Sunday service…

So, today I made the choice to visit our church again with my husband. The church just recently moved to a new location so it was all brand new to me. I found it inviting and friendly, but I was not the same I’m afraid. I’ve mentioned before that I no longer walk a path of faith in my life. I’m afraid I’ve lost so much if my belief that God is an active, participating entity in our lives. I have come a long way from where I was when I originally ‘fell from grace’ if you will….for there was a period of almost 2 years when I could not speak the words God or Jesus, I couldn’t read any scripture or listen to Christian music without my head exploding in a cacophony of chaos, my whole body would start shaking and my throat would close like someone was strangling me…until I quit whatever I was doing. So now, I can have a conversation with friends about God, I can hear scripture and not have a meltdown and I can step into a church without fearing a total breakdown.

The place I am right now has nothing to do with my physical church. I posted on Facebook earlier this morning that I was at church and not feeling very comfortable. A couple of friends shared info about their churches thinking that I just wasn’t comfortable at my church. That is why am writing this now because I don’t want to have tell this story over and over as people start asking questions and start inviting me to their churches. The church is not the problem. In actuality, the church was great, even the message was spot on as it pertains to me. The problem is me, me and my demons. I can tell you in no uncertain terms that this path of faithlessness is much harder having known faith than it was before I discovered faith. I miss the passion I had, the desire to serve others, the willingness to go outside my comfort zone to help others find their path. Hell, I can’t even find my own path now, much less help someone else find theirs.

I’m very thankful for my calm, patient and persistent husband as he waited through my mini-meltdown just trying to get ready to go to church. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have even made it out of the house. But he waited, we made it and I didn’t burst into flames when I walked into the building!!! We got to talk to a few people, ones that know my struggle and had no desire to judge me but just to welcome me and appreciate my presence. They didn’t try to save me and I didn’t try to change their faith. We just talked and listened and it was good.

So, just so my friends understand…I am not having a problem with my church, I am having a problem with my faith. Changing churches isn’t going to fix that. And there is a real chance that it will never be ‘fixed. But, since my family loves to quote movies…”until such time as the world stops turning” I will continue trying to find my way…no matter what that way may be. I want to thank everyone who reached out, who asked questions or who just listened and tell you that your interest MEANS something to me and is appreciated. Thank you.

How can I…?

This is a huge question. No matter how the question is finished, it’s almost always an important question.

The biggest ending to this question for me is, “How can I…make people understand the incomprehensible? Let me show you what I mean. ..

I have a bad habit of thinking negatively towards myself. This tends to cause issues in a lot of areas in my life. Everyone seems to have a simple solution to my struggle, “You CHOOSE your thoughts & reactions and therfore just need to choose better. ”

I get it from so many directions. What I can’t seem to get anyone else to understand is that I DO “get it” and that is why I struggle so much. Because…how do I explain to any sane person that I do not believe I’m a good person and therfore do not feel I’m worthy off anything good, special, pure or anything remotely close to love. And the fact I DO have those things makes me feel guilty. Guilty because there are so many more worthy people out there who should be getting what I have. Guilty because those who give to me so willingly deserve to be giving what they have to offer to someone more worthy if it.

How do you learn to not hate yourself when the only way to do that is to completely change everything about yourself, and by doing that you’ll no longer be you… Ugh! I don’t know…I don’t even really know if I know what I’m trying to say…

How do we communicate?

I constantly find myself in the position that what I say isn’t what I was thinking. I have this huge issue with trying to tell someone how or what I am feeling but it ends up coming out totally wrong.

My solution to this only really makes things worse because I end up just bottling in everything. That eventually leads to a total blowup which not only does not help but pours fuel on an already out of control fire.

Someone once shared a great quote, I wish I could remember who said it but here it is anyway…

“we don’t have the right to tell someone that we did not hurt their feelings” ~ unknown

Basically, just because we did not mean to hurt someone, doesn’t mean we didn’t hurt them. We cannot know what all someone is going through, therefore we cannot know that our words or actions won’t hurt someone else. This means that we need to learn how to acknowledge that while we may not have meant to hurt them, we did and we’re truly sorry for doing so (unless, for some reason, that WAS the intended purpose. Sad, but a true fact). We have to find a way to talk through things like this without making it worse.

