Yesterday I was on “Implode Mode.”
I was overwhelmed
and unsure what to do.
All those emotions
that I habitually
keep bottled up?
Were about to come
like a Mentos in a
2 litre bottle of Coke.
I had no idea what to do…
I just knew that I didn’t like
what I was feeling
and I needed it to go away.
That stretchy/something’s got to give feeling
had me seeking out people to pray.
I haven’t been connecting with my friends
at all lately.
Isolating myself has been easier than
I sought out a friend.
who has become less of a
colleague and more of a friend
with each passing day.
I asked her to pray.
I didn’t say much.
But she heard me.
She didn’t even pray
right then and there, but I knew she would.
And in the wee hours of the morning,
I got my answer.
God answered me.
To confirm it I emailed some friends
Over the years I’ve been in the
habit of sending up “Prayer Flares”
much like a survivor lost at sea would do:
fire off a flare gun hoping to be rescued.
I never have to say much in these flares.
Sometimes all I’ve written was,
“Help. Please pray.”
But my friends have always been
faithful to pray and not pry for
details that I am unable or unwilling
My closest friends here my cry
and they pray.
And then I sit back
and wait for God
to do the heavy lifting.
God answers prayers.
Maybe not in the way we hope or expect…
But he always answers.
The earlier answer I’d received
was fine tuned throughout
the day as my friends prayed.
I KNEW my friends were praying for me
and I KNEW that God was answering
the prayers of many.
That lifted my mood
even if most of my circumstances
God answers prayers…
but he’s not Burger King.
I cannot always “have it my way”
with the convenience
of a fast food drive through.
He will answer in HIS time
according to HIS will.
and I have to believe that he will.
Today, I had another talk with that
frolleague. (Friend + Colleague?? Ok. Maybe not)
She didn’t just listen today.
She’s not a receptacle for all of my drama.
We had a two way conversation
where we both talked about things that are
creating stress for us.
We affirmed our friendship and
our total faith that God is in control.
This did more for us than all the advice
in the world could ever do
although the time for advice may come.
Right now? I’d dark outside.
I’m hungry not angry.
Rice is simmering in the rice cooker
waiting to be joined by my good friend
The Coke bottle is not going to explode tonight
and I’m not even worried about tomorrow.
Prayers of the many made sure of that.
When I was a Rhetoric major at Berkeley, I wrote a paper that scared the crap out of one of my Instructors. I titled it, “Suicide Is Painless” after the old theme song to that show M*A*S*H. It was a rather dark paper when I baldly stated that I didn’t think I’d live to see thirty. By that point, my mental illness was in full swing. I thought about suicide all the time. I attempted suicide twice. I didn’t really want to die, but it seemed like the only way to get the pain to stop. Living in my own skin was painful. I couldn’t control it and I couldn’t explain it. I just wanted my life to go away and take the pain with it. I kept thinking that I’d find a painless sure fire way to do it… one that even I couldn’t screw up. I didn’t want to end up a vegetable on life support.
There were a couple of attempted suicides while I was at Cal. One young disabled woman tossed herself off a building. She landed on somebody. It made all the papers. That seemed like such a horrible way to go but I did think about it. As an RA in the dorms I had the keys to the roof. I’d go up there and dare myself to jump. I’d stand on the ledge feeling like a coward for not being able to do it. I’d slink to my dorm room and drink cheap booze trying to make the feelings go away.
The suicidal ideation went away when I had my hysterectomy in 2010, but the thoughts that made me want to end it never have. To this day I cannot explain what goes in my head and all the well meaning advice won’t make it go away. It makes me feel crazy even though I’m not. Lately the dark thoughts have been building. God and I, we’ve been having conversations about death. For the record, I am not suicidal. I do not want to die. My life still hurts and I cannot understand how to live in my skin, but I persevere through life because it’s what Christians are supposed to do. My thoughts are more long term. Every day I get up and put on my pants one leg at a time. I go to work and pedal as fast as I can. I put on my “normal” face because for eight hours I can hold it together and look as normal as everybody else. And I will continue to do this until I’m a lot older. That is the conversation I have with God. I’ve got no immediate plans to kill myself, but I do not doubt that my life will end in suicide. Eventually. Unless God steps in and does something to hot wire my faith… I see no other outcome for my life and arguing with me won’t change this. But I give it a good 25-30 years. The things in my life that hurt? Cannot be fixed by man. Have I turned a blind eye to any of the good in my life? Not at all… but the presence of good does not eliminate the bad.
