>Past

>I keep deleting what I am going to say. I took a free Enneogram thingy last night and I think I am number 4: “The Individualist” which could explain why I rarely write on here or share my true self with that many people:

The Individualist: The introspective, romantic type. Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. At their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.

Who knows if anyone reads this. While I write, I simultaneously and desperately hope and fear that people will read this.

I am in Wausau, Wisconsin visiting my parents. In the last few days, old things have come in to haunt me. In many ways I am healthy, thanks be to the Only One who can turn Ugliness into Beauty. I praise my Savior for changing me, even though I highly doubt anyone in my life really notices. For the first time in 9 years, I am not on an antidepressant and have felt more emotionally and physically healthy than I can ever remember! (Although maybe not a lot of people realize it because I unfortunately tend to complain a lot…at least I am aware of it!)

Despite my freedom (overall) from depression, things from my past still have their wretched claws gripping my heart. It seems everywhere I look I hear and see babies, engagement rings, people kissing, and white dresses. Is that ever going to be me? I feel like a few different people because while I have no desire to date and could not imagine having a couple of kids and being forced to cook and clean for a man…I am aching to at least HAVE THE OPTION of doing those things. And I don’t. At least at the age I am now…because if any of that happens I know in my heart it won’t be for at least 5 years. What’s wrong with that you might ask. Most of the time, I encourage myself with that very thought: “It’s not too late.” and “It WILL happen for you. It just may be ten years later than you’ve always dreamed.” But then some weird thing inside me says, “Look at how you have failed. It won’t happen.” Then my combating answer, “You’re right-it won’t if I keep repeating history. But with God’s hand, there will be a miracle. I will learn how to love.” (Because that’s what I think the problem is with me and men. Granted I know, I am not totally to blame in my failed relationships but there’s one common denominator in all of them: me. And for some reason I can’t love a guy because of all my negative thoughts toward him and it needs to change!)

I feel like I am going in circles. Today in my personal journal I was reflecting on how I don’t want to open my past because it’s too painful, but yet I NEED to in order to figure out what my problem is…because it will just come out and continue to haunt me if/when I decide to date again (it already does and I’m not even dating).

I felt like I was getting closer to being free of this lie that my self-worth is dependent on my marital status. Overall, I am. But the last few week old memories have fluttered in (being in my hometown does not always help) and I’ve been feeling angry at myself for not being “over this” and content with who I am. But does being content mean stuffing the crap in your closet? In comparison to what others in my life are dealing with and the disaster in Japan, why would anyone freaking care about my problems?

If you don’t see this posted, it’s because I deleted it. I am “withholding [myself] from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective” but hopefully one day I won’t be this way.

>New Things

>My mind is busy as always. The last two weekends were pretty fun. I went to IL to see family. Got to stay with my beloved cousin, Becca and her husband Dan. It was refreshing to get away. Then, on Monday, my first day of Teacher Workshop Week, a really bad cold hit, from which I am still recovering.

My parents came this past weekend, as well as some friends from out of town. Although a little overwhelmed with thoughts and discussions with my parents about theology, my weekend was, for the most part, refreshing.

Tomorrow I start my first day of teaching at my new job. I also started my Special Ed grad program last week. Lots of thoughts are floating around about faith, God, and Christianity; getting back into teaching; people with disabilities and why I decided to go into special education; depression/mental health; my upcoming trip to OR for my brother’s wedding; relationships with friends; and an important decision I must make about a particular relationship with a good friend who happens to be a guy.

I am feeling mostly at peace about all of these new things. But the dreariness outside has put me in a strange mood. I feel tranquility that is on the edge of a kind of nothingness, blah-ness. I want to be ready for my week but it’s like there is a strange something blocking my path toward awareness. I would like to get out of this funk but I am not sure where to turn or what to do.

>Live in this World

>I wrote this on 1-4-10. It refers to many people who are important to me, including a woman I know at one of the group homes where I work.

Dearest LORD and my closest friend
I am so confused as to how
I can just sit here
My knees capture the sunlight
Coming in from the window
Just sit praising you
How is this changing anything?
But yet I do it
Because I just can’t not do it
It is my very being
Who I am
And I don’t feel in control now
Your Spirit is coming in
And the Sunlight is You
I’m captured by a real Being
I don’t really know anything
Except you want me to do this
Why can’t I just do this every day

Spend each day like this
Maybe I’d like life a lot more
I wouldn’t be presented with
Screaming and self-induced bloody scratches
On arms and legs
And a mind that can’t
Tell herself with words or actions
What she truly Wants
Or others, those that care for her
And the worst is that I can’t comfort her
And in that way I am very
Alone and uncomforted
Oh Lord but in this moment I am
Comforted in your Love
And I know she is too
Even in her pain and discomfort

