The last 45 minutes has been extraordinary and tough. I found a device that I used years ago to record songs and voice memo’s and recordings secretly of conversations in the house, when I was in the midst of a tumultuous relationship. I had used this device to record the times when ‘he’ was yelling and screaming and berating and accusing. I had forgotten, not the yelling etc. mind you, just that I had recorded these conversations.
I charged the device on my laptop and was going to listen to what I thought were recordings of songs that I had written. I started listening and at first, I heard my young sons voice, then my older son and then my daughter and it all flooded back. I can remember we were all huddled in my then, office, in our house. I will not refer to it as a home. A home is where there is peace and love. There was love between my kids and I, but there was no peace.
So, as I sat here listening. I could picture in my minds eye that we, all four of us, were huddled there in that small room on the top level of our house, waiting for the next verbal attack on either myself or one of the kids, mostly my daughter and myself. I vaguely remember there had been an earlier episode of yelling that same day.
A few seconds into listening to the recording and I felt a flood of emotions. I could see the vision of 3 of us sitting on the couch there in the office and one on the floor. My young son was drawing and I heard his giggle and how young his voice sounded to me now. It has been 4 years since I made this recording. Anyway, there it came like lighting and in a flash I heard him speak and I tightened up as I listened to him in raised voice, accusing and yelling. This time like many others, it was directed at my daughter. Poor child, she could do nothing right. This time it was about cleaning her room, but instead of gently nudging a child to clean their room to a simple directive, it was all out warfare.
I put my hands over my face as I sat listening. I couldn’t take more than a minute or so of it and I turned it off. I sat here with my face in my hands and I started to sob. As I was listening. I had heard my voice and I immediately thought ‘how pathetic’ that I had sounded. I sounded so pathetic and weak as I talked in a very mellow tone. It wasn’t the fact that it was quiet, it was how odd it sounded. It sounded like I had no backbone. I think my backbone and my spirit both were already broken by this time in the so-called relationship.
Then, I felt anger at myself for not having been stronger. I felt anger, and fear, and anxiety and heartbreak all at once at hearing this play out again, after all this time. If he tried this yelling and screaming where I am in life today, I know that I wouldn’t be so bent on trying to defuse him with that pathetic mellow tone. It would be a completely different sound coming out of my mouth. In looking back, I know that is how I would attempt to defuse him and his verbal attacks, by trying to reach for some semblance of peace, thinking if I do not fight back, surely it will give him no one to argue with. I usually was not very successful.
He had gone in a matter of seconds from talking quietly, to yelling at my daughter, to talking quietly again to my oldest son, to sounding fake in my opinion, when speaking to me, asking almost as if it were game to him. He said “how is my honey”, over exaggerating the words and speaking rather loudly, as was the norm. Believe me, he didn’t call me honey unless there was a payoff for him somehow. I heard my reply to him in a very quiet voice – “I’m fine.” Then, he responded with an exaggerated response and again it occurs to me that it always seemed as if it was some type of game with these slippery like a snake comments or it simply was an opportunity to throw his weight around and fluff up his feathers. In my opinion, he loved hear the sound of his own voice…”that’sssssssss good, that’ssssss what I like to hear.”was his response to my little “I’m fine”. (emphasis NOT added)
The very next second, he was threatening to take the TV, that was now in my office and give it to the boys. There was always a sense of punishment in the house. Someone was going to have to pay for one of his moods and possibly all of us in some way, shape or fashion. It never really mattered who the anger had been directed at as long as someone paid the piper.
My emotions were all over the place just listening to this replay of events today. So, as I said, I could take no more than a few seconds and turned it off and placed my face in my hands and started to sob. I said out loud “thank you God that we are safe” and then it hit me – my youngest still lives there. “Oh Lord – please deliver him out of there. He can’t really be safe.” He might have clothes and food and a roof but how safe is he living with a man, who in a matter of seconds can go from calm to yelling and berating, back to calm, then to accusing, once again to calm and then finally to hateful, all in a matter of minutes?
I went downstairs and I sobbed some more. Why had this affected me like this so much after all of this time? The first answer that came to mind, was that I lived it.This has been the last 10+ years of my life’s story. The second reason that came to mind – because my youngest son is still there.
I made a bite to eat for lunch – turkey burger and homemade salsa and sat down to watch TV for a few minutes to distract myself. I gave my thanks for the food and asked God to grant me a way financially to afford to get my son out of there. The next thing that I heard and saw, when I selected a channel on TV, was a popular pastor that I had admired over the years, talking with another pastor. She, the lady pastor, turned to the TV and said “God is going to break the spirit of poverty over you now in the name of Jesus.” Was that meant for me? Was I meant to hear this? I had just asked God only moments before, for a way ‘to afford’ a way to get my young son to live here with me.
This pastor then talked about sowing seeds. They were talking about $200.00 seeds. Well, I knew that I didn’t have that amount of a seed to sow but when she turned again and said – “get ready for your harvest ..if you will just be obedient and sow – your harvest is coming and you will find yourself standing in the middle of your destiny here on this earth.” She went on to say “this is about to happen – get ready” and she even mentioned a person or some reference to a person that would be entering ‘your’ life, that would be forthcoming also. I thought, what can I sow? How can I be obedient when I know I have so much, yet so little?
So I started to think – how can I sow? What can I sow? Then I heard in my spirit ‘sow towards the kingdom of heaven with time and love and giving of yourself to others’. Then I was reminded – “those that sow in tears, shall reap in joy”. Psalm 126:5
Well, my new word as of today is ‘sow’. I want to sow to others in any way that I can, whether it is in word or deed or even prayer. I started picturing ways that I could be helpful to someone, small ways to show love and kindness. I’m on a mission as of today to be on the look out for ways that I can sow into the kingdom of heaven. What about you? What can you sow today? What have you sown recently and have you seen a harvest?
My spirits were lifted. God graced me once again with something to ponder and a sprinkling of hope.