That’s one mistake people make. Assuming that the face they see is the real face. Just because a depressed person is able to acknowledge the good doesn’t mean the darkness isn’t still dark. All weekend I was free to grapple with God on this issue. Rumbling around in my empty life… I don’t have to pretend when I come home that I’m ok. God knows that I’m not. Being able to be real with him about THIS is what keeps me alive because most people can’t handle the real me… but God can. He doesn’t run from me or what I think or what I feel. I KNOW that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for me. I KNOW that the Holy Spirit is interceding for me in groans that defy words. It was their prayers that sustained me this weekend.
Which brings me to today. After having three very emotionally miserable days wondering if Maui was going to be devastated by hurricanes, my house held fast. I may seem faithless, but my faith is actually rather strong. I may have Bipolar Disorder… but the disorder is not me. Me? I want that abundant life Jesus promised. So, this morning, I got up. I put my pants on one leg at at time and went to work. By day’s end every button I have had been mashed and I just wanted to scream. Then I heard about Robin Williams. I was shocked. It’s when the happy ones off themselves that people should pause and take stock of their loved ones. If I had killed myself at any point over the last few years, it wouldn’t have surprised most people. I have a dark personality. His death makes me appreciate my life. It doesn’t change anything in my life but it makes me wish that there’d been people to listen to him and pray for him. All his fame and his wealth… his friends, family, and fans… none of that could save him. I do not know what his particular dragons were, but after a long life depression got the final word.
I do not want depression to have the final word in my life.
God, if he is truly the God whom I’ve worshiped and followed and loved and serve for all these years, must have the final word if my life on earth is to have had any meaning at all. The omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent LORD of Heaven and Earth has got to start speaking to me louder than Depression because when he does… everything will change. Robin finally got tired of pedaling faster. Today the world that loved him mourns. It didn’t have to be this way. I believe without doubt that prayer changes things, but it is not the depressed person who needs to “pray more.” It is the people who profess to love them… the people who are closest to them… the ones who can pray without being sucker punched by Depression. THOSE are the people who should pray and intercede because the depressed person generally can’t because they are getting hit by waves after waves of the darkest depression imaginable. As as the prayers of many are lifted to God’s ear… lives will change. There will come a time for quoting scripture verses and giving advice… but I personally doubt that any of those things would have saved Robin Williams.
Prayers, on the other hand, just might have.
There were NO flying cows.
And it looks like I’m stuck with a million rolls of toilet paper.
Yes, the wind kicked up enough to blow down a few trees…
but I didn’t get a glimpse of Oz.
The first of the uninvited guests was a no-show.
And my neighborhood only lost power for a blink of an eye.
My biggest issue with the storm?
In my haste to secure my deck furniture
I didn’t put my keys back in their regular spot.
They were nowhere to be found
when I had to leave for work.
I turned my entire house upside down
looking for them nearly making myself late.
I even dug through the trash!
I don’t know which disturbed me more:
The “double threat” of back to back hurricanes….
or the fact that my trash was full of McDonald’s packaging.
After 20 minutes of searching my cottage
I gave up and got a spare from the landlord.
Immediately found them on the window sill in the bathroom.
Who leaves car/house keys in the bathroom?
The whole thing made me think of the woman
who lost the coin in the bible.
She turned her house upside down too.
There’s a message here.
It’s on the tip of my mind…
And when I fully understand it
I would like to thank
for the storm that didn’t hit.
And that my “house”
is still standing.
And when the next
like a petulant child,
I will thank him
for that too!
We just finished stowing the deck furniture away. We’ve been warned that most injuries during hurricanes are caused by flying debris. Not sure what I’d do if my deck table went airborne. I keep having mental flashes of flying cows. Clearly, I watch WAY too many movies.
