Transgressions

40536711_474610336350120_3869628580073832448_n Today I opened my box. I opened the box that holds the five stones of my heart. Five stones that I have locked away and tried to forget about.

Today I sat with one stone. The stone that is the heaviest. The beautifully heart shaped pink stone.

Pink and passionate and perfect was our love. We were playfully competitive. We played hard and the competition sparked our whole life. We loved just as passionately.

I never knew a man who put me so high on a pedestal. I never knew a man who cherished me so deeply, a man who adored me so openly.

I was in awe and I felt like a beautiful woman walking down the city street displaying expensive fur and shiny diamonds. I owned what others sought.

This had to be my soul’s mate.

Today I put on meditation music. I doused myself in oils and turned on the diffuser. I asked my Lord and my guides, those who have gone before me, to protect me as I sat there in my living room holding the cold heavy stone I had painted a pretty hot pink.

I envisioned a white light of God’s protection surrounding me and I thanked my Lord.

I began to relax, I thanked God that I was there, sitting on my couch holding my heart shaped stone. I envisioned myself reaching down into the earth, grabbing onto a beautiful crystal to anchor myself.  I asked Him how to let this go. I asked Him to show me how to finally really be free.

I saw two cupped hands being lifted. A beating heart pulsing in the uplifted palms. I saw a beautiful butterfly take flight as the heart melted away. I thanked God for letting me see what was possible. It is indeed what I need to happen. It’s time to let this burden into the open, hold it to the light for all to see, so that is may take wings and free my heart.

The word transgression flashed in my mind repeatedly as I meditated. So I looked it up later. I found many synonyms for transgression: offense, crime, sin, wrong, wrongdoing, misdemeanor, felony, misdeed, lawbreaking, vice, evil-doing, indiscretion, peccadillo, mischief · mischievousness, wickedness, misbehavior, bad behavior, error, lapse, fault, trespass, infringement, breach, contravention, violation, defiance, infraction, disobedience · breaking, flouting, nonobservance, overstepping, exceeding

I smiled as I realized the message of that word.

We are all on our own life journeys. Transgressions are going to happen. We become wounded by others who are wounded by others. We should hold no hate, no grudge. Our paths cross and we love and we hurt and we learn. We grow from each encounter.

But some times these transgressions are not so easy to grow from. We hide them. We hide them and let them fester.  We stay in the pain and the grief. Parts of our heart shuts down. We cause transgressions to ourselves and to those we meet.

Ancient feelings of independence and freedom from the days of my young motherhood came to me during meditation. Pure, carefree emotions. I cried.

My wings have been clipped.

I didn’t realize how much I miss my wings. I thanked God for allowing me to feel that bliss once more. To remind me of what I am working towards.

I want my life back.

No more ugly anxiety creeping on the sidelines whispering of horrible possibilities.

I envisioned cords being cut and wings beginning to untangle.

Today I want so much to lay down this burden.

Today I want to tell you my story.

This part of my story begins way before the story actually took place.

It began as soon as I was born. It began as my journey.
It began the day a little boy named Roger was born.  It began as his journey too.
But his journey and my journey crossed paths at this particular time.

I want to share this chapter of my life journey so that I may let it out. I want to share it with love and not hate or fear or disgust and blame. Only love so that I may let it go.

I met Roger on that stereo typical starry summer night as I sat outside my new Kentucky apartment. I was so lonely. My two children, James age 6 and Allison age 2 were asleep in their bunk beds as I sought some solace from my thoughts.  I gazed at the stars from the stoop.

My sister had convinced me to move to Kentucky three hours away from my hometown. I was 23, divorced and my gypsy soul jumped at a new adventure. I had a huge garage sale, gave notice at my place of employment and packed my little station wagon and my kids and headed to live with my sister until I got my feet on the ground. My plans were to go back to school to get a college degree. I quickly found a job and registered for classes.

But that night as I sat on the steps watching the stars and feeling very alone, a man stopped in. He asked if he could sit beside me. Of course, I was very uncomfortable at first. But with his warm banter I began to feel relaxed. He asked if he could stop by another night if he saw me on the steps. I assured him that would be okay and he went on his way. After a couple of evenings on the stoop he asked me for a date and I agreed.

