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My friend said good bye to me. We had been meeting every week; Tuesdays from three to five. Every week for three years. We studied Christian books together. “The Names of God”; “Lord Heal My Hurts”; “The Way of Agape”

Last week she told me she didn’t want to meet with me anymore. It was yesterday that we met for the last time. Now she’s gone.

My head knows why she did it. She had to. Her daughter had foisted three of her grand children on her to babysit everyday. She was homeschooling the twelve year old. The six year old had downs syndrome and ADHA, and the  baby of eight months was a screamaholic. She’s sixty two and has battled cancer in her past. Last week the daughter moved to Southern California and out of her life. My relief and worry for her was finally over. So my head understands that she desperately needed a break. She said that first she was going to sleep for a month, then see the Grand Canyon, and then work on her book. It was completely understandable why she did it.

But not all of me is cooperating with the head.

I’m an addict, using every sort of earthly means I could lay my hands on to dissociate from pain. “Any port in a storm”, so they say. Alcohol was my drug of choice; then junk food, cigarettes, caffeine, crochet, TV, spending, wandering aimlessly around the house in an overwhelming fog.

But, one-by-one I’ve been barreling through each addiction with the single-mindedness of a cougar going after it’s prey. Since last August I have become determined to be addiction free. I want to run to the arms of the only One I can truly depend upon. The One who comes with no ill after-effects…  God.

But now I am braving the first storm. And it’s a doozy. A hurricane, and I have no where to hide. No addiction to protect me from the raging fury passing directly overhead.

I lay on my bed, on my side, alone in the darkened room. Frozen still while this furious storm rages all around me. Monstrous claps of thunder pulse through my body.

In a thunder clap I am flung into a room. A voice screams at me…

Get in your room!!!

A lightening bolt of PTSD flash-back strikes and I am electrified. Then another, and another. They pierce me with direct hits. Then, in the light of a strike suddenly I become aware that I have been transported…  to 1960.

In the instant flash of light I see something… no… someone. A small girl… huddled in the corner of her room. Her knees pressed tightly against her chest. Her arms wrapped around her knees.  She’s in shock but… strangely… I can hear her thoughts.

What did I do?! Why is he so angry? I must be horrible for him to look at me with so much rage! I’m pure evil. I must be hideous for him to look at me with so much fire in his eyes.

She stares at nothing, almost not believing she came out alive through another savage assault.

Confused… baffled… bewildered… frozen. I see her in the lightening flashes. Petrified by what just happened, she does not move. And I can not move either. I am braving this storm. With each flash I get a glimpse. My eyes are fixated on her form and on her frozen face. I dare not budge. I do not want to miss a single second of this meeting. This memory.

A single tear runs over the bridge of my nose, then down my cheek to the pillow below. As I take her in my arms, this one tear is a miracle.

Together now, we survived the storm. We have both made it through alive.