Tonight I feel numb. Its like the progress I grabbed onto from last week slipped away into the night.

Last week in the T session, we talked about the earliest assaults. And the flashbacks of not just me, but a couple of my siblings being used, hurt, abused like some... I don't know. Its just too much to think about. And I might lose my numb feelings.

But in talking with the T, I shared something else I never talk about but tonight I want to share. In my early years, I had an older cousin on momma's side who WAS MY PROTECTOR... I have never forgotten him. Ten years older and he always chose me, always played with me, always spent time with me. Something must have told him to love me, because he did. And I felt safe and special and LOVED. And he never once did anything inappropriate to me. Ever. And when I was with him, I remember feeling so protected. (It was an older cousin from the other side who stole my early childhood.)

One spring morning, my mother laid the newspaper on the kitchen table and opened it. Such a clear memory. She was talking about something, but I don't remember anything other than she pointed to an article and told me to come read it. Others were around, so I guess it was the family.

I was an early reader, so I climbed up onto the chair, I remember it well. Chrome and red... so vivid in my memory. At the age of 5, I read that my cousin, my protector and my friend- had died. The family was having me discover the death of my protector by reading the obituary section of the newspaper. I don't remember anyone saying, "....has died..." or hugging me or preparing me. All they did was say "read the article". My cousin was 15 and had been hit by a car driven by a drunk driver. He died instantly.

After he died, there was no one. No one ever cared to pick me first ever again, no one ever again made me feel special and loved as a "little brother" should feel- and I was the littlest brother. I kid you not, there was no one to ever again watch over me as my cousin had. This lose of him still haunts me today, but last week was the first time in 50 years that I was permitted to mourn for him. I cried for him, I cried for me. I just cried. I had no idea how much his lose meant in my life...even today. Its nice just knowing that at one point in my life, someone found me to be special in a normal, natural sense. That part makes me smile.

I didn't realize it at the age of 5, but of course my friend and protector would never return. I had lost my hero.
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For now we see through a glass, darkly.