The Catch and the Caught

So, I guess here’s the place where I decide to start talking to you again, God.

That, or keep up this dialogue with myself that keeps me stagnant and rotting. To call life without you death is something I have found true. To call me dead would be almost accurate–only that I’m more like a walking dead, because I continue to exist here, without change, without love, without happiness. I always blame you for how you know I need to learn things the hardest of ways…but that’s really not you. I get to chose how I want to learn things. And I keep choosing the hardest.

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Life without you is death. I cannot be more miserable, even though I have been. Now, without cutting myself, without trying to kill myself, I still exist.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

My days are so evil. They are of trying to grasp any kind of “happiness” or endorphines I can, as much as I can, and never finding happiness. They are of flotsam, bouncing on the waves under the dock, caught up and stuck in rotting net, with a putrid rainbow of spilt oils and chemicals floating around me. They are of stink, of rot, of decay preserved on the surface, to bring sickness and disgust to all around, unable to quietly sink and be gone.

I’m tired of rotting, on the surface and underneath. As I live my life outloud, my stench of death turns the stomachs of those around me, and I live under this dock, floating my time away. My days are evil.

Today, my pastor spoke about those verses above. And how my day rots. He mentioned his time in a Southern Baptist church (the type of church in which I was raised) throwing off dark robes to reveal their choir robes, singing “He’s Alive!” He spoke about being in that sort of church, listening to the “free gift” explanation of the “gospel message.” All these things, more than familiar to me. Things I try to avoid because they somehow, in my life, were not true. Turned me off to God. He explained when he heard this “message,” he thought, “There must be a catch.” And then, he said, “There is.”

Ah, that. Things are never as good as they sound. And this “free gift” that allowed me to live my life in any way I wanted never seemed that good. (See: flotsam. See: acid rot. See: bobbing dead.)

The catch: you have to give your life over entirely to him. He owns it now.

Cue: fireworks. Cue: lightbulb. Cue: washing off the mud from eyes.

If I want this gift, it’s free. No catch. But if I want the happiness and the joy and the fulfillment and the communion and the safety and–not the love, but the ability to experience the love–I need to give it all over. “Give it all over.”

Give it all, over and over and over and over and over. And over and over and over again, over and over again.

Thankfully, that’s not what I have to DO, but what I need to allow.

It’s a lot. But considering the stench, it’s nothing. It’s a life of rotting or a life of being. I want to be.

Happy. Purposeful. Inspired. Loved. Joyful. Laughing. Feeling. MEANING.

So, I get the message. “The Good but-not-without-a-catch News.”

The “‘Sounds Like a Sacrifice’ News.”

Except…it’s an offer between rotting and living. And that’s a choice that’s not to hard to make. Maybe at first…and what do I know–hard for some people who can live happily without living entirely owned by God. But I–obviously–cannot. (For my sake, I hope I never forget this.)

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LIES

That I am that person from last night.

That misery will always be my home and resting place.

That I have to live my life dictated by my past.

That I am worthless.

That I should hang out with negative influences.

That God’s love is based on me.

That I should hate my body.

That others determine my value and I should base my self-perception on their views.

That my past determines my future.

That if I can’t be perfect, I should do whatever I want.

That I should determine my value based on how I compare to others, or vice versa.

That God doesn’t help me.

That I can’t face negative things and must disassociate.

That demons have any semblance of power over the HS who lives in me.

That if I try hard enough, I can be perfect.

That I’m never going to be OK.

That I’m never going to be enough (and I need to be by my strength).

That I have the right to hate myself and treat myself like trash.

That I should live separate and alone, and sleep all day.

That I’ll never have a close relationship with God.

That I decide what my relationship with God is/should be.

That I own myself.

That I should be overwhelmed because I have to do everything in my life by myself, without help.

That I am unable to have a relationship with others because I am too messed up.

That I have the right to steal because I feel bad off.

That I’m crazy and should live that way.

That my world, life, home, appearance should be what I think others want it or expect it to be.

That no one else feels like I do.

That no one else feels worse.

That what I perceive is what is true.

That what others think of me matters (as to my value).

That God abandoned me and did not help me.

That what I do determines who I am: that what I do matters or doesn’t matter in my value to God.

That I don’t understand Grace, so t doesn’t cover me, and I have no relationship with Jesus or God.

That how “I am doing” (emotionally, spiritually, etc) is based on what I do: exercise, be good, read the Bible, etc)

That I determine who I am.

That praying will make no difference, that reading the Bible will make no difference. That only acting right (being good) can fix me, and fix my relationship with God.

That my will is what is most important.

That I determine who others are.

That I know God’s plan.

That God cannot make me fully happy.

That I determine who and where I am by how I feel at any given moment.

That I decide how my relationship with God is going.

That the way I live (blown like the wind) is God’s plan and will.

