My father, my Jedi

It’s been a year – and on the eve of remembrance I think it’s fitting to repost this.

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A long time ago, in a podunk far far away I was born. The town was called Hopeless (at least that’s what I call it). My father and mother made their living there. It was a town where I would make few lasting friendships, and a place that I really only look back with fondness when I think of my parents and their love for me.

This past week was a week of remembrance. Even though Starbucks took to the holiday season early (November 1st) and faced a trivial controversy of issuing a holiday cup that was plain red, people still took time out of their schedules to pay respects to the veterans who have served their countries in times of need. I am not going to write about the right or wrong of the conflicts as that is not for me to say. I could easily look back and…

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Death of the Jedi?

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It is dark outside, and the rain is lightly licking the window as it falls. I am watching Empire Strikes Back once more. It has been some time since I have added anything new to my blog. There is good reason, but I am going to give it a go.

I spent the last year fighting for my professional existence. It was a difficult path, and it was emotionally and physically exhausting. Somehow I made it through. I felt the power of the Force and inside felt a sense of accomplishment. As far as I was concerned, I was doing good and making positive change.

Then it happened. One day in October. My strength was dashed from me through an event that nearly crippled me emotionally. Immediately I was drained of all sense of positivity. Old demons flooded back to greet me, binding me and chaining me to the horror chamber of my past. It was dark. It is dark.

People who have not experienced trauma in their lives (and I am so happy for people who have not had to experience this) have a difficult time understanding those of us who have had traumatic events happen in our lives. We all experience sadness, anger, loss, and so on. But I mean extreme trauma – extreme violence, shaming, abuse, rape, and so on. As a survivor of rape and abuse I am always doing my best to be a functional and contributing citizen to society. I do my best to deal with my past so it does not negatively affect others. In fact, I am constantly doing my best to help others, and share my past as a way to help others heal. But when a person attacks me in my safe place, both physically and emotionally, real damage is done and the healing process begins all over again. I really think this is a form of PTSD.

I am at the point of the film where Luke enters the cave. This movie is making me think about the Force once more. “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defence.” However, as Luke says, “There is something not right here.” There isn’t. Not here. Not in my head. You see I feel that the dark side is taking hold. I am at a crossroads of light and dark. The darkness is surrounding me.

I am doing my best to survive this. Today I was told that I may have to begin medication for this. That scares me too. I am trying not to spend my days in fear, in darkness. I am trying to stay on the path of the Jedi. But it is rest I need. I am burned out. I am weak. I am tired. A part of me does not want to fight anymore….

Yet, within the darkness, there is a spark of light. I can feel it. It is the rapid beating of my heart when I try to sleep. It is the nervous feeling in my stomach when I first wake up. It is the light. At my core I am light. I know this. I must take the time to realign the power within me, to focus on healing the damage done to me. I know I have to stand up for what is right, and to speak out once more. I promise I will. The path is never easy. It may seem as though I have given up. I have not. As Obi-Wan tells Vader in A New Hope “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” Guess what? In October I was struck down. In due course my power will return I yearn for it to do so. There is still much work to be done for the good and for the path of light.

It has been difficult for me to write this. I am still finding it difficult to write anything these days. I think a return to writing may help me get better. I am really hoping it will. Wounded as I am, I will fight this. I have to. I am worried about taking medication. My half-sister was abused at the same school I was at as a child. Her path took her immediately to the dark side. She has spent a lifetime running, easing her emotional pain with the addiction of drugs. I have seen what it can do. Now I am facing a choice – to accept the medication offered to me, to help ease the pain inside my head and in my heart, or to continue to work through this and grow the light inside. I worry about addiction. I worry that perhaps the prescription offered to me may provide me with a “quick fix” that will grow in hunger for more quick fixes. I want what is best for me, I do. But I am not sure if medication is the remedy. It may be. It may not be.

I feel so many things. I am conflicted now. I am unsure of my reasoning. I am unsure of my abilities. I am drifting and listing in doubt. I know my family loves me. I know that my mother – now in her eighties – continues to worry for her “little” boy. I want her to know I am going to be ok. It will be ok, won’t it? It may not be today or tomorrow, but one day I will be back with the Force as my ally. After all, I am still a Jedi, right?

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