I would really like to believe this is a possibility, but somewhere deep inside, I don’t.  Especially where I am concerned. While I can be very good with the written word (as long as it’s just in relation to, say, my poetry or friendly, no deep thought letters or even short stories) I am horrible at in depth communication especially the spoken words! UGH!

These are the times when I feel like everyone around me would be better of if I was living in a cave!

 

Irrational Fears and God issues

Today I woke up with that pit in my stomach, again. The one that comes from my mind betraying me from the moment consciousness happens. I mean, as soon as I wake up, the irrational begins. Let me walk you through it a bit.

Our lives are inundated with stress. On so many different levels. Business issues. Family issues. Anxiety issues. I could keep going. This morning, my mind began taking away my joy about 2 trips we have scheduled and started injecting irrational fears about them. I woke up in a panic about going. Panic about the travel means. Panic about not being with my dogs. Panic about me ruining the trips. Just stupid, petty, irrational (yes, that’s my word for the day) things. Irrational. That is the overwhelming emotion(?) I awoke too today.

Which is a good segway into my “God issues”. There was a time in my life that I would have prayed my way through these panic attacks and irrational fears. But I no longer have the faith to pray. I am way past angry with God. I am at a place that I do not feel that I can worship a complacent God. I cannot make peace with a God who can sit and watch the horror and evil building in this world and do nothing. I cannot give me heart to a God who allows people to do horrific things…in his name. I get that he gave us free will to choose to follow him or not but to allow evil and hate to be spread in his name? I can no longer give my heart to a God like that. Yeah, I know, we find what we’re looking for and I’m sure there thousands of people who can tell me story after story about hope and love and miracles while thousands more can share stories of hatred and fear and evil. You CANNOT believe in God and not believe in evil. And while God has chosen to allow us the ‘free will’ to choose our path, the enemy has not. Evil has no inclination to allow us free will. Evil has, is and always will push us, pull us, smother us, manipulate us. Darkness is a tangible thing, it’s not just the absence of light.

Sometimes I think that I am a magnet for darkness. Sometimes I feel like I want to absorb as much darkness as possible if it will help someone else. Like I deserve the darkness while others do not. Like it is my purpose in life to be lost in the dark while still trying to help others into the light. All I know right now is that my heart no longer has room in it for God. Whether it will ever open up to him again I’ve no idea. I can only deal with my present reality. Well, ironically, I CAN’T deal with my reality which is why I am always hiding from it.

I’m taking one day at a time and taking tiny, little baby steps to move into a more positive place by doing at least one thing different every day. Emptying one more box at the house. Filing one more piece of paper at the shop. Writing one more blog post trying to get the darkness out of my head.

I woke up today. That makes this a good day.

Just rambling

So, I managed to completely alienate my sister. Unfortunately, I reached out to her during a very bad time mentally for me and just screwed everything up. In my moments of darkness, my immediate, knee-jerk reaction is to cut everyone out of my life, so after quite a few not so nice words between her and I, I deleted her of Facebook and blocked her. After a couple of days, the regret set in, so I unblocked her (yes, I know, this is petty and childish and just one of the MANY reasons I’m going back to counseling for as long as I can). The funny part is that once she realized I had unblocked her, she turned around and blocked me right back. I should have expected it. I am not good for her. She’s had MANY people tell her how toxic I am to her. Hell, I’m pretty toxic to myself. It’s my fault really, I keep going through these moments where I imagine that I can get my crap together and try to have real relationships with people but it always bites me in the butt and hurts them too.

Then, to pour a little more salt into the wound, I went to my nephew’s FB page today and discovered that while I can still see the posts there and even share them, I cannot like any of them or comment on them. Either this happened automatically because she blocked me from her personal page or she went out of her way to make sure I can’t reach her at all because she believes that I would cause some kind of drama on my nephew’s page. But it’s ok. I guess I deserve it. I guess I just wish I would stop going to see if I’m still blocked. It’s my nature though, to seek out as much negativity as possible. It’s kind of like checking my son’s FB page, mostly to see if he is still alive but just to see if he’s said anything else negative about me. Of course, I can only see his public posts since we are not friends on FB but no matter, that’s me, a glutton for punishment.

