Reflections And Hopeful Directions
By Dan Lopez in SpiritualWarriorToday
I recently came across a lyric by Robin Thicke that was revamped into its more rape culture linguistic.
After reviewing the revamp, I was pushed to boundaries I hadn’t revisited in sometime. Hurtful, painful, scarring memories that are burned into my being. I think it was only the day before I also read a blog article by a friend Teal Scott, who shared about her love past and its impact on her life to this day.
Between the two of these and the recent undertaking with a clients issues, I began having flashbacks of my life and how those memories began to intertwine.
The things you find in the trash…
Down the block from the complex building I lived in there was a trash heap, left for the sanitation guys to come pick up every week. So for a few days it would begin accumulating everything from boxes, bags, small furniture and even mattreses…
When I was around eight years old on my way to my favorite wooded area spot past the parking lot, among the trash I spotted some boxes half open with colorful images… Curiosity getting the better of me exposed the contents of some comic books that were of the sexual nature. To this day they fetch a pretty penny in some markets as they’re considered rare art. The artist of most of these books was named Robert Crumm…
The over exaggerated images in these books were mesmerizing and horrifying, but for an eight year old boy were impossible to put down…
Every form of human anatomy was blown way beyond proportion. And the context was to this day a bit hard to grasp since I hadn’t seen them since. I get the gist today of course, but back then, not only was I clueless, but I could not believe things like this were considered enjoyable.
But there it was in its full black and white glory.
I won’t get graphical, as I’m sure your mind can fill in what I’m leaving out just fine.
“This is wrong”, I thought. But what the hell is so magnetizing about these images? Of course the size of boobs were confounding, but the rest well.. holy frik!
Anyway the books got lost somehow.. I don’t quite remember what happened to them, only that I had stashed them somewhere and they were no longer there, and I wouldn’t dare ask if anyone had seen what had become of them since I wanted to live a few more years before departing.
Fast forward to the rape lyric article. As I was getting a third of the way through a nauseous feeling started building in me. And Getting through the rest of the article became a challenge unto itself.
My first daughter’s mother and I were engaged i some hot torrid passion play when the unimaginable happened… She reached around and began doing something with her finger that I was completely unprepared for. She asked what was wrong and I, for the life of me, had no idea. Only that this didn’t feel right and I wished she’d stop.. She persisted a bit more, but that bit more had threw me into an overwhelming panic shooting tears from my eyes and full body trembles.
To this day I have no idea what triggered that particular reaction except maybe…
Innocently going to a friend of the family in Puerto Rico when I was nine years old to hang out, cuz he was funny as hell, I was told that Henry was in his room…
Nonchalantly I knocked waited for a reply and entered. The sight I bestowed slammed my back the wall. There was Henry fondling himself on his bed and inviting me to join him.. “This Is Not Happening!”, I repeated in my head over and over again like a mantra spewing from a deranged person in a horror movie. I cannot begin to describe the terror I was experiencing, only to say that every cell in my body said “leave” but I was galvanized to the wall.
The very instant I had enough courage, I took off like a bullet through a barrel, literally and got back to my grandmother’s property… Nothing happened, but I was forever changed. Petrified and alone, I had no idea how to process what had just transpired, nor did I have any clue how to tell anyone. The world wasn’t safe. Friends aren’t safe, family aren’t safe. I wasn’t safe. Those were the only phrases that revolved in my mind.
When I came back home to New York, I managed the courage to tell my parents, who in turn didn’t believe a word I said. “He’s known the family for years” they said. “He’s harmless” they said…
But once while Henry was invited to dinner back at grandmother’s house, he gave me a sideways glance between the laughs and guffaws that sent a spine numbing chill, that told a completely different story. This was not harmless, this was no friend, we were in the company of a monster.
—– another story altogether—
I wasn’t back home very long before we had to move to a new neighborhood, and I was forced to engage with the environment, which also fortified my fears…
My brother and I are five years apart. So we argued a lot, but we were all we had, cuz our sister was well.. our sister and didn’t play like boys, on top of that she was also going through some physical handicaps which didn’t allow her to be as active as us.
So we’re out together on a cold November day after a major snowstorm… And who should we run into, but the neighborhood bullies… What started out as an innocent challenging snowball fight, turned bloody fast. As my brother clutched his ear I could see the red filling his glove as it continued to run down his neck… Fuming and enraged with bloodlust to avenge my brother I jumped from my place of cover and charged the enemy who just laughed and ran off..
