Yesterday, I was having an email conversation with a woman that lived in Christian community with me thirty five years ago. I was telling her about the rock wall I was tearing apart and rebuilding. She wrote back, in humor, reminding me about a time, years ago, when she was awaken by a strange nighttime noise. It was about 1:00 am and she just couldn’t make sense of what she was hearing so she got up and went out to the community’s front porch. There, under the cover of darkness I was digging a rather large dead tree out of the earth. She watched, never saying a thing to me or alerting me to her presence. She was wondering “why” I was out there in the middle of the night vigorously ripping a tree from the ground with no awareness of what time it was or who might be around.

I remember that night like it was yesterday. It was in November and my fifth anniversary of the rape. No, one in the community knew, if they’d had they would have loved me even more but at the time I could not see through the haze of shame and guilt. So in my own prison - I dug. Each dig of the shovel releasing years of pent up anger. A rage I did not know what to do with so I dug trying to use this growing self-hate to do something productive rather than destructive which was a good thing but not without its downsides. I was able to avoid dealing with the underlying issues because though my actions, not unlike drinking or cutting, were a cry for help it was seen as a guy with lots of “get up and go”. To this day, when I’m fighting inner demons I still “dig”, which is what I was going with the wall reconstruction. Friends and family will see the final result and compliment me on the work, of which I’m grateful for their admiration. What they don’t know is that ever rock stacked is a result of a hangover. A silent cry for help and understanding.

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Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified