Life Doesn’t Wait

12 Aug

No one offered me an alternative, so I returned home.

As the car eased into the driveway, the kids rushed to greet me.  The Subaru and I developed a bond on the way home—the worn interior held my secret grief.  Although my arms were as heavy as granite, I forced myself to return their embrace.

When my partner Colin’s hand sought mine, I recoiled as if I secretly knew nothing could console me and any attempt represented nothing more than a superficial gesture.  Nothing prepared me to disclose the incest to Colin or my children, family and friends.

Do you blurt it out?  Oh, by the way, my son incested my daughter? Maybe you slip it into a conversation or launch into a rage or defend yourself while blaming others or provide a lengthy explanation that dates back to her childhood or simply fall apart in front of them or hide the truth for eternity?  Our family resembled a soap opera.  Too ashamed to tell Colin, I resolved to set it aside for later that night.

For the remainder of the day, I pretended to be present when I had actually drifted away into my own secret hell.  Later that night, Colin positioned himself next to me on the bed as he draped his arm over my shoulder.  The time arrived.  The ingenious method I concocted to tell him was to get it over quickly.

With bravado, I blurted out the facts—sexual touching, Casey was five; she remembered two incidents; those memories were clear and detailed; involved Jake my oldest son; other memories of further abuse were blocked which is common; no doubts that what she recalled happened; and finally, carefully avoiding the word incest, told Colin, the bottom line, Jake molested Casey.  When I finished, I rose abruptly as Colin’s arm hit the mattress.

“ This has been the cause of her behavior?  Oh, my God.  And, you never knew?”  He meant it to sound like a question.  But I knew it was a statement disguised as a question.  It would be the first time but not the last time someone subtly suggested I must have known, for which I developed a fine tuned sense of radar.  Flooded with rage, I said nothing and neither did Colin.

In the following days, Colin attempted to smooth the wrinkles in our relationship.  I think he understood I was hurting someplace he couldn’t touch with words but I wish he had tried.  Instead, he did what he was capable of doing; supervising the kids, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, and occasionally hugging or touching me as if to remind me he cared.  Nothing mattered.

Unconsciously, we presume each day will be like the last—contain the same routines and potential for joy.  But recapturing yesterday is only possible in fairy tales. A crazy insanity possessed my daily existence.  Every area of my life was destroyed but I remained oblivious to the ruin.  I had been handed a sentence—one that killed my spirit.  Life goes on regardless of tragedy and I was expected to show up.  Life didn’t wait  until I was ready.

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