a revisiting of the poem Game
Water guns gently spray,
Laughter circles laughter like
a couple arm-in-arm,
taking a stroll in the starlight.
Patterns rule like royal edicts,
while I run, driven, afraid,
until I try
over the obstacles set as hurdles, these
mental constructs that I have made.
People wait as I soar up and tumble down
into the soft ground awaiting me.
My Reason firm like earth solid beneath me,
a new ideology.
Slowly, slowly, I redefine what these games mean to me, now
apart from the sexual torture my abuser had called "playing" and "fun" and "games"
Although my stomach still knots up at the words "Do you want to play a game?"
I am learning from the inside out that what I experienced at 6 years old was sodomy, abuse,
and sadistic torture; David, my abuser, called it a game to rationalize things that were inhuman.
Games are not abuse. Games teach
hard work that brings forth pride and fun and health,
and a positive spirit that makes one feel good.
So now I know this.
And for the first time I can ever remember, I asked today if someone wanted to play with me.
And she said yes.
And we played, abandoning scores and competition,
building words with tiled letters of a popular board game. These were simple words, with no need to win or impress.
For the first time since I can ever remember, I felt good playing a game with someone else.
My conceptual framework of "game" has been deconstructed and built into something that nurtures the human spirit rather than tear that spirit down. With much professional support, I matched new ideas with new behavior ("Thought:
'I believe games are healthy'; Behavior: I verbalize a request congruent to this thought, I said: 'Do you want to play a game with me?' with the referent being a board game." This behavior made sense because it made my ideology
- real in a bodily sense
- reinforced new thought patterns with positive, verbal interactions
- Reshaped my own cognitive map of where I am relative to others.
I have the language to address an issue of profound emotion in a reasonable way.