The Letter And The Lighthouse
By Kacie Brockman
Roughly 5 years ago I came to be captivated by lighthouses. There was nothing in my youth or past experiences that would explain my fascination with them. I began thinking about their absolute magnificence and significance. I also became highly aware of each time I would see one and how it eerily connected to some type of experience I was having at the time.
On occasion, I’m able to create a deep well of thought or emotion around what typically for others is a very simple concept which is what I did with lighthouses. I began to visualize how many ships, how many sailors, captains or crewmen were petrified, frozen in fear during the darkness of night and trying to do everything they could just to survive as the violent waves of a ferocious storm relentlessly tossed their ship about. Perhaps it was during those panic-stricken moments when they thought all hope was lost, that they saw a light. They saw the light from the lighthouse, which would ultimately guide them safely back to shore.
In 2013 I desperately began searching for rescue. I didn’t know what to do as my ship was being tossed about in a violent and abusive relationship. His irrational and unpredictable rages which initially brought me to my knees subsequently became my morning cup of coffee. My new normal if you will.
Interesting that I should still be able to recall that, as it was over 6 years ago and according to many a story I’d simply invented. Periodically I still recoil at the fact that I was told, “We never saw anything that would indicate that you were ever abused.” His perpetual insistence that “No one would believe you anyway,” was right on point because he was always right. I can still hear the echoes of his voice asking me, “Dontcha think?” He repeated this personalized mantra again and again until it became embedded in my psyche not only for the next 5 years, but even now. Because according to him, I just never did…think.
Back to the lighthouse. I would notice it in various elements of my life and then provide it with a meaning or relevance to parallel experiences. Thus last night’s realization having pierced me so deeply, I again remembered the lighthouse and it’s invariant association.
In 2014, I believed my family was my without question, my lighthouse. I certainly assumed, if I got up out of that house and really left him for good that I would have their love and support. I imagined that once they knew the entire truth, that I would be safe. Sadly, imaginations are precisely that, imaginations.
For various reasons, of which I can only speculate, the tables were turned against me at every crossroad. I somehow came to be at fault for everything. I was at fault for taking him back to the home. I was at fault for leaving him. I was at fault for not planning it out the exit out of the marriage better. I experienced a car accident and was clean and sober at the time. I was not at fault according to CHP or 3 Witnesses. Nevertheless, when I arrived back home, I was indeed found to be at fault. I was at fault for not putting the washer lid down, the shower curtain back the way it was supposed to be, or for not closing the garage door. I was at fault for stuttering and being confused and lost and afraid. Though I had intermittently used drugs for a time right before the separation and right after, which I had independently come forward and confessed, that became the sole focus for nearly everyone. For some, the fact that I acknowledged my role in the ensuing chaos made all the difference. For others, the false accusations and storylines ensued and grew more elaborate by the hour. E-mails I still have provided such a distortion of events and theories kindled and brought ablaze to profoundly illusory statements. I suspect the reason for which was deep hostility harbored by both mother and my older sibling. Those grievances were indeed justified, as I had certainly brought with me enormous discontent and chaos into their already troubled lives. Yet the manner in which these resentments were expressed was vindictive and vengeful. Ultimately the culmination of everyone’s dysfunctional attempts to rationalize or repair resulted in a hellish nightmare from which not a single one of us could escape.
I made a difficult discovery last night. As I was going through some of my belongings boxed away in my garage I found a letter unopened. A letter I had written to my family at a critical point of our family’s ultimate collapse. I had hand-delivered it to my mother. It had never been opened. It had never been read. It might have changed the course of everything had any one of my family been privy to that communication. Regardless, she held onto it only to be found after 6 more years of suffering endured by all. I imagine she must have felt reassured in knowing that no one would ever read those words.
The letter contains the desperate words of a woman left with very few options. Each sentence a plea begging for someone to save her child. Every word was mine. And each one breathed my soul as I petitioned and implored my family for help.
By design or by default, these words will, in fact, be given attention to. They will be read. They will be known. If not by her, then by God, by everyone else. Too many instances she has been given, to do the right thing. Too many times she chose not to. My love is no longer a harbor for her sins. My silence no longer provides a refuge for her secrets.
The truth comes out in the end people. Whether you like it or not. Mine sure did. Most truths I came clean with independently, others, I got my hand caught in the proverbial cookie jar. And when it did, my mother was sure to tell everyone, every time. So in effect, perhaps the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree.
However hard you try to hide it… the truth always comes out. I guarantee you, it is best to not lie. If you have lied or have been deceptive in an area of your life, come clean before it’s too late. And if you’re looking for a sign?
This is it.
By choosing to remain trapped in a lie, you just might want to be prepared to get caught and face consequences much steeper than had you provided the truth. And trust me, time always, ALWAYS delivers the truth.
With the blink of an eye, they will put you in the ground. They will weep at your funeral to intercept any compassion and empathy for themselves. To describe the level of sheer disconnection the narcissist is able to achieve, allow me to provide an example. When I returned from a 72-hour hold in February 2014, just a week before I wrote this letter, my mother said to me, “I hope you enjoyed your nice little vacation.” Three weeks later I was arrested for attempted murder with a blood alcohol content of .397, a nearly fatal absorption level for which I was initially hospitalized. Roughly one week after my arrest she hosted a slumber party in her home and posted it on social media.
At this time an impossibility remains for me not to speculate on how circumstances might have been different if someone, if anyone had simply opened…
The letter or the lighthouse.