I wish I could truly put into words how my brain works (or doesn’t work). I wish I could show people the depths of darkness inside that stays hidden, buried away from the the sight of anyone, so that I can pretend to be ok. I think, though, that if anyone really felt the depth of hatred I have for myself they would literally lose their breath. I can barely breathe sometimes because of it. I look around at all the damage I do daily and it simply amazes me that anyone still talks to me at all. But then, I put on a good face for social media. And to be honest, I truly get joy from making others feel better, by encouraging them (well, everyone except my husband that is – another story for another time). I get urges all the time to compliment people, to buy a meal for someone, to send out a note…whatever, just to make someone smile. But only if it’s from a distance. I truly suck at responsibilities. I don’t follow through on commitments, I don’t handle my responsibilities at our business, I can barely make myself clean up after myself much less organize my life into a functioning thing.

You know, I almost wrote my sister a letter today. I wanted to tell her how sorry I was that I did it again. I wanted to tell her that I was going to counseling again. I wanted to tell her that I hate that I am not the sister she needs. I wanted to tell her anything that might help her understand why I keep screwing up, but, well…damn, I don’t understand why so how am I supposed to explain it to her? I think it’s time I accepted that that door needs to stay closed. If for no other reason than just to keep my sweet nephew away from ‘unnecessary family drama’. And I am definitely that. That’s how I feel, unnecessary.

Sadly, all these issues are finally starting to breakdown my marriage as well. I mean, my husband is under so much stress and all I do is cause him more stress. I don’t do anything productive or even supportive to help him. I just hurt him, daily. My darkness is too much for him to handle especially since he’s fighting to survive all on his own. We cannot communicate at all. My words just get screwed up from the time they leave my head and make it to my mouth. My anger is constant, just simmering, waiting for just the right moment to boil over and burn anyone near me…and that is usually him.

I hate that I am still saying the same things about myself that I have said for almost 50 years. I hate that I know there is a part of me that really wants to be free to be happy, to be helpful, to be a real wife, a real business partner, a real mother but the dark side of me keeps trying to suffocate her. I hate that the things that caused my separation from my mother and my child are the same things I hate about myself.

I don’t know, maybe my counselor will be able to break down the walls. He managed to see inside my head more than I believed possible in just 2 sessions a year or two ago. That’s why I meeting with him again. To this day I remain in awe at a couple of things he told me after just being around me for 2 hours.

Only time will tell, but I can’t help but feel like I’m running out of time.

Scars run deep

One of the biggest problems with having been a selfish, self-centered, pathological lying, self-destructive person most of my life is trying to change and communicating with others.

It all starts with little things when you’re young, like kids being mean to you or your parent being verbally abusive to you and you start believing that you aren’t worth anything or that you have nothing good to give anyone and therefore you start building this wall around you. It’s not just a wall to keep people out but it’s also to keep you in. Because it seems to you that everytime you come out you make things worse.

People tell me I write so well and that I should become a professional writer. The problem is that I am a horrible communicator. It feels to me like every time I open my mouth, I screw things up. I’m told it’s because I choose to believe that the whole world is against me so I just take everything the wrong way and twist it into a personal attack against me, but it’s all in my head. That nobody is saying or doing anything to hurt me, that I just take it that way, because I feel I deserve to be treated badly therefore everyone must be treating me badly when in reality everyone is just trying to help me.

Ironically, when I come to the conclusion that they must be right and that I should just keep all my imagined hurts to myself I get told I’m wrong for that too, that I’m just being passive-aggressive by not talking.

Do you ever get the feeling there is no way to be right? Now please understand, I know who I am. I know what I’ve done wrong. I know I’ve made people very close to me feel like they don’t do anything for me or that all they do is treat me bad and I know that I’ve truly not been there for them…ever.

And this is where another conundrum comes in. I DON’T deserve him. He doesn’t deserve my treatment of him. I am NOT worthy of his love or the way he’s taken care of me. He deserves to be happy. And he’s finally starting to see and believe he will never be happy with me. He doesn’t have faith in any changes I make, doesn’t believe they’re real changes or that they’ll last.