That the way God feels about me is different than how he feels about everyone else.

3.6.13

It’s been quite a while, and quite a ride. As I write this, I’m sitting at a non-profit where I am volunteering to help the homeless. In actuality, it’s giving me a chance to get to know people that I actually feel for and relate to.

After Christmas, I ended up changing medications and have started on something that really levels my head out. I’m also working on my living habits. I’ve gotten a treadmill which I use to decorate my living room, and I still struggle with drinking. I’ve moved off of all hard liquors and down to only one large bottle of wine a night. This has been off and on–I had about a three week spread of no drinking after I drank and ended up in bed with a meth dealer.

Out of character, to say the least.

I did things that I had never done before, and things that I never imagined I would.

That motivated me to get my act together. Since then, I’ve committed to being involved at my church, and at my non-profit (which is connected with and next door to my church). I’m working on cancelling out negative ideas with the truths that come from God. It’s really difficult, as my life has been nothing but concreting these lies into my head. Drinking, understandably, makes the distinction that much more difficult.

The thing that is really the hardest for me to understand is grace/mercy. I “know” that Christ died for me, I “know” that it was a sacrifice for God and Christ to have him die, and I “know” it was for me, but I cannot forgive myself, and I cannot live a life where I am imperfect AND in union with God. I feel it necessary to either live in sin, or live in perfection (which I cannot).

It’s confusing and would be despairing, but I’m going to continue to trust in what God says. Because that’s the only thing that really gives me life.

The Plight Before Christmas

This week, I’ve been hospitalized three times for “suicidal ideation.”

The first time was this past Wednesday, when I cut myself and called a suicide hotline. She asked for my address, and within fifteen minutes, there were seven cops and three paramedics standing in my apartment. (The same vision greeted me yesterday morning, so it’s a bit hard to differentiate between the two.)

They took me to the hospital, and I was looked over and found to be alright to go home. I insisted I had been planning to go to an outpatient care that day at two (I had), and that because I was in the hospital, I couldn’t. They called my psychiatrist and she vouched for me that I was bright, kind, and good-to-go.

My birth parents (the abusers) came and got me, and–MIRACLE! And evidence to me of my great deal of progress!–I had no emotional reaction. Normally, them even hearing about anything to do with me causes great psychological distress, ESPECIALLY about my mental health, which I tie directly to their abuse.

I ensured everyone I was fine and went home and popped a cork. Hours and glasses later, I was sitting in a cop car, hands cuffed behind my back, after telling him to shoot me, and that I had a knife in the car.

DRAMA, DRAMA.

I’m a very melodramatic slosh.

And blogger, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Anyway, they took me directly back to the same hospital, and this time, there was no talking my psychiatrist out of it over the phone–I was going to inpatient treatment.

The facilities were STARK clean, and I still can’t get the cloyingly intense antiseptic scent out of my bright neon hoodie. I was hospitalized once before, around five or six years ago, and the people were much “less crazy” here. Last time, one woman insisted the necklace I wore I stole from her, another man asked the nurse incessantly for  hand lotion to jack off in the leisure room, and there was a lot more silence, gloom, and CNN.

I wasn’t allowed to talk to the psychiatrist until the next day, as I arrived around 5pm. (I was stuck in the medical hospital from 12 Wednesday am until 4:30 Thursday night–16 or so hours–so I was obviously NOT pleased to learn I would have at least another 24 hours to go.

Finally the time came, after lots of pacing and a great deal of trying to remain calm. My “parents” came to get me at 5pm on Thursday night–around 40 hours altogether away from home–and I was at my apartment by eight or so.

At this point, things are a big confusing. I have my PC calendar out, and I’m having a hard time accounting for days. I know I took a day off, and then worked a day, and I think I had another off and worked one more–Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve at approximately 4 am, I called the hotline again, talked to someone incredibly unhelpful who kept asking if I was suicidal (I wasn’t) and if I was cutting (I was). She warned the police, who EVER SO HELPFULLY had kept my address right at hand, and they were there within five minutes.

This time, they tried to bang their way in as I scrambled my way into clothes without enough time (or facilities) to hide the knife/cuts. They came in, all eight and three paramedics, with other cops lining the hallway outside. I insisted I was fine, had a panic attack at all the people, and was loaded into an ambulance.

I will say, thank GOD for the shot they gave me the first, second, and third! time I was taken in. By then, I already recognized faces and saw some I was relieved to–and some, not so much. The very pregnant social worker–I must have begged over 39 times to see a social worker in the past week–was, unfortunately, the same one I saw the first night, who I had so helpfully yelled at about her rudeness “bitching outside my room with the Poe-Poe, talking about her stupid baby.” She….uh…didn’t seem happy to see me. She insisted I stay over night (it was around 5am when I saw her), so now I’m desperately counting down hours, knowing I promised to be at the abusers’ (let’s call them “sponsors,” I can swallow that so much more easily) at eleven on Christmas.