I’ve just finished filling up a five gallon tote in the shower because having to use my stash of bottled water to flush my toilet does not rank high on my hit parade. Not being able to flush my toilet at all ranks even lower.
My Sony pocket radio is so shiny new the I can see my reflection in it. The batteries are in and I will hear the latest news as it comes in. The million dollar question IS… do I really want to know? Two hurricanes headed this way? Maybe ignorance really IS bliss.
I even went through the McDonald’s drive through for dinner… because if it’s inaccessible during the storms, I at least have the greasy hug memory to last me for a while.
Iselle is supposed to come in later tonight between 9 and 10pm…. like an uninvited guest that makes a mess that you have to clean up. Julio is supposed to arrive over the weekend. Does that make him Iselle’s Plus One? Would that we could un-invite them both. It’s like the entire island is preparing for a party that nobody wants to attend.
Me? I’m ready. I am not afraid. I wish I weren’t alone… but what’s a single hermit girl to do? Now is were I pray. Be still. And trust God. Whether he has the storm hit us or miss us; whether my home is swept up to Oz or not affected at all…
God is still God. I may not always like what he does… but I always love who he is.
My state is gearing up to be sucker punched by two storms. I’m actually a bit loose on the details since Bipolar Girl doesn’t really follow the news. Besides, there are enough storms in the Bipolar Bubble for me not to have time to really do more that look out the window and grunt at the weather. The last “hurricane” to come our way caught me unaware, and as the news forecasts kept making dire predictions on an hourly basis, my fear grew exponentially. That’s one reason I don’t watch the news. It’s never any good and my response is always the same: I over react. I get my knickers all twisted in a bunch and since I live alone the resulting meltdown is not fun.
As Flossie mad an appearance… as the lightning lit up the ENTIRE sky and the thunder shook the shack I lived in I actually cried as water seeped in through the cracks in my large window. My yard flooded and the windows leaked…and even thought the prophesied hurricane never really did more than tiptoe over our island, I ended up sitting in the dark when the power went out alone and afraid.
Tonight I am ready. I learned from that mistake. I felt like those stupid women in the bible with the lamps. They needed oil for the celebration, but weren’t prepared. When the time came for the Bridegroom to come they were pretty much out of luck. They were ready to come in, but they weren’t prepared. I was able to get ready for the storm after the fact. I went to WalMart and Costco and I spent an obscene amount of money to make sure I had a preparedness kit in the even that the storm they keep forecasting actually does hit. I am happy to say that if the island is hit and I can’t get to a store for days I won’t starve… and I have enough toilet paper to built a paper mache Washington Monument.
I NEVER feel ready. I’m always expecting the worst and wondering why I hadn’t done more in advance to prepare for it.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m having some issues of faith right now. I made the mistake of telling an old friend in an email that I was struggling. Her response? A long email giving advice and quoting scriptures at me. I haven’t responded because I learned my lesson the last time a close friend put my nose out of joint doing that. I wrote to her about it… but it didn’t end well and I lost the friendship. I backed away from her because I couldn’t trust her not to inadvertently do more damage to my emotions in her ill advised attempt to help. I don’t want to lose this friend. I am considering my words carefully. I can be rather bull in a China shop-esque when I’m wounded. I wasn’t prepared for her email… but I’m prepared to say what I need to say to maintain the friendship. I know ALL of this… everything that I have been dealing with the past few years has been for my good even if it has felt like a great load of crap. So I need to learn how to deal with people who want to help… but whose words end up hurting. They mean well. I have never doubted that.
I know that God is for me, so it doesn’t really matter who is against me. I know that this too shall pass. I know a whole bunch of stuff. But the one thing that keeps resounding in my mind is also something I know quite well. It is the words of my Lord reminding me to get ready for storms (both real and imagined) and that they storms in my life serve a purpose:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
I don’t actually feel like my house is on the rock. I feel like my house is getting the bloody crap kicked out of it. Good thing I live by faith. My life sucks is seven different directions right now and I hate it. I want God to come in and fix things and make it all better. I want him to do a rewind on my life so that I can do it over and fix my mistakes. Yet, I’vm coming to accept the fact that God’s way of “fixing” things… is to send in the storms and then see what I do. And since he knows the outcome, it’s more for my benefit than for his. He knows what I’m made of even if I don’t. Yet, since I’m still standing, I have to believe by faith that my house is built on the Rock and when this storm passes… I’ll still be standing.
