|Tuesday, Oct. 01, 2002 || There is hope|
Today I am thinking of last summer.
It has taken me over a year to write about that time in my life.
Last summer I contemplated suicide.
There it is. In print.
There is a lot of guilt that comes in the wake of someone like me having thoughts of a bottle of pain killers washed down with alcohol. I am a Christian. A mother. A wife. A minister’s wife, for crying out loud!
I have a nice home, a minivan. My husband provides for us. My family is intact. My parents and siblings are all alive. I can see, hear, taste, smell.
So why would I have no longer wanted to breathe?
In my state of reality that dark summer night, I reasoned that since I was failing miserably in all of my “roles”, it would be easier on my family if I was gone. If I left him, he might have to leave his life's work as a pastor. But if I died, he would eventually find another mate, someone to be a mother to our children. And my pain - gone. Expectations - ended.
I suppose if I had been really determined to follow through, I would not have given my husband the hints that caused him to lock me in the basement while he guarded the door, silent, watching me, that night that I grabbed the car keys.
Seeking attention? Wanting to be stopped? A cry for help? Vying for control?
Perhaps all of the above.
While I do not think it is healthy to dwell on the past, I do feel one must keep it as a touchstone, a testimony of battles fought, mistakes made, victories won. A reminder of how far I’ve come. Of God’s amazing grace.
I don’t deserve it. God’s grace, that is. But that is what makes it grace. The freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
Then, I didn’t think I even deserved life, only to find that the very God who made me was reaching out to me. And I certainly didn’t think I deserved to be loved, not even by God.
I built walls, solid and high, mortared with fear and distrust. Bars of guilt. A prison of my own making.
Locked in my cell of Self-loathing. Despair. Perfectionism. Control.
And the gatekeeper of that prison was me.
In those dark days, I penned these words:
I didn’t think I would ever find my way from that place.
I do not contemplate suicide anymore.
And I am writing this today because there is hope. I found hope. Or rather, it found me. Hope is a Person.
When first forced to face my past, face the hurts, face the things in my life that have molded me, both good and bad, I ran from God. I stopped praying. I stopped reading His Word. Vulnerable and wounded, I shrank away from Him and from everyone else.
The guilt was overwhelming at times. I had a “normal” childhood. As far as I can recall, I was not abused physically or sexually. I do not buy into the repressed memories thing, though I was asked by a sexual abuse survivor, based on my responses and protective posturing, if I had been sexually abused.
I grew up with both parents, two good sisters, a large extended family. I did well in school, excelled in extracurricular activities. Yet, why was I so wounded? Why did I think so little of myself that I would consider leaving my husband and children without a wife and mother?
The more I contemplated how “great” I had it, how ridiculous it was that I would be depressed, how “good” Christians aren’t supposed to feel this way, the farther I pulled myself from people, and especially from God.
I can’t really pinpoint when the change began.
Perhaps it was when I told a friend, as he relayed the verbal abuse he had suffered at the hand of his father - that person whose duty it was to love and protect him, not belittle and neglect him - that he didn’t deserve it, and I saw the tears spring into his eyes. That look that told me, “no one ever said that to me before.”
Perhaps it was when I realized that one of the people who has wounded me deeper than any person on this earth shares the same kind of hurt that I do.
Perhaps it was when I started understanding that God loves me without strings attached.
Perhaps it is all of these things and more that I can not yet verbalize or understand.
Am I healthy today? Healthier, yes. Totally healed, no. I still have a long way to go. I am on a journey, and there are many stops, distractions, even road blocks along the way.
The prison still exists. There are times that I let myself back in again.
But I now know what it is like on the outside.
And that is where I want to stay.
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007