In a darkened place a young boy lies on the floor. Wearing shorts and a T-shirt, in socks without shoes. He is slowly becoming aware of his surroundings again. His senses stagger towards consciousness. He lies in the fetal position on his side hugging himself and shaking. He hears the sounds of his own whimpering not yet aware they are His cries. He is alone. He is beyond HORROR; he is in shock. He feels very, very SCARED, So SCARED and SO COLD. But w much more acute clarity than any physical sensation, He knows he is ALONE.
This is Little John. I have not yet assembled all the pieces of the puzzle to make sense of that image. I may never know. I may never know where that image came from in my past or what the HELL happened to me back there. But for more than 30 years. That precious innocent child has laid there - waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for Him/Them to come back and RAPE him again or for someone ANYONE to find him and help him to safety.
I have failed Little John. I have let him lie there I KNEW he was there in pain and ALONE. I have failed Little John. Somehow tonight I found the courage, to face the Fear of him rejecting me. Somehow I took a step of faith to allow myself HOPE that I just might be able to help Little John to SAFETY and to comfort him and to finally show Little John the LOVE I have denied myself [crying] for thirty years now.
God only knows how much I have cried over the past eighteen months. I have lost my 1st Love, my (ex)wife. I could have chosen bankruptcy. I have been living paycheck to paycheck my whole "adult" life. I have NEVER felt like I am a man. I have only felt like a boy in a man's body trying to scramble and decode his way in an adult world which is moving much too fast and for which I am poorly equipped. I have cursed at God. I have lost my second Love. And I almost lost my life, as I was "writing my suicide note" in my head just this past weekend during one of my infamous drive & cry episodes.
I was crying in the car tonight, on I-85. And I don't recall the exact moment of my choosing - Actually, Yes I do recall I was driving under a bridge as highway I-77 merges on I-85 North ... I made a choice to help that little boy. And for the first time in my entire life. I consciously found my adult self in that same room w Little John, the instant I made the choice to Be With Him.[crying].
Writing is my outlet. I have to tell this story to be able to provide for Little John a sense of history for him to remember the day I acknowledged him and said "I'M HERE LITTLE JOHN. I am here because I CHOSE to be here. I am here because I LOVE YOU" [Crying].
This a narrative of images I saw and things I said out loud in my car as I drove and cried and grieved and prayed and embraced my child self.
"Little John" He jumped at the sound of my voice and hugged himself ever more tightly scrunching himself into a ball as if trying to make himself invisible to Him/Them. Softly I said his name again, more gently and with compassion "Little John" I could here his anxious driven breathing increase to near hyperventilation as he slowly rolled around and made eye contact w me. I was aware at that moment of a faint light in the room which had previously not been there.
"Little John, I am sorry you have been hurt so badly. I am sorry. I am sorry that no one came to help you. I am SO SORRY that I left you here. I wouldn't be mad at you if you didn't like me, in fact I don't like me". And Little John just looked at me so sad, so so very sad. And I started to cry and I just prayed "Dear Jesus, Please Help Me" desperately hoping that Little John would see my tears as my genuine heartfelt sorrow for him and that I want to help him. And Little John started to cry too, and shaking so violently he could have been having a seizure.
I sat next to him indian-style on the floor. He was crying and shaking too badly to notice me at first, but once he sensed my presence there w him on the floor - He scrunched his wounded body, wiggling himself towards me - and I knew that somehow he would forgive me. [crying and shaking, me - as I type this]
"I'm Here. I'm Here. I'm Here. I'm Here". I said over and over. Partly for Little John's sake and partly for MY OWN SAKE to recognize that I had finally taken this step. And I was actually with him. And that he didn't Hate me.
Even so I became overwhelmed w guilt and even as Little John was scrunching himself along the carpet to be closer to me ... I became horribly afraid that I had made a mistake. I hadn't planned on him accepting me, or wanting me, or trusting me. "Little John, Look I can't help you. I can't help you. I can't be a famous hero and save you, my life is so f*cked up, I don't even have a plan to get us out of here. I can't be the one to save us ... but I can't leave you here either, because you're mine ... and I LOVE YOU. And I don't know what to do ... And I'm just gonna screw up ... and I don't want to hurt you because you've been hurt enough already ... and It isn't fair to count on me to save you".
Little John paid no attention to my little pity party but instead gathered his little self and crawled into my lap and began again to cry and shake violently. And of course I was crying and of course I knew - just as Little John had known - that I would not shove him aside, but that I would embrace him despite my own self-doubt.
"I'm Here. I'm Here. I'm Here. I'm Here". I said over and over and I smoothed his hair and gathered him closer in my arms [crying]. "I don't think its fair for me to tell you everything's gonna be OK. Because I don't know what's going to happen. But I'm Here. I'm sorry I took so long".
And somewhere around Salisbury, NC the fever broke and I (the real-live adult me) began to feel hungry. And I spotted a Dunkin' Donuts off the next exit - and I said out loud in the car as if to Little John. "You wanna get some donuts; the kind w the chocolate filling"?
And so for the first time in my life I shared a moment of peace w my child self [crying much] and drove the 40 miles or so home. Still saying out loud in the car "I'm Here. I'm Here. I'm Here". and for the first time in my life I allowed myself to say and mostly believe "Everything's gonna be OK, Little John ... I'm Here".
"Dear Jesus Please help me. I can't let him down anymore I have to get him to safety. I don't want to be in HELL anymore. Dear Jesus I am SO SCARED because I know I will fail him again. But at least I'm Here".
"I LOVE YOU LITTLE JOHN and I AM SO PROUD OF YOU FOR HANGING IN THERE. HE's/THEY're GONE ... WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE - SO WE CAN BE SAFE".
Hell, I am worn out. Goodnight and Merry Christmas.