Not safe… this place is not safe
\—end of other story altogether—
Entering Jr High was weird to say the least.
Having undergone the new guy initiation the year before and somewhat getting to know those around me.. It became obvious life was twisting in ways I would never had imagined. Coming into experiences with 6th grade weirdness called dating and the revised version of something called boyfriend, girlfriend I suddenly came to the conclusion that I was light years behind my peers…
Hanging out in the basements of these buildings and having games of spin the bottle, run catch & kiss, all seemed innocent enough until some damn ritual called “pop the strap” entered the fray…
I found myself in a relationship with a girl named Amy.. I’m pretty sure I didn’t ask her out, it kind of just happened. Amy was a decent enough sort. I wouldn’t say she would have been my first choice, but that turned out to be exactly how it happened. It wasn’t my choice… We got together and were left alone, apparently she knew just what she wanted and I had no clue what either of us wanted.
All I knew is that I was supposed to be involved in this ritual which made absolutely no sense. We kissed somewhat awkwardly and she then brought my hands under her shirt. What I gripped did absolutely nothing for me. I’d remember those old comic books, but this was not that.
Then I was maneuvered to the back of her shirt which held what was supposed to be the challenge dejure, the strap.. I guess I got it, but I was still kinda weirded out by the whole event.
We made out for a while longer and during the whole time I knew I was supposed to be enjoying myself… but the truth was.. I wasn’t. I didn’t want to be with Amy, I didn’t want to be alone with her, I didn’t want to be here doing what we were doing… and I was pretty damn sure I couldn’t wait till this fuckin ritual was over.
Done.. or at least she was.. emerging to be received by the crowd of peers, the questions began.. How was it, did you pop the strap, what did it feel like, did you come?
“Did I What!?” “What the frik is that!? I said” then I was told…
“Eh.. No” I responded.. No I did not… despite her hands going where they wanted I was not even close to doing something like that…
But that was it, we were decidedly an item from then on… which in those years amounted to all of a week or so…
I’d never quite gotten over that experience, it still, to this day boggles the mind of what happens when kids are left alone to their own devices.
I’d tried to engage with other girls who did stir my imagination, but for years, and I do mean years, it just never seemed to work out with anyone…
Every attempt lead to maybe a weeks worth of entanglement and then abruptly cutoff by some unknown force which was not to be spoken of.
“Why are we breaking up?” I would ask.
“I can’t tell you why.” Was the common response from the girls who were at least able to get to that point, otherwise my requests for understanding were met with cold silence.
Except for one girl, her name was Louise. I liked her, I wasn’t entirely “in love” with her, but I enjoyed her company and we started going out, as they called it back then, for a few weeks until…
I broke her heart, badly.
All for a girl who, to this day, I don’t even remember her name, it was an exotic name I remember that much. I didn’t mean to hurt Louise, it just happened and I was entranced by the beauty of this new love.. I was “In Love”
That summer I asked this girl who obviously was very friendly with me, who talked with me for hours on end, who captured my attention and made me feel all weird inside with her eyes of mystery and desire…
Okay enough of that.. I asked her why she wouldn’t go out with me and she said “Amy.”
“Amy? What the hell does Amy have to do with anything?” Mind you this is well nearly three years later. Turns out Amy was terrorizing any woman who had caught my attention, and were met with violent threats to avoid me at all costs lest they knew what was best for them.
I don’t know what happened to me after that, except that it was not good. I had confronted Amy about it, read her the riot act, to stay out of my affairs..
But the damage was done. During the rest of the two years in JHS I managed to get the eye of two of the most beautiful girls in the school for our age.
Each one was somehow broken.. making out was mechanical and detached, much the way I was with Amy.. I realized that these were not really girls as each one turned out to be with other older guys while seeing me. These girls were playing another game that I again, was light years behind.
I pretty much started to lose it after that. A recent battle with my father gave me the sobering reality that I was “a worthless piece of shit that wouldn’t amount to anything” No love, no safety, no worth. There was only one way to go… down.
Pot was very accessible back then, and alcohol was even more so. Between the two I had found that Love was something everyone else was allowed to have. Not for me though… I tried, lord knows hoping against hope I tried.. But I was broken.