Someone posted a comment to my last post that I thought warranted a thought out response. Rather than respond with a comment of my own, I imagined us sitting down somewhere quiet and talking. Having a face-to-face conversation if you will. I appreciated the thought he put into responding to my post and the care he took to respect who I am while respectfully disagreeing with some of what I had to say. Our “conversation” is as follows:
Kevin: Hello LC. It is nice to meet you. I’ve followed your blog for quite a while. It’s your amazing writing that keeps me coming back to your posts, not so much the “titillating” subject matter that you are so open and honest about discussing. I’ve never been tempted to advise you or fix you. I could tell that it would be inappropriate, condescending and against your wishes, even though you didn’t come out and say it until this post…But, it’s tempting to try!
LC: It’s nice to meet you too. Thank you Kevin… although I must admit it that it throws me to call you that. I don’t think I’ve ever written this in any of my blogs anywhere… but the brother I accused of molesting shares the same name. I’ve been careful over the years to leave his name and any identifying information out of my blogs. Yet, every time I hear that name it has the effect of a whole herd of dead men stomping over my grave. That baggage feeds into my issues with porn and sex… making for a lot drama in my head over the years. It was one of the things that split my family. He denies it. I cannot pretend it didn’t happen. My life was destroyed by it. There is no middle ground. So discussing this topic with somebody with the same name… even though the face is different… made me cry the other day. This is either going to be cathartic or psychotic. Only time will tell. I would like to thank you for not trying to “fix” me or “advise me.” At forty-five years old, people seem to think that the suggestions they give me never occurred to me. I don’t think they mean to be inappropriate or condescending, but they often are. I’ve lost friends because what some folks assume will help or comfort me has only ended up hurting me more. But you weren’t asking about any of this. I’m assuming you have something to say…?
Kevin: Well… another reason I stayed out of it, is because I fall into the camp of people who believe that what you are struggling with, isn’t as big a problem as you feel it is.
LC: Ok. I respect your right to disagree since you respect mine. Thank you for not trying to cram your beliefs down my throat. I’ve heard this before, though. What makes your view different? Do tell.
Kevin: I think this way because I’m a Catholic Christian, and unlike Protestants, we believe in “big sin, little sin” –grave sin, sin that separates us from God, the way a wife separates herself from her husband when she carries on an adulterous affair, and venial sin, a lesser offense that goes against God’s will, but isn’t an all-out betrayal, like when a wife fibs to her husband about how much her new shoes cost.
LC: I don’t know much about Catholicism, so I’ve never heard this before. When I became a Christian in 1994 I was taught that sin is sin. All sin, no matter what it is, is grievous in God’s sight. Then again, scripture speaks of the “unforgivable sin,” which suggests that all sins are not created equal. Then there’s a verse in one of John’s letters that said if you couldn’t love your brother whom you could see… you couldn’t love God which has to be akin to being unforgivable. I hated my brother for what I believed he’d done to me and the fall out that I was still living with, but as a newly minted Christian I felt like I had to contact him. That’s when he told my sister that he hadn’t done anything to me and that I was crazy. Having a mental illness doesn’t do much to quash allegations of being “crazy.” It just separated me from my family and put some distance between me and God. There are so many strands of “little sins” woven into this issue that have become an unbreakable chain of sin that is wrapped around my heart slowly squeezing it to death. What might seem like a “little sin” has led me into bigger sins including total rebellion against God. I feel like I’m rambling. Tell me more about what you believe.
Kevin: Most importantly, I believe that we are all judged according to our own, individual consciences, not by God’s blanket policies alone –just in light of them. So, I have no right to try to convince you that your behavior, that you consider sinful, is “no big deal.”
