Sometimes when I am alone with my thoughts, which is often, I wonder why I am the way I am. Why do I feel things so deeply? Do other people feel things this way? Why do I seem to take one step forward and three steps back so often? While I know we cannot blame who we are on someone or some event, I do know that what we walk through has a way of shaping us into who we are. Recognizing this is an integral part of our path that we walk because if we fail to do this; we will end up blaming our lot on someone else. I may appear to contradict myself at times until I am fully able to express my mind on this matter- so please bear with me.
I’ve seen stories that tell of a child surviving years of abuse and torture only to have a complete mental breakdown and never heal. I’ve watched where a woman was sexually molested, beaten, and enslaved for a long period of time and when freed she could not unfetter herself from her tortuous dreams. So, while we are responsible for our reactions to other’s actions; there are still the intricate musings of our vast beings that cannot be overlooked nor cast aside. I would like to keep these thoughts in mind as I share more about my story. I write mainly because writing is cathartic for me and also in hopes that maybe someone else would choose to share their story with me. Although it has been nearly a lifetime since my story began; so much of it is still fresh in my mind. I have spent so much of my life lamenting the way my brain and emotions work. Instead, I am coming to a tentative grip that this is who I am.
I will endeavor to write from the perspective of my story alone; but at times it will intersect with others who were with me. What I write about is true but I will change the names of other people. I hope my battles, my agony, my confusion can all touch someone’s heart who may be struggling and feel that they are alone. They are not. Sometimes I will share poems I have written to chronicle my journey. My poems are more like prayers whispered up to God in hopes that He will hear me. Thank you for taking time to read!
i don’t know where you are
i wish i felt you near
i thought i knew your name
i want to love you pure
i’m afraid i can’t find you
Early on at the “lord’s farm” everyone would go on trips together. It was before fun trips were deemed unholy. One time we went to Canaan Valley to ski. Now I had never skied before and I was and always will be terrified of heights. Not to mention that at this particular juncture in life, I had panic attacks regularly. I wasn’t allowed to have any type of medication to help at all. Their view was that if I was following God wholly then there is no reason for me to have anxiety. I guess they forgot to factor in that we are human. I remember when we all got there and the fresh fear gripping my heart at the thought of skiing down a huge hill. After I got my skis on I saw that there was a Bunny slope for beginners–yay!!! I made it through the Bunny slope with minimal incident. I felt so relieved; I thought “Ok, I did it.” I was ready to be done with my skiing career.
Everyone was sitting down to lunch in the lodge and it was there that Adrian said to me that I was going on a more difficult slope. I said that I did not want to do that and I was immediately cut off. It was decided for me that it would be just wrong if I didn’t go on a bigger slope. It wouldn’t be showing that I trusted God. Inside of me I began to freak out. I was praying silently, desperately that God would help me. I wanted to please Him with all of my being. I was so afraid I would fail Him.
One of the ladies named Ann was the one who would go on this bigger slope with me. We got on the ski lift and took off. I was so terrified that I would throw myself off of the ski lift that I wrapped my arm around the pole to keep myself there. I fell as I got off the lift and realized that it was all ice. Great…. just what I needed. I looked at this mountain I was on and the terror I previously felt was intensified astronomically. The panic gripping my heart caused it to beat erratically and super fast. I thought it might explode out of my chest. Ann cajoled me to begin and I fell again. This is how I mostly crawled down the mountain. It took me over two hours to make it down that slope. I was amess. I was sobbing and embarrassed. I wished I was invisible. In my mind I thought I had failed God. I obviously didn’t trust or love Him enough to be able to ski like everyone thought I should. I couldn’t understand why I was singled out. In my heart I genuinely felt alone and abandoned.
My early elementary school years were fun and happy. I remember always being eager to be at school. Then we moved. I started a new school. Things seemed well enough at first; but then these two boys (Brian and Eric) in my class began to bully me. Brian and Eric came up with a new name for me– Poochie. They called me this throughout the day–every day. There was no let up. I remember when our class would be out on the playground playing dodge ball and they would yell out loud for no one to let me play. I was humiliated. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. More than anything== I wanted to know why they hated me. What had I done to cause them to pick me to torture? Was it because I was a little chubby? I remembered feeling so desperate to know how to make someone like me. ……….I guess I’m wondering– how do mean people choose who they will bully?
