Douglas Howard

Trauma (part 2), by Doug Howard

In my previous posting I relayed a personal traumatic experience which occurred in March, 2018 when I first arrived to this location. The trauma I experienced then opened up the door to some repressed memories of previous trauma I had experienced over the span of my life, very serious incidents the likes of which are extremely difficult to contemplate. Even now, as I write this I am anxious, my heart races, my blood pressure has increased and my palms are sweaty. It is my hope and prayer that sharing my experiences in writing in this forum will assist me in my efforts to heal and progress in life as I have been suffering so much from these memories and their side effects I have actually prayed that my life would end if the pain persists. I do not believe that is what the Heavenly Father wants for me.
The first traumatic experience I now recall occured in my early teens. I cannot be precise on the dates. I enjoyed very much the local arcades. My favorite was located on Lakeside Drive in Lynchburg. A kind, older gentleman and his daughter owned and operated the establishment. As I recall Dad, my sister and I frequented the arcade a couple of evenings a week. We were favorites of the owner as well as he would give my father, sister and I extra tokens to play the games. This was a blessing to Dad because we were not even close to wealthy. Mother and father both worked full time, Dad during the day while my sister and I were in school and Mom in the evenings while Dad was home with us. We would visit my grandmother who lived just one block or so from the arcade then we would visit the arcade for an hour or so of fun. Dad enjoyed the pinball machines and was quite good. I played Pacman and Excitabike, a motorcycle game, as well as others. More often than not Dad would end up having a conversation with the owner of the business, as he was very friendly and likable, before we left. I suppose I enjoyed those evenings so much because I was able to spend some quality time with Dad as I was ill a great deal in those days, as I have written about in previous postings, having such difficulties as constant upper respiratory problems such as asthmatic bronchitis, pneumonia, and other illnesses which kept me in the hospital a considerable amount of time during my formative years as I was growing up. Mom was constantly by my side during those events as she was allowed to miss work while I was hospitalized and Dad worked continually at the Lynchburg Foundry, very laborious work which kept him quite busy.
Eventually the kind, older man suffered health issues himself and decided to sell the business and move to Florida. Before he left his introduced us to the new owner.
We continued to frequent the establishment even with the absence of the older, kind man who was a pleasure to be around. The new owner was younger than the previous owner, whom had a wife and daughters who were occasionally seen at the arcade.
The new owner soon sold the Likeside Drive address and moved to a new location off of Wards Road. The new location was a little larger which afforded the new owner more room for games. About once a week Dad would take my sister and I to eat on the Wards Road area then we would go to the new location to play some video games.
One evening the new owner asked if I would like to help him move some arcade games from his house to the new location. There was pay with the work as I recall, so I asked Dad if I could go and he agreed. The first time I went with the new owner he had me help move a game from basement to the new location. There were times when Dad would drop me off at the new location and he would go shopping or run an errand. On one of these evenings the new owner took me to the basement of his house but there was no game to move. His invited me in to watch a video. The movie was a photographic video and for a kid my age that fascinated me but I felt uncomfortable watching the video with another person. The next time I went with the new owner he sexually assaulted me. This happened on several occasions and it was always precipitated with the watching of the video.
As I have mentioned previously these memories are painful. I cannot tell when I lost these memories as these came back to me, as well as other traumatic memories in and out of confinement, when I was assaulted in my cell in March 2018. I have nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety as well as other issues related to the traumatic experiences over the years. There have been times over the last year or so that the pain and adverse effects of what I have experienced have been so difficult to bear that I have asked my Heavenly Father to end my life. It is so very difficult intering my cell knowing I will be locked in with another person. Who is this person? What are his motives? Am I safe? What will I need to do to protect myself? My sleep is rare at night as the dreams and thoughts of possible a repeat of the March 2018 event and the attack I suffered at Red Onion State Prison in 2000 which I have not explained yet. My days are long and I am tired a great deal. There is no real rest I this environment. I trust in God but my faith must not be strong enough as I daily struggle with the aforementioned issues of the trauma I have suffered. I wonder when this will all end. Now I have learned that my mother has been diagnosed with lung and lymph node cancer. All of this weighs heavy on my mind and heart. I suppose this is understandable. My next post I will attempt to relate the 2000 event, if I can. All of what I have shared has been difficult to reveal to the public. I do this in an effort to begin some healing in what life I have left, if that is at all possible. I have entered a Trauma and Resilience class taught here by the psychology dept. which I hope will help. I long for freedom this environment which will eventually come.

Doug Howard
DOC #1051074

Categories: Douglas Howard

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