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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Five Bits of Wisdom

I’ve been noticing a lot of lists made by bloggers. Maybe blogging is synonymous with listing. I’m not sure but I thought I’d attempt one of my own. Bear with me as I try it out.

 Five Bits of Wisdom My Mother Gave Me.

1.  Give them roots and give them wings. – She gave me this little nugget while I was struggling with whether or not I should allow my daughter to participate in something that a lot of other people were cautioning me about. She told me, you have given them some great roots, Sara, and Allison has a very good head on her shoulder. Sometimes you have to let them go. Let her have her wings. Give em roots and give em wings! I love that woman.

2.  Look your baby in the eyes and talk to him.  That’s how he will know you love him. Let him feel your love. – I was seventeen and a brand new mommy. I still lived at home and mom was showing me how to bathe my little guy. I still can feel the sun shining through the bathroom window as we held him in the sink and swished the warm water over his slippery little body. Two dark heads bowed and totally absorbed in the new little love of my life. It’s a special sunny memory I pull out from time to time. This bit of wisdom applies throughout their lives. Look them in the eyes and talk to your children. Let them feel your love.

3.  Pray for each of your children by name every night. – I truly believe this is what brought each of us twelve siblings into adulthood with no harm. I remember when mom told me that she and dad prayed for every one of us children by name every night. I also wonder if this helped them to sleep more peacefully. By giving their worries to God he gave them sweet peace and rest in return.

4.  Aquiring material worth does not make one rich. – I remember coming home from a friend’s house to tell mom of all the exotic things their family owned. She told me that owning material things didn’t mean someone was rich, in debt maybe but not rich. Richness, she told me, came from the people in your life and the things you do for others. I didn’t really know what she meant at the time but I have found myself realizing her words so many times as I have grown. I remember being a young single mama and struggling so often. When my babes would fret that we couldn’t buy this or that, I would tell them we were indeed very rich because we had each other and so much love in our hearts. The smile in their eyes always made me know they understood what I meant. I love those kids.

5.  Always wash your hands and face and comb your hair before coming to supper. And no hats at the supper table. – I don’t know why this impressed this little girl so. It instilled respect as I watched my brothers take off hats that seemed a permanent attachment and comb hair that probably hadn’t been combed since supper the night before. Standing around the sink with two or three of my siblings and washing our hands together gave us a family ritual that seemed to bind us together and give us a sense of unity. Such a little thing with a huge impact.

So my list is done. I stop typing to read and reread before publishing. Gratitude and deep love well up for those two gentle people that raised me. I’m sure they were just muddling through life, raising children, loving each other, getting by with no instructions like the rest of us parents. Somehow though with, I’m sure my mother would say, much help from God, they really seemed to have found their way.

Love You Still

James on left, Levi in middle, Allison on right

I gave them roots and then they were all gone. Sprouted their wings and took off.  I glance up at the wall in my living room. I silently mouth these words,” loved you yesterday, love you still, always have, always will”. The large photos of my three children hang in a staggered row.  My children are all grown now and have moved so far away.  I love their silly, sweet, playful, vibes surrounding me every day. I rejected the usual poses that so many photographers create. Instead I chose to frame each of them the way I will always see them.

James, my first born, the silly boy with the twinkling laughter in his blue green eyes, always forgetful and procrastinating, yet a joke and a tease for those he loves. This one grew up with his 17 year old mama, even as a teen I loved him fiercely. I still see him as a six year old boy, tending carefully to his two year old sister on the playground. How he would make sure she stayed away from the road and kept the bullies at bay with a big stick. Now a man, I see his care and respect for another wonderful single mama beginning to bloom.  I love them both and the little girl, she brings to our family.

Allison, a sweet little being from the very beginning, always so sentimental and caring and thoughtful, so imaginative and creative, an old soul in a vibrant young creation. My second born loves her mama and calls to chat almost daily. I consider her my best friend and confidante. Sometimes it seems the roles have turned and I find her being my role model.  I gaze at her photo and feel happy to know she now has a sweet dreamer’s shoulder to rest her head upon. She is in good hands with the man she met at 15. Now married and expecting his child at 26, I feel my love for them become abundant and my cup overflows.

Levi, my baby, how to explain my little caboose, so complicated and serious, little chip on his shoulder, frustrated with his disabilities and yet delightful when he wants to be, full of energy and always in search of new friends. Levi who searches for his place in life, at 20, has taken flight to go live with his father in another state. To learn what he can of the man who left his life when he was just a tender boy of 11, to catch up and hopefully heal the soul and begin to melt the chip. This strong young man I love with my whole heart, I hope he finally finds the peace and understanding he needs to lay his burdens down and be happy.

My children, my babies, my life in the blink of an eye time has flown by. I looked again and they are all still there locked securely in my heart. I see the beautiful eyes of my children and suddenly I feel like I am awaking from a dream. When did that happen? When did I create and raise these people, these people who are creating their own memories and lives. I don’t know  but my heart fills and I know for once, for certain, I have done something good and right. No matter what. But WOW! I’m blown away. Rock on kids!

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