I was once again sitting on that green couch in my therapists room. That infamous couch which I’ve become both friends and enemies with. It was on that couch that I’ve made so many victories on. The couch that I’ve shed many tears on. The couch that I’ve gone into the most painful parts of my life. The parts in which I promised myself time and time again that they will remain hidden. They will remain in that iron box with the lid shut tight. Yet the memories were stronger than the lock and broke through the lid, forcing me to face them head on.
It happened this week that my therapist asked me a simple question about the upcoming holiday of Purim. Suddenly, without any warning, I was thrown into a flashback. I was a child again being abused on the day of Purim. The tears started rolling down my cheeks as I was reliving that extreme darkness.
The abuse that I’ve endured on that day so many years ago, was very different than the other hundreds of times that my monster used me. It was one of the darkest days of my life.
As the tears kept rolling down, I was feeling the loneliness that I’ve felt on that day. I remembered the confusion and inner chaos that was haunting me. I remembered the feelings of being so alone in this world. Feeling as though it was only me and my abuser in one world, while everyone else lived in another world. Their world was light and happy and mine was dark and depressing.
I was remembering standing at the 7th floor window, in that room, looking out the window. I was watching everyone down below, celebrating the holiday with smiles and laughter. They were all from the “other world” and an extreme jealousy overcame my entire being. They were all so normal. Their life was so simple and easy. They lived the life that they wanted to live, while my life was robbed by the monster in the same room as me. I lived my life based on his needs and desires.
I remembered looking out that window and thinking the “unthinkable”. Thinking that there was only one way to get away from the living hell I was in. There were no other options as I had no one to confide in and share my big and heavy secret. My only option was to use that window to end it all and although it would’ve cost me my life, I was okay with that as my life was already taken by him. It wouldn’t be my body that would die, it would be his. It would be his loss and I didn’t care about that.
It was by some miracle, that I moved away from that window. I let go of that fantasy, and somehow got through yet another one of his selfish and horrible “sessions”. He was alive. His eyes were shining. While I was dead, my eyes dark and cold.
I was remembering all this, while sitting on that couch, so many years later. All it took was one word about the upcoming holiday and I somehow began to drown in the waves of a massive flashback. My tears were flowing as the images of that bitter day flashed by, one after the next. That poor innocent boy, being tortured and tormented by an evil and sick monster.
With the help of my therapist, I got out of the flashback. My eyes dried up and I slowly got back to the present day. I slowly began feeling that couch again. I saw and felt my adult self and was beginning to feel safe. As this transformation was taking place, I knew that this Purim will be different for me. I knew what I needed to celebrate this year.
Like in the story of Purim, my life was in danger. There was an enemy that tried killing me, just like the enemies of the Jews, thousands of years ago. Yet by some miracle, everything changed and they were saved.
My enemy tried killing me. In truth he already did kill me. He killed my innards. He extinguished that fire in my soul. That fire that keeps our soul alive was smothered, thereby killing me internally. Although my body was alive, my heart and soul wasn’t.
Standing at that window, so many years ago, the only thing that separated me from being fully destroyed was a few hundred feet. Yet, God wanted me to live. God had plans for me. He wanted my body to remain alive because He knew I would rekindle my inner fire. He therefore pulled me away from that window. He got me through the rest of the years of my abuse.
He’s been one step behind me, pushing and prodding me along my journey of healing. Helping me fight and climb. He caught me when I fell. He soothed my bleeding wounds and injected me with new additional strength. He helped carry me through the thick and thin of this journey, up until this very minute, sitting on that couch.
This year, on this coming holiday, I will celebrate the life that I have. I will celebrate the good in my life. The many victories I’ve made. The miracle of being a functional father and husband. The miracle of having a job. The miracle of walking through the hottest parts of hell, so many times, yet coming out strong enough to fight back.
Although, I still endure so much pain and suffering from all my trauma, I’ve learned that I can still celebrate the good in my life. Pain and happiness are not contradictory. I can still feel pain, at times paralyzing pain, yet that doesn’t take away from the many victories I’ve made and all the battles I’ve won. I’ve lost many battles but I’m still winning the war.
I’m devoting this years holiday to celebrate this all. It was on this day so many years ago, that I was in one of the darkest places of my life and it is on this day so many years later that I’m still climbing and fighting back. While he tried maiming me for life, with the help of God, I feel more alive than ever. This Purim, will be my own personal holiday and I’m sharing this victory with all of you reading this. For those of you who have tasted the sweetness of healing, please rejoice with me, and for those who haven’t yet felt it, please know that you will feel it. Please stay on the path of healing and you will feel it too, and when you do, I’d love to celebrate along with you!