I didn’t want to go to Mass today, not at all. I woke full of flashback invaded dreams, remembered. I so wanted to curl in upon myself, drown in going away. Away from remembering, away from life. Stay in bed and pity my past me. To go where the victory of Christ is partaken of? Nope.
I wanted to be done, this journey seems never-ending at times. I will have my footing, then, wham, bam, I am down again. Down of heart and weary of mind. The final count to feel welcome. 1…2…3 she’s out!
Yep, that’s just how this morning was.
I was so lost in the feelings, the overwhelming emotions my child me suffered that my adult me wanted to throw in the towel.
I dreamt of the using and taking, the abuse rained down on me… thing is that wasn’t what was tearing at me when I woke. In my dream I was sitting alone, after, so forlorn. I was crying, not because of what was done to me, rather, because I couldn’t seem to dress myself. My clothes were inside out, a jumble at my feet and it felt as though I simply couldn’t do it. I cried that no one was there after, that I was so alone not only in the abuse but further abused as those that could and should have, didn’t as well.
Rather turned a blind eye, a deaf ear and an indifferent heart.
So, I had me a good cry to the Lord and begged Him to help me care in the now. He did, I still didn’t feel it, but He reminded me that I needed to go. I imagine my Guardian Angels wings whooshing as they propelled me forth. I certainly didn’t go in my own power.
Mass. The remembering and celebrating of the greatest sacrificial gift, ever. Mass. Where my Christ endured for me the very thing that I feel this day, betrayal. Mass. He to suffer again and again what was then for me in the now, flashbacks. Mass.
One of the hardest yet most helpful things for me as I heal has been to revisit the abuse and see my God there. Find how He was with me, yield the whole truth of then to Him that He be with me now as He was then.
This is what I was really wanting to hide from today, I wanted to give up and not do my part of the work in my healing. Imagine if my Lord had given up? Had called forth all of Heaven to save Him from the cross? He could have, yet He yielded, “Not my will, but thine be done.” He uttered to His Father.
So, there I was at Mass. A quivering, emotional mess, kneeling and crying, oh, so tired.
Then the homily was shared. Father to talk of how much we have to be thankful for. The beauty of life and creation ours to see, hear, experience.
It hit me then, all along I was heard, I was seen, someone was far from indifferent.
God my Father, Mary my Mother and Christ my Brother and Savior not only were then with me but are now.
I am home, now is safe, I have oh, so much to be grateful for.
For I am no longer then.
So much assailed me yesterday. So many emotions found me. I was upon the sea of them, floundering unto drowning, lost.
There was no life boat, nothing to cling to that I could see. How could I ground myself if beneath me was simply more tears, if the sadness was drowning me, if the anger stirred up the storm even more and I was all alone in the vastness of it?
I was drowning I was sure. For each time I opened my mouth to call for help it seemed naught but more of the emotions rained down to be swallowed til they were swallowing me.
I wanted to simply let go and sink. To stop fighting and just be done. I didn’t care of the depth was dark and lonely, to let go would end it I was sure. I could journey elsewhere and forget, even if elsewhere required drowning, so be it I thought.
Yet, I couldn’t. Not the real me deep down inside, the part of me that knew my God was in this storm. To believe He is in control of all my life means the storms as well.
I turned my face to the Heavens as the circumstances of this storms creating pelted me, the lightning flashes of the anger I felt seemed to be striking me as I was tasting the salt of the tears I was drowning in. I let them come. I accepted the anger as mine to sit with. I acknowledged that I had a right to be so, while asking the Lord to cleanse me of it.
Then I realized that the sadness was being fed of the anger. That they were the stirring of this storms wind and buffeting. I though I will drown from within so I must let it all out.
I cried, again and again as my body curled in upon itself and wept with me.
I was adrift and alone.
I was lost and weary.
I wanted to stay this way and wait for a hand to reach for me, for someone to come and see me and be with me, I wanted a person to know.
In my wanting of this I was really doubting God was enough. I was saying I know you are in my storms, Lord but I need more that just you.
How human of me.
God wasn’t having any of it.
He pursued me, all the while, He does that.
Finally, from the depths of my despair I looked up.
Finally, I cried within, “Save me Abba.”
He scooped me up, pulled me close and sat with me. The storm raged still, but seemed less pelting for He overshadowed the brunt of it. In His embrace I found it was ok to cry. It was safe to feel the sadness and that the anger wasn’t worth the energy it pulled from me.
Now I am beyond this storm, and I am ok.
Alive and still me, weary but safe.
It isn’t the end of the world, the sadness is real but the rainbow is already spreading across the sky. Tomorrow is real and beckons, one that God already has in His hand.
