I soon became dissatisfied with my employment. I had in my heart a belief that I was capable of more. I enjoyed working with the customers but I had a desire to help people. The next position I went to was in charge of supported accommodation for young men who were in difficulty with the law. I threw myself into that position. Maybe work would set me free and surely if L was doing the “Lords Work” my wife would be impressed and would leave me alone. If I worked hard enough, prayed enough, believed enough and saved enough people I would be set free from the crippling self doubt that held me captive.
As a child and teenager I was different articulate and good at school, interested in arts and drama. I enjoyed sport but I did not enjoy violence. Rugby and I were not good friends… I enjoyed the physical skill involved but the thought of deliberately hurting someone or being vulnerable to being hurt was a place I did not want to go. At school in the late 60’s and through the 70’s I was earmarked as a nerd and targeted for bullying. I will not troll through that period of my life right now suffice to say that it scarred me mentally and emotionally to the point where I as a 49 year old am still working through some of those issues. From my position in that employment I went on to work at another church based organisation. On the outside I looked successful good job,happy family good upstanding deacon in the church. I could speak in tongues pray for people for healing ,and have them fall slain under the spirit but underneath lay a dark, black monster whose name was fear.
I ensured that I did not let anybody get too close to me, I did not want to tell a single person what was going on in my life. I was afraid of being castigated, being an object of derision, gossiped about looked down upon. I was desperately dissatisfied with my relationship (as was my wife) but had no way of doing anything about it. You see I didn’t have the key. In 1988 I hurt my back with a prolapsed disc and was told to take it easy. I had an excuse to withdraw from my world and to basically vegetate. I stumbled trough life progressively becoming more isolated on the inside but still looking successful. I used my intelligence and articulation to brush off any suggestions that i needed to change, or to take a look at myself. I had dark secrets.
I finally decided to ask myself a question, that was did I think myself capable of undertaking a degree. I went to University. This was a momentous decision for me. It was the beginning of the beginning.
Now before I sign off for the day here just a brief word about my emotional illiteracy. When I talk about this I am talking about an inability to engage in intimacy with people. Within my marriage or within any close friendships. My wife desired intimacy I desired sex. I was unable to engage in intimacy with her because I was unable to be intimate with myself. I could not be honest with myself and that is the first step in any relationship that involves intimacy. This world we live in has mixed intimacy with sex and it is so intertwined that neither has much meaning for many people today.
I will sign off now,
Here is a link to one of my poems that I think is relevant to this series. I hope you enjoy it.