Tuesday, March 21, 2017

let's review -san leandro. by (me!) sandra, tvgp

k.  I really wanted two pictures side by side to show you, visually, what it was like..

I will describe instead:   as, it is true that for years,  post kidnap/rape, I lived, worked, played, danced, healed, etc.  in san leandro.

[picture of somewhere in san leandro here, place 4 or 5 pieces of vellum over it]

and, it was not until I got away, that I realized    

[picture of Pleasanton; no vellum]

i had been in a fog..    like I could see everything; yes..    but it was not until things became clearer, that I realized there were...  layers.

and i came to love Pleasanton very much.   and feel safe.   and built a life..     and worked, and married, and had children..  and raised children..  and made friends..  and created things..  on and on..

and during those years, even when i drove past san leandro on the freeway..    a weight would visit my spirit; light and temporary; but there was never not a change/shift in me..

i could feel it.    look forward to it passing..  and returning to Pleasanton.


some years later..   my mom and her husband, who had left Hayward for Patterson, then left Patterson for

-san leandro.

i experienced a sense of betrayal...    what a set back...

and when i did visit, the weight that was light and temporary as i passed san leandro on the freeway.. that darkness became very heavy and lingered..

symptoms of my PTSD would return.  

so, what we worked out between us, my mom and i, is that she would visit me, and her grandchildren, in Pleasanton, and that i just would not come to san leandro

and i think this was pretty good for the most part, but as my mom hosted the thanksgivings dinner in san leandro..    the entire family, including my sister, her kids, and my ex-husband, and my children..

everyone went but me.

thanksgivings were difficult, but..    for me..     having one awkward day, vs. an ongoing dark weight that lingered and threatened the progress i had made

made it easy.

but as time passed..  i could feel..    a different weight.    a weight of guilt, i suppose, for not going..

i would return to the pros and cons of going vs. not going; and not go.

Jesus understood.


the turning point, was when i went to san leandro for an entirely different reason...     -to help a friend of my daughters who was having issues with drugs, and landed himself in the junior/youth jail there.  -juvenile hall.

now, God spoke to me..  or put it on my heart..  however you want to understand/process it, but my thinking was as follows:

how is it that i can get myself to san leandro for THIS (person i don't know well.. and who has betrayed my trust and broke the law..)   -how/why for him

and not for my mom, who has been there for me for my entire life..   /and the list of caretaking, help, meals, birthday parties, family gatherings, fudge dishes, hugs, cards, love, support...  on and on..

and i decided on that day..   i was gonna get myself over to visit my mom in san leandro, and not have her always coming to Pleasanton.

and..     when i did go visit..     oh!     -my daughter is my witness!   a man.. a serpent..  literally!

anyway..   the dark weight arrived.. lingered..     and reignited some PTSD symptoms..

"which is what ive been trying to tell everyone!  it is not F'ing worth it!"

but..   it did not linger, linger, and get worse or more severe..

it let up after a number of days.  not weeks or months..

           -a good sign.

and i felt pretty determined to conquer..

and, started returning to my mom's for thanksgiving dinners, and coming over for visits on my days off, and attending her annual cookie parties again..   etc. etc.

and there was no dark weight; no lingering sense of anything negative..  it all started to subside.

 but i sure was restricting myself to driving straight to my mom's house.  and straight back to Pleasanton.


fast forward to now.   -as in, now i live here.   i am living with my mom and her husband in san leandro

and how can i describe?

now, ive said it before and will say it again.   traumatic memories cannot be erased, but they can be diluted

the more diluted the better. 

the more diluted, the i am better.

now places i would have avoided are demanding i come revisit.     -and to experience the same places with a certain indifference in my heart/mind/spirit..

it is a gift.

even though the threats then, and in fact, the threats now were and are; real..

the only way to describe it, is if you have been a young child who was really scared on a ride at Disney land  

but when you are older and you return to the same ride..   you see how it wasn't real.. and it doesn't scare you anymore..

the internal sensation is similar; the experience is similar.   but i was not afraid of something pretend; and intended to scare me

i met evil, scary for real.

and real evil, and real scary people are still out there..

but i am not afraid.  i am not preoccupied with the concern..

anytime  -anything-   wants to start preoccupying my mind, i am able, via prayer, to halt it.

my mind has healed enough to do so..

that muscle was broken and inoperable for a long time.


today.  on this very day, earlier while i was at the local CVS to buy jelly beans for my mom..

the man in front of me asked me what my tattoo stood for

i said with a smile, "it means conquer the world with kindness."

and then he told me about the tattoo on his foot, which, translated means

"Trust no one."

and he told me he lost all trust in humanity.

"but you trust Jesus..    write.."   i said to him, still smiling.

and, yes..   he said he only trusted Jesus.

and i told him i understood, and we parted ways after the cash register.


and i thought about that for a bit..

if i told that man..   if i were to bullet point

* kidnap/rape
* kidnap/rape
* armed robbery
*abusive alcoholics
*lyin'/cheatin' boyfriends
* assholes/idiots/unevolved humans with superiority complexes

he might be surprised that i can trust anyone.   that i can still talk to strangers.


since he said he trusts Jesus...   that means he must know Jesus..

and so maybe, he is not surprised at all.


from a very deep, very dark pit i have been rescued and restored.

"Thank You! Jesus"          every family, friend, and trustworthy acquaintance.



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