One of the most difficult things that a father can go through is to watch his child suffer from a merciless affliction. The one that met with my daughter and I was the disorder of bulimia nervosa. It was something that I was very familiar with. Having a wife who struggled for many years with a similar condition, I knew how relentless this disease could be. But now this demonic nightmare took on a new form and somehow inhabited the body of my 15 year old baby. After I did everything that I knew how to, little changed. It was then that my wife and I chose to pursue medical treatment.
One of the most heart-wrenching days of my life was when my little girl and I boarded a plane to admit her into a residential treatment center known as Avalon Hills in Utah. It would take too many words and pages to describe the heartache that I felt that day as I kissed her good-bye.
While we were parted, I'd write her each day, yet phone calls were only allowed once per week for ten minutes. It was about into the seventh week that I felt such strong sense that my God wasn't going to disappoint me - He was going to deliver my little girl from this cruel hellish affliction. I had been discouraged up to that point, but something happened unusual one early morning. The Lord deeply visited me with a clear vision that opened up like a scroll before my eyes. As I was witnessing this picture of events, I began to take notes and write. After about an hour, this poem that I've entitled Escaping Myself was birthed into existence.
By Ron Marinari
Voices of perfection leave me alone
Uninvited guests all unknown
Making promises that they canít keep
Subtle changes, disturbing my sleep
Make believe images move into my head
Posing as friends but enemies instead
When all is quiet, they suddenly roar
Iím tired of fighting this meaningless war
Pain and suffering all for a Ďglanceí
Laughter muted, no more dance
Tears and warnings all go unheard
Truth and lies mixed and blurred
Victims are slain by empty plates
Prisoners bow down at bathroom gates
Where is my freedom, where is the key?
Unlock my mind so I can flee
Donít want to be punished Ė a permanent slave
Cries of bondage digging a grave
Self-mutilation, releasing the pain
Thoughts of darkness fill my brain
Someone interrupt, someone step in
Is this even possible, knowing my skin?
I want to be free and know this no more
Where is the innocence that once lived before?
Then without warning and without trace
Softly I woke to a moment of grace
Eyes wide opened and able to see
His hand in mine returning the key
Ancient and rusted gripped in my hand
Knees become strengthened, starting to stand
Is this a dream Ö breathless moment of hope?
Faith returning, vision to cope
Voices familiar are running away
Down on my knees starting to pray
How do I get the courage to run?
Towards the door to see the sun
Narrow and tall, can I fit through?
Yes I can this is my clue
Open this door of hell and shame
Secrecy, restraint, abuse and blame
Now is my chance, now is my time
Saying good-bye to this girlish crime
God is watching and standing up
In his hand a golden cup
Filled with something I know is mine
Time has stopped and this is divine
Sipping his cup, and using this key
Will the door open and set me free?
Closing my eyes and saying a prayer
Iím lifted up into the air
Weightless suspension without any size
Filled on the inside to my surprise
At the door where my eyes now see
Godís hand in mine taking the key
Together we place it within the hole
Will the lock open, igniting my soul?
The handle turns, a deafening sound
Chains are severed, Iím no longer bound
Light and sun force my head to turn
Old shadows and pictures start to burn
Shattering scales that once kissed my feet
Forcing their image Ė numbers of deceit
Breaking in pieces, they all melt away
No longer the master of what I shall weigh
Stepping through the door so safe and new
Different this time, I know itís true
His voice polite, kind and alive
My body stops trembling as we arrive
Walking away, He holds my hand
Whispers of love, prints in the sand
Waters are talking as they cover my feet
His words reassuring, that Iím complete
My soul being fed by my lover above
Secrets He speaks soak me with love
I feel so full and yet donít care
His food so weightless, my fear not there
Now I can live and love me once more
Look back one last time at the open shut door
In love with peace and in love with rest
My heart now beating no longer depressed
If He can love me, and do all this
Filling my spirit and emotions with bliss
Then I will continue to walk this road
Never to carry my own heavy load
Who would have thought that this day would come?
After years of torture and becoming numb
Feelings so bright and passion returned
Because of a promise that I once learned
It all came true, He pulled me out
From senseless fears and perennial doubt
Free to look at myself and grin
No longer a victim of Ďjust being thiní
Thank God that the story ended well, my daughter is free!