Just in case you didn’t know, you have never seen a picture of Batman and me together.
I have had a lot of fun with that line.
I have had times when Casey was convinced I was Batman and Kyle was Robin the Boy Wonder. At other times, he believed I had a Power Ranger suit hid somewhere in the house.
There is a lot to be said for identities, secret or otherwise.
There is even more to be said for an identity that is accurate, real, and not dependent on the perceptions of others or even your own self-misperception.
Most of us know how to put on masks that hide our true selves from others. And most of us know how to convince our own hearts and minds that what we want others to see is really what we are.
Occasionally, when we aren’t doing what others want or expect they will see either what they want to see or fabricate something to help them understand what they can’t quite grasp.
Some months after Karen and Cole’s murders, I was still pretty vacant. I wasn’t there in a lot of ways. I didn’t like being around other couples because I felt out of place. Social settings were extremely hard. But somehow somebody got the very false impression that I was out every night with a different woman (at that point I had been on no dates whatsoever). I was told my wild social partying lifestyle–nonexistent as it was–had turned me into the town creep.
At least they got me to laugh.
But the truth is a bit harder to handle.
I had lost so much of me. I didn’t know who or what I was.
It wouldn’t have mattered what the church did or didn’t do. No one person or two hundred could undo what was done. There was no finger to point, no blame to share other than the obvious stealer of lives.
My anger and disappointment and feelings were just that. They were mine and they were born out of my grief, pain, and struggle. Were they accurate portrayals of exact truth? Or were they just how I felt logically or not? Probably some where in the middle lies objective truth.
I have no real interest in lining up all the rights and wrongs into neat tidy little columns.
I would hate to see how long, wide, and big my wrong list would be. I made plenty of mistakes, wore my feelings on my sleeves, and in my anger was looking for a fight–those are now easily recognizable outlets for all the hurt inside.
So the point of writing this blog isn’t to make anybody angry, mad, or feeling like they need to defend themselves. Selfishly, this blog is about me and my journey of discovery, my tentative forays into finding a deeper faith, maybe for the very first time.
It is about acknowledging how deep and dark my despair was.
I wasn’t tempted to swallow a bunch of pills. I didn’t see any solace in the bottom of a bottle. I had no desire to eat the barrel of one of my guns.
But I could do anger, resentment, bitterness, and real or imagined slight. Dump truck loads at a time!
At this point I am still uncertain how to separate reality and perception.
And I am not throwing stones at old friends and family. No doubt they could throw some back.
I will forever be grateful to Doyle & Melissa for giving us a place to stay during that first week. They were caregivers like nobody else could have been.
And Lonny and Twila? Who gives up two expensive burial plots? My memory is faded, but I think Don and Jan gave up one too. How do you say thanks for giving me a place to bury my wife and son?
Then there was Doug. Always there, always faithful. A true and forever friend.
There are really too many kindnesses and people to mention. Please do not feel slighted.
So if I have sounded ungrateful, didn’t mean to…
If I have come across angry, well I meant that. I do have some anger to let go of and I am working on it. Part of that process is this blog.
If you feel the need to extend me some grace, thanks… I am trying myself to learn how to do the same.
Back to Batman… I could only wish my real name was Bruce Wayne. I do kind of look like him, don’t I? (Please leave my fantasy intact–be nice)
However, on October 10, 2011, I lost my identity.
I lost who I really was.
I lost who I thought I was.
I lost who I thought I would become and always be.
Over time I began questioning and doubting and in the process lost who I thought I was with God.
I have reached a place where I don’t think God has completely abandoned me.
I do however have huge unanswered questions about where he was that day, what he was thinking, and why he couldn’t have stopped a murderous jerk before he did his evil business.
I have identity issues, but we are working on them.
Happy Valentines Day to my extraordinarily beautiful and sweet wife who reminds me minute by minute that I am loved and my life has redeemable value.
I love you, Becki! Thank you for willingly walking this road with me.