Another irony is that if our relationship was even 1/8 what people think it is we’d be doing great. If I was even 1/10 the ‘great person’ people think I am, things would be so different. But it isn’t and I’m not…

Unnecessary Family Drama

I woke up in a cold sweat this morning at around 4 a.m.

Before I elaborate further I need to say these 2 things; First, I am pretty much writing these blogs with the thought that nobody is reading them. I can’t imagine why anyone would, I mean, they’re pretty much incoherent rants from a broken mind. I write because it helps get the narrative out of my head. Sometimes, I have these thoughts that cycle over and over in my head and they won’t go away until I write them down.

Second, on the off chance there is someone reading this, you should research something called The 5 Love Languages. This explains that every person has a different ‘language’ that they thrive on. The only problem is that our personal love language may not be the same as those close to us. In addition, our love languages can have a nemesis if you will. Let me explain a bit more because it has a lot to do with why I woke up so early and couldn’t go back to sleep.

My main love language is Words of Affirmation. This means that, by nature, positive words fill my ‘love’ tank. It also means that I enjoy sharing words of encouragement and support with others. Well, with others except my family.

I was raised with a lot of negative words growing up. Negative words are dangerous to a person whose love language is Words of Affirmation. They do as much damage, if not more, as the positive words do good. There is a part of me that has taken in all the negative words I have heard and clutches onto them with desperation for the only purpose of using them against myself later. I’m sure I’ll get into this more later, either in this post or another.

Anyway, all of that to explain the title of the post and the affect those words had on me. Those words were used by someone whom I’m 90% sure was using them in relation to me. I mean, it was either me or one other person because they don’t have much family around and no one else who would cause them this level of stress. Doesn’t really matter though, because I’ve taken ownership of those 3 words. I woke up this morning and those 3 words started playing over and over in my head. They are a perfect description of me…in 3 little words. Unnecessary. Family. Drama. I tried to go back to sleep but the narrative in my head kept getting louder and louder until I finally got out of bed and went to take a shower which is when my husband found me crouched on the floor crying because I couldn’t make the words stop. Every negative thing anyone has ever said to me and that I have said to myself just kept circling over and over in my head. This is what happens when a ‘Words of Affirmations’ person gets negative words instead. Maybe not all of us, but those of us with issues with self-esteem and self-loathing hear the negative (even when we use it on ourselves) and cling to them for dear life because they justify our feelings for ourselves. Ironically, a “Words of Affirmations” person who doesn’t like themselves ends up cowering under positive words because we don’t feel worthy of them.

There are people out there who think I’m a good person. But these are people who don’t call me family and don’t have to deal with me on a daily basis. Now, before anyone gets upset about what I just said, please understand I use the terms good/bad person in relation to myself differently than the deeper meanings of those expressions. I’m not a bad person in that I would abuse a child or an animal or break laws. When I say I’m a bad person I mean that because I have emotionally abused those closest to me. I’m a bad person because I am convinced that I am a bad person and that I have nothing to give anyone and so I ‘protect’ myself by keeping everyone at arm’s length. I am constantly doing whatever I can to create a self-fulfilled prophecy that I am not worthy of anyone therefore everyone will leave me eventually, when in reality, it is I who makes them leave because nobody can handle my crazy forever. Everytime I open my mouth to try to make things better, the words that come out just make things worse. I have already lost my mom, my sister and my son…I guess I just keep believing that the rest will be gone soon too, it’s only a matter of time.

However, with all that being said, I sit here now trying to figure out how to work my way through all my issues without alienating anyone else and I’m stumped. I know I am going to need help to get through my chaos and confusion that won’t go away willingly, but there are some things that I’m going to need to face on my own or they will never get better. I’ve got a long, long, LONG painful road ahead towards recovery. For now, I’m just trying to focus on no longer being unnecessary…family drama.

Can we talk?

Well, can you listen? Wait, wait, I’m afraid what you heard was can you HEAR me but what I said was can you LISTEN to me? You see, I’m about to say some pretty brutal, not so nice things about myself and I need you LISTEN to what I say, not just hear it and then try to argue with me or try to fix me. Just. Listen.

“I hate you. I hate you. I. Hate. You.”

