Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Her name was Carly.
I met her when I was 5 years old.
She came over almost every day after school and rang the doorbell.

“Can Sarah play?”

She didn’t care that I wore a dress over my leggings. And she never told on me when I tucked my skirts into my waist band to ride her bike.
I loved that she always asked for just me. She didn’t want to hang out with my sisters, just me.

As we grew older, her clothes got darker and her makeup got thicker.
She had secret scars on her arms just like I did.
But I never asked her about them. I didn’t know how to talk about things that were important.
I think I was 13 when everything changed. And she was 14.
One day we were outside riding scooters down her slanted driveway, when her little sister suddenly asked, “Carly, did you tell her yet?”

“tell me what?!” I asked.

                                            “You have to tell her eventually”

                                                                                                        “She won’t understand”

 “Carly just tell me!”

                                         She told me.

                                                                                  “I’m bi-sexual”

I didn’t know what she was talking about. She had to explain it to me.

Bi-sexual. Kindof like gay, but not quite. I knew what gay was. Mom said it was something people pretend to have so they can get attention. Dad said it was a really bad demon that lived inside people.

“That’s not a real thing” I said.

I don’t remember what happened next; just that it was time for me to go home.
I told mom about it later that night. And I’ll never forgive myself for that.
Later that week, I walked into the dining room to see Carly sitting at the table with my mom.
She was crying. Sobbing. I’d never seen Carly cry like that before.

“You have to give it up to God, Carly” my mom was saying.

There was a brochure on the table between them titled “Love Won Out.” Next to it was a blank application. And a pen.
Carly looked up at me for just a second and then buried her head in her arms. But I’ll never forget her face. Her makeup was running down her cheeks. And her eyes weren’t ashamed, or even angry, just sad.      So

After she left that day, my parents sat me down and told me that they didn’t want Carly around the little kids any more. They explained that homosexuality was a sin. A terrible awful sin. I remember my face turning very very red as I remembered the time I dreamed about kissing a girl. I resolved to never ask them about my budding sexual attractions. I loved my little brothers and sisters, I didn’t want them to be kept away from me. I didn’t want my daddy to hate me…

Carly came over less and less after that. She never told me about the conversation she’d had with my mom. We drifted apart. I’d wave to her when I passed her on the street, but eventually we never spoke anymore.
It might seem strange, but I still know the number to her mom’s house by heart.
I still tie my shoes the way she showed me when we were kids.
I still feel guilty every time I pass her street.

I want to reach out and tell her that I’m sorry, but I don’t know how.

I want to tell her that I’m so sorry that I didn’t know what to say.
I’m sorry that I didn’t support her like I should have.
 I’m sorry that I didn’t protect her from my parents.
 I’m sorry that I pushed her away, just when she probably needed friends the most.

 I’m sorry that I told her that she was a fake.
                                      I was only repeating what they told me.
                                                                                         I wish I had known then what I know now.

I look back now and realize how brave she must have been. How strong she must have been, and how hard it must have been. I wish I knew how to tell her that I’m sorry. If I could go back in time, I’d give her a hug and tell her how beautiful and inspiring she is.

Her name is Carly.
I'm sending her a link to this post, and maybe one day I’ll have the courage to ring her doorbell and tell her all this in person.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thoughts on Church

I know a lady who was always very deeply involved in her church. She poured her heart and soul into everything she did and was a huge blessing on the congregation. However, because she is a woman, many people were offended by her leadership. There were many issues that arose over the years, but eventually she was pushed out of the church she had been serving for many many years. She recently told me that she has stopped going to church all together. I asked her why, and her answer was both moving and thought provoking. I’ll share her letter below.

Why I don’t attend Church.

First, I was deeply hurt by things that happened at [my old church.] especially the last month. [The pastor] did and said some pretty horrible things to me. I still don't know if he was angry because I was leaving or what was going on. He did apologize to me last year for those last few things, but not for lying to me and about me for all those years.

Second, as I was just taking a break I began to examine what was going on inside of me. I started teaching Sunday School when I was 16 and I worked or volunteered in a church somewhere for the next 34 years without a break. I've done pretty much everything that can be done in a church. And for the most part, I loved it and I was good at the tasks.

