Who Am I?

I used to be under the naïve impression that we were all put on this earth for a purpose, that God had forged out lives ahead for us and it was just a matter of faith; just a matter of putting our hands into our father’s and saying to Him, “I trust you with you my life. Lead me.”

I will not deny that I have done pretty great things in my short life, seen amazing sites, met incredible people. How does a girl go from poverty stricken Alberta, hiding from her drunken father at the age of three to nearly thirty years later sitting across from one of the the greatest boxers alive in his own home in Michigan nearly years later? I have been around the world more than once for work and for pleasure, have met amazing friends ands acquaintances, have served, have been served, have felt full to the brim and overflowing with love and on that same token felt my heart broken beyond recognition. I have laughed as many tears of joy as of pain and despair.

I have travelled to countries overflowing with abundance and to countries living in absolute poverty. I gave my life to God. My heart was hurting. My heart was shattered. I had nobody. I chalked it up to a gift of resiliency and continued to spend my life’s work with kids and adults alike going through difficult times of their own. “If God can bring me through the hell I’ve been through….” and “ Life sucks for real so why not have God on your side to get through it.”

I feel like a fraud. I don’t believe God even wanted me alive in the first place. I have slipped through the cracks. I shouldn’t be here. Everything I did while I was a youth pastor or a teacher or a speaker or youth worker is all for nothing because look at me now. God has left me, forgotten about me. I pray and hear silence. Even for grace… nothing. My parents never wanted me yet I was the kid that cause them no grief, got straight As I got a degree, worked through University, never drank or did drugs, never dated, worked to play sports to stay out of trouble, took care of my brother, I watched a trauma at least one per year without blinking.

I shouldn’t be here and lately the thoughts are getting stronger. The things that are happening are getting harder to push through.  I have no support left; nobody to help me navigate; the income has officially stopped and with it any hope of getting treatment will go with it . And with that, any hope of getting back to life, to the world, to myself, to work.

This is not who I was two years ago and I miss her. Everybody misses her. Nobody calls. Nobody emails. Nobody texts. Once the social convener, now the social pariah, my mouth is getting sore from the smile I’m forced to fake.

The circle of life. I hate to give my parents credit but I have given in to their assessment. I will and have failed and amounted to nothing. I will fail. Even therapy. I have failed. Trust nobody.

My parents have done nothing good for me. Nothing. They have have have belittled me, beat me, tortured me, neglected me, stolen from me, guilted me, and the list goes on but all in all, they have not been parents. I have no family. In my sane brain, when the chatter is off, I know it needs to stop, I know I need to put them to rest. But it’s not that simple. If it was, I’d flip that switch and move on. Why the bell do I feel allegiance to the people that hated me, deems me worthless from day one, strapped me, burnt me with lighters, put guns to my head, gave me silent treatments, left me for days, told me I was stupid and ugly. Why? Because they are my parents.

And it should have been me.

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I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been on here, like I’ve felt like writing , like I’ve felt like it mattered, made a difference, felt like connecting to anything, to anyone, cyber or not. The world came crashing down on top of me three weeks ago in a way that you’d think I’d be prepared for by now, with all the trauma under my belt. But this one, while in the midst of trying to figure it all out, trying to figure out how to get the help I need on the minimal income I have and the help that is willing to take me on despite my case being “out of their scope” or too complicated, blindsided me.

My first instinct is to give up. My parents were right. I have become what they said I would. Useless, an idiot, hopeless, good for nothing. The circle is complete. The words in my head won’t stop. I can’t turn my parents off and i can’t take suicide off the table. I want it off the table. Forever.

But for now, I’m still here. With the new blindside, I have unfortunately had to give up many of the much needed therapies and things I’ve needed to get better so I don’t know what’s to come or what the future will bring.

Some days I wonder if 37 years ago if only I had pulled out that gun on that Winnebago from where it was stashed….

Silence of God – Ear Piercingingly Deafening

I feel like it could only take one more thing to completely annihilate any ability for me to hang on, for that thin thread that is connecting me to this world, to sever.

I don’t know how much more one person can take, how many more blows to my sense of stability, sense of self, a person can take before they just decide to give in.

