Not The Sum Of My Tears

Thu 22 March 2007
By John Mark Schofield in Health

When I was 11 years old, and camping with the Boy Scouts on Catalina Island, I was raped by my Assistant Scoutmaster.

Last night at my group therapy session, I had a shocking realization. (I've often thought that instead of its current title, my poetry "book" should be called "My Shitty Epiphany.")

I'm very much in touch with all the pain I've experienced as a result of that rape (I prefer not to call it a "molestation.") -- but I discovered that I'm not at all in touch with the good things I let myself miss because of this.

Last week's session felt like I made some real progress, and I noticed two changes as a result -- first, I was really testy with almost everyone around me, and second, I felt much closer, felt much more warmth and affection, for my girlfriend, K.

The crankiness does not surprise me -- when you start dealing with buried anger as I am, a little may leak out when you stir things up. But the wave of love and affection? Have I been burying those feelings along with the anger all these years? My sense of loss is almost palpable here -- what other things have I allowed myself to miss, or not allowed myself to enjoy because of all this buried anger, fear, guilt, and grief?

Therapy has been something I did to avoid pain -- now it may become something that opens the door to joy. That's a very different thing.