I’ve read the stories, and I can’t change time. But the future? That is a different story.

It’s a unique feeling. Never seen a guy and just thought “kissing.” Never felt safe, or at home, or like life will be good. Never wanted so much to break the noses of witches and shout in the devil’s face to shut up and leave them alone. Three silent voices, and far more. I hear the silent things of the world, and how does Christ stand it? I stay in the present. This is what I do.

A first interest was intriguing, but a wraith who turned to a nasty form. Possessive. Enjoyed hurting my heart. Almost ruined stage with nonsense, as I tried to focus and succeed. Wrote of shallow things, a sickly candy called poetry to make the heart sick my first quarter at WWU at finals. No respecter of boundaries. Spoiled, nasty, used to his way. These things I remember too. They make everything else like ash. They were not love; only lust that takes. The destroyer.

Wraith. These things are wraiths. Do you know how many years I’ve lived with severe emotional pain? And now? It’s fading, and there is only the present. I close my eyes and let the evil things fade away; the lust of taking, the pain of feeling ruined, the grief where you feel so alone. These things are washed away. I am not alone. I have a family again. Do you know how good that feels?

Gem among stones. Sweetness, humility, safety, selflessness, and deep peace. I am wanted, and I belong. There is something about some houses. They are filled with love, and it’s safe to smile and be real. Safe enough to be real.

My road makes better sense now. But the room. I can’t go inside, because I can’t take it. I can’t watch suffering. I can’t watch suffering. I remember my friends. Distance and sadness, the depression, the writings I read and then knowing later and… knowing. Her scared eyes, like a skittish mouse. The shame in her face as she told me, and felt it her fault. The nightmares all night, nearly every night. Six months of looking out for her; my sister. The days she made me laugh, and all our adventures. My friend, with the distant eyes, when she told me. It all making better sense now. She’d dreamed of a prince to rescue her; a prince who would not take. One had come and taken, and she’d forgiven, and I didn’t understand until now. Forgiveness.

And then, I join their number. Emotional abuse? A long time before. Now? Sexual abuse. I am thankful, because it has molded me into someone I want to be. I understand. I need grace. I know what it’s like to flinch, and to slowly need trust built. I am glad to belong to a world I can speak to and love. It is good to know, “That’s not the way to love.” Never God’s intention, this abuse. Not taking. Giving.

I am among a valuable people. Amen.