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Location: Midwest, United States

Friday, August 04, 2006

Character Flaw?

Freud was right; the human mind works in mysterious ways.

In responding to a comment in the entry below, I blurted that I had been told that, by associating with me, one could lose custody of one’s children. It was uttered (written, actually) by the woman I loved above all others. She wasn't kidding. She was deadly serious. I’m not making this up (in my darkest, most frightening nightmare I could not have made that up). Hours after I had posted my remark, it suddenly hit me…that comment was the intended subject of the perplexing “Character Flaw” file.

She never explained why. She simply left me lying in a pool of blood.

I have been hurt in love more than once, at times severely. I have hurt others in turn, just as severely. Still, nothing has hurt me more than that comment. It came frightfully close to being a mortal blow.

It is a wound from which I will never recover.

I’ve never considered myself to be a morally superior person. By the same token, I never considered myself to be a derelict, either. I’ve always pictured myself to be like most human beings…somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between good and evil. I've succeeded at some things, failed at others. I’ve never committed a felony. I've never struck a woman or child...ever. I’ve tried to be a dutiful son, brother, husband and employer. I am gentle with animals. I delight in the company of children. When asked or needed, I readily help my neighbors. I give to charities, never cheated on my taxes, and I don’t spit on sidewalks.

I’ve worked hard my entire life. I’ve provided for my family. I was never addicted to drugs or alcohol. I was a marathon runner, an avid reader, and remain an ardent lover of music, art and poetry. I do not seethe with hate or anger. I try my hardest not to judge…just simply live and let live. I enjoy giving gifts (people say I'm generous), working with my hands, and making music. I love my friends and my country (well, not so much, lately). I used to laugh readily.

And yet, I’ve been deemed unworthy.

I’ve spent so many dark, tormented nights pondering how it could possibly be that a judge or jury would deem me so ignoble that I would be found unfit to have a family? What unpardonable flaw could they find in me that would lead them to reach such a fateful and dire conclusion? I’ve been haunted by this for months on end…driven to near insanity and even to the brink of suicide. Am I so blind as to somehow miss a flaw so odious and profound?

I offer this as a cautionary tale.

It’s been said that hearts choose whom they wish to love; that hearts have reasons that Reason cannot know. I believe that is true (well, true for me, at any rate). To love someone truly, to open your heart to another, is to become utterly vulnerable. And so it came to pass that my heart raised no defense against a devastating blow.

I can’t even recognize my own heart any more. I’m not even sure it is able to love again...although I still love her.

Ironic, isn't it?

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Blogger Stacey said...

I am sorry you are going through a hard time, dear writer.

Fri Aug 04, 07:07:00 PM  

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