This is the soundtrack playing in my head daily. This is the first thing I hear every morning and the last thing I hear at night. This fact is the one thing that let’s me know I’m not narcissistic, because narcissists think they’re a gift to the world. However, it is because of these words that I have destroyed (or am destroying)relationship I’ve ever had. I do not know how to love others because I do not know how to love myself. Right now, honestly, I’d be happy with just not hating myself.

You know what? You don’t have to believe me. I know the truth. I know that I sabotage anything good that comes into my life. I have been given the greatest gift in the world and have spent almost 30 years trying to throw it away. I have made a mess of so many things in my life and then have the audacity to be offended by the results of my actions.

I am not a child of God. I am not a child of anyone. And yet I’m still a spoiled brat little toddler.

I can’t even write anymore without sounding like a pathetic, self-centered jerk. Everything I say (& write) sounds fake.

It’s fight or flight time. But I’m not sure what to fight for first or what I think I would be running from. I don’t know how to fight myself and I can’t run away from myself.

I know there are others out there who are or have been where I am. I know this because I’ve heard it in songs, I’ve read it in books and I’ve seen it in movies.

I wish I believed that I could feel different as much as I WANT, no NEED, to be different. I fight this crazy war in my head daily. Most of the time the dark, angry, bitter part of me is winning but lately there has been this little voice trying to be heard. She tries to tell me that I’m not really a bad person and I laugh at her and simply start listing all the people I’ve hurt and things I’ve done or (not done) and that usually shuts her right up, especially when I dare her to tell me what good I’ve done. Do you hear crickets in the silence? But every now and then she stands her ground and tries to convince me that even if all that is true I can still change. *more laughter here*

Just so you know, I’m writing this woe is me piece with the hopes that someone will tell me I’m wrong. Nobody can tell me I’m wrong. I see the truth in the mirror every day. I’m just writing this because it’s the one way I can get it out of my head. My soul begs to write. Sometimes I even write good stuff. But not right now. Now I just write randomness and confusion, with no real direction. Right now I’m just making new scars.

Deep thoughts while waiting on Irma…

Some of my friends and family know that I have been struggling with my faith for quite some time now. Not my belief in God but in my faith that he is still an active God. I truly believe that this world was created and not just formed by chance. There are way too many complicated things and things that work together naturally to believe that a big bang made this world happen. You believe what you want about that,  I won’t judge you for it and I expect you not to judge me for what I believe.

I think the hurricane that we’re facing here in Florida right night (Irma) has actually reinforced my lack of faith while it is at the same time reinforcing the faith in others. There are those rude, uninformed, hateful people who truly have no idea what Jesus was/is really about who are saying things like, “Texas & Florida are getting hammered by God’s vengeance for this or that (insert whatever sin you want here)…” and on and on and on.  Even with my faith shaken I can tell you with confidence that if God was really that vengeful ISIS would not still be a problem and groups like the Westboro Bastard Cult would have been struck down a long time ago for the blasphemy they spew using God’s name to spread hate and evil like they do. The fact that there are still so many child abusers, animal abusers, sex trafficking, terrorists etc., is just one of the reasons my faith in an active God has been torn apart. I cannot accept that God gave us free will to choose to love him and follow him while allowing the enemy to manipulate us, blind us, deafen us and twist us how he wants.

A friend recently told me that instead of turning to the Scripture that I am very familiar with to find my faith, I need to ‘have it out with God’ by using my gift of writing to argue with him, to call him out, to tell him how I feel about what I see and what I am feeling. He said to me that I should yell at God for abandoning me, but I told him that in all fairness I abandoned him, not the other way around. I walked away. No, I ran away. I ran so far away from him and so deep into the darkness that comes from not having faith in the light any more that I feel like there is truly no way back. So now I am just trying to find a new normal. Trying to figure out how to do life without my faith. The one thing I will not do is try to make others believe, or disbelieve, the way I do.  This is MY personal journey and I have no business trying to make others think like me. I’m not afraid to talk about God with others and I don’t begrudge or try to belittle those who believe so fully and have so much faith. I am happy for them, because I know that they are in a good place and why would I think less of them for that? Besides, I used to say, “I’d rather live my life like there is a God and find out I’m wrong than to live my life like there isn’t one and be wrong”. I still believe in all the things Jesus talk about love, because how could love be wrong? How could it be wrong to love those around you and to treat them kindly and to help when needed and to give when you have excess while others have nothing?