LC: Thank you for understanding that your own views do not negate my own. I’m actually quite conflicted on the subject anyway. The bible makes no mention of porn or masturbation. Even the body of Christ is divided on the subject. Some Christians consider masturbation “solo-sex” and, thus, a sin. Others consider it acceptable under certain conditions. This one mega-church pastor on the west coast has YouTube videos telling singles to go on an have at it. THAT really confused me after years of being taught that it was wrong. Of course, the general Christian consensus on porn seems to be that it is wrong because of the whole lust angle. And since most people cannot look at porn with out masturbating, you get hit with two sins for the price of one.
When I first became a believer I read in the bible how if a single person couldn’t control themselves they should marry. I trusted that God would send Prince Charming in on a big white horse any day. Twenty years later I’m still waiting. I got mad at God on and off over the years because I was too emotionally damaged to have a healthy relationship. He wouldn’t provide me with a spouse, yet he wouldn’t free me from the addiction or give me closure on the molestation issues either. When people have tried to make me see that it’s “no big deal” it has been like a slap in the face because they neither know the causes of or the cost of what I do. Thank you for not charging in ignorantly… but after reading my blog from the comfort of cyberspace, why contact me now? What about this post made you finally say something? As much as I put up caution signs in my blog, I really do want people to connect with me. I just can’t handle the advice or the judgements. I want people to care enough to pray. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.
Kevin: Why did I contact you? I write content about celibacy and chastity on my blog. I’d be honored if you would have a discussion with me about the topic of porn that we could post on our blogs. Your perspective is very solid, and you express yourself expertly. I just want to play “devil’s advocate,” and explore the idea that since our ancestors ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, we are fallen creatures. We will struggle with temptation for our entire earthly lifetimes. However it isn’t a sin to be tempted. The question is: Is watching porn just leading ourselves into temptation to “enter into illegal marriage” i.e., temptation to commit adultery or an act of fornication? Or, is it a form of actual, unsanctioned sex outside of marriage? Would you be willing to discuss it with me?
LC: From where I sit, temptation isn’t a sin… but having to slog through it for 20 years with no real relief or deliverance is torture. You pose some interesting questions and I’m flattered by your opinion of my writing. That part of me that wants to be heard craves attention like this. I do have to admit that I can be rather unreliable with posting given my mood swings, but I’m open to this discussion. It just might take me a while to respond. I’m also no Bible scholar, so what I say will be based on what I do know of scripture and personal experience. My opinions are also colored by the fact that I’m a bit on the backslidden side right now. I love God, but I’m experiencing a “crisis of faith.” I keep telling him that SOMETHING has to give and that he has to do SOMETHING to free me from this pit of angst and depression that I’ve fallen into. The porn, the masturbation, the molestation… it draws me away from God and he needs to stop the slow drift because I can’t. I’m hoping that God will use this discussion with you to lay to rest some of abuse issues from my past. I want him to free me. I’ve been asking him to do SOMETHING. Maybe this is it. No pressure. Thanks again for contacting me. Now what?
It’s been over a month since my last post. I haven’t wanted to post because I’ve been in a weird emotional place. I haven’t gone to church. Haven’t read my bible. Haven’t communicated with most of my friends. I went to a wedding but it was so rife with stress I didn’t really have much to say after that. I haven’t wanted advice or pep talks because they invariably make me feel worse. All I generally ever want is prayer… but I’ve been to proud to reach out and ask. I’ve been thinking about closing down this blog and going somewhere nobody knows me. There is much to be said for blogging anonymously. I need an out. A place where I can air my thoughts… good, bad, ugly, indifferent. I’m embarrassed by my thoughts, but they are mine and need to be dealt with. For now, I’m choosing to post here, but I really would appreciate it if folks didn’t try to fix this problem. Only God can do that. I need this out of my head and I need people to pray. This is the post I wrote a month ago and was too embarrassed to post:
One of my biggest question for God is why hasn’t he helped me break free of my addiction to porn?