However, as the days without church went on, I felt such an utter sense of quietness and peace come over me. So much tension went out of my heart and mind and body. I realized that working in the church has been such a huge source of inner turmoil for me. I have never liked church. I'm not a social person, I could be a hermit and not miss anyone.
However, I know God wanted me ministering to people with my gifts, so I did it. I detest almost all worship services. I don't care for hymns or choruses. I especially resent greatly that one man gets to get paid to study the Word of God and then stand up every week and tell us what he discovered. and most of them do a pretty poor job at communicating. And my beliefs tend toward the traditional so of course, I'm NEVER going to hear a woman preach although I believe one should preach every other week. Men just communicate and use different examples than women and we as women have to always switch it to apply to us.

I gave one talk at [my old church] once at the end of the worship service and you would have thought the sky was falling! I was good and funny and interesting and [the pastor] hated that. And so did others. So sad.

So I realized that I have been staying busy in a church my whole life, just tolerating the social aspect (which wears me out) and the worship service (which I find a waste of time). If I was using my gifts and doing something, I actually was able to enjoy myself. I literally cannot go into a church and sit and feel anything but anxiety, panic, disgust, anger, frustration and criticalness.

I'm not upset with the Church. I think that local churches could do better, but I understand ALL the barriers and issues toward change.
Many many people are served and helped and led to Christ because of churches. I'm not mad or upset with God or Jesus. I know with 100% certainty that Christianity is the only worldview that makes sense and can transcend every culture and every time period. I love Jesus.

I just find church a complete waste of time, unless I am doing something... and I can't do anything anymore. I'm hurt and tired and don't want the fight. And I certainly could never sit back submissively and let all the men make the decisions.

So I worship all week with amazing little vignettes within my life. I'm resting. It has been almost exactly 4 years. I have only gone to church once and it was because my whole family was here. with all the girlfriends or wives and everyone looked so striking I wanted to go show them off and we sat in the 2nd row and we had so many comments. Not very spiritual. :) But there it is.

I find being part of the unchurched very interesting. I am now just beginning to explore what would bring me back to a church. I have very interesting thoughts about that and how to market the whole church experience. For instance, why is the only gateway into church life through the worship service itself? It is really hard to pick and choose and be part of a church society without attending the all- hallowed worship service, why? It is such a narrow gate and one I find many people just endure in order to get the other things they need like a pastor for a funeral or wedding or conversations over coffee etc.

Sorry it got so long. I could keep going. But I'll stop now. It is the first time I have written it all down. Thanks for asking! That was a nice little gift you gave to me without even knowing it.

Have you been hurt by the church? Is there anything you would change if you had the chance? I’d LOVE to hear your stories!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Powerful Insignificance

I threw away all my skirts a long time ago, but today I found one more, buried in the back of my closet.

 It was brand new when I bought it last year. I haven’t done laundry in a while, so I decide to wear it to the office.
It’s just dressy enough.

I check the mirror more than usual this morning.
The skirt is floor length, and it looks really good on me.


So why am I so uncomfortable?

I make myself hurry out the door for work. If I let myself change again I’ll be stuck in the closet all morning.

I run all the way to the car.
In part because I am cold, but also because I don’t want anyone to see me.

“You look fine” I remind myself, frustrated with my insecurity.

 On the way to work, I am grateful for the thick soft warmth wrapping around my legs, but as soon as I arrive, my skirt gets caught in the car door and I feel foolish.

The long heavy material tugs at my ankles every time I take a step. I am acutely aware of it. It feels like shackles. An invisible chain holding me hostage.

I feel fatter than usual today too. My naked legs brush against each other when I walk: a constant reminder of that extra 10 pounds.

I slouch a little,
                                                              wondering if everyone can see what I see.
“I am thankful for this skirt.” I tell myself. “It’s hiding these unsightly legs, and this lumpy round butt.”

Confidence is a long lost memory today. I lower my eyes when people pass me. I don’t want to see the disgust I imagine I’ll find in their eyes.

Today when my boss yells at me, I forget how to stand up for myself.

                I just feel bad,
“sorry. I’ll do better.”

I waddle back to my desk and sink into my chair, defeated. 10am and I’ve already had enough of this day.

I long for my bed.
In part because I am tired, but also because I know the blankets are thick enough to hide me from the rest of the world.

What is wrong with me today?

The skirt.

It reminds me of my old life.

