ALMOST A YEAR AGO... for (me!) sandra, tvgpthat's the first point i need to make.
it's taken me almost a year to be able to write this
and i'm not entirely sure enough time has passed, but it seems to want out, so let me honor that here and now:
i'm alone in the house -new to me, and a cable man is due to set things up/fix my internet connection
when i hear the knock, i open the door expecting to see average joe cable man, and
OH MY GOD
there at the door is a -GIANT, BLACK cable man; maybe. i don't mean maybe he's a giant, or maybe he was black; those are facts. what i mean, is maybe he's the cable guy; maybe not. i'm not exaggerating to say...
well, think green mile, -k-
he's taking up the entire doorway, and holding a clipboard. and wearing a name badge.
let me tell you.. clipboard. name badge.. not enough. how many people are in cemeteries today because they fell for the clipboard, name badge trick
so my brain is racing -racing!
but not faster than my heart is pounding -pounding! -and he's looking down, not directly at me.
in fact... in milliseconds, what was taking place, -what seem to be taking place, is that -he-
probably very used to people fearing him on sight. -well, he stood there in complete calm giving me time to adjust to his appearance, and decide whether i was going to let him in or not
in milliseconds, i'm processing... we called cable.. this is scheduled... he's on time... does comcast do security checks/bond their employees? is God testing me.. what the hell am i supposed to do here?!
if he was a bad guy, would he have already scooted me inside
is he carrying a gun i can't see
is this a really bad practical joke
are there any witnesses around
did i tell my children i loved them this morning
what do i do? what do i do? what do i do?
what's more important here... internet connection or my life?
and so i prayed to mighty God, and let him in. hypersensitive to his energy, hypersensitive to his every move,
hypersensitive to every facial expression
i guided him to the areas that needed cable service.. he looked around for outlets.. and connections and things that cable guys look around for
i'm all the time sayin' to myself... if he changes his mind about being a nice guy; i lose.
and i'm wonderin' to myself, if anyone has ever just flat out refused to let him in their house...
if i should have
why on earth would comcast even send a green mile man out to people's houses...
and i'm lockin' in my brain his height, weight, facial features, clothes, shoes, tattoos -in case i live through the ordeal and can even provide such information to the police
and all the while he is calm. he knows. he knows and he's had to deal with phobics like me his whole life
probably was a giant 10 year old
and let's just acknowledge, that even with the success of the civil rights movement, being a giant black 10 year old, is not the same as being a giant white 10 year old; ditto for adults. -and it ain't write; but that doesn't make it not true.
and now it's about to get worse, because here's a samplin' of the questions the green mile cable man is asking me
as he heads into our garage:
"any dogs i need to worry about?" i quickly imagine a service call he's made in the past where the family neglected to mention the man-eating dog. how awful that must be.. how he has to be on his guard all the time too
i consider how
well, if empathy was a game children played at recess, i would have been the team captain hands-down... but if thinkin' on your feet and common sense were the game
i'd be the last one chosen every time.
because, common sense says answer like this: "no. our pitbulls are at the neighbors write now because we knew you were coming ."
i, however, answered like this: "no. you're safe." -because i have no common sense and i can't stop thinkin' about whether or not he can hear the waves of my adrenalin pounding against my rock for a brain
please don't change your mind about being nice; please don't change your mind...
and then, he has to look for some other outlets somewhere, heads toward the backyard, and says,
"any alarm systems i need to worry about?" so, once again, captain of team empathy, i quickly imagine all the times, and the families who neglected to tell him about alarm systems, and how he's had to explain his presence at a given house when the police team responds to the alarm -how he is on his guard too
or is he?
captain of the common sense team would say, "it's turned off at the moment"
but noooooooo. guess what captain of team empathy says. - yeah...
this is how i KNOW for SURE there is a God protecting me. no one as stupid and honest as i am lives past 12 unless God has good purpose for you on planet earth.
and write about here is where i can start to feel my insides falling all apart, my forearms melting, my knees losing cartilage, and so i called for back-up.
and my sister arrived in less than a minute
so now we have a beautiful blond and her brunette sister in the headlines, "they we were together in everything... weddings, children, divorce..
and so i put in a call also to our police neighbor friend and that help me to start feelin' a little better
and i was watchin' for how my sister responded to the green mile cable man
and how the green mile cable man was responding to my sister
and clearly, i was the only nervous one in the circle.