To many dejections, to many reinforced beatings. I wasn’t even able to really defend myself. Skinny as, well… I was skinny, I wasn’t all bones, but I was skinnier than most of the others in the tribe for lack of a better term.
I had met a Cindi in the park, we (the tribe) had migrated from one park across the neighborhood to this one located next to PS201 across the street from Queens College.
She was beautiful, radiant, dirty blond hair and bubbly personality. Irresistible, which meant, I didn’t have chance in hell.
But I guess things have a way of happening that don’t make sense because not long after meeting Cindi we became somewhat of an item ourselves. Talking for long hours into the night. Making out like there was no tomorrow. We were hot for each other.
But, there was a catch, the third base.
We couldn’t;t go there as much as all the grinding and sweating was involved we could not breach the unbreachable. I was quite sure what was going on.
By this time I had already been to other oral areas with other women but never third base. And if there was anyone whom I wanted to go there with it was Cindi. We, to my knowledge, were meant for each other.
I had heard through the grapevine that she was seeing an older guy who’s name escapes me at the moment, but having gone through that in JR HS With Evelyn and Ursala, I wasn’t that concerned cuz I/We was “in love”…
Or, so I thought. I wasn’t allowed to have her as my first. That was how she explained it to me… Mind you, this was no overnight thing. We were at this for almost three years now.
Finally, Cindi had decided we couldn’t do this anymore and that I had to go and try to be happy, at least that’s what my mind is telling me she meant.
I was shattered. That shatter lasted about a year. And I went further down. Beyond what is known as full blown alcoholic I was abusing any chemical I could get my hands on. All but heroin, and only because of the one encounter which left me retching for six hours after a few snorts. Thank God.
It amazes me to this day how so much can still be left out from a detailed account of history, but I’m trying to purge the love portion which to this day is still accountable for who I am.
—another story out of nowhere—
I have to admit there was one scene, in the lobby of another building the tiny tribe had gathered in which left me dumbfounded. I was secretly in love with a darling who’s name I won’t divulge, had simply blurted out “Dan, have you ever done a sixty nine?”
I, at this time had discovered Penthouse, and within was reading “The Letters to Xavier” Which held short nothing from passion to torrid accounts that taught me well the way of a womans desires…
Needless to say this question turned me white as a ghost, and with as much courage and meekness of tone, I lied…
As luck would have it, the next season I was walking this darling home from the park, not sure if I offered or she requested the company, but it was her building that daring question was posed, and the very one we found ourselves in front of now… In a moment of uncertainty the desire to kiss her goodnight came over me and we faced each other.
Suddenly everything that night went white, I mean whiter than the sun white, blindingly white. As just as it began to wear off and I could barely make out the figure in front of me, the most loudest explosions erupted which literally made my chest hurt so much I nearly doubled over.
I reached out with both arms to grab purchase of my darling and make sure she was still there. Light blindness now recovering she stood before me, eyes wide and in shock.. We stood there stark silent for an instant of eternity said goodnight and went our ways.
/— end of another story out of nowhere —
By this time in the ripe old age of 18, I’d been invited and engaged in a threesome that just went weird, and no not THAT way… just it never occurred it would happen to me out of no where. Imagine walking along a sidewalk and some hottie driving by with her or some guy asks you if you want get it going on and where is there someplace to do it?
I won’t go into details about that one, but it was a shock to the system nonetheless.
So oral was around and that was about it. No love, love, until…
I’m already at one of my lowest, just four years before I was done with drugs and alcohol for good. And massively involved with blackouts and waking up in the damndest of places like an old train yard where they park the trains after their route. Apparently the conductor figured I needed the rest.
Busying myself with Dj’ing and nothing else good, I went to an after hours club having left the Ritz, called The Lounge… Somehow I had managed to make friends with the DJ their having similar interests and knowing the craft and BS’ing about the patrons…
Did I mention that the DJ at the Lounge was also the local cocaine dealer? Need I also mention that from the moment we made friends it started snowing?
I was always a loner and tonight was no exception. Now completely wired,I planted myself in front of coin-op and began shaking the machine fervently as the missiles dropped from every angle imaginable.
