Ok so I’m sure this happens to everyone at some point and time.. you think you have gotten past something and BAM you realize that maybe you haven’t.
So I’m at the gym .. did my all time best on the bike today 10.69 miles in 35 minutes .. wooohoooooooooooo …. I’m hot and tired but feeling good about my accomplishment .. proud I made myself go to the gym today .. then off to the sauna I on my usual routine.
The sauna can be an awkward place some days .. depending on who else is in there .. you have all personality types do deal with… some won’t speak or look at anyone else.. some will speak briefly to say hello.. some will just nod and others don’t mind striking up conversations.
Well after the men leave the sauna there is a lady that comes in and sits right next to me… at first we both sit there silent .. relaxing .. enjoying the sauna and then I spoke up and mentioned how nice it is that the weather is going to be cooling off into the mid 80s this week and from that point we continued to chat.
She was telling me about one of her daughters in college and how last year she was called to a college in Seattle to speak and how worried she was letting this child go alone because she is oblivious to all things around her. Well the story goes on with the daughter getting in a car with a 26 year old man she had just met .. he offered to take her to the airport and her being the naive one says .. ok no problem and gets in the car with this man.. everything turned out ok.. the man wasn’t an axe murdered or rapist .. thank goodness… but the daughter said to her mom.. it’s ok Mom, he’s a vegan! hahahaha what the heck does that have to do with anything! The mother was at a loss for words.. and explained to me this is how her daughter is and went on to say her son is street smart and totally opposite of the daughter, thank goodness .. she says ..
Well then she asks me if I was that way as a kid or was I more like her son.. street smart…
I replied with .. oh very street smart .. always looking at everyone around me s if they were up to something..lol… and then something made me tell her about when I was 4 I had to watch after my two younger cousins because we had an uncle that lived a block from my grandmother’s house and when my grandmother would leave at dawn to go for her daily walk he would make is his way up to her house where we laid there sleeping without anyone else in the house. So, now you know his intentions. I need not describe what he would do to us.
It only took once for me to then be aware and make myself aware when my grandmother would leave and at that point when I heard him making his way up the trail I would grab my cousins and we would hide or run out of the house and up into the woods until my grandmother got back home. He would on occasion catch us …. thankfully not often… those times were few and far between for me at least .. I have no idea about my cousins when they were there without me.
So the next thing she says to me is …. I bet you didn’t sleep well as a child.
OMG! Ding Ding Ding .. the bells go off and the light is on … I said to her .. I still don’t.. I never have been able to sleep … and never even thought to put 2 and 2 together.
Then I got emotional.. I had thought I had made peace with it all but at that moment in telling her my story I relived it all again and then when she mentioned not sleeping .. I was stunned.. and I broke down… it was a break through way over due. I’ll be interested in seeing if now after nearly 40 years I’ll begin to actually sleep at night without the tossing and turning and the restlessness that I have had since I can remember.
I stepped out of the sauna and went to refill my water bottle and it was all I could do to hold back the tears. I went on out to my car and sat there for a few minutes.. collecting myself and my thoughts … trying to keep it together.. WOW! So you could say going to the gym today did far more than help heal my body … it may have also just healed a part of me that has been so long ago damaged.
What happened to me as a child is something I’ll certainly not ever forget …. these type things we live with each and every day of our lives. I never told my mother … she had told me about her brother this to her and her sisters and how she still had issues from it … I guess she told me the story as a way to make me aware of what he could do .. hoping it wouldn’t happen to me.. so even at the early age of 4 I could see and feel the pain that it had caused her and I then felt that I had to protect my mother from more harm from this brother .. I thought that if she found out that he had done the same to me that it would have crushed her .. so I thought that I could be stronger and could handle the burden and protect her from further damage. I was now very aware and I took this responsibility upon myself to protect my mother.. my cousins and me… and as I sit her telling you the story .. I think back to when my own children were 4 and can’t imagine them bearing something like this at that age .. I guess the survival mode kicks in at all ages.. and this was my way of survival back then. My mom still doesn’t know. This is certainly something I’ll never tell her, I still feel that she wouldn’t be able to handle knowing it. It’s hard enough knowing myself.
I am ever so thankful for this chance meeting with a woman I don’t even know. I’m still in shock really .. the next few days I’m sure to have many moments of reflection and at the end I hope to be stronger and more aware.
Wow…. pretty much sums this up for me.. just wow!