So sadness and anger, all of the emotions of life are safe.
As long as I stay and walk hand in hand with my Master.
the edge of me touches the ripple of life
dips ever so gently into its flow
as I become a widening circle of life
I flow into what was lost
I am rippling out
as life cascades
I watch in wonder
its pure form
touches of gentleness
brushes of lips upon foreheads
gentle as the breeze
safe hands upon shoulders
being pulled close
for closeness sake alone
to rest one’s head upon another’s shoulder
or even just because
is a wonder to behold
ripples have always flowed away from me
now they are being met by others
such a melody floods my soul
in this collision of love
circling back to me
I am the rainbow these days The color and beauty of my emotions vibrating They spill upwards for all are fading Flashbacks of feelings separate from the happenings No more do the dragon monsters of then wrestle caged within me They have been slayed Replacing the darkness with the brilliant light of present I live in the light Breathe its sharpness in to cut out the then I exist from inside out spewing forth life I’m among the living now No battle scars as they burst out of me They do not matter for they are not who I am They are not my reflection No. My me is a rainbow of truth now My me is light and love and now My me is gloriously free I am me I am alive I am color and light and love I am a rainbow flowing free
In the daytime there are stars in the heavens, but they only shine at night.
And the deeper that I go into the darkness the more I see their radiant light.
So let me learn that my losses are my gain;
to be broken is to heal;
that the valley’s where Your power is revealed.
-Bob Kauflin, “In the Valley”
I have been on a journey of late, one of finding me some more. It has been hard and long, arduous. I feel the stretching of it still, like aches in my emotional muscles. A good ache even while it throbs.
Oh, how it does so! So many emotions have been awaken these last weeks. Those that have tripped me up and some that I never knew existed. To much feeling so oft, so much I was left floundering in them , too many I told a friend.
“Yes, she said.”
Can we sit with that a while? She said, “Yes.” to me.
“Yes,” you have feelings. “Yes,” they are a lot. “Yes,” you are allowed to feel. “yes,” and it’s ok.
To me, Tammy.
It was like a get out of jail free card.
In abuse feelings aren’t recognized except as an opportunity to turn them again us. Our abusers to make fun as they taunt us. To laugh and heap on more abuse if we show our true feelings. Hence we learn to bottle them up, hide how we feel and even lie to ourselves.
But, she said, “Yes.”
This a key that gave me so much. Bolstered me to say to myself, “Yes!” as well.
“Yes,” I feel this, “Yes,” these feelings are mine, “Yes,” I can accept them, process them and grow from this. I can be me unto more, rather than less.
Best part? She didn’t leave me hanging, wondering, “Ok, so they are mine and too much, but now what?”
I never was taught how to feel, to soothe myself or face the avalanche of them. My abuse taught me to cringe from me, run and hide, never ever to face them. I didn’t have a gentle touch or soothing tone, no looks of love or open arms… how was I to learn what all love shows when no love was there?
No fault of mine, just truth.
Now, I know. I am finding the stars in the night that are showing the way to the light of day.
This friend shared with me one of the biggest and brightest stars gifted to us of God, the truth of our being free to choose to give the emotion to God. To turn to my loving Abba, Daddy, and say, “Here, Papa, I am feeling too much. Please hold this awhile and help me be ready to take it back when you have readied me. Soothe me, Lord, and prepare me. Strengthen me by Your example and be my strength then.”
He always does.
He is my present that He be my past, fill in the voids and blanks.
I able to live in my today for He is here, my past faced for He was there, my future safe for He is already there as well.
Past, present, future…
all mine to live.
*Psalms 19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The day breaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
I am noticing people of late, those that are in love.
The way love works for them, the give and take of it.
I find that I am learning it isn’t what I was taught.
It is a give and not take.
Yes, there is the getting, but it comes in giving, not demanding or grabbing with expectation.
It is more of a glowing.
I like what I am seeing and learning.
I notice the gentle leaning in to experience the others space.
Full attention given to the other, because they want to truly hear what is said,k share in the excitement and enthusiasm of the words.
There is a body language here of communicating and concern, of care and true devotion.
Smiles shared, tears caught, linking happening.
I like what I am finding.
Yes, I cry about it, I drip drops of, “What would it be like if that were mine?”
But they are cleansing tears, emptying kind.
Ones that wash out the memories so I am empty of past for God to fill with present.
Perhaps someday I will find this, someone to hold as precious to me. Who will see me as such too.
I have my Lord to love me like this, I am so in love with Him. I know He understands my desiring a person as well, while also knowing He is my enough.
I never really had love as it was meant to be. Mine was using and discarding, taking with no return. But that was then and is no more.
