What We Leave Behind

By J . . .

It was a bright and sunny morning the day I heard the neighbor yelling on the porch. I squinted my eye open. She was a loud woman and usually talked at a high volume but this was fear tinged. My blood ran cold. What was this? She grew quiet. Did she leave?
Bang! My bedroom door slams open. My dad is there, a large man. You get your a** in the kitchen now some people want to ask you some questions.

I shuffle in. There is two women and standing with them are there kids, 1 each. I knew immediately that this was what I feared it was.

The days that tumbled by felt like a horrible nightmare. The police interrogations, the time away from school, the confinement to school and moms house exclusively. It was all so much. My life was unraveling around me because I had done something very bad. We can skip all that. Not a single person wants to read the details of that horrible thing. No, in fact I owe it to my victims and the lives I took from them in their youth to not speak of it. Indeed the me that died that day that me needs to stay as the dust I have made him. That school age version of me died and became dust and shall remain as dust.

Twelve years of transformation is a long time. Indeed 20 years later and I still cant believe all that has been left behind.

What do we leave behind?

Each of us leaves something as part of our past. We leave a life that was a mess in many ways. You hear all the time. Some didn’t some still stew in that soup. That is not good.

What do we leave behind?

We leave behind our past self. Our daemons. Our addictions. Our immoral predilections. We leave those things in that dust that is the past. We throw it from the car, flip that top town and burn rubber into the sunset. We snap on our sunglasses and turn our eyes to the road ahead and away from the rear view. Our past self left sitting on its rump on the white line of the road. Bruised and sad looking. We leave it to starve and wonder the desert for eternity.

Why must we do this?
Because we owe it to everyone.
All the work that people do for a better life for us on the registry. The men and women who have died in prison fighting for legal victories that come at a hard cost. The victims we have created and who must now walk through life chased by the shadows of the daemons we summoned onto them.
Our families who endured both anger at us and anxiety for what would become of us.
We owe it to them.

We leave behind our past hurts, our wrongs, our mess. We have that behind for a future we are not ashamed of.

2 thoughts on “What We Leave Behind

  1. Your words are haunting and brave. I agree you are not and should not be defined by the worst moments and decisions in your life. The life you have now, weaved with acknowledgement, sorrow, forgiveness, gratitude, and hope are the all indicators of growth and enlightenment – it’s what we all strive to do as humans. I agree with the previous post; keep using your voice, it must be heard. And I too pray for a fulfilling future for you.

  2. J,
    What a brave recount of ownership for past mistakes. But more importantly, that you know that your identity does not lie in the past, but only by how you make your life better by forgiving yourself, acknowledging the pain caused and by being part of change. Change in you. I was a victim. But I believe that all are valuable and can be redeemed from their mistakes. Keep using your voice. It needs to be heard. I pray for a good future for you.

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