                  Reminds me of the shame,
                                                                   the embarrassment,
                                                                                                         the helpless frustration.

I am angry that something so insignificant holds such power over me.

I’ll take this skirt off tonight after work.                         I’ll throw it straight into the trash.

I don’t care if it was new when I bought it last year. Nothing and no-one has the right to make me feel bad about myself. I won’t let it happen ever again.

Tomorrow I’ll wear pants. I’m actually kind of proud of this lumpy round butt of mine. J

Monday, November 7, 2011

Identity, Dreams, and Boxing Gloves

I miss Martial Arts so much.
I miss the balance, the strength, the sore muscles, the confidence, the competition, and yes, i even miss the bruises. I used to be in the gym every day. Training. 3 hours straight most nights after school. My whole paycheck went to MMA.

 I loved it..........
                       Lived it............
                                                                                                         Breathed it............

I'd give anything to be back there now, sweating out all my frustration.

 The technique thoroughly absorbed me,
                                            the intensity cleared my mind,
                                                                           the balance calmed and energized me.
Martial Arts brought me a sense of identity i had never known before. The drills taught me to push myself. The ring taught me to believe in myself. I miss the adrenalin. I miss the pain. I miss the peace.

But we have to pick our battles, don't we?

I want an education, I'm determined to have the career i want.
 I study.........
                           i write.........
                                                i plan.............
......and I've never felt so close to success.
My entire paycheck goes to rent, school, insurance, and savings. I am building my future, one day at a time. So I'll keep working 8-5, doing my home work and paying my bills. I'll keep glancing wistfully at that MMA gym on my way to school at night. I'm on the road to where i want to be. I know who i am, and i know where I'm going. Someday I'll be back on those mats, pursuing the balance that made me who i am today.

I know my dreams will come true, just maybe not all at once :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Would Michael Pearl Approve this Savage Beating?

Hillary Adams, the daughter of Judge William Adams, posted a video this week of her receiving a "spanking" back in 2004. She was 16 years old and being punished for downloading pirated material on the Internet. In the video, Hillary's father and mother force her to bend over her bed while they beat her repeatedly with belts. They hit her on whatever part of her body is exposed while she cowers on the floor screaming and begging them to stop. I was horrified, but mostly I was reminded of my own childhood. I can hear the righteous indignation in the parent's voices, and the fear and the guilt in Hillary's screams. For those of you familiar with the Pearl training method, it is easy to recognize what is going on here. Even if the Adams family is was not following the Pearl method, it is easy to justify everything the father does in this video (aside from the swearing)  by using passages from the Pearl's books.
  1. Hillary has done wrong and her parents are dutifully punishing her. At the beginning of the video you can hear the father referring to the imminent beating as a "spanking."
  2. She is told to bend over the bed and she refuses, so in true pearl form, she is forced. The Pearl books recommend forcibly moving a child to where he/she is to be punished. They suggest that you "use whatever means necessary" to bring about submission.
  3.  There is "discussion" throughout the video of how Hillary "used to be such an obedient daughter" and she has now disappointed her parents. The Pearl books recommend that you pause in between bouts of spanking to remind the child why they are being punished. Good job Mr. Adams!
  4. As I mentioned, Hillary is struck at least 17 times with leather belts. The Pearls suggest at least 10 swats for small children, so surely 17 strokes is not too much for a 16-yr old. Switches, rods, glue sticks, and belts are all mentioned as acceptable tools for punishment.
If Michael Pearl heard a description of this "spanking" I’m sure he would say that the Father's only mistake was that he showed a little too much anger. Watch the video and tell me what YOU think.
When asked about the released video, William Adams said that it all "looks worse than it is."
"In my mind, I haven't done anything other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing," Adams said. "And I did lose my temper, but I've since apologized." This all sounds soooooo familiar......

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bound and Gagged by a Lullaby

Lying alone in the dark, I imagined monsters under my bed. They were little devils with bony grey hands, hands with fingers just long enough to wrap around my little ankles and pull me down. I tucked my blanket in tight around my body. Even a smidgen of space would be enough for a serpent to crawl in. I was petrified, and this was a normal night for me. My ten-year-old mind ran frantically down a list of the day’s events. What had I done to deserve this? How had I invited this evil into my bedroom? I thought about the lullaby from my favorite bible-music tape. Maybe if I sang it enough times, it would work like a dream catcher and keep the demons away from my bed.
“I will lie down and sleep, and sleep in peace. I will lie down and sleep in peace. You alone oh Lord make me dwell in safety. I will lie down and sleep in peace”
I chanted the song in my mind, begging God to keep the nightmares away from me. Sometimes I would fall asleep, only to find out that He had not listened.

