Right now I am suffering with a major migraine, anxiety, depression and I am heavily medicated. However, I could pull up a comfortable chair and visit with you for hours. “Me,” you ask, of course. It matters not who you are, just that you understand this condition of mental, physical and spiritual life. Most of all, I am happy if you are kind and interested in the deeper signs of life and those that attempt to live it. I could visit with you, but when I am like this, nothing stops me from being a real nasty person. In fact, it’s like holding back a tiger; I have almost no control. The smallest thing is a huge irritation. My head might as well be under the Liberty Bell while being struck with a sledgehammer.
Like many of you, my life is complicated and often painful. There is no need to use a lot of adjectives. There are almost no words to describe this. People don’t get it, no matter how hard I try. They try to minimize it as if I just bumped my toe, “shake it off and it will go away. They see me as someone with a headache. I even find it hard to fully explain it to my doctor, psychiatrist and my therapist. They all use the, “Mr. Happy,” approach with me God forgive me, but it pisses off! Unless one feels heart pain, they have no idea what it feels like, right? I just can’t explain it to you! Trust me; I spend a great deal of time, thinking and acting positive. Our Lord, Jesus, gives me a great deal of comfort, but for-whatever reason, I must endure this. He does use my illness; I have, compassion empathy for others, especially children and the elderly. There are many lessons to be learned in suffering.
Jesus is so good and speaks to us, both in the Old Testament and in the new.
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?…
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.” Psalm 139:6, 11-12
“For You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness….
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”
2 Samuel 22:29, 31
Was it God that gave me this illness? I think not. It was my mother Sandra and her ever so abusive and evil husband Woody. He like to beat me, humiliate, sexually abuse me. He also enjoyed the torture of solitary confinement. The homes on Cape Code, for the most part didn’t have finished basements. Not at all. Bastard! You see, they were damp cold, cellars. Concrete voids, under the house. Mold and mildew were a huge problem. A person should not be locked in one. The cellar ran the entire length of the house, whatever the size. The only source of heat was a furnace that did almost nothing except heat the upstairs. It was cold and it was damp. The dampness made blankets almost useless. Horrible looking spiders lived down there too. I would spend hours hunting them down. They terrified me.
The smallest thing would set this criminal off. He hated me. Why? Who knows. I hated him, but moreover, I prayed to God that he would release me. I didn’t realize the extent of my punishment at that time, it was far worse than prison. Whatever crime that he would put on me was met with these two words,”Good Night!” Forgive me if I have already mentioned this, it seems the thing to talk about now. What that meant was this; no matter where I was or what I was doing, I was to stop, head down to the cellar and get into a pair of dirty and damp pajama’s, (my mother did not do my laundry very often, she hated me too.) There would be no reading or anything else to amuse myself. The light was to be off leaving the room pitch black at night, and in winter, like early evening all day long. The hardest part, was there was never a “time frame,” a day or a week? I never knew.
The time spent on restriction, as it was called by my mother, (who threw me under the bus any time that she could), was about 95%. I was in that cellar for years. I went to school dirty, not bathed, my clothes unwashed . I wore sneakers from the dollar bin at Stop&Shop, that tore on the first day allowing the stench of my dirty socks to catch the attention of my classmates. My hair was long and matted with oil and dirt. I believed that I was a dirty, nasty kid who no one liked. In fact I disgusted those around me. As you can imagine; I had no self-esteem, lived in sadness and fear. In school I was a favorite target of the bully’s. To add insult to injury, I suffered from a terrible problem with wetting the bed. I know that the odor of urine was horrible. The kids, made sure to tell me, every day. You would think that the weekends would be something that I longed for. Waiting for each day to get closer to the weekend. That was not the case at all. Being in that cellar was far worse than what I endured at school.
Do you know what I am thinking right now? No, you couldn’t possibly, but I was just thinking that this all began, some forty-seven years ago when I was seven or eight years old. My grandchildren are around that age. When I look at them, it seems impossible to think of a child as a victim. Thank God they are not. Anyway, the weekends went so slow because I fell asleep early and woke up early. The clock moved in triple slow time. I had no clock or watch, but I learned to listen like a blind person and could hear the bell from the upstairs clock, it rang every thirty minutes. That half hour might as well have been eight hours. Time literally was torture to me. Most days there was no breakfast, if there was, it would be some generic bowl of cereal with lumpy powdered milk. No lunch was ever provided. There was fresh whole milk in the refrigerator, but only for my half brothers and sisters, (Woody and Sandra’s kids). They drank whole milk my two sisters by my Dad, well we all drank the water with powder chunks in it. Thankfully there was supper. Every night at five PM Sandra made a meal. It wasn’t much but it sustained me.