As soft hand went down my shoulder and rested on the middle of my back. If I wasn’t so strung out and zoned into the game I would have jumped at the touch. But I was focused and was out to beat this thing. As the periphery of my sight caught the shape of female, I relaxed a bit more and just played while she leaned over and said “I like the way you shake the machine.”
“All my bases gone… damn Missle Command”
“You what?” I asked..
“You heard me”, and she repeated herself.
Big smile, dark hair, dark eyes, full hips and well you get the point. She was the night come to life. Within a moment we talking and walking to her home. A train ride and many miles from the club.
As we got through the threshold, a man was on the other side packing what was left of his stuff and leaving, giving me a warning glance the spoke volumes, but I was too damn horndogged out to notice.
She was thirty six, I was eighteen, she was a dancer, a strip tease artist. They call it something else now, something I don’t much care for. But that’s what she was, in her prime and three days later with hardly any sleep at all, I emerged a changed man.
Lisa turned out to be suicidal, and had a heavy thing for Quaaludes, or barbiturates of any nature. And the condition I would find her in for the next six months, at some points made my darkness look like a fairytale.
The scars on her wrists were one thing, but having to call 911 because she decided to eat a bag of ludes, just boggled my mind. When the EMT’s came and took her away… I, by this time had seen enough.
I was feeling great and my lover was killing herself. I was beside myself with the irony that I had found love once again and this is what it looked like.
Nothing is safe…
Enter Lisa No.2
Yes, somehow I found another one. Precious and adorable, a regular cuddle bumpkin.. God I cherished being with her… I was pretty sure in her company I wanted to be a better person. I wanted to clean up and fly right and grow old together…
She spoke of things that made my mind swoon
I was nineteen now and I was angry, scared and alone. My mother would listen to me, but how do you tell your mother everything that you’ve experienced at that age?
Friends were friends, but you don’t go home to friends, you go home to the pain, the fear, the anger and self-loathing.
For me, trying to come to terms with what is included coming to terms with what wasn’t.
A friend decided that he had a thing for Lisa2 and got her to hang out with him… He had admitted to others that he was going to get Lisa from me. I’m not sure if it was a direct thing against me, or that his thirst for conquest just included Lisa2 and I was in the way. Nonetheless, it happened. He introduced her to cocaine, got her hooked beyond healthy measures and that was the last I saw of Lisa for years. When I did fnally see her again, she was changed inside and out…
Friends aren’t safe…
As children we come into the world and the only beings bigger than life are our parents. Laying no blame here, just being objective. They to us are GODS. My god, was my father, and my father when not beating my ass was not around. Let me rephrase that, he was around, he just wasn’t available, emotionally or otherwise.
Most if not all of my relationships were/are this way.
They were around, but something in them was not available. When I finally cleaned up, I learned there was a better way… Life didn’t have to end. I didn’t have to die any more. And I was introduced to something called unconditional love.
The thing is this…
I knew what it (this unconditional love) was, cuz it was something within that required no introduction. Seeing it in action was a whole ‘nother ball game. Unfortunately, somehow, I maintained a desire to keep finding a match with the hardest relationship I grew up with, thereby attempting to please that which was unavailable.
I still do, I know I’m a match for that which I put out. And I know I’m worthy of receiving such. And someday I will. Of that I am still hopeful.
Please Share & Leave a Comment Below, I know it can be a lot to process, but when bearing all, it helps to know we’re not alone.
I know you and I don’t know you..
Something that helped me while going through several years of living in the basement of my own home, taking care of my littleone more than my spouse, while suffering from no income.. but giving all of me to my daughter while my wife who suffers bipolar and post traumatic stress, who worked nights and had affairs and went back to drinking continued to do her best to make me feel like I was worth less than the air I was breathing….
I asked for this… This was part of my contract with life..
This was part of my universal lesson, which was to give me the lessons I needed to keep in the forefront of my mind while I am going through every adversity that comes my way..
- How am I going to accept this?
- How am I going to allow, and or let go?
- How am I going to be completely okay with me through it all?
- What the hell am I supposed to learn from this?
- What power am I giving away from the inner peace that always resides within?
- How do I reclaim that inner peace that overcomes all things and all people?
- How do I accept that this is what I asked for?
- How do I love myself, and let myself, my innerself know, that everything is going to be alright?
- How do I love myself unconditionally at all times?