The signs have been clear all my life and I have been so adamant that I was going to fight against them, fight my parents’ negative beliefs about me tooth and nail,  to not just survive but to be something despite how much they said I shouldn’t be here and how much they hated me. But the traumas continued, the people close to me ripped suddenly from my life, the betrayals, the senseless acts of violence, the loss of dreams, and then the PTSD and the loss of of my ability to do what I loved – my job and with it my sense of purpose and worth.

I have screamed out to God, I have whispered to Him, I have cried out to Him through the tears rolling down my cheeks but I have seen nothing, heard nothing. His silence is far beyond deafening and yet telling. I was never supposed to be here. I feel forgotten, unwanted, even by Him. I see His works in others’ lives. I’m not even asking for great miracles. Even a bit of grace some days. Some reprieve. But the hits just keep coming. And they come hard and heavy. 

Lately, I feel like every time I feel like I am starting to tread water, someone steps on my head and I go under, arms flailing, can’t breathe, can’t even see. Is He telling me to just stay under already, because that’s how I feel? 
 

Alone on the edge

I sit alone on the edge

Feeling free for the first time

Ready to jump

Will it be high enough

To complete the job

Nobody knows I’m here

Nobody cares except on days they have to

Nobody will cry when I’m gone

The world will not be affected

I want to feel the pain

Before it ends

Lately there’s been so much numbness

that the final hit before it all ends

must include pain

because that’s what my life was intended for

Pain, suffering, torture 

But will this be enough

Will I hit the right spot

I can’t do it wrong

I want it to end

I want it to be over

I hear the traffic behind me

Oddly it soothes me

I called the 1-800 number

They pushed me further

I tried the chat line

No one replied

I am failing therapy

Who am I fooling

I am not making progress

I am not getting better

I am still terrified of life

I am still as useless as ever

I am wrecking people’s lives

I am a burden, as I always have been

From birth onward, a burden

I’m doing them all a favour

Always in the way

One jump and I am out of everyone’s way

You’re welcome

One Man – Wish you Could have Stayed 

I once had a man in my life, a man with whom I loved to spend time with, who never judged me, that hugged me, kissed my forehead, a man without arbitrary rules or boundary lines, who played games with me, and wouldn’t let me win “just because,” a man who would kick the ball in the back field with me for hours, who would let me crawl into his lap and rest my head on his shoulder and let me shove a library book into his hands, regardless if it was about girly things or dinosaurs, he’d read it with all the emphasis he could muster. A man I never wanted to disappoint. A man who made me want to try despite what the world had given me, despite the fact that “it was wished that I was never born, I was always in the way, was an idiot, good for nothing ingrate, was stupid, was ugly, would amount to nothing…” This man made me feel by one touch to my forehead, that I belonged somehow. 

When this man was in my home, I could not wait to get out of bed, just to get the privilege to sit beside him, for some human touch, to feel his arm around me, to breathe in his smell, of pipe tobacco, to watch him on the floor with Jamie, playing Legos, no yelling, no judgement. He loved Jamie and Jamie, him. 

We visited this man on occasion and we felt safe and loved and part of something that we never understood that we were missing… a family. He held our hands. He let us speak. He enjoyed our company. How could this be? We were worthless and idiots, stupid, and would eventually amount to nothing. We were bad kids. But there we were, in his home, being taught to play pool, ride bikes, sitting around a dinner table, holding hands to pray. Being hugged, tucked into bed, playing catch, getting ice cream just because. There was a part of us that really tried hard not to enjoy it too much because it made going home to war that much harder. The minute the door shut for the 6 hour ride home, we were immediately told that vacation was over and thank God my dad “didn’t have to put up with that bullshit any longer.” In the backseat we remained quiet knowing that the ride home would be rough but the moment we got home, the monster would be unleashed as bottles that sat lonely and screaming out my dad’s name all weekend would be emptied quickly down his throat and the aftermath would not be pretty. I remember a writing assignment we had aging to write about we’d done that Thanksgiving weekend, barely able to concentrate on the page in front of me, barely able to sit still, the sting of that belt still so fresh. “Don’t cry stupid,” I kept telling myself. I could barely stay awake. Nothing was in focus. I looked around and everyone was coloring and writing. 