I remember when I was in kindergarten. There was this girl who had beautiful long “banana” curls. Now, I do not know for sure if that was the actual name for the curls, but it was the kind of curls Cindy Brady had. (If that helps.) Anyway, my poker straight hair would never hold that kind of curl. But, back to this girl. She is my first remembrance of wishing I was someone else.
As I grew older and anxiety became a bigger part of my life; I wished to be someone else more often. I used to lay in bed at night sometimes and ask my older sister questions. I would grill her on how she lives without all of the worry that I lived with. I couldn’t figure out how she did it. I can remember longing to have her brain. I would close my eyes and think — let me open them as someone else. Sometimes I would watch random people wondering if they struggled to make it through the day like I did. I loved life, but my mind was turning on me. The struggle became intense. At times, something that I would be worried about would completely take over my life. I would be obsessed about it for days. It didn’t matter what logical comment was made to me about it; my mind was sure that I was correct. NOBODY understood how I felt. My poor mother tried to.
So, I hate the fact that I still find me wishing I was someone else. I ponder whether or not I will ever be without depression or anxiety. The prospects do not look too hopeful.
i am not stupid, this i surely know
why do i not know?
why can i not find the answer?
the darkness that envelopes me is suffocating
i am happy….. i am happy
even as the heaviness presses me down
ohhhhhhhh- misery- misery far, misery near
leave, leave me be- i want no part of thee.
you know, when i am struggling with depression, i realize how horrible my thoughts become. i see how i pull back from people and turn down offers to spend time with others. why is it that i just want to curl up and hide away? i have talked to many other people who suffer from depression and although no two cases are alike, most can relate to feeling so alone and wanting to hide. for me, part of the reason that i hide from people is because inside my head it feels so dark and so hopeless that i don’t want anyone to know how badly i feel. i am embarrassed to let that part of me be known. i do have a few friends that i can talk openly to and that is helpful; but the part of me that longs to be free of this tangled web of a mind that i have is always crying out for help. it’s here that it becomes more bleak to me. i have been getting “help” for years now and i don’t see where i’m better. it’s beyond frustrating. as soon as my eyes opened today, i felt the fog. it’s so rare that it’s not there.
when i am sane in the rain. my brain is plain.
sometimes i have unfortunate happenings in my life. as a matter of fact; i think i am a magnet for these happenings.
last Sunday, my family all went to one of my sister’s church because their family had a huge announcement and they wanted us there for it. so i’m sitting next to my husband listening to what’s being said i begin to feel rumblings in my stomach. so i get up to use the restroom; which happens to be way over on the other side of the church!!
so i make it to the bathroom and do my little ritual that i do when i use a public restroom. (putting toilet paper all over the seat) when i stand up, the toilet paper (that happens to be thinner than air) is now stuck to my backside and legs. As i’m pulling the pieces of tp off: i look on the floor. there……on the floor…..under my shoe, is a piece of toilet paper that i used to wipe myself with!!!! omgoodness!!! seriously….why do these things happen to me?
so my good shoes now had crap on them!!! i waited for the ladies to leave the bathroom and emerged ready to clean my shoes. i scrubbed them till they glistened and put them on and went back to my seat…….with no one the wiser!
i had a friend of mine notice that i wasn’t doing all that well last week. my friend, S, reached out to me and became a sounding board for me. it really is a lifeline to have someone see you. i mean really see you. see past my outer shell and into my fading heart. so…..S…..thank you for your kindness and thank you for taking time to allow me to vent.
one thing i have learned over the years is that through deep pain we can acquire many wonderful treasures. we only have to be careful not to let our hearts get hard and jaded; as this would not allow us to gain our treasures. i am so grateful that i am able to empathize with people so much more now. my heart truly aches for those who are suffering. so i am going to start a Mental Health support group for the area i live in. i am currently researching some tips on how to begin this support group. if any of you have knowledge of this, i would greatly appreciate your advice. thanks!!