As I grew older, my fears grew older too. I could push past my irrational terror of the edge of the bed, but nighttime still brought fear. My mind ran relentlessly through the tapes in my head: the tapes that told me how ugly I was, and how fat, and how stupid. I still tucked the blankets tightly around my body in hopes that I could somehow keep the bad feelings out. It never worked. I planned out dozens of ways to kill myself, and wondered who would notice if I did. Whenever things got bad, that same old song would start playing in my head:
“I will lie down and sleep, and sleep in peace. I will lie down and sleep in peace. You alone oh Lord make me dwell in safety. I will lie down and sleep in peace”
I would beg God to let me sleep and keep the nightmares away. Sometimes I would fall asleep, only to find out that He had not listened.

Last night I was lying awake in the middle of the night and my thoughts began to stray. I wondered why my husband hadn’t left me yet. I’m so different now from the woman he married. He must be so disappointed. I thought about how much happier he would be without me. My mind slipped seamlessly into old thought patterns. I realized how disgusting and selfish I am. I started counting the pills in the bathroom cabinet from memory. As my thoughts grew darker, I tucked the blankets around me feet. The corners of the room grew menacing.
“I will lie down and sleep, and sleep in peace. I will lie down and sleep in peace. You alone oh Lord make me dwell in safety. I will lie down and sleep in peace”
I reflexively called out to God, begging him to keep away the nightmares. And then I remembered all the times He had not listened.

Bad dreams and suicidal thoughts are evidence of emotional disturbance. A person experiencing these things needs love, support, understanding, and sometimes even treatment. But I was always taught to ignore myself. Bad dreams happened when Satan was attacking me, suicidal thoughts were just my selfish sin nature shining through. Every time I expressed emotion in my home, my parents shoved God down my throat and silenced me. I picked up on this right away. All those nights lying alone and afraid, I didn’t dare get up or call for help. I took a giant dose of God and shoved it down my own throat.

I silenced my thoughts,

Silenced my fears,

Silenced my emotion.

After 18 years of self-imposed silence, I am finally able to speak. When my thoughts grow dark, I am learning to stand up to them. I acknowledge my emotions. I express my thoughts. I confront my fears. I will not be bound and gagged anymore.

Physical and Spiritual Abuse taught me that I was not worth hearing. It taught me that my heart was not important. It kept me trapped and wasted whole years of my life.

What words are written on the tape over your mouth?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Let my Soul Heal (Spiritual Journey Part 2)

The healing process is not easy. Long suppressed feelings are even more painful when you experience them later in life. There were times I walked out in the middle of conversations with friends or family to avoid shouting or bursting into tears. Long conversations with my older sisters gave me courage to keep pressing on. Blogging has also been Instrumental in my “recovery.” Hearing from other people with similar struggles is incredibly encouraging! 
Husband kept expecting that my rest period would end with some sudden realization or conversion. But I knew that this journey was only just beginning.

I always assumed that Husband’s faith was just the same as mine, stubborn and unfounded. The more disillusioned I became with my faith, the more I started thinking that maybe He was brainwashed too, especially when nothing I could say would sway him. But the more we debated, the more I realized he really did know what he was talking about. At some point before becoming a Christian, he had done his homework. He knew both sides of the creation/evolution argument. He knew the tenants and philosophies of every main world religion. He even had experience with people from almost every walk of life. All I had was what my parents gave me: the ability to reason, and a thorough brainwashing. I had never studied other religions, I knew nothing about the evolution, and I had limited social experience. He could argue circles around me no matter what we were discussing. I was frustrated with some of his conclusions, but also shocked to discover he wasn’t nearly as hard lined as my parents had been. He didn’t believe in female submission, or spiritual headship. He didn’t think Catholics were going hell, in fact, he questioned whether hell was really the burning torture chamber I had learned about. He loved rock music and thought I looked nice in a bikini…

 I realized I could never make an informed decision on religion until I was actually informed.