And his heart
Is bleeding out til there’s no more
Emptiness
Closed off to love
And so abandoned
He can’t even figure out
Who or what love is
He loves her but he is still
Bleeding, fighting, misunderstood
She is so busy and fleeting
Not able to think one way or the other
Because she so desperately wants
And needs love from a man
But a mangled and broken
Heart cannot lover her Even
If he says he does
These are two broken shattered people
And their pain is hard to bear

And I see it in her crystal
Shiny beautiful eyes
Tinted blue oceans
She really looks and will
never let me escape a room
Without those arms opening
And I see it her eyes
She is so broken
But the most incredible lover
I have ever seen
The way she loves is amazing
Yet how could she not love herself
She is longing for freedom
But somehow can’t make a leap
She keeps going because Your love flows
out of her and
Her love makes me want to live

Their joy is deep but sometimes
Strained under
The wrinkles of hurt
The things that threaten to tear
Everything
Throw them in a puddle
A useless pool of water
But somehow life keeps going
And now a new year

Will it end the same?
Questions unanswered
A mom who keeps abusing
Awaking to another endles
Day of job searching
Barbing statements about your
Worthlessness
As a single person
As a jobless person
What society and family and even Christianity
can say about you
About your “condition”
Whether it’s because you only
Have one hand
Or maybe because you have an actual illness
located in the DSM that is called
Major Depressive Disorder
OR maybe because you are just a “label-less” person
Who feels
Like a nobody

That’s why I wish I could sit
Here
And just forget the world
Because no matter how much
Pain I bleed out
It doesn’t seem to change anything
I will stay in your presence
As much as possible
Until You teach me how to
Live in this World.

>Us

>

So many aching hearts
Racing minds
Souls ripped by a hunger
That seems to never be filled
Questions
Have I been forsaken?
Doubts
Life is just too hard.
Tears
Fall Within
And Out
I see and feel the pain
Of so many
And my eyes burn
With an intense
Compassion
Zealousness
For justice
For hope that’s real
Not just a dream
Each face has a Name
And each Name is
Written in your Book
And yet as you see
Each Sparrow Fall
You let each of Your precious
Children Fall
Questioning
Scavenging
My tears won’t end
Because my heart
Is breaking for So Many
But yet what’s this
Feeling I have alongside
Intense Sorrow?
It’s beauty
It’s beauty of these
Exquisite Souls
I see them, I try to see them
As Yours
And I love them
But unlike you
I don’t know what to do
So I wait
I hope alongside them
Cry with them
And fear each crack
In their hearts grows
Larger
Until nothing is left
Nothing is left
Except Us.
That’s why
You’ve given me this
Indescribable gift
To hurt for the hurting
Because maybe
Your love has become
More real to me
in these Trying Times
And today I pray
to Your Spirit
To walk with Us
To carry our agonies
Our doubts
Questions
Our jumbled up
Nothingness
That sometimes comes
Out as tears
Or as blank stares
Or as empty smiles
Carry them with your
Wordless Groanings
To Heaven
Because we are Done
And the pain is too Much
But You’ve given Us
Each Other.

>Disappearing Objects

>I wanted to post some pictures of what I’ve been up to in the crafty area…but alas let’s add another thing to my list of disappearing objects: my connector cord for my camera (so I have no way of uploading the pics 😦 )

Let’s see, some things on my mind, which may be the reason for my spaciness:

1) to date or not to date. Can’t I enjoy my single life without feeling the pressure of “finding someone?”

2) How do you know if you’ve crossed the line into “New Age” thinking? Just because someone’s thinking is different, are they New Age? What is New Age? Why do Christians have such a hard time with things that are “different?”

3) Why does God grant “miracles” to some and not to others? I’ve been struggling with this Scripture: ” ‘I will have mercy on wehom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:15-16

4) Should I look for a full time job just for the pay and benefits or should I just continue my crazy all-over-the place work life, with not a ton of security, living from paycheck to paycheck. (neither of which make me really happy? What I really want to do? Learn–go back to school! But who’s going to pay for it?

5) Will I ever realize that there’s no real way to “do” life, so why do I keep comparing myself to everyone and everything that ever lived or breathed? Save me from this bondage!

>Dumping Ground

>Can feelings tell you any sort of truth? Because for all I know they are not a gift but a steaming sword aimed for your heart, right from the evil one. Because even when I am feeling the good ones, I know they won’t last. Because they will just get demolished by the ones that eat and rip out my insides, make my mind boil in agony and my skin crawl in irrational sweat. So unhuman. I feel this for even seconds and know I am in trouble if I feed into this feeling. They continually attack me, but I guess it’s not the feeling as much as the thought that started it all. Or is it the feeling first? And which is evil, if not all, or is it I that is evil? I cannot stop because I am a mack truck spiraling down an incline and a tornado burrowing over those I care about the most flipping them over, drowning them in the undertow. And yet, I am me. And I feel these feelings to be me. But not all the time.

