Master Sergeant, It’s Time To Put Your Ruck Down.” — Part 4 of 14

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, I wonder if the soul leaves the body as tears.

My life from tortured child to Green Beret, fall to darkness due to pain and PTSD, and healing through vulnerability.

Shattered trust.

At 4 years old, I saw pieces of chinaware flying, shattering when they hit the floor. Jagged, irregular, glittering in the sunlight that peeked inside and pierced through glassless wooden windows.

I felt a heavy sadness as the pieces of china had to be picked up off the floor.

Sharp, craggy, and asymmetrical white pieces of rage, anger, and frustration. So clean and dangerously pristine. I was afraid to touch them. I was afraid to be cut by them.

The fractured plates symbolized broken trust and disrupted utopia. Most of all, the visions inculcated fear —

fear of being broken

…fear of being unholy and un-whole

…fear of forced and abrupt separation

To this day, I cringe when I put away breakable dishes. The clanging sounds takes me back to shattered trust of stories that boasted upright community lore.


At 6, I was tied to a wooden pole at an intersection. I was punished for asking to play at a friend’s house across the street.

I was immediately dragged from the house, through the deluge of a thunderstorm, towards a tall, dark, pole that was full of splinters. The raindrops were huge, and they thumped on my forehead with a heavy rhythmic thud. The thunder drowned out my screams and pleas for help. The rain lovingly camouflaged my tears.

I was slammed against the pole. I feared that if I moved, splinters would lodge into my back — adding more physical pain to the shame that I seem to always attract.

Both of my arms were menacingly bent to wrap around the pole. My wrists were held by the adult’s wet, soft hands that contrasted the coarse wooden pole.

Those hands — softened by rain — should have been used to comfort, to hug, and to support during a bath day; however, that watery moment was not to going to be hygienic in any way. Those imagined feelings of love were quickly erased — as I felt the rope getting tighter around both wrists.

The hemp rope was rigid and ridged — roughly holding onto my wrists like the buttressed squeeze of a bridge. I could not escape despite efforts to slide out of the rope’s heartless and unemotional grasp.

With hands tied behind my back, I could not wipe away my tears. Hoping that they would reach the cargo ship to travel away from the pier.

Every clap of thunder masked my screams. Nature predicted years of nightmarish dreams.The coldness of the rain hid my shivers of fear. Can’t anyone in the community hear?

My wet clothes wrapped around me like a cold, unemotional hug. It felt like I was in a horror movie. I howled, I cried as the rope knot was checked with a tug.

That day, the storm washed love and mercy straight into the open-gutters — never again to brush with me.

People laughed. People walked by. No one helped.

Not one.

Maybe they were scared of getting wet or were afraid of lightning?Maybe the soft rain drops and my screams created a scary contrast that paralyzed people’s unreachable dreams?

Maybe they didn’t want to be next?

As life-giving rain poured, my soul slowly withered. Life-giving water and water-giving life — now felt as fickle as the weather.

At that moment, I wished that I was the child of a poor farmer.

At least the farmer would cherish the rain and would let the raindrops lovingly hit the leaves of his crops. He would guide so that each plant would not flop.

He would not nurture one, and the other just slap. All treated equally through each growing season, and not treated like crap.

He adds vitality to roots, instead of demeaning his crops. And on the leaning stem, a stick he uses — not to hit — but only to prop.

Carefully and gently allow all to blossom, glow and grow — tubers, flowers, seeds and fruits.

To this day, I do not lean against a pole.

Sex By Six.

My parents paid for the school tuition of a live-in babysitter.

She took care of us before going to school and after her homework. But she had intentions with me that she felt was a perk. If I refused, at a young age I would be considered a jerk.

Before the first grade, the babysitter talked me into going into a room. She asked my sister to stand watch in case my father came home too soon. Then she brought me into the upstairs bedroom.

I didn’t have a voice. I didn’t have a choice.

I don’t remember everything that happened.

I don’t know why she asked me.

I don’t know how long it lasted.

At the dinner table, she acted normal in front of my parents. I was afraid of her and of my parents.. I was afraid to say the wrong thing because to my soul I was afraid to get another ding.I was afraid of being punished, or worse — be banished.

The experience negatively affected the way I looked at affection, romance, and sex.

For a long time, sex seemed like a transaction — a forced moment without meaningful emotion or satisfaction.

Continue to Part 5

Back to Part 3

All Rights Reserved (January 2022).



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