LETTER FROM A FRIEND
Ne:o, THANK YOU!
I stopped hiding from a major, major 2 year old fear a couple of days ago. It rued it’s ugly head, I faced it, fought back, and fought through it, overcame it and moved on.
Thank you for the 2 months of intense (emergency) therapy where you pushed me past the emotional/mental comfort zone I’d been in for close to 2 years and was not only accepting of, but had totally relaxed inside of.
God led you to me at the appropriate time and God led you away from me at the right time so I wouldn’t become totally dependent on you which I could feel was beginning to happen. I appreciate you, and will always love your mind. You have an awesome (one of a kind) brilliant mind. Thank you for having briefly shared it with me. I am a much better and stronger person for God having worked through you to reach me because you forced me to listen. Good luck in all your endeavors, you are a major force to be reckoned with – glad you stopped by briefly and visited my life. What is so utterly unbelievable is that all the positive changes you initiated in my life were based solely on telephone conversations since we have never even met in person. Wow, now that’s powerful. The power of God amazes me, never shocks me but continuously amazes me.
This is the last email Ne:o just needed to share the success God helped me reach through you. And to let you know that your telephone therapy sessions WORKED! Everything worked out the way it was supposed to, even the ending of it because rather than standing on my own two feet I could feel myself (in my sleep deprived state of mind) starting to stand on yours. Again, thank you. I feel VICTORIOUS. At your suggestion I have begun a regular routine of getting proper amounts of sleep, it is refreshing. Sleep deprivation had become a way of life for me, but not any longer. Love you – love your mind.
P.S. If you want, you are welcome to use this victory email on [your site] you shared [the Speechless] letter on. I don’t care if you use my name. You are awesome Ne:o. . . . goodbye my phone-friend.
Thank you for your kind words. They touched me in more ways that I can express. I am passionate in how I view everything- especially all levels of friendships and relationships. I believe people have to love strongly but also be willing to risk it all if that is what it takes for someone to see the truth. Be it family or friendship or lovers, relationships reach prodigal pinnacles where sometimes you have to step away for the good of either yourself or the other person. But I don’t believe that always means forever. My love never changes for someone despite their absence. Oft times absence allows for growth and revelation we could not see in the shadow of someone else presence. And when we emerge on the other side, we are better prepared to be the person we hope to be in another’s life. Distance, while often necessary, is not always comfortable because we and others are so quick to view it as failure. I have been blessed with an arrogant discernment that does not feel a need to explain itself in the face of situations where tough love is necessary. But it does not mean I don’t feel the pain of another when I have to exercise decisions based on that discernment. More often than not, only God knows what is really in my heart… while everyone else calls me mean, insensitive, and cruel- when they are not emotionally or otherwise prepared to face reality. But as so many of my friends, and now you, have encouraged me to do so, I have started sharing your letters because you have said you wanted people to see this side. As with the Speechless article you referenced, your letters like this are not so easy to share, but I thank you for taking the time to say these things. I am always sure in my heart what I am doing when I step back, but it means a lot to know that you received what I felt our time was meant to accomplish.
Ne:o, I am only able to open up in this email because of our phone therapy sessions.
I had intended my last email to you, titled “Response not Needed or Necessary – Just Listen”, to be the last. However I read your reply to me on your website and was moved to tears. Thank you for your heartfelt reply. I wrote that I’d overcome a major, major fear a couple of days ago, but neglected to explain the details to you. And, it is important that you know because of your hand in its elimination. As you know, from our sessions, I was raped when a young virgin, one of the results of that is that afterwards I never allowed anyone to get close to me, nor did I allow myself to get close to anyone. For years, if anyone other than family even looked like they were going to hug me I’d start having a mild undetectable anxiety attack. I’ve come a long way in the sense that, although I’m not completely comfortable with hugging, I am comfortable allowing it. For many years after the rape I got an eerie feeling when most people tried to get in my personal space. This of course didn’t include everyone because it was different when it came to a parent’s hug, or grandparent’s hug, etc.