Inside where no one can see, I see my self. The self I hate and know is not my real self. But I sometimes glimpse the real person I am and want to be. But the dark and eery creatures eat the real me alive and I am screaming, yelping to not drown under their cackling bodies. I literally call out “Jesus” but I must not be doing it right because they just come right back. Again and again when I least want them there. When my relationships just begin to mend and I feel like I once again have a purpose. I am burned and all I can see is that it was me.

But I want to celebrate this moment of peace I have been given. I don’t know why Satan chooses to come at one time and not another. Or is it because I am stronger now? I don’t think so. Is it because my chemicals are more balanced? Probably, but that might have nothing to do with the fact that I took my medication. All I know is I can’t see past this wretchedness. I can just see a whirlwind cycle. Up, down, pow, bam-bam-bam, circling, sniping, swimming back, forth. Then up, down, pow. All over again. And your mind is telling you you have to do something about it. But all you can do is slump over with a sigh because trying has just led to failure, again and again and again. And the Church is saying we don’t have to defeat Satan because he’s already been defeated on the Cross. Blah, blah, blah. What does that mean? What do I DO? How much is spiritual and biological or should I just assume it’s biological because the spiritual has turned it that way?

Am I eternally flawed? Is God looking down on me asking, ‘When will you get it?’” I really hope I get it soon. The God I know and love wouldn’t say that, but why would he really want us to be this desperate, hopeless and confused. I feel like I seek him, ask him for help so much he is probably so tired…and like, “Okay. I’ve already told you the answer. Are you really listening?!” Or does he say, “Just hang on. Just a little longer. The pain won’t last too much longer. You’ll only fail this many more times.” I am so damn tired of hanging on, God! I want it to be real and better. And I want to know my feelings as something more that just fleeting seeds flitting about by each breath of wind, knocking the air out of you as they pass by. I want to know hope and freedom. And not just today; but forever. Some people may say it’s a choice. I would like to believe it too. Wouldn’t I have chosen it by now?

>I am Moving

>I will be moving this Saturday. For the first time since the day has been drawing nearer, I have been allowing myself to get excited, rather than dread it. I am the kind of person who has really enjoyed living alone. I don’t get lonely often. I like coming home, knowing everything is just how I left it. No dishes left around with dried ketchup on them. No unknown people at my house to freak me out. No tiptoeing into the kitchen and bringing my coffee grinder into the bathroom so as not to wake my sleeping roommates. No unwanted catfights. I can leave my dishes in the sink as long as I want. I can clean how I want, organize the fridge and dishwasher as I want, and best of all, I can choose when I want to be around people. I always know I can go home and be alone…just the way I like it.

But I will be moving in with two people. My close friend Theresa has a house she bought a few months ago. She lives with Jen, who I am still getting to know. Theresa’s probably the closest friend I’ve had in a long time, so the fact that I’ll be living with her freaks me out just a bit. I have had my share of heartache living with best friends.

But as the day draws nearer, I am thinking of…get this…the positives of this situation! I’m thinking of how I’ll arrange my small bedroom (I have been spoiled with my large one in this apt). Mostly…how I will be getting away from here, a place that I love because it represents my independence, besides my and Matt’s love of the hot tub (and pool), and because of the vast array of beautiful (albeit annoying) people of all ages and races. But I will be moving a little further away from the city, in a neighborhood where there’s not constant horns beeping, car alarms scaring me out of my wits, radios blaring, kids screaming, dogs barking, or construction machinery howling. Where drunk people don’t accidentally try to come in (and if they do, at least I won’t be all by myself!)

Mostly, my moving means growth for myself, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, interpersonally. I can work on my skills of interpersonal effectiveness from DBT. As I said I have struggled in the past with girlfriends/roommates. Who hasn’t? I worry about conflict because I hate it and tend to avoid it; that’s why I have to create situations in which to practice these skills. I am worried about my and Theresa’s first “fight.” But all close friends have them, or do they? Maybe I mean more, our first disagreement. But the great thing about Theresa is she has demonstrated unconditional acceptance of me. She is one of those people I don’t have to worry about offending and to whom I can tell anything. Not only that; it is not a one-sided relationship. She also comes to me, asking my opinion or sometimes just for an ear to listen. So…while praising God for this friendship, I also ask myself, will I mess up? Will it get ruined while living together (as past experiences have shown)? But I won’t focus on that now.

I started off positively; I’ll end positively: I can’t wait to see where God will take me on this next leg of my journey! Now off to continue packing…