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The Bricks: A Traumatic Parable

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Sweat poured down my face. Gravity was merciless. Tightness visited every joint. Every brick brought me closer. My hands throbbed. I was so close. Dirt covered everything. This was much more than I’d bargained for. Finally, I tossed the last brick in. Everything was so heavy. I thought I could handle it. I thought wrong. I reached up to tilt the bricks. When the bricks gave, I knew that I was in trouble. Turning around, I tried to get out from under the falling bricks. I didn’t. I slammed to the ground. Pain shot through my nervous system. I knew my ankle and my knee were hurt bad. I worried that I’d broken my leg. However, I didn’t have much time to think too much about all of that…I had to get out. Though collected, I was scared. Two of my young sons saw it all. One of them went to work lifting bricks off of me and the other ran to get my wife. Brick by brick, I tried to get out from under the mound. No matter how many bricks I moved, I couldn’t seem to move enough fast enough. Everybody joined in. It seemed to be of little use. I was stuck for a long time. Eventually, I was freed. I could barely walk. I hobbled into the kitchen and collapsed. I didn’t walk for multiple days. Even though much time has past, I still have trouble bending my knees. What would’ve happened if I’d got out sooner? I can’t spend too much time there.

 

I was stuck.

 

I was really stuck.

 

I’m stuck.

 

Trauma holds us down. We can’t leave that space. Even though I got out, those bricks have been on top of me ever since they hit. While irrational, I’m convinced that it’s going to happen again. The bricks haunt me.

 

I was stuck.

 

I’m stuck.

 

This won’t be the last time.

 

I’m alive.

 

I’m stuck.

 

I’m alive.

 

Amen.

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