I chose to see now, to marvel at the love that surrounds me. To embrace friendship, family ebb and flow, to give love as it was designed.
Love finds its way around, it is a circle of life…
I am in that circle now…
here to stay.
2016 found us last evening.
I spent mine home, alone.
Away from partying and celebrating, no other person around.
No televised broadcasts of dropping this or that, no cheering or reveling.
I quietly saw it pass and loved doing so.
Reveled in the contentment I experienced in being by meself.
This is a bit of a miracle for me, a sure sign of healing.
Holidays always are a challenge, in one form or another. Some to be triggers to abuse gone by or remind me of how alone I was. Oft I would find jealousy knocking much as Scrooge did watching Tiny Tim’s family through the window.
New Years Eve saw me not even giving this a thought beyond to be thankful to my Lord that He has healed me so much that it is natural to live in thankfulness, to see the beauty of what is now as it literally obliverates then from my heart.
I enjoyed a quiet night home, doing things i find relaxing and bringing in the New Year just the right way for me.
New Years Eve alone, a precious, cherished memory.
New Years Eve alone, that I experience contentment with self, celebrate the joy of life in Christ and come to understand that I do belong, I am loved and I am someone too.
This is an article from Committedtofreedom.org I rarely repost something from someone, but this so slammed into me when I read it, I simply had to share! So much me is in it. Simply read and be impacted. God bless.
The Still Photograph
Part of our Short Story series during the holidays. We all need a break, and this month, we’ll be sending you short stories instead of articles. We hope they will inspire, encourage, and strengthen you. Let us know what you think.
Mrs. Periwinkle had cornered yet another member of the Community Ladies Guild to show off her daughter’s latest school pictures.
“Isn’t she adorable? Isn’t this just about the most precious picture you’ve ever seen?”
She never gave anyone time to respond to those questions, she simply moved on to another person, then another, loudly declaring the perfection of the photograph. Her daughter, Penelope, was a kindergartener when that particular picture was taken.
Mrs. Periwinkle loved it so much that she had it enlarged, then had several dozen copies of the photo developed. She glued some onto cardboard boxes, which she positioned throughout the house. One was set on the kitchen table at Penelope’s place. One on her pillow where she usually slept. One on the couch, one on the porch swing, and one in the passenger seat of the family car.
She also glued a flat wooden stir stick on the back of one so that she could carry it with her where ever she went. It was a kind of photograph puppet. In social settings – such as parties or meetings – she included the picture puppet in conversations and soon, people spoke to the puppet, just like Mrs. Periwinkle did.
She even made one of the pictures into a mask and commanded that the little girl wear it at all times. Eventually, Penelope stopped speaking and became as silent as the still photos that surrounded her.
As children will do, the girl grew and changed, but the only “Penelope” her mother and friends saw was the kindergarten schoolgirl in the pictures mounted on boxes, a wooden stick, and a mask. Years came and went. The kindergarten photographs had become cracked, faded, and frayed. Nevertheless, Mrs. Periwinkle ignored the signs that time had passed or that changes were taking place.
One morning, Penelope – who was now a young woman – looked at her mask’s reflection in the bathroom mirror. For quite some time, she had noticed a growing irritation where the mask rubbed against her skin, but she ignored it. But this particular morning, the irritation had become very painful – unbearably painful, in fact. She squirmed her forehead, tightened her eyes and lips, scrunched her nose, and massaged her scalp, hoping to silence the inflammation, but nothing helped.
She became more animated in attempt to find some relief and without thinking, without hearing her mother’s instructions to keep the mask on, she ripped it off on an impulse. She howled with relief, as her face was flooded with air and light. For the first time in over a decade, Penelope wore no mask. No longer was she frozen in a time and space that was no more. She splashed her face with water and then dared to look in the mirror. What she saw took her breath away, because she saw – herself. Changed.
No longer a static being, she was vital and free from that still photo that masked years of growing and becoming. She ran into the kitchen and ripped the still photo from the box, then to her pillow and the couch, the porch swing and the passenger side of her mother’s car. She tore them all to pieces then put them in the trash can.
Somewhere in the yard, she could hear her mother chatting away with someone. Her voice grew louder as she came closer to the house. Closer. Closer. Penelope opened the front door for her mother, who was – at that moment – having a lively conversation with the picture puppet. Mrs. Periwinkle gasped, shocked to see a strange young woman standing in her foyer.
“What are you doing in my house? Who ARE you?” she demanded.
Penelope grabbed the picture puppet from her mother’s hand and tore it to pieces, letting them fall to the floor. She then leaned in close to her mother until their faces almost touched.
“I. Am. Me.”