When you deal with childhood abuse, fear becomes sewn into your being. It was no different for me. Since my abuser was a man, and I witnessed many men beat women into hospitals, my fear was justifiable. For years, certain appearances gave me chills and a racing heart. Tall men, bearded men, and a certain smell I can’t pinpoint but only recognize. Then there were phrases, or words, like Vietnam, or motorcycle club that angered me. As a child, I retreated into my mind and the created alternative reality where I was safe.
But there was one face, one voice, one smile that comforted me. I called him Uncle Phil because everyone else did (he was their uncle). He laughed with love, hugged with love, and something about his presence made me feel safe. I thought he was the most handsome man in the whole world. He had blue eyes and a soft demeanor.
I was blessed to recognize kindness at a young age. I could see the spirit of kindness or evil early on. Even before I knew what that meant, I was gifted with discernment I wouldn’t comprehend until later in life. While a gift, it was exhausting. I could see what others couldn’t, which meant I lived alone in that fear with no escape.
I look back and know it was a tough road. I see Jesus in more spaces than I did then. I thought they were never there, but I know I was never alone. I used to think “Why did God allow this.” Evil wants nothing to do with God, and we have free will in this world. Combine evil with free will, and you get evil acts. I know God tried to reach that man. Oh how he tried. Satan’s hold was strong.
I have a serious face, wish I could soften that. I have a heart that people see and a kind, loving Spirit. I can’t release the protective barriers I erected years ago. I used to feel bad about that, but God helped me build them for a reason. He gave me Uncle Phil to know in the midst of my terror, there were kind people and he wanted me to be able to recognize it, because one day fear would cease and I would be able to see beauty. Kindness is beauty.