Break Free Chapter 19

Posted on 7:13 PM | By Biki Honko | In

Days leap by, crawl by, flowing into a long stream. Good, great, wonderful days, full and happy.  Horrid, terrible, pebble in your shoe as your run for your life days, empty and sad.  Uneven, out of sync, can't quite find my balance moments.  Moments of skin full to bursting happiness.  Shifting sand dunes, always eager to run and play with the wind, leaving me grasping for footing, grasping to stand.  Never quite getting there, never quite understanding, always missing some detail, some fact, some connection.  Trust, complete and total, not now, not ever?  I trust, I hope, I pull back, away, back into safe.  But, my safe, isn't so warm, so comfortable, I don't quite fit there anymore.  I don't quite fit anywhere.

Stuck.  All of the old rules of life, of behavior, gone.  Without anything to fill in the gaps, the holes, the need. Out in the open, exposed naked and alone.  The old is gone, and the new?  I can't nail down the new.  The new is slippery, sliding, mutating faster than I can classify.  Trying, to make a pattern, a form to fit into, a place to hold me.

Full of fear of making a mistake, never knowing exactly what is expected of me. Expectations, are they set in stone?  Are the rules constant, unchanging, identical day after day?  The uncertainty, the waiting for the masks to fall off, the hands to strike out, the acid words to burn me.  Hope blooming, full of blossom and fragrance, reaching for the sun, opened up eager for more.  Curling, drying, shrinking withering confusion, blasting my hope into fragments over my landscape.

Hope, happiness, wonderful, alone, horrid, terrible, confusing days, all began with the closing of a door.  The front door.

As the door closed on my last welcome home guest, the fear started to crawl around in my belly, and began the trip to my throat, around my throat, closing my throat.  Alone, really alone with the Jenkins.

Sam smiled at me saying, "Soah, I want you to understand that this is your house.  I don't want you to, no more correctly, we don't want you to feel like an unwanted guest.  No one forced us to take you in.  We filed the foster papers because we want you here with us. So, we are going to give you the 50 cent tour of your new home.  Honestly, we don't spend a great deal of time here in the living room.  The family room is where we spend most of our time. When Talia has friends by this is the room Cecile and I retreat to.  Who knew that girls were so noisy?"

"Girls are noisy?  Have you heard how loud you and your buddies are when a game is on?"  Talia had a big smile on her face, and poked Sam in the tummy.

Cecile slipped her hand into mine and pulled me into the dining room.  "Normally we have dinners here each evening.  We do make exceptions for time schedules, certain tv shows, what have you.  The dishes in the sideboard are usually only used for holidays, so we trundle the dishes back and forth from the kitchen."  Tugging me along again, Cecile pulled her into the kitchen.  Opening various cabinets and cupboards showing me the where and what of the kitchen.

"What time is breakfast?" I was trying hard to remember everything that I had been shown, and was worried, oh so worried, that I  was going to forget something important.

"Around seven.  Is that fine with you Soah?"

"Sure.  What is normally for breakfast?"

"Eggs, pancakes, bacon, toast, oatmeal.  The usual breakfast foods. Cecile leaves around eight, I am usually out around 8:15 or so, and Talia has a babysitting job that I drop her off to each morning.  Did Kevin ask you to help him on the apartment?  Everything has taken so much longer than they had hoped.  There is still so much work to do.  Dave is working full time, and only has time after work, and he is allergic to dust which limits what he can help with.  Morgan is working each day with Kevin, but they could really use more help. They really want to move in soon."

"Yeah.  Kevin and Dave both asked me to help."

"Do you want to work with them?  You don't have to."

"Umm, if I don't help them, then I have to go to the day program at the hospital, right?"

"Yes, both of the doctors don't want you home alone yet.  Which would you rather do?"

"Help Kevin and Dave.  Is that ok?"

"Yes, it is."

Sam pulled me along into the family room, showing me the tv and the computer.  Babbling on like a noisy brook, about what I couldn't honestly tell you.  Overload, so much to remember, to hear, to absorb.  I know I will forget something important, I am full to bursting already.

"Lets go see your room, huh?"  Sam's question caught me by surprise, he pulled me from my daze of fear and an overload of information.

"......ok..."