Can I really afford to let anything outside of myself dictate how I am, how I feel, what I think, and how I react?
Detachment… with love if possible.
Detach with indifference if needed.
No not nothing is capable of doing anything to me that I do not allow… what am I allowing? why? who? when?
I’ll be upfront with you.. suicide was a considered option for many times during that period… It has even snuck up on me even after I was removed from my home…
This no longer is an option… life is too precious, and if the only person I give completely to is my daughter, then that single life is worth giving my presence to.. for me…
I feel your pain and want nothing but to hug you through this… but sharing of myself is the best way I can do that…
We asked for this, it was part of our agreement when we chose to enter into this plane, through the family we chose at the time that we chose into the lineage we chose, the environment we chose and those around us whom we are in contact with… we chose all of it…
Therefore, I’m ultimately responsible for everything that happens in my life.. everything… and every-one in it for that matter…
Life is adverse, suffering is optional…
He did what?
Killed himself, he was suffering from depression…
O how often I contemplated this over and over again in my own life…
Yeah I’m putting it out there, why?
For the simple reason that I believe many have these thoughts and deny them. They refuse to let others know, and the result is a suffer in silence syndrome.
Why do we go on? I don’t know, I don’t know why some persevere and why others don’t. At the end of one episode, I spent a month overdosing over and over again in hopes of a release from life entirely never to return. I had no way out that I knew was possible.
That was in 1986, quite a while back. I was blessed with a confrontation that asked if I was willing to see an alternative. With nothing left to lose, I accepted the offer.
I would, love to tell you I’ve never looked back since. But I would be lying and well, one thing I’ve been in my writings is transparent. No, you don’t need to know my business, no You don’t have the right to be in my business.. I share it willingly, why?
I don’t know why really… Maybe my words will touch someone and they too can see its worth a shot at sticking it out one more day, and then let the days add up until the desire to leave this place has passed.
Sometimes there really seem to be no way out, we allow ourselves to close our worlds into the such confined places that nothing comes in and nothing goes out.
And even when we’re putting ourselves out there, encouraging others, hearing the thanks and gratitude from others for sharing their time and lifting them up being told we’re awesome day after day. Our walls are impervious to everything good that wants return our blessings, why?
For most, we’ve developed a habit, an emotional, physical and yes spiritual conditioning over time that doesn’t want to be given up. We feel less than perfect, less than normal less than human. And god forbid we know others know what we’re going through. That would only make us feel worse. So we don’t tell anyone… no one, not family not friends, no, not no one, no way.
I would love to offer anyone reading this who feels like they’re not only stuck, but cannot possibly see no way out from their current situation, but…
The truth is we have to commit ourselves to the possibility that there is another way first. We have to accept that this is a very real life threatening condition we’re facing and if we don’t allow the ability to consider the possibilities of alternatives, then we’re going to follow through and we’re going to check out.
Thats just a fact. We’ll be just another statistic. People, are suffering from torture, real physical bodily harm torture at the hands of lunatics and even famlily members. People are being sent to jail for money & living in real life threat of imprisonment for money…. Money we don’t have… It’s just fuckin money for godsake!??!?
And thats just a touch, not to mention those who are being seriously tortured emotionally by friends and family and peers and even strangers…
To all these, I say there is a way out. Sounds insane, but we’ve been living in insanity for so long that the possibility of something other than what we’ve been living seems more fantasy than reality, and I completely agree with you.
It does sound unreal, but ts very very very real… I’m a fuckin living example that its real. I live for another day. And sometimes, THATS ALL I live for, just one more day…
You deserve just one more day, we all deserve just one more day, please for godsake give yourself one more day and reach out and let someone hold your hand and lead you to something Anything other than checking out
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Thats just one way, there are thousands of others, if we’re just willing to give another minute to our thoughts, just long enough, just…. long… enough…
It’s possible, its more possible than we can currently imagine…
Stay alive, please, we need you, your friends need you, you’re family needs you… I need you!
Let me wipe my tears long enough to see the keyboard and tell you, you think you’re alone, but you’re not, you think you’re the only one who’s going through this shit, you’re not, we’re out here, we’ve been there, and we’re alive to tell you you’re not alone.
I implore you beautiful soul; one more day, just reach out and give it one more day.
I love you always…