We went on one date and I shied a way. I don’t really recall the reason but I asked him if we  could just remain friends. He obliged, stopping by once in a while to sit and talk. But soon I would call him to come help me with some household chore. Roger was so humbled that I called on him, so grateful to be my friend. One night I went out with a girlfriend and had a shaking experience. Roger was there to pick me up and help me through it.

I remember when he gave me a friendship ring with red rubies and diamonds. I cried. No one had ever spent money on me just because.  Our relationship blossomed.

After a year, we began to date. It was truly amazing and wonderful. We loved and played and worked hard together. My three year old would affectionately call him Roger Rabbit. She looked forward to him coming over. We took the kids on short trips hiking, we went to fairs, engaged in loud raucous water fights in my apartment. He bought me a pair of white nike shoes with a pink check on them. No one had ever spent money on me. My love of pink was just beginning.  He would sing to me as I lay half asleep in my bed before he left to work. We even began to attend church together.

His soul was as youthful and mischievous as mine. We were deep into a very intense love affair.

I never saw it coming. Slowly it crept into our lives. I didn’t know the script. I had never been in this play before.

Jealousy.

Jealousy first appeared as little comments about how I was dressed. It led to comments on other men looking at me. He claimed I had to be doing something to cause that.  I began to change the way I dressed. I began to avert my eyes. I looked down as I walked. I tried not to draw attention to myself.

The more jealous and controlling he became the more he attended his church. Maybe it was the other way around. It doesn’t really matter.  He began to wrap his religious beliefs into his reasoning about how I should be behaving. I attended church with him. I even got saved. He was so proud and presented me with a pink bible with my name engraved on it.

This was a confusing time for me. He was discouraging me from visiting my family back home. He didn’t want to come along but he didn’t trust me while I was away.  He was talking marriage, but I feared his jealousy would become worse if he “owned” me.

I loved him. Our good times were amazing and so intense. But the jealousy was becoming worse. We were beginning to argue.

One night we even argued about the bible. He slapped me. I fell to the floor devastated. I had never experienced abuse like this.  I told him to leave. I knew in my heart I had to break it off.

He called me crying. He stopped by my apartment crying. He said he was so sorry. That the devil took over him. He never meant to hurt his “Precious”. He would never ever do that again.

He talked of his father’s abusive ways towards him and his family. He talked of running from the house for their lives as his dad shot a gun at them. I began to feel sorry for the terrified little boy that had withstood beatings from his father.  These transgressions he had never healed from burdened my heart.

I stayed strong for two weeks. But then one night out of loneliness I felt sorry for him. It was so easy to be with someone who adored you. I caved and let him back in. The reunion was amazing. Our life together was all good again.

Soon, his landlord asked him to move out because he was never there.  They were worried the trailer he had rented would become run down with no one living in it. Or at least that is what he told me. So he moved in with me.

The jealousy slowly returned and we began to argue even more. I told him he needed to move out. He slapped me again.

He stayed away after that until late at night. I felt responsible for him. He had no other place to go. He told me he was looking for a place to live but he was being very picky about each place. We didn’t talk when he did come home. I tried to sleep on the couch but he grabbed my arm, even breaking my pinky finger as he fiercely ripped the blanket from me.  He forced me to sleep in the same bed with him. He claimed he was afraid I would stab him in the middle of the night.

I was living in some bizarre nightmare. I didn’t know how to break out of it. I needed someone to talk to.

A couple months crawled by while living in this suspended state of extreme stress. One day I accepted an invitation to have dinner with a gentleman. I never should have done it. But I needed to get away. I needed to feel normal again. I needed someone to talk to.

It was an enjoyable evening. We had dinner under the stars on a beach by the lake. We chatted about life. I talked to him about Roger. We went for a drive and even saw an amazing display of the borealis blushing the night sky. I took it as a sign. I had some hope. I could get myself out of the mess I was in.

