Return to Sender

Lurking just below the surface of his thoughts, Jack knew, once again he was betrayed. Expected and embraced, the loss was as devastating as the first time. Like all trauma, it results with anger and knowing that it is always the outcome of trust. Embracing early childhood trauma that came suddenly and without escape. Year after year, decades of expectation that love would be returned. The loss of the love as a letter that coldly declares, Return to Sender.

As a child of four, Jack was suddenly dropped off at a strange house by his mother. He was ushered into the back yard and shown a really nice tin toy. That complex toy was sitting right next to a chain link fence and listening to his mother’s laughter as she climbed back into the car, Jack looked for a rock. The toy was reduced to scrap in a fit of rage. That incident is permanently established in Jack’s emotional storehouse. Love given will always result in loss and betrayal. Sooner or later the laugh will return along with the rage. Once again Jack will run away as fast as he can, leaving that fence behind as the anger overcomes all logic. The four year old is now able to run and get away from the enclosed and broken heart. The rock now comes down upon Jack.

Only recently was Jack shown the operating system within him has actually been a mirage. Many events can put Jack back at that fence, trapped in a jail of his emotional life. Once Jack was actually in a jail in southern Spain, betrayed by his best friends addiction to methadrine. Hard labor, shoveling sand blast in a dry dock, bent over under ships and barges as the sand poured out of holes cut. The interior of the bilge, now clean above Jack’s head as he shoveled the pile to another pile and eventually into a crane bucket. Summer in Spain, but at least there was shade. ‘This is what you get, this is what you deserve’ They all do that, get used to it.

An engagement, soon after his Navy life was perhaps an escape from his mother’s new basement. A made up room to welcome Jack back to the states. The upstairs with the step father and grandfather that also betrayed Jack’s young heart. One with nakedness and the other with death of Jack’s beloved pet. An inconvenient cat.

So, in his need, he proposed to a new girlfriend he met while he played guitar and sang ballads at the YMCA youth group. She accepted the ring. Not long after she ran off with an actor where she worked and the ring eventually was returned to sender. She could not be found in the big city. Suddenly disappeared and Jack was the crushed cigarette beneath her feet. Imagined laughter as Jack was unable to see he was back at the fence.

Betrayed by his cousin that stole Jack’s inheritance when his father died out west. Only finding about his dad at the mailbox with an official post card from California. Pick up the rock Jack, there is nothing to smash but your own self now. Decades of expected affection and love to be lost. It was better to live alone on the small farm, way up north. No one could betray him now as there was no one there but him. It didn’t change anything, not really. Emotion was fixed and the trauma was just a part of usual life now. Hidden deep within him. Like a moray eel, under a rock, waiting to strike.

Decades later, healing began and still goes on. The reaction was seen by a counselor and exposed as trauma. Only a week ago, Jack named the rock. Betrayal. With a visible jolt in church, Jack saw betrayal given to the only perfect man that now lives within him. Betrayed to death with a kiss but forgiving His betrayer. It’s more than pretty good. Drop the rock Jack. Give me your heart now, I will never leave you. Jack Gator

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