This storm has made me have to face the fact of the estrangement from my mother and sister too. They both live in Cocoa and I’m worried sick for them. We did send out a message that they would be welcome to come stay with us but, of course, got no reply because why would they? I made the choice to close those doors for a multitude of reasons but that does not mean that I don’t still care about them and their welfare. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still mourn the loss of those relationships. I just had to accept that I could not give them what they expected from me and therefore did not want to continue to cause them more stress by not meeting those expectations. At least this way, they no longer expect anything from me and therefore only have to deal with any loss they feel from no longer having me in their lives, just as I feel their loss in my life. Sometimes, you just have to accept that blood, while it may be thicker than water, is NOT the most important. Tar & quicksand are thicker than water too but they both will drag you to your death if you go in too deep.

So, I sit here typing and thinking about God and whether he is really still around or if he gave up and left us to destroy ourselves on our own. I try to decide what my opinion is of a God that would allow such atrocities to occur at the hands of man because of ‘free will’. I wonder about a God that is so present in some lives and so absent in others. What I don’t wonder about is how he must feel about his children leaving him. I know how He feels to know his children are convincing others that he is horrible, hateful, abusive and more. That feeling I know well. And so I still wonder about God, because I know there is NOTHING I can or could have done to change the way my child feels about me, so how do I deny that God is not around? The hypocrisy there is mind boggling and adds more obstacles to my journey.

The beginning of the end…?

It appears that I may be imploding in on myself and leaving a lot of collateral damage behind. I have let everyone in my life down with my lies, addictions (not the kind you may think), EXCUSES and selfishness. I have caused pain and distrust in the people I love the most. I have hurt the people who have been there for me through everything.

And now, I don’t know how to fix it. I’ve spent so much of my time blaming my issues on others (ugh, I am what I hate the most in others) that I have no solutions to fix it. I don’t know if I can fix it. I need to change. I NEED to change. But it’s very apparent that I don’t WANT to change. I am fighting a battle that I don’t believe can be won. And so I’m heading closer and closer to a self-fulfilled prophecy. One where I end up alone because I either chase everyone away or I quit on them like I have on everything else in my life.

Some battle scars run too deep to heal. And I find myself in a conundrum. How do I make the changes I need to make without the trust or belief of the people who I want to change for? How do I deal with my hurt and anger over their hurt and anger when it is my fault they are hurt and angry? How do I move forward, making changes when my support system is no longer able to support me? I know I cannot change alone. I know I need help. However, I don’t know how to change the most important thing wrong with me. I. Don’t. Like. Myself. I am truly disgusted by who I am and the things I’ve done. I’m hurt over being told that my presence somewhere has really only been allowed to continue in order to protect me from myself and keep me from falling deeper into the dark AND that going out into the ‘world’ hasn’t been an allowable option because I can’t be trusted. So basically, I am a toddler that need to be babysat. Those words just keep ringing in my head. I’m hurt because of them and I hate myself that I made them be said. And I don’t think I can keep living like that. It also begs the question, why does anyone want me around anyway? I can’t be trusted, I don’t really do anything for anyone (other than short little spurts during a crisis), I just hurt and hurt and hurt. It can’t be because of blood because blood doesn’t mean much anymore. I just can’t wrap my mind around WHY they want me around. “I” don’t even want me around.

I was told today that not only am I angry with myself for all my issues, but I’m angry at others for their ability to push themselves through their own issues and to not fall apart like I do. I’m angry at them for making all they do seem so easy.

All this to say that I find myself, yet again, at a familiar crossroad. I need to change. I want to change. Well…I want to want to change. I know I can’t do it alone but don’t know how or where to get help. I know I should turn to my family for help but they’re too busy trying to deal with their stuff and cleaning up my messes. And yet, I’m still supposed to turn to them for help…? I’m so confused. So lost. So hopeless. I am alone…because I have made myself alone. God no longer speaks to me and I am no longer listening for him. So now, I have to figure out how to silence the negative narrative that is constant in my head. For I don’t believe there is any hope for me if I cannot figure out how to stop hating myself.