When I returned to my apartment Roger was waiting. He sat in a chair in my living room. I was to find out later that he had been to my girlfriend’s apartment looking for me. He had been rude and angry to her. There were no cell phones at that time for her to give me a warning.

I began to go upstairs to my room. He followed me demanding to know where I had been. I told him it was none of his business. He shoved me up against the wall and held me there. He took the ruby ring off my finger and mangled it in front of me. He called me horrible names.

He began to hit me. I couldn’t escape. He was just too strong. We ended up on the ground. He pulled me by the hair and drug me down the stairs continuing to assault me with his words.

Downstairs, he ordered me to tell him where I had been and with who. He would hit me on the head every time I said anything. I learned quick to keep my mouth shut.

He insisted I had had sex with someone and began to pull my jeans off. I feared he was going to rape me. He tore my top and jeans.

He forced me to the ground again as I tried to escape,  he pummeled my back with his fists. He drug me around some more. I pleaded with him to stop.

I asked him what God would say about him doing this. His eyes were black and he looked me in the eyes and said, “God has nothing to do with this.” He told me he had all night to do what he wanted with me. He continued to hit me.

I saw sparks of light every time his hand landed on my head. I prayed silently and cried asking the Lord to please take care of my children if I died that night. My thoughts were about them, who would love them like I do after I’m gone. I’m all they have.

In a strange twist of fate, or maybe God’s intervention, he pulled me over to the phone to call my sister while he straddled me on the ground. My sister had kept my children for the evening.

Roger felt betrayed by her since I had gone out for the evening with her brother in law. As soon as she heard me screaming in the background she new I was in trouble. She immediately called the police.

Out of panic, Roger laid down on top of me, covering my face with a pillow. I couldn’t breathe as he began to whimper about the police coming. He told me he was scared and begged me not to scream. He shut off the lights and pulled the shades so the police would think no one home.

The headlights of the squad car shown on the shades.  I begged him to take the pillow away. As the police banged on the door, I promised I would not scream. I thank God he believed me. As soon as he removed the pillow I began to scream for my life. I wanted to be with my babies. I wanted to live to love them through their lives.

The police crashed in the door just like in the movies. They busted in with guns aimed right at us. Roger jumped up off of me his hands raised.

Crazed and mindless with fear I ran. I ran towards the police. I ran past them. I ran and ran to my girlfriend’s apartment.

She opened the door as I fell into her arms,  another hysterical, beaten woman. She held me as the police came to question me. The tears flowed heavily.  Roger’s report was that I attacked him first. He was just protecting himself. But they saw the abuse bruised across my body.

They took him to jail.

At the hospital, my tears never stopped. I can’t believe a person can have so many tears. I couldn’t talk. The x-ray tech questioned if I were in pain?  He told me it was over now. I was safe and could stop crying.

I couldn’t tell him my heart and my soul was pulverized. I was raised in a very gentle, calm family. I had never experienced my parent’s arguing much less pure violence before. I was in shock and so much confusion and pain deep inside my heart.

My parents came to be by my side. My dad came to stand by my bed. He touched my forehead as he thought I lay sleeping.

My mom talked about the shock of seeing me with both eyes swollen almost shut and my face all puffy. I didn’t realize at the time that she was in very early stages of Alzhiemers.

I asked them to take my children home with them where they were safe. I was ashamed and very sad for them to see me that way.

I stayed in case I had to testify in court.

I was sent to the Swan (Stop Women Abuse Now) house for fear of Roger finding me. He had been released on bail the next morning. I was terrified of the man I deeply loved.

He sent me roses the next day. No name attached but I know they were from him. I threw them away.

He chased me down on the interstate a few weeks later as I headed back to my hometown. He cried and begged my forgiveness. I showed him the pictures of how I looked after he was finished me. He cried and begged me to throw them away.

I told him I could never ever trust him again. I drove away as he stood on the busy roadside and cried.

I moved home soon after, still terrified that he would come after me. I couldn’t watch t.v. for any violence further traumatized me. I had no one to turn too. My old friends were all married and busy. When I was with people, I felt no one wanted to hear my story. I desperately needed to talk it out but didn’t want to burden others with my need. I know I walked about in a state of shock for probably a year afterwards.