I started browsing the documentary section at the library and brought home a number of different DVDs on subjects ranging from Ancient Wicka to the Galapagos Islands. Husband watched them with me sometimes and listened to me talk about what I’d learned with patience and interest. I’ll list a few of my favorites here.

I watched a documentary called “in the name of God.” It was made just after 9/11 as a look into various religions and their take on violence, war, and where “god” fits in. It was beautiful and refreshing. I teared up a couple times throughout the film as my heart celebrated the goodness of humanity. It also helped me silence my inner conspiracy theorist. Religion isn’t all bad, it’s not all evil, it’s not a tool used by the government to control the masses. Religion comes from the hearts of people seeking truth, happiness, and greater good; there’s nothing inherently sinister about it.

Another of my favorites was a PBS documentary called “The question of God.” In this film, Harvard Professor Dr. Armand Nicholi examines the questions of faith and belief. He and a panel of prestigious psychologists and philosophers look at the lives and works of C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud. "It may be that Freud and Lewis represent conflicting parts of ourselves," Dr. Nicholi notes. "Part of us yearns for a relationship with the source of all joy, hope and happiness, as described by Lewis, and yet, there is another part that raises its fist in defiance and says with Freud, 'I will not surrender.' Whatever part we choose to express will determine our purpose, our identity, and our whole philosophy of life."

I continue to read and research in my spare time. I’m in Psychology 101 in college and I love every minute of it. I feel like a whole new world is opening up before my eyes. Why were my parents so afraid to educate me? As I grow more knowledgeable, my discussions with my husband get less heated and more intellectual. I love being a blank slate. I love not knowing. My healing process is slowly becoming a learning process as well.

 I’ll periodically update my blog with a post about where I am in my spiritual journey. If you’re on the same path, just know that it might take you your entire life. And that’s okay! Lets learn to embrace this journey together!  

Friday, October 7, 2011

How I Failed My Little Brother

Dozens of unfinished blog posts sit idly in my computer’s storage. I don’t have the words to finish them. Lately I’ve just felt so creatively numb. I’d like to write somthing cute and clever, or hard hitting and serious, but it seems that all I can think about is my brother. My 17-year-old brother texted me at work 2 days ago and asked me when he would see me again. We don’t talk much these days, so it was a surprise to hear from him.

I replied:

“Are you coming to the birthday party next week?”
“I don’t know… I don’t really care. I really really hate my house, my parents, and my life.”
I remember thinking those exact words. I remember that depression. I remember hoping I would die every night when I fell asleep.

I got online right then and there and found him a cheap ticket to my town.

He’s on his way here right now. I’m going to pick him up at 11. As the time ticks on, I’m getting jittery. Being around him brings back so many memories. Up until around age 11, I shared a room with my just-older sister and we were best friends. But when mom and dad started letting her stay up an hour later than me, I started sneaking into my brother’s room after lights out to talk. He slept on the top bunk and one of my baby brothers was on the bottom. I would sit on the floor across the room and we would talk and talk. We cracked jokes and made fun of each other, I teased him about girls and he called me names. We geeked out about star wars ALL the time. I was (and am) an avid star wars fan and my brother and I have read all the books. About once a week, dad would catch me in the boy’s room after lights-out and we would both get spanked. My brother always got it worse than I did. I’d lay low for a couple days, but before long I was in his room again every night.

All the way through high school I found myself back on that familiar patch of carpet at night, talking to my brother about everything and nothing. He was the only one who knew where I was really going those weekends in the summer before college. I talked to him more than anyone else in my life, but when I left for college that August, I think I forgot to say goodbye. Just this week I’ve been realizing how badly I neglected our friendship. It makes my eyes sting and my stomach sick to think of him there at home, with suddenly no one who wanted to listen.

I asked my brother the other day if he and my dad have been talking at all lately. He said no. They never speak. My dad told me that he has “given up on him.” He rolled his eyes in disgust. “If he wants to be an idiot, he can. I give up.” I cringed when I heard him say that. Of course he doesn’t want to talk to you dad, you were a terrible father to him.  The only time my dad ever shouted was when he was correcting my brother. I remember him roaring “Good God Boy! When are you gonna GROW UP!” My brother got slapped, pushed, shoved, grabbed, pulled, restrained, and beat on a regular basis. I remember the look in my dad’s eyes whenever my brother did something wrong. He would fly into a rage. I was terrified that one day he would turn that glare on me; which, eventually, he did.

