Todd Fuqua - 8th grade graduation

Remembering Trust

“To remember your trusting vantage is to remember life is in your favor, you are in your favor. It is to remember there are no wrong choices and that all is conspiring to bring you into love.” ~Sarah Blondin

Sarah Blondin – (listen to the full guided meditation on Insight Timer)

12 years ago tomorrow, I left early from work to come home to my empty house in Greenfield, IN. I was recently single, and my life was spiraling out of control. I had a regular buddy over to get stoned and high and fuck. He was younger than me, and we had hung out several times. I had a crush. He was using me for the drugs. And I was ok with that at the time.

In the weeks and months leading up to December 21, 2009, I struggled with my demons. I often left myself voice recordings in the dark of night. I knew I’d either get help or die. (Spoiler alert: I lived.)

It took another 9 years before I started to love myself enough to finally put down the pipe. At 50, I was still using people, places & things to find validation. Today, I still use people, place & things to find validation. But, more and more, I see my own beauty, my value, my purpose. I started looking inward for answers, largely because so many other people, places and things had let me down. In searching, I found my own Truth. I know. More clichés. And I’m ok with that.

Trauma, Severed Relationships & Attachment Styles

Last year, a dear friend challenged me to ask “why did I pick up in the first place?” I put my therapist on notice and we dug deeper. We started digging more into trauma, attachment styles and my fears around sex & intimacy.

I’ve come to understand that a lot of my attachment issues stem from early childhood. I was bullied as a young kid because I was different. I stuttered. I sounded like a girl until I hit puberty late in 9th grade. I rode a short bus to a gifted and talented program. I liked to dress up but had no fashion sense – so I got doubly-teased for that.

When I was 10, my dad got a third job transfer – this time to Canada. So I was moved from Baton Rouge, Louisiana – where I was born and raised – to Sarnia, Ontario, with my southern accent and stunted development. I was teased so much that one of the teachers Mr. Rogers took me under his wing. He had me help out keeping stats for the basketball team. He helped me fit in.

When we moved to Canada, it was only supposed to be for 2 years – then we were moving back to Baton Rouge to the house where I grew up. I didn’t say good-bye to my childhood friends – just “see you later.”

Two other things happened to me in Sarnia that traumatized me further.

First, our house in Baton Rouge caught fire the first winter we were away. The house was gutted. My parents were gutted. They decided for us, as parents do, that we were not moving back to Louisiana. Quite literally, my first friendships as a young boy were cut off. Severed.

That old line “This is not a good-bye, but a see you soon” wore thin as I grew older. This was probably the first trauma I can recall. Like a snowball rolling down hill, more and more piled on, contributing to what I now understand to be complex PTSD.

Second, I became more of an outlier and runt. I was testing out of 6th grade english and maths. So the powers that be – teachers, counselors, parents – decided it would be best for me to skip a grade. Intellectually, great idea. Socially, not so much.

I left for my first Summer break in Canada having completed 6th grade and ready for 7th grade — but started back in the Fall as an 8th grader. My initial friendships as a young boy were cut off. Not as severely. But, it was socially awkward to say the least. A Gemini June-baby, I was already small for my grade. Now I was really a runt.

Compensating with Accomplishments

I compensated by throwing myself into my studies & extracurricular activities. I found self-worth in my accomplishments. We moved to New Jersey for my high school years. The first year I was there, I got the lead in Oliver!, the musical. Looking back, I know I got it because I was a runt and hadn’t yet hit puberty, so I could hit the high notes of “Where is love?” I knew then I was gay, even though I didn’t have words for it. I knew that love would be hard to come by, even at the young age.

This year, I’ve come to understand that these experiences, along with many others as I grew into my mid-20’s, would leave me with an avoidant attachment style. That kernel of insight and self-knowledge has already started me on a path to more secure relationship styles. But more on that later.

I digress.

Remembering Trust. Choosing How to Live.

I try not to dwell too much on the past 9 years. I feel like I wasted time with bad choices – unhealthy choices – choices that took me further away from self, from love.

This meditation from Sarah Blondin has become an anchor this year, helping me to trust a different Truth. My younger self has been making choices to protect himself, out of love for himself. Even when that involved drugs, sex and prostitution – I was trying desperately to heal the severed relationships, grieve the losses, and live with greater integrity, connection & abundance.

For each step, each movement and action will come together to create the beautiful paradox that is life.

We compound our suffering by looking too closely at the thing that is causing us pain. We forget that soon a revelation will come from this very place – that these painful spots and choices are often where growth comes to break us open into something larger – something more loving, more purposeful in being in body.

If you have lost hope, if you feel you have landed yourself in a landscape of ravaged earth and drought, where you are sure your heart has left your chest – please just rest and hush now. You have but try again. Just choose again. Choose anything but remaining complacent in your pain. Choose anything other than running from your moments and your self.

When we escape ourselves, it is because we feel too ashamed, too broken, to look in our own eyes — too with the unraveling of all that we hold as dear. We are so afraid of the thunder and lightening clapping at our heels that we keep running from ourself. When really, the storm has come to wash us clean – come to quench the drought – come to feed our earth.

Sarah Blondin – Insight Timer

Thanks for listening. Keep tellin’ the story.

Signed ever faithfully,

The Right Reverend Lord C Todd Peacock III

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I see life as full of possibilities and the world full of beautiful people possessing unique and often untapped talents. I’m a learner and connector, seeking ways to leverage the abundance in this world through strong community.

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