Friday, August 7, 2009

The Hardest Question!

It's over!!! As I drove away from his office today, I felt like beating myself up. "Why do I let these kinds of things bother me? Why do I allow myself to get anxious when I know I have nothing to be anxious about?" It was bad enough that I didn't have the answers...but even worse that I found myself asking them in the first place.

I had just spent about 45 minutes with a very likable man. He works in a unique profession...he is a polygrapher. And at this season in my life, I find that I have spend time with him...or others like him, a couple of times each year. Today was somewhat different because I hadn't had a polygraph for nearly 16 months. I realize that that was part of the reason for my anxiety. But as I sat there with all of the wires connected to my fingers...and the blood pressure cuff causing my hand to go numb...and the two straps around my chest that there was something else going on here. And I'm surprised it didn't cause me to fail the test.

One of the questions that the polygrapher always asks (at least this particular one does) is "do you trust me when I tell you that I will not ask you any questions that we have not already gone over?" I remember the first time I sat in the chair with his equipment hooked up to me. When he asked that question, I answered it very honestly. I told him "no". And the truth is, I didn't trust him! I had never had a polygraph before and I didn't know what to expect. For all I knew, it was a trick question to cause me to let my guard down so he could "zap" me and call for the goon squad who I assumed must be in the next room to come haul me away screaming and yelling in handcuffs.

But, he was being honest. He only asked me the questions that he told me he would. So when he asked the questions for the second time, I changed my answer to "yes", I passed the polygraph and I was out the door. It was the same thing when I had my last polygraph.

When he asked me that question today, I answered "yes" because I want to trust him. As I sat there waiting for the next question to be asked, I realized that I don't think that I do trust him. That wasn't the worst thought that penetrated my mind though. It was the realization that I'm not sure that I trust anyone! And I could feel a small something in my heart crumble as that truth sunk in.

I'm not certain why I got that clarity today, but I believe it has to do with my dad. He has been on my mind a great deal recently...and not in a positive way. I find that whenever I think about him or I am asked about him, I get angry...and hurt. Maybe it's because I've found both of my brothers sharing some of their "dad" memories with me...memories that are as painful as my own.

Maybe because there have been reminders lately that have triggered my own tortured memories...or perhaps, lack of memory. I found myself sobbing like a baby just the other night as I watched the end of a movie that I love, "The Greatest Game Ever Played". It's a story about golf...but there is a subplot about the relationship between the son and his father. A father who in his own way neglects his son and tries to prevent him from following his dream. I didn't even clue into that plot until I was wiping my tears away and trying to find their cause. And it hit me...his dad was my dad. Except in the end of this movie, the dad is there...smiling and proud of his son. I never got that.

The test is over. The questions have been asked. And as he unhooked the wires, the man told me I passed and asked for his money. As I walked down the stairs after paying the bill, I reflected on the questions and my anxiety going in...but mostly, I thought about the answer that had just revealed itself to me.

Photo from Flickr


Deb Shucka said...

I love how you're able to hear God's voice and His answers in the midst of these anxiety-saturated events. After reading this, I'm even more convinced that this is your season for all of those old unfelt feelings to find their way to the surface. I'm so proud of you for allowing that, and look forward to celebrating the resulting freedom with you.

All that said, I'm so sorry that you're having to feel this pain - all the August losses that reflect the deeper dad-connected losses.

I love you. said...

I am happy that you passed your polygraph test. I, like you, would certainly be filled with anxiety at the very thought of someone wiring me for sound and not knowing what I should say, feel, think about, second guess, trust, etc.
I was intrigued by your comments and thoughts about dad. At this point in my life, I have come to realize that we have all had bad experiences. Some are brought on by the decisions of others, most by our own decisions (conscious or unconscious). The important point, though, is what we chose to do with and/or about those experiences. Some chose self pity and use that experience to keep them from becoming the person that God would have them be. Some want to blame others for their inability to move beyond the experience. Some feel that they are now owed something by others because of the experience. I know that God is helping you move on. I love you little brother. I pray that He heals you so that you can become the man He wants you to be.