Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Pain of Becoming.

It seems like that no matter what age I reach I continue to run head on in to these precipices.  I cross these paths where I have to move forward yet I'm not quite sure how.  Some days I curse the fact that I'm such a deep dweller and the things that propel my mind.  What I'd give sometimes just to be able to shut it off, unplug, and take a respite from it.  Yet I cannot, or at least do not know how.  I suppose I really wouldn't have it another way in truth.  It is very taxing.  If only my head and my heart could converge.  Perhaps then my behavior would be in congruence.

I had my yearly evaluation yesterday and it's had me in a tailspin every since.  I've been up for hours after only sleeping a few.  The man that did the eval was very good and hit on some very valid points, things that I'd not considered -- but true of my life.  It boggles my mind that strangers can see things that we cannot even when we're willing.

I've written of my distant, conflicted relationship with my mother.  I've not ever really delved into it fully because I get quite the feedback when I am totally honest in what my experience was growing up with her.  Society has some hardcore beliefs about mothers, and my life example doesn't fit, at ALL.  So if your the least bit touchy about mothers, nows your chance to opt out because it's going to get difficult in this particular blog.

My mom is narcissistic.  All that has ever mattered to her is what she wanted, needed and was going to get.  This is how I grew up.  I was not wanted as a child, I was told at a very young age that I was a mistake.  I was even told "how I was conceived."  I intrinsically knew that my mother did not love me.  Don't ask me how I knew, I just did.  She was very jealous of me with my father, and would use my relationship with him to get what she wanted.  She began doing this at an early age -- and the she'd blame me for being able to do it.  She's tell me to go and tell my dad that I wanted something that she wanted, and when dad would do it, she'd kick me in the teeth for getting what she wanted done, done.  This went on from dinners out to buying houses to cars.  I couldn't win.  One can imagine what this did to me.  All I wanted was for my mom to love and accept me, which I never got - and never have had a real relationship with her.  I've just had to grieve it.  It wasn't until I was her 24 hour caregiver that I had my feelings validated when she admitted that she hated me when I was little.  I'd sensed it, and I had been right.

One can only imagine what circumstances like this does to a small child.  Of course I thought it was all my fault.  That's just what kids do.  I internalized it all.  I was defective.  I was incapable of seeing her flaws, all I could do was feel the rejection and abandonment and it had to be me.  I know that this is why my addiction took off like gangbusters at such an early age.  I was ripe for it, I had gunshot wounds all over me.

Now that was a long time ago  - but even after many, many, years of therapy some aspects of those dynamics still plague me.  I become too dependent upon people because I do not trust myself.  I am still healing.  When I lost my dad in 2010 and all hell broke loose,  I almost lost it.  Dad was the one person in my life that I knew loved me unequivocally and without condition.  Mother was very conditional.  That to me isn't love.  It's control.

What I said about my mom is only part of what it was like, there is much more but for sakes of privacy, I won't go into it all but just know I was one perpetually conflicted young lady.  I was in no size, shape, nor form ever taught how to be my own best friend.  I still am not good at that.  I can scorn the crap out of myself but not know how to be gentle with myself.  I did not mirror it.  That's what parents do and that's how we learn.  I did not get that.

Do you know what it's like trying to cling to someone that really can't stand you?  It's horrible.  It's excruciating.  That is what the relationship with my mother felt like.  I was pushed away, over and over, and over, again.  Children don't understand this.  They just keep trying.  Shoot adults don't understand sometimes.  Especially when it's a basic need.  So what do we do?  We TRY HARDER!!  We hurt ourselves in the process.  Sometimes very deeply.  I know today that I have hundreds of scars from that relationship.

I'm still healing.  I always will be.  The very sad part of this is that I meet (in relationships) people just like my mother.  People that reject me, that tell me in one way or anther that I don't matter - and that are narcissistic (most of the time).  I really despise this.  We are attracted to what is familiar..... unfortunately.

Yesterday brought up some old issues of my dependency on people for strength.  I need to find the courage and confidence inside myself first and foremost.  The problem being, I'm not sure how to do this.  Oh I know how to get by - but not how to excel even when things are tough.  I don't know that I have a strong inner core without a safety net.  God has always been with me, but I haven't always trusted Him either.  I'm ashamed to say that.  Hence, it is the truth.  There's always that thought in the back of my head --- perhaps He'll fail me too.  I know that this is awful but with my history - I always wait for the other shoe to fall.

My debacle is what do I do with this information?  It has my guts torn up, and my head spinning.  I've  known all of this, but after yesterdays eval and the information that I gleaned it's all fresh again.  I feel like I'm right back at square one.  I know that I'm not but it sure feels like it.

I'd taken a vow sometime back that my mom wasn't going to rule my life any longer.  I wish it were that easy because this thing is multilayered.  I've come a long way at healing many of the parts that she damaged - but it would seem that I'm down to the core of this issue.  When I can't figure something out I get frightened, plain and simple ; fear evokes anger in me.  I suppose it's a powerlessness of sorts, and I'll be damned if I'm going to have another area in my life where I'm powerless.  I'm just not.

