once asked me if I thought that I had the word "victim" somehow written on my forehead that others could somehow see. I don't know, but sadly it seems that I was a victim to a number of people. I'm not sure why it took me so long to remember this episode while I was able to remember many of the other times that I was abused sexually by other males around me as I grew up, except that the milker was the only one who threatened me. Whether the treat was real or not, I'll never know. The milker is long gone...probably dead and buried. My in my heart and mind, I believed it was real. It led me into the shadow of the closet that would slowly fill my life with darkness for the next 45 years.

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