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The Holidays and an Injured Soul


The holidays for most mean joy and love.

For some, it means shopping and accepting gifts, depending on the holidays and who you run with.

I, being the type of person who does not have the type of money I used to, I surely don’t live in a mansion on a hill.

I live in a community where a liquor stores or stop and go’s are within plain sight, a drug infested community. I cross those battle lines daily both going and coming.

My story is that I am already wounded in lasting ways – though I have healed on the outside, the inside is but in thought and in visual a daily reminder of my journey where I’ve been, an the hurdles I had to jump along the battle I am still in.

The boundaries I set in order to keep my well-being in alignment, taking note and heeding signs like being angry, lonely and tired. I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t have an S (superman) on my chest. I am human with emotions, feelings and actions.

I being a widower though I tell folks this or maybe some would be able to connect with the feeling, certain times of the year, places, people, even a song on the radio, jogs those memory banks so I stay on my guard.

My friends do not understand when I say I have my strong days and weak days, I have highs and lows. The end result, even if I have had a night out on the town with the boys, I go home alone. It is a careful balance like navigating an aircraft through tough turbulent air space, in high winds at times. I have seen me try and I will keep on trying though relationships fail yet they come and go but unconditional love is unconditional!

Trust and believe relationships are like walking a tight rope when you have a past drug history, suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and you are a widower.

Every woman you meet, depending on her issues and my own should meet the plane we’re in, even just for one night; could face some tough turbulence.

I am at this point, about one nighters, whether we agree that just for today; we both can hit it and quit it?

Part of my injury is waking up in some female’s bed and I can’t tell you her name, because for me, I stuck to the agreement it was not about love. It was the holidays. We laughed, joked, drank and agreed to become intimate with no strings attached. No matter how good or bad, we don’t have to wake up as strangers. Though we met in a club on the dance floor or at a buddy’s house over the holidays.

Scenario: Your man has been locked up; you have not felt the touch of anyone since the day before his court date.

Pen pals can’t make the room spin like another brother in the free world.

But for all parties included, we are adults, and I won’t blame the alcohol or drugs we both wanted what we wanted, we just have to accept what comes afterwards.

Consensual is a key word? In hindsight, we both played a part in this drama, cast by the directors of freedom of choice. We are the only mammals in God’s creation that has been given that ability to make our own choices. Yeah, I guess that is what keeps us all sinners begging and pleading for forgiveness and mercy of our Lord and Savior King Jesus.

He loves us and forgives us, we just can’t understand.

My loss of love and empty heart has through anger at my situation, lonely and tired of being alone with my own thoughts during the holidays or functions that I know I would go to.

No matter how you explain that, it takes time to be friends first, but still they want to be romanced via overnight relationship, as if it were a no postage paid Fed ex package.

The next day or sometime later as told by one female, “Cliff, when the novelty wears off, it’s time to go.”

Yes, I was scared from long ago back in the day.  I now see being a boy toy to some of the tenants in West Rittenhouse Square condo, there were all types of predators, both sexes but my fascination, my weakness was not the sex. It was the tip, for just doing something I liked.

Though approached by males, I would only fake the game and if possible get them to ride me to my neighborhood, jump out with money in hand, at a corner where some of the guys were sure to be.

From the residents in the building back then, I’d say I was treated well. I ran to the store for smokes or something other? But inside that center city highrise there were all kinds of people, with all kinds of vices and tricks.

So as this holiday season comes, the ghosts of my past haunt me. But I must be strong. I have had new chances and got back on track. As I receive love in abundance, I must accept love back in return.

So my painful lessons teaches me to love, to be loved but be able to communicate.  Now I can awake and look into the eyes of my loving wife and call her by name, remembering a great many day dreams and episodes of which her name rings out.

By Cliff Williams

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