I had a perfectly lovely day yesterday and today. All week actually. I took a stay-cation and I’ve been enjoying the down time. Today I went to the beach and splashed in the waves. It was great. Then I came home and then, after a few hours watching “JAG” on my laptop, I thought it would be a good idea to look at porn. Where the hell did that come from??? When is porn EVER a good idea? I had to disable the porn filter that I have on my laptop in order to access the visuals, so it wasn’t like something just popped up on my screen. This was premeditated and I can’t say that I was all that sorry for it when I finally got bored and lost interest.
I’ve been struggling with porn since I was a child. Ok. I shouldn’t say “struggling.” At one point, I didn’t think it was wrong. I wasn’t hurting body. In college I dated guys who like to watch it with me. When I became a Christian it used to stress me out to no end that I struggled with porn. What kind of serious Christian woman struggles with porn??? You go to bible studies and Suzy over there wants prayer for her bad temper and Jill wants prayer because she’s a gossip. And there I’d sit and squirm in the corner, not knowing how to tell all those shiny faced Christian women that I liked to watch gay male porn. Susy, could you pass the tea please? And OH MY! Aren’t these cookies fabulous?
After 20 something years as a Christian, you’d think this would be a done deal. I should have prayed my way into holy behavior years ago. I have a friend who’s a recovered alcoholic. She has the chips to prove that God helped her find sobriety. What I want to know is where ‘s my chip? I used to condemn myself every time I fell into porn and the masturbation that went along with it. I would fall into these horrible depressions and I’d call myself horrible things. Then I found a website for Christians who struggle with porn and sexual addiction. It was amazing. Finally I could tell somebody about it. And I did. I poured out my soul in my journal there and for three, maybe four years, I was free of porn and anything like it. There weren’t a lot of women on the website, but there were some and I no longer felt like a freak of nature. It also got to the point where I could tell people at church. They weren’t scandalized. They accepted me and gave me the prayer I so desperately wanted. They told me that it was a process and that I needed to trust God. The whole “process” thing sat well with me for a few years… but I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years and I still bound up in an addiction that was foisted on me when I was too you to know better. Process? I am sick to bloody death of this process. When does the flippin’ process end??
I do not remember what made me fall off the wagon this time, but I fell hard. And it’s been a never ending struggle ever since then. I do not engage in porn like I used to. It used to be a daily thing. Now I’ll go a few months before I cave in. I do not understand why I cannot stop. I’m doing that which I do not want to do. I’ve read books, attended workshops and deliverance ministries. I did some really intensive prayer counseling. I had a sponsor. I tried to go to a 12 Step meeting with traumatic results. And for what? There are a lot of things related to my addiction that I no longer do, but the head of the beast won’t stay still long enough to be chopped off.
There are some who might say that I don’t have enough faith or that I haven’t tried hard enough… or that I’m not “trusting” God. To those people, I say that it is easy to say those kinds of things when you haven’t had to walk this road. I’d also say, “Bite my.” For those who would tell me to “lighten up” and tell me that I’m not hurting anybody, I’d say that they are wrong. I AM hurting somebody. God does not like porn. It devalues his amazing creation. It diminishes people who are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of our Creator by turning them into body parts to be ogled. It hurts God and that should be enough, but it hurts me too. I cannot begin to explain the effect my addiction to porn has had on my life and my relationships. I have lost more than I can ever recover. If I could go back to the beginning… to where it all started, I would have walked away. I would never have taken that first look, because for me, that one look cost me everything.
I don’t really know how to end this post. Maybe I should ask for more prayer. I’m definitely not asking for advice or pep talks. I’m not asking to be told that I’m being too hard on myself. I’m bringing my actions out into the light of day because that’s what God tells us to do:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
My grand plan to go to church on Father’s Day…
Turned out to be one of those
“Of mice and men”
Minus the dead mouse
in my pocket.
I woke up with health problems.
Really embarrassing health problems.
What kind? you ask…
I could tell you,
you’d want to
So rather than go to church
Then I slept
and that gave me thoughts.
I’m thinking that Father’s Day
is the same as un-birthdays or
There are 364 1/4
aren’t Father’s Day.
If my grand plan was to go to church
so that I could celebrate God, my Father…
then I’m missing the point.
