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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