My brother was fun-loving, mischievous, and silly as a child. He loved to cook and play pirates and soldiers. As he grew older however, he developed a serious anger problem. Our parents never treated him with respect and he learned to defy them bravely. He disobeyed more than any of the rest of us. I remember him leaving the house and walking for hours in the dark and cold without a coat. My dad refused to go after him even though he was only 12 at the time. “He’ll come back when he gets hungry.” My brother has fallen into drugs and alcohol in the last couple years since I left. I’m pretty sure he is depressed as well. I don’t know what to do. I love him so much, but he is damaged to the point where he can’t even say he loves me too.

I am hoping I can use this weekend to reconnect with my brother. He was my best friend once. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even know him anymore, but I imagine that deep down under that shell of indifference and gloom, my fun-loving, silly brother is somehow still there. If I could go back in time, I would hug him a little harder on my way out that door. I would call him from college every week, tell him about my life and ask him about his. I would tell him first about the Boyfriend who would become my Husband. I would have sent him a card on his birthday, and I would have told him I love him a whole lot more.

I know I can’t take back those mistakes and missed opportunities. But I know I can at least start over, and that’s what I intend to do.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Let Go of My Soul (Spiritual Journey Part 1)

I think I’ve been avoiding talking about God on my blog. I don’t want to misrepresent myself. My beliefs change almost every day. 5 years ago I was a fundamentalist, yesterday I was an atheist, tomorrow I may be a Buddhist. This journey has been painful, liberating, intriguing, and confusing, and it is far from over. Part of me wants to wait until I know what I believe before I write about it, but it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else who has ever walked this path. So I’m finally going to write about the things that are bursting the seams of my mind, and the events that led me to where I am now.

My brother in law graduated high school in May of this year. Husband and I were at the grad party late into the night sitting around the bon-fire with Brother and his friends. These guys had just graduated “Someplace Christian High School” and their conversation represented everything that upsets me. They were chatting about how they “hated fags,” and “dikes in the military.” They used inappropriate derogatory terms to describe the girls they know. I’ve spent enough time around guys to know how they talk, but some of the things these boys said were just too much. I was angry at their senselessness. The undertone of their conversation was pride. They were great kids and they knew it. They talked about everybody else they were dirt.

Obviously these boys don’t represent the entire Christian community, but their attitude of self- righteousness was all too familiar too me. I started to see it everywhere; pastors, relatives, friends, all these Christians who judged and labeled and ignored. This was when I began to see that religion and personal morality did not go together. I believe it is wrong to hurt or discriminate against people. But if I chose to be a Christian like my friends, I would be forced to ignore my belief and vote against the repeal of "don’t ask don’t tell." 

Why is God so judgmental? Why is he so cruel? It wasn’t long before words like “Holy” and “judgment” “sinner” started making my skin crawl. I was angry with God. For the first time I was able to say it out loud. I would rant at my bewildered Husband about how selfish and vile God was. As my anger died down, I began to hope that maybe he just didn’t exist…

When I first started admitting that I struggled with the concept of God, it was very hard on my husband. God represents everything good in his life, and here I was bashing Him on a regular basis. We fought about it a lot at first. He pressured me a little, sometimes a lot, I think he felt like I was running headfirst off a cliff. It hurt me more than anything to think that my struggles with God were driving a wedge between us. We spent many nights hopelessly holding each other and crying, neither one knowing how to fix all this hurt. Slowly however, I learned to be sensitive to him and not so aggressive. He learned to let go of my soul and just hold on to my heart.

In church one day, the pastor talked about growing up in a home where God is used to hurt. He talked about his own struggles with faith. With tears in his eyes, he promised the congregation that God loved them and wanted to know them. That God was patient and empathetic. I cried through the whole last 20 minutes. I couldn’t stop myself. The tears just kept pouring down my face. Not because I felt particularly close to God, but because another human being had been where I was now, and he was telling me that it was going to be okay. That day I made a deal with God. If he would be patient with me, and love me, and show me who he is, then I would listen, and I would let him teach me.

