Had I known what the meeting with Alice and Howard would bring to the surface, what hell I would go through, what trauma I would suffer, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I may have bailed. I may have said, “Jesus is enough. Let’s stick to safe truth. I’d rather stay broken and limp into heaven. Being understood is overrated. I’m good.”
But God had a better plan.
And, truth be told, had I been able to look past the pain and hell, and look ahead to today, to see my children, to see the people whose lives I would touch, I would have said, “Let all hell break loose! I will not stop until I am free!” It’s the years between that were overwhelming, even though they were part of the healing process.
Tuesday night, November 7, I waited with excited fear, for my guests to arrive. I was oblivious. Not a clue what they thought they knew, that could possibly help me.
Finally they arrived. We met in the living room of the home where I lived, caring for an elderly retired army colonel. George doted on me, a man in his mid-eighties, who ‘loved the company of a good Christian girl’, even though he was an atheist. He was kind and treated me with deep respect. Knowing I had guests, he had kindly disappeared to another part of the house.
A couch sat against the west, inside wall. A picture of a wheat field hung, perfectly centred, behind it. I invited Howard and Alice to sit there. I seated myself across the room–which really wasn’t that far away–on a love seat. The uncertainty had me nervous, almost shaky. I tucked my feet up under me on the couch, wrapping my skirt around them. I was chilly.
We chatted for a little while before Howard asked me if I had any idea at all what they might be hoping to share and talk about. I didn’t. So he continued, explaining that they had been praying for some time, asking God for confirmation about this thing they sensed. They explained how Cindy had approached them, and how Max had encouraged them to be there for me.
“Trudy, the question I want to ask you is a very difficult one,” Howard said, his voice reflecting the weight in his heart. “Are you sure you want to do this?”
I could feel the tension, the fear, building inside of me. Oh yes! There was no way I was turning back now. I nodded. and said yes, even though I had no idea where they were taking me.
He told me that they had worked in group homes, and that they had mentored sexual abuse victims. He asked me to close my eyes. I did.
“Trudy, as I talk, I want you to think back to your childhood. What do you remember? Go down the dark tunnels, the memories hidden…. He continued talking, things I don’t remember.
“Trudy, do you remember, did your father sexually abuse you?'” Howard was the first man to truly attempt to father me. I felt afraid, but safe.
I had never gone back there consciously. Never, in twenty-one years did I recall revisiting consciously the trauma of any childhood sexual abuse. I had talked superficially about the violence, the death threats, the fear, the sharpening of knives, the beatings–most of which I had observed, having escaped most of them. But that place, the door Howard was opening had only slipped open subconsciously twice before and each time I had closed it firmly. Could I do it? Was it real? Was I strong enough?
Howard continued talking, but his voice faded…. I had slipped into another world….
I’m a little girl, maybe three years old, with fly-away platinum blonde hair that would not be tamed, and eyes as blue as the sky. I see Dad on the tractor, ready to leave for the field. The sun is setting. Fast.
I run across the yard, panting, hoping I make it before he is gone. He looks down and sees me. The loud ‘put put’ of the old G-John Deere drowns out my voice, but Dad knows what I want. We love tractor rides and we don’t get them often.
He pulls me up and tells me to duck so no one can see me. I hunker down on the floor, hiding behind his legs, watching the family disappear into the night. No one knows that I got to go with Dad. I am special. This is my time.
We arrive in the wheat field. How I loved the field. So big, so beautiful and the grain…. But tonight it is dark. The stars sparkle in the sky, brighter than ever… probably because I am special… The moon is bright….
Suddenly the stars go black, the moon turns out its light and the wheat field is a haunting shadow… All is black….
My heart falls to the ground, shattering… again… Only bits and pieces come home with me. I leave the rest there, lying in the dirt, in the dark shadows… what I have left, beats more slowly. I leave my tears there too. And my free spirit. Lost in a field of grain… They stay there….
November 7, 1990 Howard and Alice walked me back to that wheat field and helped me find some of the pieces of my heart.
I trembled. Then shook, my knees literally knocking together, bouncing up and down, in sheer terror. My body racked with mental anguish and sobs, as the tears released, that have been trapped for many years.
My chest felt heavy. Would life ever be normal again?
(To Be Continued… )
© Trudy Metzger
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I appreciate your willing vulnerability in such a dark and scary space…
Thank you. It is the first time I’m sharing it publicly… still a bit strange, but if it gives one other person the courage to get help, it will have been worth it. Even though I may never know about it.
I am totally enthralled with your story. It is like a soap opera that I cannot miss. I admire your willingness to share your story with us. I believe that your story will touch many lives profoundly.
Thank you Trudy
Thank you Suzie. I appreciate your kind words. And, since I’m not a fan of soaps, I hope it captivates other readers enough to draw them away from the soaps. I’d love to compete against them! lol!
Have a great day, Suzie!
ok could you maybe give us everything and then skip a few days or something?!I like to read a book cover to cover in 1/2 hour! I admire you for being courageous in writing this! But this continuation thing….?! I am waiting the rest of it….. God bless you!
That would make it a 3000 word blog post… and that’s too long. I don’t prefer the ‘leave ’em hanging part’ because I like to tell a story the whole way through but sometimes it can’t all be told in one sitting. (My ‘side ministry’ is teaching patience.) 🙂
I can’t bring myself to press the Like button because of the painfull experience you are sharing. Instead, I applaud your courage in sharing it.
Thank you Judy. I understand. I find myself frequently in that same situation when reading blogs. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.
Your courage is amazing, Trudy. Your writing is truly captivating, and this part of your story is sad. But, my prayer is that God will use it to touch many lives for Christ by bringing others to true freedom.
Well done, Trudy. Besides being an excellent writer, you have stepped out of the silence molesters depend upon. I have found that the more I share, the less hold memories have on me. I’m sure you’ll find the same is true for you. The more I share, the more the pain dribbles away. God bless you on this journey we share.
Thank you Diane. I appreciate your kind words! So true that the memories lose their grip when silence is broken. The tapes stop playing when we tear them up. (That statement should mess with the generation of CD’s and Ipods and the other stuff I have not yet figure out! lol!)
Hi again Trudy, As I read what you have to share, I’m reminded of these two verses from Ephesians 4;
“14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”
Particularly the first six words of v.15; ‘But speaking the truth in love’. Most people automatically assume that this means speaking only ‘nice’ things, but the truth isn’t always ‘nice’. It’s often very far from that, but truth is truth and is always preferable to a lie, especially as far as God is concerned.
Don’t ever be made to feel ashamed of proclaiming the truth about what has happened to you, because it’s out of that acknowledgement that you have been made free (John 8:32). It’s also out of sharing the truth of your experience that others may be made free also.
I want to leave you this reference; Romans 8:1:-
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Thank you so much, Alan! I appreciate your encouragement, your support and these words of Scripture to speak into my journey of healing and sharing. These are the truths that keep me grounded… and I need reminders. Bless you!
I , too , find breaking the silence is so necessary to the healing of memories. It is a radical risk, and it is worth it to find the freedom promised in speaking the truth. God bless you, Trudy, love and prayers.
Thank you Regina, and I completely agree!