please don't change your mind about being nice...
and so that gave me yet another chance to consider things from his point of view.. me; team captain of "the empathetics" - look for us at the next special olympics event
what would it be like to hang out on planet earth, in pleasanton, as an over-sized african american cable/internet service guy?
can't be easy. -but out of the two of us... he'd win. so, let's remember it's not so easy being me either.
and i imagined, briefly, very briefly, the green mile cable man and myself sharing our life stories over a cold beer at a local pub. and i'd empathise with his experiences, but then...
i'd share my life experiences with him.. and wouldn't he have a hard time pointing out to me how being a caucasian female has provided me with any advantages
"it's all a myth, i promise you," slug, slug, "kidnappings, rapes, hostage, bank robberies, car robberies,
broken hearts, bankruptcy... -and guess who couldn't get any financial help for college? -'cuz i'm white!"
and he seem to go out of his way to help us feel comfortable... with just a tiny, tiny bit of that awareness inside him, that he could go "boo" -and i'd fall apart at the seams.
i mean, i think if he spontaneously yawned too big, i would have grabbed my sister by the arm... "RUN! RUN!
-head for the foothills!"
it kept feeling like a test.
a personal test.
to see how far i've really come since being kidnapped and raped by a black man i only saw for one second. to see how far i've come since living in the paralyzing fear i did, for so many years after
to see if i was really free of the phobias that kept me prisoner for -ever.
and here's what i know:
had something like this happened 1 day, to 10 months -to maybe up to 15 years after the rape by gunpoint. i would have instinctively slammed that door on the man's face the second i saw him. it would have been as immediate and unstoppable as an eye blink;impulsive; automatic. open, see, slam shut... lock, lock, lock, crawl to the phone; 911
and the post trauma symptoms... hypersensitivity to sound, light, noise; nausea; insomnia; phobias
they would have resurfaced, and i'd be starting from scratch again. -and it would take many months and/or years to recover
but since it's been over 15 years... in fact, over 20, and since i've healed as much as i have, and since..
i've learned to trust again
this experience only cost me about a week before i could think any thought i wanted (not preoccupied with fear), sleep fine, go on about my day; my life..
but for that week
i thought about many things..
like, how i asked about his tattoo.. and he said it had to do with "being forgiven for a past life.."
and i said, "that's what they say Jesus died for..."
and it could go either way, couldn't it: he could have just been toyin' with me.. sensing my fear.. making me wonder about what past life; what exactly did he need forgiveness for? -murder?
or it could have been true
that he had a past life he regretted, a past he needed God and forgiveness for, and now he was a new man, making an honest living for himself and his family
and can this be accomplished without Jesus?
and i wondered
does comcast hire anyone who has spent time in prison?
does this green mile cable guy still have connections... scout vulnerable houses.. pass on the information... wait a safe amount of time, so there's no longer a connection between his service call, and say,
well, let's not say. let's just briefly -very briefly- imagine.
and i thought about how much blind trust we all need in this world on a day to day basis.
if it's not the cable guy, it's the plumber, it's the house-cleaners, it's the painters, it's the pest control, it's the dry-wall repair guys
the amount of times, renters and/or homeowners, and business owners, for that matter, require service from total strangers is pretty high. if everyone goes phobic/non trusting; entire communities fall apart.
and of course -reputations are key. reputation of a given company, referral by -trusted- friends/family/neighbors; this all factors in
for someone like me.
it's a grand accomplishment.
and i'm in a situation now, where i may have trusted the wrong someones naively -and i'm not sure of the consequence; although i don't think they're life-threatening
probably just a pain in the ass for a while
since i've lived both ways
in complete fear/non-trust
and with trust. i can say with great authority and sincerity; with trust makes life much more worth the living.
but, how much, and who...
how much and who...
how much and who, and where and when...
certainly, based on my experience above, i decided NEVER
NEVER, as in EVER
to let any repair/service person, black, white, yellow, short, tall, beautiful or ugly, inside the house, unless our neighbor and three secret service agents are
such a balance to be had between trusting God and tempting fate...
i don't have it quite figured out yet.
but, "thank you!" green mile cable man...
because without you...
i couldn't blog this write now.
and in this particular post, i mention race, when i usually -consciously- leave it out.
that's because i've survived more than one predator, and each predator was a different race, different nationality
they come in all colors; all shapes and sizes