In the headlights

One week ago last Thursday (so, that’d be April 26th) after a church team meeting, I wandered into the church office to collect a stack of paperwork that the secretary said was waiting for me.  I assumed it was music-related.  I am, after all, working on getting a regular contemporary praise night and praise band up and running at my new church home.  I assumed it was about that.  I assumed.

When I got into the office I couldn’t see anything with my name on it, so I asked the pastor (who was still around) to see if she could help me.  She found the stack.  I assumed wrong.  Instead of new music, or ideas from other church members, etc, it was a stack of files and paperwork from the house I left behind over three years ago.  A stack of paperwork that came from his house.  The man who haunts me every now and again.  Just when I think I’m totally removed from him, fear and the anguish subsiding into nothingness, he comes back.  It can be in the form of a recurring dream (or nightmare), the siting of a red Nissan Frontier pick-up truck, or the behavior of a totally unrelated man that stirs my nerves, and he’s right there glaring at me with staunch, dark eyes, blowing smoke in my face, no remorse or comprehension of his transgressions. Like a deer in the headlights I was hit by this stack of papers–out of nowhere.

I asked my pastor if she knew where it came from…she had no clue.  As she began conversing with another church member, I fingered through the stack, piece by piece: files, flyers with his last name on them (which I never took-thankfully), reminders of what I thought my new life, and Maycee’s was going to be like.  And, as I fingered the stack and shot back into time, the blow hit me harder, like the deer, and I found myself crumbling emotionally right there in the church fellowship hall.  I implored the pastor one more time, “So, you don’t know how this got here or who brought it?”  She said, “Why no, Sweetie (with her thick Alabama accent). I have no idea.  Why? What’s wrong?” BAM! The tears started flooding, my body began shaking, and in one quick moment I was taken down.  “What’s wrong?” she begged. “Are you in danger?”  “No.” I muttered.  No.  I’m not in any danger.  I’m not.  But, nonetheless, I couldn’t stop the trembling.

Pastor called the church secretary at home to find out where the stack of paperwork originated.  Apparently another church member from my old church found it somewhere (all of my belongings had been brought there without my knowledge three years ago and dumped in the hall in a mish-mosh of piles, his display of anger from my leaving).  She brought it to the secretary to give to me.  I was not warned of the contents, obviously.  Pastor asked me if I needed the stack or if it could be tossed.  “You haven’t needed it for this long.  Why don’t we just throw it away.  (She stuffs it in the trash.) There.  All done.  He’s gone.  He can’t hurt you anymore.  You’re safe.”

That night started an exhausting trip for me, Readers.  I’ve had anxiety dreams since, and wake up feeling as if I’ve run a 10K marathon.  I’ve also had a lot going on in general-but whoooooo hasn’t, right?  I’ve tried to focus on the matters at hand: a praise night last Sunday, work picking up both at my regular job as well as my part-time side work, Maycee’s horse lessons and swim activities, a wedding I attended yesterday with my main squeeze who was the best man (and a super handsome one, at that).  I’ve managed to get through.

Like a deer in the headlights I was caught off guard, startled, and scared, but unlike the deer, the situation didn’t kill me.  It didn’t three years ago, and it didn’t on April 26th, 2012.  I knew I wanted to write about this.  I’m hoping it will dispel the hold.  I didn’t know when I’d write….when I’d be ready to write again, period…then tonight…his name appeared in my email in-box.  Once again, he was asking me for assistance with something business-related, criptically written and demanding.  No punctuation.  All lower case letters.  No less creepy than the person who wrote it.  Really? These headlights are blinding, and I want to be on the other side–for good.  Please.

I know this, too, shall pass.  I’ve missed you, Readers.  Be assured that I won’t be struggling for long…a rocky road still leads us somewhere.  Life is short, too short to dwell; I know this well.  Be happy….and chuckle over the irony.

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8 responses

  1. Ach! I’m sorry to hear about this, and I know the discomfort of being unprepared. As long as I have an inkling something might happen, I’m pretty well equipped to face it. But recently there’ve been a few (much smaller than that touched on here) incidents that caught me so totally off guard the off-balancedness of it has lingered. Prayers, love and hugs.

    • Thanks, Deb. Ya, if I know I have to deal with something, even the yucky things, it’s much more doable. This situation just seems to never quite let up, and it’s been years already. Anyhow, onward and forward. 🙂 XOXO

  2. Kasey, my friend, I know exactly how you feel. I have recurring nightmares about my ex too. And like you I experience all the anxiety and fear again. I know you will get through this, but remember to allow yourself time to process. Don’t rush the emotions but try not to dwell on them either (that’s what the counselors keep telling me…it’s harder than it sounds!). You know you can get in touch with me anytime!! Lots of love and prayers…Holly.

  3. It happens. 34 years for me, and every once in a while I’ll have a nightmare or see something that brings up bad memories. We just have to chalk it up to ( a bad) experience, and thank God that we had the sense and strength to get outta there!

    • Booklanie, thanks for visiting. Amen to having “the sense and the strength to get outta there!” Those were tough times, and I’m grateful for where I am today. Perhaps that is why these “reminders” can be so disturbing-they rock our apple carts. 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

  4. I came to your site last night because I thought it odd I didn’t see a post from you this week and I don’t know how I missed this post, Kasey! I know the deer-in-headlights feeling, without warning you find yourself face to face with something or someone you worked very hard to move past. I know your strength and no doubt you get through but it is a jolt to say the least, none the less.Then to get the email is for sure life’s twisted sense of humor coming into play. It has happened to me, too and I am not always able to make sense of it, even in hindsight other than to be grateful for how far I’ve come. It is ironic and if you can chuckle you are way ahead of the game. Thinking of you in NY xoxox

    • Thanks, Karen. I so appreciate your understanding and your comments. Luckily, Mom’s Day was coming…a blessed reminder of all I/we have to be grateful for, as well as a reminder that those who’ve transgressed against us in the past cannot hurt us anymore than we allow them in the present. Many hugs to you!! XOXO-SWM

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