So… my earthly fathers left a bitter
taste in my mouth.
So… I have precious few warm fuzzy
and it cannot be changed.
What can be changed
is my relationship
Going to church
one “special day” to celebrate him
…one day out of the whole year
overlooks the 364 1/4 other days that
I have to celebrate him.
Sure, some of those days I’ll be in church,
but there’ll be a whole lot more where I won’t
So I’m not going to beat myself up
for missing Father’s Day.
God does not love me any less because
my grand of mice and men plan to go to church
It’s not like I planned it…
My health problem was too gross
for me to have
conjured it up on my own
even if I was hunting
for excuses not to go.
Which I wasn’t.
But if I was…
I wouldn’t have picked that one.
This one was all on God.
He stopped me in my tracks and made me be still.
Thereby proving that He is still God
even on the contrived holidays.
It grieves his heart that these days grieve mine
so he gave me an out.
He wants to heal that which
my earthly fathers broke
and, in time, I believe that he will.
No, he didn’t heal anything on Father’s Day.
He just placed me under house arrest and told
me to be still and know
that he is God,
Having meltdowns in church has got to be one of my least favorite aspects of having bipolar disorder. I don’t have the big flaming meltdowns like I used to have when I was actively in crisis… but last week’s meltdown in church was as unexpected as it was unwanted. I pride myself on finally being more mentally stable than I’ve ever been, but I’m not as stable as I’d like to be. I just cover it better. People see the normal in me because I work really hard to present normal. I avoid things that I know will be triggers which does make my world smaller, but it also makes it a whole lot less chaotic.
One thing that triggers me? Holidays. Especially the contrived ones. The Hallmark holidays that exist because retailers wished them into being. Mother’s Day was difficult for me. Always has been. I cannot come to the end of my grief in knowing that my mom went to her grave hating me finally speaking out about something that was done to me. If I’d been anything other than the loving and dutiful daughter, it might have been easier to bear, but I worked so hard for so many years to finally get her to love me but in the end it was all for nothing.
And now another retail holiday.
The other 364 days of the years I actually have a handle on my daddy issues. I’ve been dealing with them ever since I was a missionary with YWAM Mercy Ships back in 1995. We did a week of lectures about the “Father Heart of God” that sent me into the grand mal of all mental breakdowns. I was having nothing of it. I loved my friend Jesus, but I did not want or need a father. Short version of a long story? My bio-dad tried to kill me and my sister with a butcher knife when I was about 8 years old. I say that with no emotion whatsoever, because it happened decades ago. It is a matter of fact no emotion. I’ve made peace with it and him… but it doesn’t leave me with any happy father’s day memories to dredge up. My stepfather? That’s a complicated relationship. I trace my addiction to porn back to his own and I still struggle with a lot of emotions. I’m a Christian female with a porn addiction. If I had “victory” in this area I think my emotions would be a lot less volatile. By God, my Father, hasn’t seen fit to work a mojo and set me free from this body of sin and death.
If I go to church tomorrow I’m going to have a meltdown. They’re going to be singing about God, the Father, and it’s going to make me cry… and not in the good way. I love God, but telling me that my father in heaven “holds” me or that I can sit in “Abba Father’s lap” is cold comfort. When I look around seeing people who have real fathers who love them; who have held them; who have been there… I feel that much more alone. And since I do not see marriage on the horizon or children… I don’t even have the prospect of having my own chosen family to ever celebrate contrived holidays like this. It’ll just be me and Spike. One of these days when I get bored of my own company and all the porn… I’m going to get a dog. Might as well name him Spike.
There are days that my life hurts so badly I can physically feel it. I don’t tell people because what can they really do? Now this is where I must say that I’m writing to vent. I need these thoughts out of my head. This isn’t where I need the pep talk or to be told that I shouldn’t feel this way. This isn’t an invitation to people who might want to try to fix this. THIS cannot be fixed. The only person who can fix this is God and while I don’t understand why he’s let me go nearly 20 years of praying and crying out without fixing any of this, I respect his right to do whatever he wants to do with my life. I am his. Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that God works “mojos” on your life and everything is magically better. It means believing in and following a God even when things aren’t better. Jesus died on a cross and it wasn’t so I could celebrate Father’s Day. He wanted me to be free to celebrate the Father every day of the year no matter what was happening in my life. He wanted me to be free to celebrate what he did for me.
