Yesterday, a man took the gift of my writing and twisted it into something shameful.
He intruded into my home and stole my peace of mind.
He took liberties with my open heart and bent my good will.
Though his was mild in comparison to other criminal acts, our short phone conversation nevertheless turned my world sideways.
He called under the guise of seeking a life coach.
Looking out my window, I inquired about his weather before I asked how I could help.
“I’d like a spanking,” he said.
I didn’t realize just how much shame lie behind that door to my childhood. Aladdin’s Lamp is the poem that attracted the likes of the intruder to my parenting site.
After I hung up the phone, I removed my number from my coaching blog, burned the client paper I had begun to fill out; and deleted his morning message from my answering machine.
But he was still there.
So I called the police. Really. Even though he was 1,000 miles away.
I asked the dispatcher if there was some procedure for this kind of thing. She didn’t know, but she said she’d have an officer call me back.
I wanted him accountable, I said. I didn’t want him terrorizing others with his easy, splintering act.
The intruder never called again, but the police officer did, and others; and each time the phone rang, my body tightened.
Such a simple intrusion and I feel suspect of all men. Even when my son’s friend on the other end of the line.
A massage therapist tells me that she had to stop taking male clients because of the calls she would get.
I feel sad.
Today I get an invitation to join the Women’s Chorus to sing at the celebration of the Women’s Crisis Center in Brattleboro, now renamed the Women’s FREEDOM Center. I realize how little I know of the “crisis” of being abused. I realize how much “freedom” I’ve had.
But I am a woman, and I have experienced physical intimidation by those bigger and stronger than me, beginning with my father and that first spanking. Which makes it confusing that I want to crawl up into his lap and cry.
Maybe I’ll get a dog after all. A big one. With lots of fur, and weight.
I force myself out of the house to yoga. It’ll be good for me, even if I do want to hide beneath the covers.
The next morning, I wake to the migraine that was threatening, and find myself incapacitated. At the half-day, I take a shower and plan to drag myself to work, but after the police officer calls again, I go back to bed, fully dressed.
I could remove every piece of me from this web, but I won’t. The gift of writing and connection is too precious not to share–even in the face of such a robbery.
When the officer rings his door bell, I hope he squirms, and then I hope he gets some help.
After he asked for a spanking, I suggested a therapist, and then I hung up.
Kelly Salasin, 1/11/11