And so I made peace with my “god” and peace with my husband. And for the first time in years, I was able to rest. I read a little, I blogged a little, and I let my heart rest. I stopped trying to fight my feelings of anger and sadness. I stopped trying to ignore the things that I secretly thought were good. I stopped forcing myself to think, and finally let myself feel. Of course anyone who knows me, knows that I can never rest for long…………

…………To Be Continued

(Next time I’ll talk about where I’m at now and what has helped me get here!)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tired of Being Green

I try to hide my age. Most people think I'm in my mid 20's and i just let them. But since this is my place to to be completely honest, I think I'll go ahead and out myself. On Tuesday of this week, i turned 20 years old. It was my Golden birthday. I guess that's supposed to be special right? One year older means nothing to me, except an excuse to stretch the budget for some new clothes. I feel like Ive been this old forever. Maybe when I'm 30 I'll finally feel my age...

I know it sounds strange, but i really like the idea of getting old. I mean REALLY old. I picture myself standing in front of the mirror counting every wrinkle and grey hair. I think age is beautiful. I long for the day when my body's flaws will not be my fault.

Outside the trees are drooping and changing colors. You can't tell which is best because they are all so different. Nobody expects the maple to be lush and green like his oak neighbor anymore. Nobody is disappointed when the shrubs stop blooming. The leaves were so beautiful when they were born in the spring, but when summer came they had to fall in line with everybody else. Fall does not mean death and decay to me. It's the time when the trees and grass can finally escape the strict monotony of green and express their differences.

The spring in my life was short and somewhat rough. I've been green since i was 12 years old... Every birthday I get one year older and stay the exact same boring color. I look forward to the wrinkles and new curves that will come with the autumn of my life. I'm tired of being green. I know it's probably a bit early to be saying that. 20 years old is young. I'm barely an adult.. But birthdays and Fall always seem to make me wistful. Maybe when my body catches up to my old soul I'll be proud to tell my age...

In the meantime, I'm going to put on my hat and scarf and go buy myself some colorful sweaters for my birthday.

I love fall..... :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Battling Depression

Anyone who has ever struggled with depression or addiction knows whats it's like to have that voice of oposition in your head. You fight against it every day just to stay sane. It pushes you towards that bottle, or away from your friends, or into the arms of you drug. I refer to this inner nemesis as "My Enemy." She is not a physical being. She is not the demon i always thought she was. She is simply everything in me that is wounded and broken. She is my depression. She is the voice of my past abuse. She is my self hatred, and she will do whatever it takes to keep me here alone.

My Enemy had built entire cities in my mind long before I learned that she was there. She used to run up and down the synapses in my brain, shouting and screaming in a voice just like mine. I thought she was me. I trusted my own voice. For so long time I thought that the things she said were true.
She used to scream at me for eating that extra cookie. She cheered me on every time I cut my wrists, and I secretly hoped I would cut too deep. She had me thoroughly convinced that I was ugly, and stupid, and awkward. She could say anything she wanted and I would eat it up, take it to heart, memorize it…. My Enemy owned me back then.

About a year ago, I was newly married, working two jobs, and trying to fit in in a new city. My enemy capitalized on my stressed body. She grew stronger than ever before. Vividly I remember that chocolate cupcake. I made it myself, with mounds of vanilla butter cream frosting. I had one with my friends, but when they left I couldn’t stop thinking about the last cupcake. My Enemy whispered that Husband would never know who ate it. “You could have it and be done. You know you want to!” But as soon as I took that first bite, her voice grew angry, disgusted, and ferocious. I ate the whole thing in three huge bites, with tears of shame pouring down face. The cupcake churned in my stomach and my Enemy churned in my mind. Before I knew what was happening I was crouching over the toilet, straining, retching, vomiting every last drop out of my stomach.

I sat on the floor outside the bathroom, hugging my knees and staring into the growing darkness. I was scared. I had promised myself I would never do that. I didn’t want to turn out like my aunt, with boney fingers chapped from the back of her throat. My Enemy promised me that it would all be okay. “This is the start of something great for you!” she promised. She showed me pictures of a thinner me. She showed me how easy it would be. No more guilt, no more consequences! The images faded to one my aunt....
 ...I was 11 years old, at a birthday party. I climbed up on the roof of our house to suprise my cousins who were playing in bedroom. As i crawled along the shingles under the bathroom window, i heard a noise, like someone pouring water in a pool.  I peaked in the window and saw my aunt there, doubled over the toilet throwing up. Her shirt was folded neatly on the counter to avoid being splashed. I could see her ribs poking up through her skin. My aunt, strong and beautiful, was here alone on her knees....
That forgotten image came flooding back into my mind. My aunt was not free from guilt. She was chained to that toilet for an hour that day. I knew then that my Enemy was lying. She was bitter, she wanted me to be alone. For the first time, my mind rebelled against her. For the first time, the foundations of her city began to shake. 