Slowly life took over. I pushed my pain and my terror further and further down. Slamming shut that lid anytime it surfaced. I created other transgressions because I didn’t fully deal with this one. I hurt myself, my kids and others. But that will be a future memoir.

I am now opening the box of five stones of my heart. I am taking each stone and working to cleanse my heart.  As I set the Roger stone down beside me, I realized it had transformed from a cold hard stone to one of warmth. I choose to leave this stone in the open for now. I shall wait as my beautiful butterfly emerges. I will wait as she stays still awaiting her beautiful new wings to dry. I pray her flight smooth and her soul be free.

I love you all for reading and accepting me for who I am. I thank you for helping me on my journey towards healing.

Love you all.

~Sara Jane Rauch~ 09/01/2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As fall creeps into my life ending one more sunny season, I sadly put away these new precious memories and say good bye to my summer children. Maybe my senior years will find me with grown cowboys, pirates, princesses and maidens who come to call in person and to sip on teas as we revel an afternoon or two together in summer time memories. With a tug of my heart and a tear in my eye, I move on to new challenges and new beginnings. I will miss my life as it has been these last few years. I will miss the children who gave their summers to me.  Good bye fair maidens and mischievous little men, follow your imaginations, be true and brave and let not a soul dampen your dreams.

~Sara Jane Rauch~ 08/20/2018

My Other Life Is Grand

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I loaded my bags into my jeep as my glance fell on the light post nearest my parking spot. The remnants of an old sticker faded and peeling plastered on it caught my eye. Without a thought my writer’s mind kicked in. A narrative voice began speaking, “her glance fell on the nearest light post as she loaded her groceries into her old jeep. The old faded sticker that had been plastered to it years ago claimed to be able to help some poor fool lose weight if he would dare to call this number.”

“Awwk” I reprimanded myself as I climbed in and turned the key. I wondered if anyone else had this voice in their head, if anyone else had what I called a “writer’s brain”. I don’t even know when it began. Somehow I think it’s been there since I was a kid. Every little mundane thing that happens somehow gets narrated back as if I were writing it up into a fascinating story.  Most times it happens with out me even noticing it. I have air written a million situations in my mind. Written words that have simply, silently floated out to never land not to be thought of again.

I began my writing career, if I may call it that, when I was just a girl of 5 or 6 years. When I barely was able to spell, I began writing about kings being mere men with a lot of money. I wrote in all of my five years of wisdom of princesses and kings as if I had first hand knowledge. My juvenile words made my sisters and mother giggle and something clicked inside me. A new-found love of entertaining with words began to blossom. An outlet for my thoughts and emotions took root.

My love of words led me to become a ferocious reader. I admired many an author. Had writer’s crushes on a few. I could be found (or not found) with a book in front of my face any moment that wasn’t filled with some other task. Words were like silk and swirled and flowed as I read them. I loved words.  I loved to read them.  I loved to discover how others wrote them. I loved to write them. I loved to manipulate them.  I read fiction and historical, I read sci-fi and horror and fantasy and love novels. I became hooked on and bored with many authors. I can only assume this is when the narration took voice in my head.

My writing developed over the years. My life can be documented by my writings. The pages have waxed and waned depending on the stages. The more emotional my life the more writing would be produced. Writing was my counselor and best friend. I could cleanse my soul as tears fell and fingers flew on the keyboard.

In my  early teen years I fell in love with poetry. To interpret and write poetry gave me hours of pleasure. As unrequited loves came and went, my pen scribbled. As dreams of my future and thoughts of my past presented themselves, I continued to write.

In my later teens poetry flowed as I wrestled with the emotions of my unplanned teen pregnancy, continued to flow as I played out my rocky restless twenties.  

In my college years I had poems and articles published in the college anthology and campus newspaper. It felt great to have people stop me and chat about the latest article and tell me what it meant to them.  I would read and re read the article or poem mentioned just to try to see what  that particular person may have taken from it.