Up the stairs, down the hall, and into a bedroom. Words began flying around the room, words that had no real meaning, words are worthless.  Something about making the room my own, wanting me to decorate it to my desire.  Desire?  What I desire, you can't paint a room with, can't cover a bed or windows with.  What is my desire?  At this point, I don't even really know, what it is I desire.   How about, rules that make sense, rules that are nailed down, rules that don't shift and flow?  For rules that I can believe in, I need to trust, and that is something I just can't do, I don't know how to do.  I desire a world that makes sense to me, a world that won't hurt me, a world that I can fit into, a world for me.  Love?  Oh, I desire love, someone to love me, not hurt me, but love me.  Affection? Yes!  Affection, that would be beyond words wonderful, I desire affection.  Yes please!  One order of affection to go.  Standing there, lost in a sea of words without meaning, lost in my thoughts, just honestly plain lost in the universe, Sam touches me, jerking my mind back to the here and now, and surprised by the touch, I flinch away.  Oh God!  I flinched!  Steeling myself for the blow, waiting, oh God, I hate the waiting, just get it over with and hit me!  The blow that never comes?  Scrabbling my way back into the present, fighting to understand the words and the body language, fitting together the puzzle pieces to make sense of what is happening around me.  No angry faces?  Flinching, without fail, leads to furious unbridled anger. Anger that is only cooled with the heat of violence hammered out on me.  I see only sad faces.  Cecile has tears in her eyes, why?  Cecile moves toward me, and I cringe away.  Trembling, shaking, crying, knowing my sin, and the penance that will need to be paid.  Why, oh why, can't I stand still, and just receive their anger, the punches, the whippings?  No, I always, and I do mean always, flinch, cringe, attempt to move away, it just magnifies their response to an ever stronger focus.  Unable to stand up any longer, I crumple to the floor, I am a puppet with broken strings.

"Soah?"  Sam knelt next to me, rubbing his hands over his face, "You need to understand that we will never hit you!  And, when I say never, that is just what I mean.  We will never ever hit you, ever!  For any reason, no matter what, we will never hit you."  Sam slowly sat down, "Soah, I know that it is easy for me to sit here and tell you that we will never hurt you, and impossible for you to believe me.  All of us are just going to have to take this moment by moment.  We are going to have to learn to listen, really listen to each other.  Listening not only to what we are saying, but what we mean.  And, we are going to have to learn how to say what we really mean when we talk to each other."

Sam sat quietly on the floor next to me.  Cecile and Talia were sitting on the bed.  Talia had her arm wrapped around her mom, tears still streaking Cecile's face.  Sam held his hand out to  me, waiting for me, allowing me room to decide if it was safe to take it.  I pushed myself up, sitting by Sam, but out of his strike zone, relieving every moment with Sam, and how safe he made me feel.  Making a decision, believing in it, throwing my caution into the fire, I launched myself into his arms.  And was greeted with a fierce hug.  He scooped me up, turned me around so that I was sitting in his lap, and cuddled me to him.  In a rush, all of the days tension drained away.  As the tension left my body, I began to cry, giant body shaking sobs, that surprised me with their intensity.  I clung to Sam, the tears wrenching my throat, choking me in their haste to leave me all at once. He held me so gently, I could feel his affection for me, his love for me?

 As my tears ran down, Sam murmured  into my ear, "Baby girl, are you feeling better about living here with us now?"

Pushing away from Sam slightly, wiping my face with my hands, "Yeah, I am sorry about that.  I should know better, and part of me does, but still, it is so hard to believe..... that life will be better."

"Sorry?  Why on earth are you sorry?  There is no reason at all for you to apologize.  If anyone should apologize it should be us.  I noticed that you had zoned out on us, and I wanted to get your attention, to bring you back into the room with us.  I knew better than to touch you to get your attention."

"It's late, and you have had a really long day.  Why don't we all go to bed.  Things will look better in the morning.  Soah, just get what you need out of your bags for tonight.  We can unpack your things tomorrow, ok?"  Cecile looked so sad, sitting on the bed.  I felt even worse now about cringing from her hug.  Sighing, as she stood up, Cecile leaned down and opened up a suitcase.  Standing up, she had bear and moose and my pillow in her arms.

Pulling away from Sam, I got up and walked over to Cecile, screwing up my courage, I reached out and yanked everything out of her arms, dumping the stuff on the bed.  And then, shaking inside, slid into her arms for a hug.  Cecile froze at first, and I thought I had made a terrible mistake.  Just as I was getting ready to pull away from her, she tightened her hold on me.  For the briefest of breaths, I was scared all over again, and then somehow, knowing I was safe with her, melted into her embrace.  Oh, oh!  How good this feels!  My first true, no holding anything back hug with her, I never want to let go!  Standing there, with her slightly rocking me back and forth, holding me so warmly, I began to feel in her arms the same feelings that rush through me when Sam hugs me.

Kissing the top of my head Cecile said, "Soah, we have all had a long day, especially you.  Come on let's get you ready for bed, huh?"  Nodding my agreement of how tired I was, but was not wanting to part from her embrace just yet.  Cecile squeeze me lightly one last time, and disentangled herself from my grip.  "I am not going anywhere, we will have lots of time to hug."  

Laying in bed, warm and oh so very happy.  What I have always prayed for, hoped for, despaired of ever happening, has happened.  I am safe!  Oh, I love to say the word, safe, safe, safe, safe...  The very word is music to my soul. I just have to believe in Sam and Cecile.  I have to get this right!  I can not ruin this by my behavior.  I need to be extra careful to follow all of the rules.

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