When Husband came home from work that night I was buried deep in the covers, wide awake. He kissed me held me in his arms. If he could have seen the battleground in my mind, I think it would have frightened him. My Enemy was using all her influence to keep my mouth shut. But something within me knew that it was time to speak. “I threw up tonight” I whispered. And that was the beginning of the end.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


One of my earliest memories is of playing hide-and-seek at Grandma and Grandpa’s trailer. I was lying in the dark under the bed with my face pressed down into the red shag carpet. Waiting. There were dusty shoe boxes and plastic-wrapped blankets stacked all around me. I felt like they were waiting too, for the sunlight, for someone to open them again. Like most children, I was patient only when it came to hiding games, and I was willing to lie there all night, if need be, for someone to find me. I put my hands over my eyes and pushed down on my eye balls. When I lifted the pressure, the space in front of me exploded with imaginary fireworks. I pressed down harder, and harder, until suddenly I thought that maybe I could see a set of eyes. They were big and round and silver and stared right back at me unblinking, like an owl. Completely forgetting the game, I wriggled out from under the bed and went charging down the hall into the kitchen.

“Gramma! When I hide under the bed, I can see an owl’s eyes looking at me!”
Grandma looked up from the dishes with concern on her face. Grandpa, who was sitting at the kitchen table while Grandma cleaned, ordered me to come and stand before him.

“What did you see?”

“Owl Eyes!” I laughed. “Big round silver ones! Under the bed when I close my eyes!”
I don’t remember what he said next, but I remember my excitement went suddenly cold. Grandpa was not happy. He asked me lots of questions, and before long, Grandma dried off her hands and came to sit with us at the table. They laid their hands on my head and prayed. Grandpa rebuked Satan in the name of Jesus and Grandma whispered “yes Lord” under her breath again and again.

I used to look back on that day as the moment when Satan entered my body. Later when I started hearing angry voices in my head, Dad told me it was Satan attacking me. But I was certain that Satan had already won. Those voices were coming from the inside where Satan had certainly taken up a residence. I didn’t tell Dad.

As a kid, I interpreted my hunger and growing pains as attacks from Satan; tricks from the devil, trying to make me fat and unsightly. I remember staring at myself in the mirror, screaming in a whisper. In moments like these I was consumed by hatred for myself, hatred so powerful that it terrified me. I remember digging into fleshy thighs with my fingernails until I bruised. Once I accidently cut myself shaving. I soon grew addicted to the sight of blood swirling and mixing with water on its way down the drain. I cut my fingers, toes, arms and legs, It was sweet release. I couldn’t stop. When my Dad read the story of the demon-possessed boy who threw himself against stones and into the fire, I was sure that I was like that boy. Possessed with rage, with hatred, with guilt. Possessed by the Devil.

I was ashamed of my sexual feelings from a very early age. I used to agonize and beg God to take away the demon that made my fingers stray to forbidden places. At around 13 or 14, I had my first explicit sex dream, and I dreamed about a girl. I was horrified. Dad had once told me that the homosexuality demon was particularly evil. I knew I was doomed.

I remember once I borrowed an old News Boys CD from a “liberal” friend and listened to it secretly at night. I had to sneak the CDWalkman under my pillow because they were not allowed in the house. I made copies on a tape recorder before returning the CD so that I could listen whenever I wanted. The songs were stuck in my head for days. When I started to pray, the lyrics would surface in my mind. That was when I knew my Dad was right. The Devil was in this music. It was preventing me from prayer! I crushed up the tapes with my bare hands and threw them in the garbage.

As I write all this my mind is flooded with demon-tainted memories. I mourn all those hours wasted begging God to take Satan out of my mind, out of my body, out of my wayward heart. Who would I be today if I had never been told there were demons to fear? How much blood did I lose as I stood stoic at the sink, watching Satan slip down the drain in swirls of red?

 What memories did I miss while I hid my true self from the world, afraid they would see that I was Possessed?