I want to step away from the chronological story I’ve been writing in an on-again, off-again fashion for the last three years, and step into the present for a little bit.
I’ve been thinking about my family a lot this last week, specifically those left behind in “the group”. Missing them. Grieving them. I had a very vivid dream a few nights ago about my aunt and uncle and cousins. We were all together again in Joe LaQuiere’s house. It was oddly the same; the big leather couches, the pink carpet, the large leather recliner in the middle where Joe sat and taught us. Only the people were different. My aunt and uncle viewed me with suspicion, and an arms-length coldness. It hurt my heart.
See, I remember the happy days. My aunt with her beautiful Irish smile and thick hair she would ask me to play with and braid. My gentle uncle, with his kind eyes. My sweet little cousins, with their beautiful laughing faces! I miss them all. I know when they think of me today, they hate me. They think I’m an enemy, out to spread lies and hurt them. They think of me as a bitter young woman, tainted by sin, by a pregnancy begun before my marriage…blaming my mistakes on others and out to hurt anyone I think responsible. That’s what they see. They don’t know me at all.
I wish I could plead with them, plead my case and my heart, and pierce the shell that keeps them locked up tight, and me locked out. I used to be a favorite. ‘Sweet little Sarah’, ‘she’s always so obedient’. They looked at me and saw a trusting little face, an obedient little girl, so cheerful and sunny! They didn’t see the scared little girl that hid inside. They didn’t know about the nausea in the pit of my stomach, the ache of fear in my throat. I want so badly for them to realize that there was no way they could know, as grown adults, the fear of being a little child in Joe’s house. The inner turmoil of living in that world, of having to see the things I saw. They think it was safe. It wasn’t safe for me. I want to crack the facade of the 30-something poised young woman, and show them that terrified little girl underneath, and search their eyes for kindness, for any understanding.
They have no reason to hate me. I’m not their enemy. I never will be. I love them deeply. I miss them sorely. I am not bitter, or angry. I’m in pain. I’m hurting. I have wounds inside that have only begun to heal. And I don’t look at them and see people responsible for my pain. I just see more hurting people. My uncle is grayer. His eyes are more sad. My aunt’s smile doesn’t reach so deep. I want them to understand, and I want them to see my love. But more than that, I want to see them rescued. And I want to see them whole and healed. Because the truth is, we’re all sick. And we all need a Physician.