The bible tells me that I'm not of this world.  It tells me that I have an heavenly Father now and a new family, the family of God.  I loose sight of my faith when I get into this stuff.  I think that I have to work all of this our on my own, and the truth is that I just don't.  God will direct my paths.  I am responsible for my effort, and my attitude towards the healing and change.  However Jesus is the ultimate authority of it all.  I don't know why I went through what I did in my family.  I suppose in the long and short of it, it doesn't matter.  All that matters is that I have the faith to make it through this, and to learn to be good to myself.  Yes it was awful and I've only written a small portion of what it was like.  Emotional blackmail is never productive on either party.  Children are not to be used as pawns in relationships - EVER.  This has been an issue that has haunted me through out my life.  However I know that God can and has been healing me.

I don't hate my mom.  I never really have, what would that solve?  WE only can do what we know how to do.  Somewhere in there she was only doing what she knew how to do..... or she was responding to a truth that she believed.  Somehow she felt that my father cared more for me that he did her.  She acted accordingly.... it doesn't make the things that she did right, it will never make them right.  Yet, I have to look beyond the symptoms of the person to the spirit.  She wasn't all bad.  She had tons of insecurities.  That is what fueled her.  I have them, and I know how I respond when I'm under that pressure.  She's tried every religion in the book.  I so wish that I could have introduced her to grace and it could've  stuck.  She might have had a chance to heal too.   She is very tortured to this day in a nursing home, with dementia.  I go see her from time to time and it's okay.  Since we talked in 2012 we're closer now.  She acknowledged that she was a bad mother to me.  I guess I kind of needed that in a way - but I think she needed to say it more.  I feel for her.  I have compassion for her.  This lets me know that I've come a distance with this because I used to really despise her.  Thank God for answered prayers of forgiveness.  I never would have dreamed that I could have been her caregiver for eight months but I did it.  I grew too - but leaps and bounds.  I forget that.

This life thing is hard sometimes with it's emotional ups and downs.  Issues ebb and flow like the crooks and crannies of a river.  I just have to slow myself down and remember that everything takes time, and trusting God.  Maybe this isn't something that I can do myself - but that the Lord is going to have to direct in my life.  Perhaps I'm just going to have to be patient.  And trust.  That's something that I don't do well, trust.  Safety isn't an easy thing for me, I have always made things happen in my  life.  This time, it's just not going to work.

Father God remove from me the bondages of my past.  Free me from all dependencies on people that can fail me and direct me to depend solely upon you.  I give You the emotional wreckage I carry daily - because I cannot bare it alone.  I crave Your peace as You have given it to us.  In Jesus precious name, Amen.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pain, separation, grief, and grace.

I'm not the type of person that looses people well.  I just don't.  I guess none of us do, depending upon the relationship.  There's varying degrees of loss and it's affect on us.  We loose people in life, I suppose it just happens.  This does not make it any less painful, or easier to overcome.

As with anything it's in the perception.  As I was writing I thought to myself, unless it's a death, you don't really "loose" people, they are just in different places - and the relationship just changes or alters... but we still have to psychologically adapt.  This is where I've been, trying to adapt to such changes and it has been one devil of a road.  I thought I could handle it better, "thought" being the operative word here -- than what I actually did.  Sometimes people have such an impact upon us - that we do not actually realize the depth until they are no longer in our lives.  That has been the case with me.  It is so painful now that I actually don't want to write about it.  I know that I must, so I forge on.

My beloved Pastor of about four years left our church in April of this year.  I thought I was going to be okay.  However in the last few months, I've found out that I have not been able to handle this - and I've really digressed.  The thing that has taken me so was how this has hit me.  The denial that I had about it all and how the grief has surfaced, has really taken me by surprise.  As much as I know about grief from the loss of my beloved father -- and a close friend, we (I have learned) never really know all that there is to know about how grief affects us.  The long and short of it is that I've been devastated.  What I don't know is - was it because of the was I handled it, or was it just how it presented itself in my life?  Well, I know that part of it I have to own, for my dysfunction is part in parcel.

There's only been a couple of people in my life that have majorly impacted me.  Ah, there's been a few that have given me great gifts, but when someone gives you something so precious that you have an internalization of truth, it's impossible to explain -- as it should be.  I've written blog after blog of what this man has given me in grace.  Knowledge, beauty, and truth that was there all the time, I just couldn't see it without his eyes.  I also know now too - as I've struggled my entire life to believe that God really does love me, (as a lot of us do) what an inordinate gift from God this was.  The teaching that I received, the fellowship, the friendship, and the honor of this mans presence was a gift straight from God.  A gift so precious how could I not grieve?  It was likened to a velvet box straight from heaven above with a vision of Jesus like I'd never seen Jesus.  Something that I'd yearned for my entire life.