The rape occurred at an age where I had yet to learn to trust. I was even too young to have even entertained the question of whether or not I even trusted myself. I was just a teenager, one that had led an extremely sheltered life, who up until then hadn’t had any life experiences that I grew the result of. I was an obedient girl who knew what the rules and expectations of me were and followed my parent’s instructions.
After the rape I vowed to myself that no one would ever get close enough to me to hurt me again. So I basically led a life of aloneness. Surrounded by people but somewhat covered from head to toe in a chastity belt of my many fear’s making. “According to modern myths the chastity belt was used as an anti-temptation device during the crusades. When the knight left for the Holy Lands on the Crusades, his Lady would wear a chastity belt to preserve her faithfulness to him.” I wore an invisible chastity belt that covered my body and heart out of faithfulness to my fears. This particular fear, allowed to flourish, turned me into somewhat of a coward when it came to even the thought of getting close enough to a man to fall in love. Because I’d become a coward my fear intimidated me into believing that I wasn’t missing anything by not allowing intimacy, love and all that goes along with touching and being touched on a level where you embrace, on a mental/emotional level with a man. I’m sure that to some of my many boyfriends I appeared to be unfeeling, but I wasn’t, I just knew when to run from any closeness that might have appeared to be slipping in.
Ne:o here is where you come in, a hundred years after the rape, and the development of the fears associated with it. Even though our contact was only over the phone you are the first person I have ever developed intimacy with. It happened so quick that it can’t be anything other than God’s grace because it’s something I needed to feel because until this wonderful feeling part of my heart was somewhat in bondage. Before I could panic and run for the hills you were close to me, and I was close to you. You got inside of me without even touching me, because you embraced my mind. The feeling of intimacy, after all these years, is like opening the door to an attic that has been shut for centuries, and revealing, it not only to air, but God’s wonderful sunshine.
Back to explaining the previous email: Fear gripped me, normally I would let fear have its way with me. This time I fought the urge to give in, but in doing so was gripped by a panic attack that was so overwhelming that I couldn’t breathe. My chest felt like it was about to explode, and my body was trembling. Because I couldn’t breathe and was beginning to hyperventilate, I was intimidated into giving in to my fear, but instead I picked up the phone and called a close associate/friend of yours and told him that I was in trouble and needed help.
He talked me through it, and I did battle with that particular fear. I held my chest and pushed through the anxiety that had been caused by me challenging my fear instead of giving in to it as I had for so many years. Ne:o, here again is where you come in. Had I never opened up to you and experiences intimacy; had I never trusted you with what had been hidden in my soul, then I never would have been able to find the strength to reach out to your associate/friend and ask for help, which he gave me not only by talking me through the anxiety attack but by continuously telling me to “stay behind the Creator.”
Ne:o one of the hardest things I’ve ever done was to call your friend and ask for help, but thank God and you, I did it. Ne:o because of your relationship to God, who led you to me, I reached out for help. That is very freeing. A part of me that had been dormant is suddenly alive. You have no idea what it means to me to trust you. Which is why when you suddenly stopped calling me, I trusted you enough to understand that you did what you were led to do. And I know in my heart that you are one person who’ll always be honest with me even in times when the truth might hurt. Because some pain has a way of waking up that which was dead in us. It is hard to believe that I have actually opened up like this, the rapist did not win all those years ago when he invaded my space, because I no longer fear closeness or intimacy. Cyn.
As I recall, one of the breakthroughs of our time talking was you coming to the understanding that you could not continue to take blame for something you were never prepared for in life. I do not always have the honor of knowing whether or not my efforts were in vain. I, therefore, rejoice in the overcoming of your struggle and I am humbled by my role in your victory. We who have been part of your breakthrough have only been willing vessels to carry you forth to a place you were finally prepared to go. A song that is near and dear to my heart is ray Charles’ version of the classic “If I Could”. Although I know it is not a song that you would have imagined your own father singing to you, listen to it in the spirit of God speaking to you and how he uses others to comfort us in our times of need.