Then came the blogging years. When I began, I believed I would  never stop. What an amazing thing to be able to write to your heart’s desire and have an immediate audience. But, alas,  I go through spurts where I produce a fair amount of writings and then go for months with nothing at all. I don’t believe I have full knowledge of how blogging really works. I feel I may be the only one that cares about my little blog spot. It’s my own little world where, here and there, a few people may peek in and meander on.

But through it all one dream remains. The dream to release that narrator in my mind. To give her her own unique voice and grasp it long enough to get it all recorded onto paper. Fully producing an actual novel or book is the dream that has never reached fruition.

 As I enter my later life that little voice is with me always. Sometimes its fierce and demands to be heard but sometimes she’s meek and speaks only softly. I know I would be lost it if it were to silence. So I continue to blog and type away in order to feed that voice and keep her alive. I am a writer of all things mundane and emotional and joyful and sad. I am a keeper of dreams, memoirs and thoughts and ideas.  In my other life, that grand life in my mind, I am an author. 

Sara Jane Rauch

 

 

Those Hands; My World

 

 

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The hands flashed in front of me. Aged with spots, their blue veins pushed up through the papery thin skin. And there I sat,  the room around me muted, hyper focused on those two hands before me. Warmth and a touch of panic rose within my chest. I tried to glance away, to flight rather than stay and fight the feeling. But, alas, I just could no longer bear to look away. Could not tear my eyes away. So I let myself go. I embraced the sight before me, let the warm feeling spread as my eyes explored the hands further.

Yes, somehow those were familiar hands. Those hands were hands that were always nicely groomed with fingernails just the right length, not too long and not too short. Those hands were always busy. In motion constantly while she talked, when she cleaned, when she played with  the babies. Those hands were often covered with the soil that she loved. Those petite hands I remember holding as a child, as a teen, as a young woman. Those hands, oh my, those hands.

My eyes wandered over those hands, drinking them in, halting on the wedding/engagement ensemble adorning those fingers. That sweet warm feeling reached clear down to my toes. The panic slipped away.  Those rings exchanged before I was even a thought, always gave me peace and wonder as a child. Those rings established that she was my mother, mother of my siblings, wife of my father. She was ours forever. Peace and security were mine when those golden rings did flash.

Those hands, that finger, those rings, my world, my security.

The noises came back full force and the lights seemed to brighten and there I was still in that room with people all around me. Those hands, those hands did not belong to my mother after all. Those hands of my friend and co-worker. Yet, for a few moments on this busy day, those hands caught me off guard.  Those hands brought me simple sweet little memories and feelings I had forgotten, had really never even realized I had. I will always remember her hands.

Lilah Deep Braveheart

She’s in the tub now and all is well with my soul as I hear her chattering away and making splashes.  My crazy writer’s mind writes millions of words and phrases dangle as a little writer’s voice in my head narrates the moments as they happened in real time.

She runs down a brambly path in front of me….her long hair bumping from side to side as each foot lands in her funny flowered galoshes. This child, who is my adventure, called to me as soon as she arrived today. “Grandma Sara! Let’s go! Come on the enchanted forest awaits us!”

I’m ashamed to say, I told her to go get her homework finished. She obliged quickly and jumped up with a “Now, come one Grandma Sara, let’s go!”

Again, I muttered, “But you don’t have a jacket!” Her reply, “I don’t need one! I’m tough!”

And again, ” You can’t go in flip flops!” and again “Grandma Sara, don’t you remember, I left my boots here so we can go on adventures!”

Okay. She had me. This tired old woman was all out of excuses! I told myself one quick walk, after all this was her Grandma Wednesday. Our special evening to spend together and bond. This inquisitive little city girl, daughter of my son’s love, and our special day so that we learn about each other and make up for the years we missed together before she came into my life.  I changed into jeans and slipped on my Muck shoes and scooted out the door.

