15 years ago, I escaped a child molester. 15 years later, this evening I paid the final price for that. My left front tooth broke off and fell.
The tooth was decayed, from internal bleeding and infection of years. Only I didn't know, not until recently, when a dentist looked at my discolored tooth and said I had a serious problem.That's when I was taken back to my childhood, to the day of horror when, in escaping the molester, I hit the door. The pain was blinding, as was my shame,anger and embarrassment.
That day, after returning from the dentist's chamber, I found a post by Breese on World Pulse that asked to contribute frontline stories for Peace x Peace. That day I feverishly wrote my story - this story of escaping a rape attempt, of anger, of secret pain and of carrying it within me for a lifetime (in India, 12 years officially described as a lifetime).
The story - was published. Read by some. Commented upon by some. Not read and not seen by many. But it didn't matter.Within me, I won a battle, of dealing with a monster secret and being able to deal with it. http://www.peacexpeace.org/2012/01/sometimes-peace-means-letting-go/
3 months later, this evening, my tooth broke, leaving an ugly, dark, idiotic gap in my gum. I panicked, called my best friend of all seasons, Amrutha who called the dentist who said he was out of town and wouldn't be back till Monday.
Monday. The day I am supposed to travel to Calcutta - the city where my brother lives with his wife and two lovely kids. One of them has her birthday on Wednesday and the family is counting hours for me to arrive. We haven't met for 3 long-years!
I have bought gifts - little, sequined skirts and tiny little cameras for the kids. I have been imagining how their faces would light up to see me. I have been their hero for a while. Now, I have to tell them I won't come and have those faces darkened.
The ground shook under my feet. I don't earn a lot these days. As a freelancer, my earnings are just enough to take care of my bills. Traveling is a luxury for me most of the time. If I cancel my trip now, I have no idea when I can afford to book one again. But cancel I must, because I need to get the tooth fixed - which will cost me a lot of money. Besides, how can I go out in this state?
I felt like an idiot. I moved closer to tears. 'Why me', I thought, for the millionth time in my life, I am not a vile, selfish person. I don't steal. I don't abuse. I don't hurt others knowingly. I am a simple woman, with simple wishes in life: a mouthful of dignity, a living by telling stories of the voiceless, a handful of love and faith. Then, why do all the bad things happen to me?
There were no answers. Then I said goodbye to my friend and opened my computer, desperately wishing to find something- anything distracting - that would help me get away from my sorrow.
Then I read a couple of comments from Rachael and Scott on my Module 5 assignment. And I did something I thought I wouldn't do for weeks: smile. With that wide gap in my gum. It must have looked ugly. But inside, I felt beautiful.
Though a protestant, I often attend masses at Catholic churches. Often, I have knelt down and said, before the communion/Eucharist, '...just say the word and I shall be healed'.
Today I feel that power of the word that came from my colleagues in World Pulse. I feel a healing touch. No, I am not calling you Gods. You don't have to be gods either. But you can - we all can - say a few good words whenever we can, to those around us. You never know, she might be in need of healing! Like I was.