I was in a horrible situation when I found Midland Church.  I was the caregiver for my Mother who has dementia, under the Hitler like rule of my OCD brother who is a rage-a-holic.  I had been evicted from my own father's house by my brother because I wouldn't pay bills and be a 24-7 caregiver.  He and my other brother stripped the house of food, and anything that they thought I might need or could use prior to putting me out.  These are nasty dysfunctional people, who have had hatred towards me my entire life.  I moved in one day.  I'd been going to a Baptist church nearby - and praying reverently.  God delivered me.  He completely answered my prayers - and led me to Midland and Pastor Paul White's grace church.  I'd been under such condemnation, shame, and I was physically ill from the abuse.  God gave me a miracle.  Grace is a miracle.

I used to leave Midland church after my pastor preached elevated off the ground.  Many times I've floated out of that church... so taken by the vision of Jesus that I would never be the same.  I learned to rest, and be a peace no matter what may come in my life - because my Jesus SITS at the right hand of God.  Pastor taught me, and I searched for myself -- what the scriptures reveal.  I was a shame based person, but no more.   This was my gift from God.  However the message of grace is so needed in the world, Pastor evangelized more and more.  I knew that he would leave eventually and that day finally came.  He taught me that everything has a season.   Yet and still, letting go is so hard.  Who would want to let go of something so glorious?  No one.  I'd gotten quite close with Pastor, and would go and see him from time to time - his anointing so great I wanted to be near him.  I'd share my truths about life, and he'd listen.  I felt like one of his flock.  It was a really beautiful time in my life, and it felt safe.  I haven't felt safe much in my life.  Especially not after my dad died.  I suppose this is why I clung to Pastor so.

I am not happy with myself but I also know that grief will sometimes bring out the worst in us.  I've made some mistakes - as I've been trying to find Jesus by myself.  I may never find him like that again, and I have to accept this.  I still cry, hard.  It's okay.  It was a precious time in my life.  I learned so much.  I wish I knew all of the answers but if I did I wouldn't need God. (Lend not on your own understanding)  I haven't told pastor how hard this has been for me, nor the mistakes that I've made.  However I know that he'd tell me that God wasn't mad at me and that Jesus still loved me no matter what.  I don't know why it is that when I'm hurting I run the opposite way from God, and some how think that He can't possibly understand - my goodness what Jesus went through for us.  I guess we dehumanize Jesus and God all the time.  Maybe it's natural - but I don't like it.  I get angry with myself for vacillating between my flesh and my spirt man.  Yet I know that even the apostle Paul said that the things that he did not want to do he did... and the things that he wanted to do, he did not.  I'm human.

Grieving is difficult no matter what the loss.  I watch people go through it all the time.  I've been through it and some of my crappiest behavior comes out.  I don't like this.  God knows it.  I'm just so thankful, grateful that His mercy is new every morn.  I'm so grateful that I didn't fall back into my old behaviors any further than I did.  It was bad enough.  I'm back where I need to be, or getting there - and healing.  I have to remember that I was trying to help someone when I got lost.  I just wasn't strong enough at the time to help.  Boy, I really dislike being vulnerable at times.  It can be the root of all evil.  People sense that I think, and I know that satan does - and that is all the credit that you'll ever hear me give him.  Christ defeated him!!!

These last few days have been a blessing.  Yeah, I hurt.  It hurts a lot.  I miss my pastor so badly.  He may never know what he and his message meant to me after a life of shame, guilt, and remorse.  He is just a man, a very special man indeed - sent to me as a direct gift from Jesus Himself.  It's going to take me a while to get over this.  However, God did not take away the gift.  This is what I have to know.  Things change - and I meant what I said when he went away -- others need what he gave me.  I'm not selfish, and I want the grace message to be spread throughout the world.  I'd never begrudge someone of what I've received.  People out there are praying that same prayer that I did - and need him too.

I will forever be a student of life and the Lord.  I'm hard headed.  I'm lazy too - to an extent.  Pastor had fed me Jesus like no other in my entire life.  The four years I went to Midland church were unlike anything I've ever experienced, and will probably again (not to limit God).  However, I must now seek to find.  If I am to have the kind of relationship that I truly want with Jesus then I have to  pay homage to it.  It's just like any other relationship, it takes dedication.  Not works, but I can't just sit around and wish for it, like God is some kind of Genie.  No it takes devotion for me.  It's more than just prayer time, which is important no less, but there's more to it that this.

 It's really simple, what you put in is what you get out.  If I want to know Him more then I must seek Him out.  It's not rocket science and it's not magic.  I know that grace is what holds me together.  It is a free gift and it will always be there.  I am the daughter of the Most High, and I am made righteous in Jesus Christ.  This is my identity, this is what Pastor Paul taught me.  The grief caught me off guard, but I know now what I need to do.  I totally believe that everything is our teacher, especially the most painful stuff.  Pastor's teaching continues, and I watch - no it's not the same as when I could get a hug and hear him tell me that he loves me - but I know this in my heart.  I just have to trust that things are the way that they are because this is what the Lord wants.  I'll see him again.  It's just that for now he's about my Father's business.  Actually I wouldn't have it any other way.  I've made some mistakes, but never to fret, they're covered by grace.  I just forgot who I was for a little while because of the grief.  Praise be to my Jesus, because of what He did at the cross - my spirit is flawless!