And  as soon as we came to edge of our enchanted forest, I was hooked again. I was her audience, her companion her conspirator. She ran ahead, calling out the whole entire way. Her: “I’m the leader, cause I’m brave!” Me: “That you are!” Her: “My middle name is Deep! Me: “I’ll call you Lilah Deep!” [Because she did not fear the deep (well knee deep) water in the creek!] Her: “I’m an explorer and a pioneer girl. Don’t fear Grandma Sara I’ll keep you safe cause I’m young and tough!” Me: “I know you are and I trust you completely!”

This funny little girl who isn’t my blood but who is fast becoming my souls adventure mate, led me deeper and deeper into our enchanted forest with words tumbling from her mouth that would make any feminist dance on the rooftop and burn her bra! I huffed and puffed and groaned as I bent and squat walked beneath logs across our path. She has never known me as a young woman when I could have done this all without missing a breath. So my labors go unnoticed because Grandma Sara always huffs and puffs and sweats when we go on walks, it’s just how it is!

She chases down nature up every hill, around every bend and all across the woods. And I, I am her follower. I follow her and thrill in her new adventures and teach her things that come to me along the way. She leads me back to my youth and I chase her further then I ever expect to go. Because how can I stop this child of so much energy and imagination.

What right does my tired old bones have to complain and beg her to stop. Later at home as I sit beside her and type my blog while she sleeps on my couch, then my bones can rest and weep. Cause right now her childhood plays out before me and it is a most magnificent event.

I am humbled and grateful that fate has bound us together. Here’s to you Lilah Deep Braveheart!  I love you.

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Sweet Viola Jane

1460246_10153466057230037_41362425_nViola Jane. Two sweet names that play on my lips. Their syllables ring bells and its melody releases a cool smooth mist to my brain. Some undisturbed ancestral bond begins to awaken. I love her deeply for she is flesh of my flesh. I see the old repeating in her. I see eyes of my aunties and toes of my uncles. I hear ancient wisdom whispered in her voice. I see the new too. Her daddy’s nose and her mama’s cowlick. The first time I felt the weight of  her warm little body wrapped up so tight  some primal call stirred deep in my soul. She fills my arms like the firm, quick click of a jagged missing piece to this crazy puzzle called life . Her eyes are bright blue like a new morning sky, the shape of fresh raindrops falling soft on their sides. She peers innocently from their delicious depths. Her tiny dimpled hands reach for my face and the feel of her kisses mangles my heart. That desolate empty room I kept locked up so tight,  bursts right open and reaches full occupancy now this cheeky little chamber maid 539058_10153401686690037_1965378635_nfills it so well. Her  plump little nose, upturned so perfectly, perches uniquely above her fresh white, gap tooth, smile.  A face full of secrets, a face of innocence,  her future wide open, her future not told. I ruffle the baby hair that tickles my nose and I nuzzle her neck and I kiss that lone lock of hair that adorns her forehead. This wonder filled child smells of mysterious wisdom of some other  life I dare not peek. She brings me her humor jingling from her rose perfect lips. Her simple  giggles and quick teases radiate from those eyes, those bright blue eyes. She works her perfect sweet magic and pulls me into her little girl world. She commandeers this adoring audience, as she observes the world in her quick quiet way.   With a blink of her eye and a bat of her lashes, she chirps out words on musical notes. Her pure sweet beauty squeezes my old lady chest and it’s  all I can do to breath in her love. Then she gives me a hug and she blows me a kiss. I rock my love and her sleepy small voice calls out,  a melancholy reverb bouncing through my bones and my mind and my soul.   “Mee Maw, Mee Maw!” She calls to her granny. My arms are content, my heart is complete. I hear a distant ancestral sigh as she closes her eyes. Then sweet baby girl, sweet grand daughter of mine, whispers so quietly, “I wuv you Mee Maw!   1536637_10153669797970037_1329461930_n   1174716_10153297237495037_225709610_n1381533_10153324165365037_1585145596_n934079_10152821677955037_73441664_n

Oh Daughter of My Daughter

Oh daughter of my daughter

Oh granddaughter of mine

Beautiful of most beautiful that God can create

Your tiny soul peered up at me

Our age-old destiny set

As our eyes met

Your heart took mine

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You smiled at me

Like old soul mates  do.

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