He was the first man to stand up to my father one Christmas as the bottle had fuelled my dad’s anger and all it took was my brother accidentally switching the lights off to have my dad begin attacking him. I’d NEVER seen my dad back down or apologize before and was more than a little shocked if not intrigued. This man had become my real life hero. 
Unfortunately our visits were occasional and short. Two or three days at a time and maybe two to three times a year. I suspect my father had a lot of say in that. As I got older, just before Jamie moved out, I was sent there for my spring break. I suspect so Mom didn’t have to deal with me.  I don’t remember. 

When I was 13, this man, my maternal grandfather became extremely ill and lived his last days in ICU. I was told by my mother that it was “not in my best interest” to see him in that condition. But knowing what i know now about my mother and how she wouldn’t even let me be with the family 8 years later the night my brother died, I can’t help but question her motives. 

I regret my decision to not say goodbye. I miss him. Just to have held his hand one last time and speak to him and let him know how much of an impact he was to me and how I wish I could have been honest with him. I’d seen plenty of death by that point in my life but not a life of need to have had to say goodbye. He was the first REAL man in my life and I’d be lying if l said I didn’t spend a lot of night praying and wishing I could tell him our secrets and ask to live with him and Grandma. And sometimes I wonder how they didn’t see what was going on and save us. But I’m not bitter. As scatter and sporadic as it was, he was love to me. 

We weren’t saveable. 

No Touching. Love, Mom. 

Though I already knew you didn’t love me,

I dared to reach up for your hand

And you immediately pulled it back
“Don’t do that,” you scorned

I tried again while crossing a busy street

Again while scared of my surroundings

Again just for some human connection

And again and again

Sometines you’d slap my hand away

Always with that look of disgust

But you always had a reason to deny me

You needed something from your purse

My hands were dirty 

I needed to learn to do it on my own

Did you notice that by the time I was five

That I stopped trying?

Were you relieved? 

As a mother, were you relieved to not have to touch your child?

I still fear reaching out first for fear of rejection

I fear trusting others because I should be doing it myself

If you didn’t care, then who will?

Especially now that I’m broken? 

It’s a good thing I never asked for a hug

 

Did I? 

Did I? 

I’ve been told by those that have attempted to help me before abandoning me, as they realize my “case” is out of their scope, too complicated, beyond their skill set, which continues to leave me without hope, trust, and a future, that I have a right to be angry.  But why and at whom?. And what purpose will this ever serve?  I mean real anger. Anger from from deep within, anger that reveals itself unrecognizable from the daily “grin and bear it” show we put on for the world, for acceptance I suppose.

I was away this weekend at a friends’ home. I feel safe with them. I have known them since before this began. They don’t know the full extent of what’s happening in my head but I have stayed with them since and felt like I could be honest enough to tell them when I need to retreat if I had to. It was a much needed time away from the inside of my home, and a great time with their 5-year old, in the world of tutus and legos and eating cupcakes for dinner. Anyway, in their basement was a heavy bag, and at multiple times in my jagged “too complicated, out of our scope, not sure what to do with you” journey, activities like kickboxing have been suggested to me. I’ve been told that it’s a great way to release this “righteous indignation.”

I decided with my past extensive athletic endeavors to give it go. The kicking was not a problem and I was surprisingly not winded as quickly as expected and then we put on the gloves and everything changed. I started with one hand at a time but the minute I began laying into the bag with both hands one at a time, it was not a physical drain. My core was not what was affected surprisingly. With every “one-two punch” an immense emotional reaction began occurring in my body. My breath became shallow yet not from the workout. My stomach was churning, and it was rising into my throats and suddenly before I could do anything to stop it, I was in a full fledged flashback, something I was completely caught off guard by.

Here I was ready for a therapeutic outlet and my parents have stalled me again. I recall my father standing over my mom one fist after another, going at her. I was the only one home except for my baby brother. I kept screaming for him to stop but he kept hitting her and I felt like my feet were frozen.  I must have been 5 ish because my little brother wasn’t walking yet. Should I have offered myself? Should I have done more? Was I a bad child just watching? Should I have shielded myself? I felt myself unable to stop. The more I hit the bag, the more he hit her, the more I stood there and watched like some sick sadistic psychopath.  Eventually the flashback overtook me and I collapsed and began sobbing and shaking. And now the guilt of the child who let it happen. 

In my right and sane and adult mind, I know I didn’t cause my father to lay a finger on my mother, but in my 5 year old child’s view, did I?