Monday, February 27, 2012

Still standing on the corner...

The truth of me is that I am still standing on the corner, stuck in the moment when the pit bull spotted Amos and I.  I knew what was going to happen.  I knew there was no escaping what was to come.

I have not walked Amos since July 12th.  I try looking at the sidewalk heading off in the opposite direction and picture us walking along the block.  I tremble.  I think about snapping on his leash and heading outside.  My stomach churns.  I have tried and tried, once my foot was well enough to venture out in the second walking cast, to walk my beloved puppy dog, but I could not.

Sandra had a good idea: go to Foster Park.  I could drive over, walk just a bit, and scurry back home. She was thinking that people would be much less likely to flaunt leash laws since it is attached to a golf course.  Sandra really does have a good mind.

I, however, do not.

The whole outing was a disaster, one made worse by the knowledge I must try again.  My head was blessedly pain free, so I thought I could try walking just a bit.  I wanted something, anything positive after the past few weeks.  I wanted to accomplish something.  I wanted to move forward in the smallest of ways whilst mired in facing the past. Little did I know the actual walking would be the absolute least of my worries.

While Amos is still no fan of the leash, he did allow me to put it on.  I parked close to a path and then had pick up Amos to force him to leave the car when dragging did not work.  I suppose I did not realize he had already spotted the other dogs in the park.  My poor puppy dog is still very much afraid of other dogs, save for Neighbor Dog.  [I am not all that certain Amos ever realized that the 1.4 lb Chihuahua puppy actually was a dog, rather than some new type of Baby with which he could play.]

As we walked across an expanse of grass toward the path, a group of excited young adults came up behind us, racing each other toward some swings.  Before I knew it, Amos was in my arms, shaking like an aspen leaf in the wind.  I calmed him down, set him back on his own four feet, and we tried this taking a walk again.

Not long on the path, a jogger came up behind me, surprising me, and I screamed in terror.  Amos leapt up again and this time, I had to really struggle to put him down.  I very much wanted to hold him.  When we started walking again, Amos spent more time putting his paws up on my legs trying to get me to pick him up than actually walking.  I was so intent on trying to get him to walk that I failed to notice another jogger, who brushed my body slightly.

I screamed again and fell to the ground shaking and sobbing. Amos crawled in my lap and started licking the tears falling down my face.  Determined to try once more, I reluctantly rose and forced my feet to start moving, fervently hoping the third time would be the charm.  It was not.

A couple being dragged each by a large dog topped the rise and were headed our way before I could think where to flee.  Once again, Amos was in my arms before I knew it, but he didn't stop climbing until he was atop my shoulders, shaking as violently as was I a few moments before.  I stumbled off the path into the woods by the water and waited for the couple to pass.  One of them let go of a dog, which came running toward us, but was caught before it reached us.  My back turned, I had no idea how close we came to a friendly canine encounter.  All I could do was listen to both of them holler at Buster to come back.  For surely I must believe it would have been friendly.  After they had finally passed us, my trembling legs gave way and we both fell to the mud at our feet.  At least I managed to keep Amos atop my body so that he was not covered in mud.

All I wanted to do was have someone rescue us, someone come lead us to the safety of the car and take us back to the haven of our home.  There was no rescue.  I had to reach deep within my Texan roots and pull myself up by my own boot straps.

On the way back, I was openly crying the entire time.  Once he realized we had reversed direction, Amos dragged me back toward the car with every fiber of his being.  I didn't run because I could not.  And even if I could I should not.  At least we had not gone very far at all.  My heart is still far, far too jumpy. Trying to push the unlock button, I dropped my keys six times because my shaking had morphed into violent tremors.  Before I could even finish opening the door, Amos was shimmying his body beneath the door and into the sliver of space so he could crawl into the car.

Back home, Amos jumped up in the GREEN chair and buried himself beneath the three blankets I have been using.  This is the first time I have seen him hide like that.  I joined him.  Ashamed.

Ashamed of my blood curdling screams.
Ashamed of my violent tremors.
Ashamed of my abject terror that lingers still though we are safe back inside.

I tried.  I truly did.  I held out hope over Sandra's idea.  I started with a positive attitude.  I poured on the encouragement after his first set-back.  But I failed.  Utterly.

Whilst still terrified, trembling, and weeping in the GREEN chair, I took Fred's call to read me the first chapter of John.  To me, it seems as if I heard not a single Word, but I know that the Holy Spirit is greater than my PTSD and the Living Word was received.

Hours later, I am struggling to calm down, to step away from the corner.  We are home.  We are safe.  Nothing happened.  Yet my body doesn't seem to know that.  The tears spill forth.  The tremors renew.  The fear washes over me in relentless waves.

And yet I need to do this again.  Amos is a puppy dog.  He needs to be walked, to get exercise.  He also needs to learn that people and dogs are not his enemy.  I suppose I need to learn the same.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~John 1:1-5

I am Yours, Lord.  Save me!


Becky said...

You did not fail. You just did not get as far as you were thought you would.

You drove there. You tried. That is enough. You did not fail.

ftwayne96 said...

Yes, I think I understand, in some small way, how you must be feeling, what your thoughts are concerning all this. And I hope I'm not being overly pious in my being reminded of Romans 10:11 - "For as the Scripture says, 'The one who believes on Him shall not be put to shame.' " By no means am I trying to diminish the overwhelming intensity of what you describe as the horror of your experience. In my own clumsy way I'm endeavoring to say that the triumph of Christ ultimately encompasses triumph over everything that oppresses and terrifies his beloved people -- even ferocious, ravenous pit bulls.