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Xavier Perez-Pons

Some mysteries of my life

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Xavier Perez-Pons
It happened when I was nine years old. It turns out that I embarked with my classmates on a scheduled excursion to enjoy a day in Nature. The place where the bus school left us was a large lawn with picnic tables and attractions for children. I remember a spring of limpid water frequented by the people of the environment because of its healthy properties. However, what attracted me the most was the dense forest that flanked the meadow and climbed up the mountain. So, moving away from the ball-shaped missiles that were already beginning to swarm through the air, I slunk down a path that went into the forest. I certainly enjoyed my venturing into that exuberant plant and mineral kingdom that so few times had had occasion to tread until then.
But the afternoon began to fall, and so the hour of return approached. So I undertook a rapid descent in the course of which I lost myself. I understood that I was descending the wrong slope, and I was scared. I got so scared that I knelt down and, putting my hands together, I started praying. I had not finished yet when I heard footsteps approaching. I got up ipso facto and then I saw three or four young people appear among the trees, descending peacefully down the slope. Kindly they asked me if I was returning to the bus school, and in response to my affirmative answer, they told me to follow them. On the way, they asked me if I had been kneeling praying when they found me, but I felt ashamed and I denied it. We arrived at the lawn just as my companions were starting to get on the buses. You can not imagine the relief and joy I felt! No one had noticed my absence, and when I wanted to thank my saviors, I could not find them. I remember how, from the window of the bus, I looked unsuccessfully at the contours in their search...main-qimg-1d061a7f54465227d08b47ce21d89831

Three years ago I was diagnosed with a disease I had suffered since I was a child but which I did not know it was a disease. I simply suffered from it believing that it was part of my way of being. This disease is called "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder" (OCD for friends). When my mind is not occupied in something, it chooses to imagine terrible scenarios, that cause me panic because I judge them possible. I know it only depends on my will. But unfortunately my will has its own opinion about it and it seems not to depend completely on me. As a child, I imagined with terror that I was unable to walk ... and was paralyzed. If I heard about the dangers of rising blood pressure, I panicked and I myself caused a rise in tension. At school, I imagined being rejected by my classmates, and unconsciously, unable to avoid it, I managed to make myself unbearable in their eyes. When I think of any risk, I put all my effort to provoke the damage I fear. I thought that I should hate myself for some mysterious reason and that I wanted to kill myself.

By the end of my studies, this state of affairs had simply become unbearable. I could not live like this for the rest of my life, I told myself, and I thought it would be convenient to shorten it as much as possible. I was (and still am within my limitations) a devout Christian, and suicide was a great sin, I believed. However, after a fierce internal struggle, despair won the battle. At that time I was studying Law, but I found it insipid, and since I had been very fond of reading and writing since I was a child (it was the subterfuge I found to avoid my uncontrollable self-destructive thoughts), I decided to give myself one last chance on behalf of that hobby of mine. I talked to God, as I used to, and I said "Look, I can not stand it anymore; if you don't give me an incentive to live, I'll give up." And then I remembered the literary contest I had participated in recently, and I did something terrible: I "blackmailed" God, I gave Him an ultimatum: "If I win that contest", I said, "I will have an incentive to keep fighting". In the meantime, I began to make preparations for my discreet leaving through the back door, because I had no hope of winning. But I won. And that, you know, was for me an epiphany, it was like the confirmation that, when I "spoke" to God, I did not speak alone. When one "discovers" that God exists, he feels himself with the strength to fight against everything, even against himself if he is against him.

So that was the turning point. The conversations with God became more frequent and coincidences began to happen that would be risky to attribute to chance. Among them, the one that struck me the most was encountering the girl I had met ten years ago, when I was about thirteen years old and my sister came home in the company of a classmate, a girl whom I fell in love with at first sight. I was on a bus in Barcelona when I saw her in the distance; she was leaving the Seminary, the college where the future priests study. Days later I learned that she was preparing to become a nun and that this was her vocation since she was a child. I did not want to interfere, because one's vocation is something too important and beautiful to spoil it. What I did do is take the train every Sunday to attend mass in the monestery where she was doing the novitiate. I just wanted to see her from afar, discreetly (the nuns sat in the first benches). But something unexpected happened. She noticed me. And a kind of communication without words was established between us. For a few months, Sunday after Sunday, we were bound together by a complex web of glances... until my disease, not diagnosed yet, came out afloat again. I was inspired by the fear to spoil that subtle relation based on a dialectic play of glances. And the inevitable happened: I lost control of the expression in my eyes (which for so many weeks had supplanted our speech). She resented it. Our relation was put in shame by the elder nuns, and I was asked to stop attending the Sunday convent, which I did as soon as the message arrived. This happened more than twenty years ago and, although I have learned about her from indirect sources, I have not seen her since then. But I do hope to meet her again in Heaven because ... Maybe you have read that wonderful novel by Dickens called "David Copperfield". The young David is in love, fantasizes about marrying one of the beautiful women with whom he begin to be acquainted. But he can not forget little Emily, whom he fell in love with years ago: "I am sure I have loved that girl in a more true and tender way, with greater purity and more selflessly than I could say of the best love of a later time in life." Well, here you have why I hope to reencounter my love of adolescence in Heaven. Because on Earth this reencounter is forbidden, and, the same as David Copperfield, I have the certainty of not being able to love any other woman in the same way that I love her.

 

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rashore

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