It was a long time coming. A revelation of the deep things Jack has stored within himself. It was quite a few years ago when Jack was just out of the Navy. He was living in his Mother’s basement and going to junior college. The third house that had a remnant of the Gator household, now containing Grandpa, Mom and the Swedish fireman. Not pleasant but the best Jack could do after getting discharged down in Virginia with one more free plane ride to ‘go home’. Not like coming home to a small town and getting the welcome back treatment on main street. Big city home and new neighbors that are somewhat crabby about mom’s Buick convertible, Grandpa’s older Chevy Biscayne and the Swede’s ‘spaceship’ with the huge tail fins.

A job came up for Jack, working the YMCA youth program. That is where Jack found the love of his life. A quick engagement and suddenly, she disappeared. Jack looked all over the big city, usual places, he could not find her nor anyone that knew her either. Weeks went by and the tension was unbelievable. A little Later, Jack found out she had left him for a famous stage actor.

That was a traumatic event that got filed away in Jack’s emotional file within him. It never occurred to anyone, especially Jack, that there was an emotional paradigm that was operative for decades.

Jack found his old fiancé in a mental lockup downtown quite a few years later. Same friend that told him about the actor. Jack bluffed his way in posing as a youth pastor. His past love was in a bad way, drugged. She came out of the fog briefly and asked Jack bluntly: “Why are you here?” Without thinking about an answer, Jack just told her; “because I love you!” A shift occurred within Jack. Unknown to Jack that was not the whole story for him. The fear and conviction of being abandoned again was deep in Jack.

Every time that a person, often Jack’s wife, would somehow disappear, the trauma would slide into Jack and unbeknownst to Jack, he would be back getting that phone call about the actor and his old fiance. The reaction would be to assume that the disappearance was some inadequacy in Jack or flat out abandonment. When it finally came to light; that emotional response, it was stunning and explained a lot of Jack’s odd behaviors and emotional oddities. Anxiety, depression, expected abandonment. It finally came forth around the kitchen counter, piled high with peppers from the garden. Jack kept focusing on a pepper that had a damaged part that jack really wanted to cut off. A very interesting focus when viewed afterwards. Cut out the damaged part. When he was brought back to what was being discussed about this age old wound, Jack had a life changing epiphany. Expecting abandonment around every conversation, every giving of attention and love. Why fight it, no one really cares enough to let you in on the secret dashing off to someone that is much more important.

Lies that Jack has embraced for at least a half a decade or more. Has anyone else ever made that unconscious decision to pull the pin again on that emotional grenade? It doesn’t go off with a sudden bang, it’s more like a nerve gas release. A vaccine to remove attachment to anyone that Jack would give a piece of his heart. The more pieces, the greater possibility of withdrawing. An unpleasant disconnect that was not apparent to Jack. Another ‘checking out’ to his loved ones. “I thought you might have called when you got there” or “I was out with our son in the shop, all you had to do was text me” etc..Expect, oh yes expect adoration from everyone because soon, they will dump you for someone else. Make sure you get the ring back. One of those trauma/wounds that lingers like a deerfly in the raspberry patch. At the end of this conversation, both Jack and his patient wife began to pray.

Revelation and freedom can indeed occur, it really can happen with a distinctly unique ‘tool’ that the Gator’s keep handy. Easy tool to find, you just have to want to find and use it. Prayer. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator

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