I cannot celebrate Father’s Day because my heart is heavy, but it won’t always be that way.
The bible says that this is not my home. I am an alien here. There will come a day when I leave this place and I meet my Father face to face. I have no idea what heaven is really going to be like, but I do know that God, my Father, will be with me and I will be fully loved. My fathers and my mother really screwed up those contrived holiday for me. There are few, if any, really good memories. But I know I am not the only one who feels this way. There are people out there with crappier childhoods than mine. That’s one reason I write: so other people will know that they are not the only one who feels the way they do. I also write to get prayer. I could sit in my home all alone wallowing in self-pity or I can be transparent about what I feel and trust that God will call people to pray for me. I have been keeping a lot bottled up for a long time because I haven’t wanted advice or pep talks. I have wanted people to listen and to pray. They don’t have to understand what I feel… they just need to understand that I do feel it. In lieu of people I need to write. If I don’t write I die. My words just shrivel up like a dead mouse in a box.
My faith is the same way. If I don’t exercise my faith, it shrivels up and dies right next to the mouse. I’m going to church tomorrow because it is my father’s house. When I started writing the original plan was to skip church to avoid the meltdown. I do not want to have any meltdowns and I pray that I don’t, but avoiding church tomorrow is not the answer. More than anything I’d love it if Jesus came back during the service and I got to go home. I want to go to my Father’s house because it’s where I need to be. He knows it’s Father’s Day. Maybe I should focus on all the things God, my Father, has done for me and perhaps stave off any and all flavors of meltdown.
That’s where it came from.
Completely out of NOWHERE….
Or at least it seemed that way to me
when I just started crying during the worship time
A few tears at first
and then the dam broke.
And the more I tried to stop them,
the more the tears insisted upon falling.
I wasn’t upset when I walked in the door.
In fact, last night, a friend and I went to
a hula fundraiser.
There was music,
and a well known comedian
I laughed myself silly.
My chest hurt I laughed so hard.
I cried so hard my face hurt.
Or maybe it was all the rubbing.
I didn’t plan on crying
so I didn’t bring tissue.
You know what I mean…
if you were upset just before church
or even the night before it’s almost a given
that something will set you off
and you will cry,
therefore needing tissue.
Consider it “Cloudy with a chance of tears.”
Unfortunately, I had no such forecast
so I had to use my jacket sleeve
and my hair scrunchy.
Neither of which is very soft.
Note to self: better to bring Kleenex.
I now know what set me off…
but more importantly GOD
knew what set me off and
he used it to make me cry
because for weeks I’ve been needing to.
I poured out all the guts that I have
and when I got to the end of those guts,
I dug deep and poured out more.
And God just took it.
Nothing I say to him will ever shock him.
He won’t tell me that I am wrong to feel that way.
He won’t tell me not to feel that way.
He will accept that my feelings are mine to feel
and when I’m ready to let go of them
and all the stress they cause,
he will be there to listen,
and to heal.
Nobody heard me crying this morning.
Long ago I perfected the “art” of
While a big old sob-fest
might have felt better,
I didn’t need it.
I didn’t need attention.
I needed catharsis.
I needed to see my burden
for what it was
and to let it out.
Christ alone is the one
who can carry my burdens.
Christ alone is the one
who can lift them.
Christ alone heard my cries
even though I never made a sound.
After the worship I went to the
ladies room, washed my face,
and returned to my seat in
time for the message.
I was exhausted from all the crying
and keeping my eyes open seemed
like an exercise in futility.
Until the pastor said something
that had to be intended JUST for me.
I’d been looking for it during the worship
and couldn’t find it.
God found it for me
and told the pastor.
When I left church
I felt like a tremendous burden
had been lifted.
I felt like I had taken
all the stuff that was mucking
up my heart and mind
and I left it there.