I used to see him almost daily around town, in the last month or so I have not seen him, actually since I remembered what happened. Debating within myself for a couple of weeks about calling some of his family just to check on him. Not alluding in any way why I wanted to know. They do not need to know. It would not be fair to them or him. I batted the idea back in forth in my mind. I probably should have asked my therapist about it yesterday, she might have talked me out of it.
The way it played out in my mind before it happened was they would tell me that he had moved away, was happy, and I would breathe a huge sigh of relief shed happy tears, and continue with my healing journey, but able to go uptown without the fear of seeing him. My husband hand would start healing too from the tight grasp I keep when we drive anywhere.
Instead the reality played out much different. I emailed someone in his family, and they told me they had seen him just two days ago, only about 1/8 mile away from my house. I know he is no longer a threat to me. But anxiety went into overdrive. I can almost bet my life on the fact that he has no rememberance on what he did to me. I tried to convince myself that I am not anxious, but I step out of my house, I look towards the highway, and again when I leave my parents home, scanning the highway.
My husband said, “Don’t go looking for the Devil, He’ll find you.” Not exactly what I wanted or needed to hear. I really hoped that my abuser, my friend, had moved away and found solitude somewhere else.
You know, just as I do not want to be defined by what was done to me, I do not want to define him by what he did to me. I hate calling him “my abuser”. As I sat in therapy yesterday, I laughed at things we did as children. I really feel like if anyone else had done this to me back then and he knew it he would have stood up for me. He was a good friend, a friend whose life went out of control, and part of that lack of control was doing something awful to me. That awful thing was not him. As a child, I just knew I was going to marry him. He amazed me with his Evil Knievel dare devil and stunt man tricks, and often using his brother in his stunts as a prop. My heart hurts for him, and his family.
The last time we spoke, my husband and I saw him around town, and we talked to him. He shared his adventures as Patton, and walking with Christ, and many other delusions his mind creates these days. How could I be angry with him? I cannot be angry with the friend I love so dearly back then, nor the man who sees and lives a life none of us can see now.
I think where my lack of anger concerning him comes in were best described by Emilee Parker’s Mother, one of the victim’s of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting when she said of her feelings towards the shooter, “It is not my burden to carry”. I have really been frustrated with myself for not being more angry at him, I had one quick burst of anger, but it came and went. I truly feel love and compassion for him. That is in my makeup, that is who I am. And to be angry at him is not my burden to carry.
I wish I could convince myself that some of these other emotions were not mine to carry either. Fear, anxiety, depression, disgust… one day at a time, it is a journey. I will get there one day.