I got an EKG (to check my heart–it was fine, it was only a panic attack, as I had said prior) and another blessed shot and floated off to Christmas carols droning out of the television on a crane that I’d pulled as closely as possible to drown out Paul Bunyan and the other nutcrackers of the ER.

At 9, I woke with a start, without any clatter, and found out that I’d JUST missed the social worker. The idea that I would want to sleep instead of going home was beyond my understanding, and I begged  my nurse to call her again. She came by, and (I’m cutting this mercifully short, as I wish I could have in life) told me that I had to have a family member get me.

The rest of this story is a bit too close to home, as I am now sitting on my sister’s bed in my “sponsors'” house, not ten feet from a Christmas tree. Needless to say, there was  lot of yelling about how I had permanently destroyed Christmas for the rest of history–the “for all people, everywhere” was implied). (I found that hilariously ridiculous, which, again, is a sign of progress.)

I will say, I was grateful to ______, my pastor, for coming in and seeing me, although I wish it had been under better circumstances–in my own clothes rather than a hospital patient “gown,” for example.

Gown. Haa. Ho, ho, ho.

Days.

I want my life to bloom into something beautiful.

I want it to be horrible and rotten, swollen, tightened unto itself, rotting.

And then, I want it to bloom.

I want that which is horrifying and deadly to become something which bursts into new.

Instead, all is the same.

It is surprising in itself that I continue to try. What a strange thing. But seriously, why continue in this way? There needs to be a new. This limbo needs to die.

I seem convinced things are one way, or they are another.

I am nothing but convinced I cannot exist split in half.

But, I do.

I want that magic day where everything is ok, but instead, I am promised a process. I hate process.

I am tired of being misunderstood. I’m tired of what I try so desperately to explain to be nothing but suggestions. I’m tired of who I am seen as being nothing like who I really am.

And mostly, I am tired of having no idea who the hell I am.

Yes, I try to trust that I am who you say I am. But you say I am ok, no matter what.

That, that. That’s ridiculous.

I am trying so hard to make enough mistakes to make what happened to me make sense. I’m trying to deserve shit. I’m trying to have a reason to want to kill myself.

And I was so desperately trying to be ok before. When all those things happened to me. I was trying to prove that I was ok, and so many things happened to me. Things that children shouldn’t know about, happened.

So what, now?

I’m supposed to stop trying to have a reason for that to have happened?

I’m supposed to stop creating death for myself?

I, who think I’m doing well because for once I am not trying to kill myself?

Who, for once, drive and don’t wish to crash and die?

God, your idea of me,

I don’t agree.

I just don’t.

It doesn’t make any sort of sense.

I am not what you say I am.

I’m sorry, I know you want something else for me.

But that’s not who I am. You’re wrong–I deserve death, always. I need to make this make sense.

Help.

Nothing is new. And those differences I first notice are all only misunderstandings of different ways people do things to take care of the same situations.

I feel like I am dead, and rotting. I don’t know an age to say, because I’m 24, and what do I know of 80, or 90, or even 30? Or 25? Or, even, 24?

But I know death, and I live it.

I want to have this life from God, this life that is promised to me, now. I believe it is true, and I am so desperate for it, but I am tired of being denied it. I give all I have to be a part of it, and I don’t even get a note.

God, I know your truths, but I do not believe them. I have faith in them, and in you, but they have no meaning to me. I realize you died for me, but that means nothing to me. I want to and have wanted to die for so long, it is not something that seems shocking to me.

The fact that I have, in my place and in who I am, asked you for help so many times–my prayers, that I note, so often just ‘HELP’ ‘HELP’ ‘HELP ME’ with no even note of response.

Is that you, failing me? Or is that people, failing me?

God, I can’t blame people. I am a person, and I’m such a shit one. Who am I to ever judge anyone?

And, of course, who am I to judge you?

But I can easily point my finger at myself.

God, if you are not going to help me, if you are never going to save me from the lies about you and about me and about life that CONTROL me, and DEFINE me, then I truly beg you to let me die. God, I cannot handle you not answering my cry for help.

You did not save me from that house.

And I do not feel you here, giving me love, and rescuing me from the desperation that is my life.

I know I am to blame.

I know this.

But how do I fix something that I cannot help but do?

I know that I can only live through you, so I need you to make me live.

GOD, I want life. I want the life that you promise us. I want to live as you live. I want to bring love and joy and peace and goodness and MERCY. I want to be something good, God. I am so tired of not being enough. I am so tired of being hated. I am so tired of hating me. I am so tired of being alone. I am so tired of wanting to die. Please, God, I ask you with everything I am, help me. Please, give me the strength to keep going after you. I find it so hard to trust that you really love me.