Betraying Myself

"My demons mock me as I walk in the cold from class with tears stinging my eyes."

I haven’t written much lately. I have been so consumed with school and my business and family. I don’t know who actually reads my blogs or not nor do I really care as long as in the end some good can come of it. Sometimes I write what I do just to get things off my chest-like my blog is my best friend. I know, I can tell God and heh, believe you me I certainly do tell Him…many times. I cry to Him and yell it out, sometimes begging Him, and always praising Him. Of course, how my life has turned out isn’t His fault but all good is in spite of me and in His glory.

Rambling tonight already…

Basically, I heard this song awhile back from one of my foster kids. It hit a chord with me, especially now this time of year when I feel alone, or at least away from my own parents, and siblings. I’m not necessarily close to any of them. In fact, I have a few friends out there who have stuck with me through everything and lately, things aren’t going well for them. Maybe everyone goes through these feelings of wishing life was something it wasn’t-like a memory mixed with fantasy, because of course, I’m sure in my memory, I’m forgetting all the bleak and dark moments I’ve been through.

My main professor in my major (Criminal Justice) accurately pegged me as having anxiety the other day. He said I spend too much time over-thinking sometimes, especially about the past and the future and that I need to spend more time in the present. Haha, I know that I don’t spend time wishing I could change the past or create some fantasy-filled future though. I do look back on those connections I’ve had in my life and the why as well as the meaning and impact on who I am as a person. Without each person who has been in my life, I would not be this living, breathing, constantly-breaking, yet stronger than super-glue, kind of human being. I am capable. I am strong. I am courageous. But I fall, I fail in my weaknesses, giving into my fear so often. It’s like I’m this walking betrayal of myself; an oxymoron in every way.

Funny, but I remember when my parents took us as kids, through personality tests, I would always be almost identically strong in two areas and they were always seemingly polar opposites. How. Is. That. Possible? I thought, secretly, I must be schizophrenic or something. I always felt like I needed to hide part of who I was because I would seem crazy. Now I embrace my crazy and reflect inwardly on who I am and if there is a deficit somewhere that I can “fix” so that I don’t keep repeating my mistakes in life. Trying is what I do, to a fault. I don’t give up easily, despite being accused of that in marriage several times. I have learned SO much about me these past few years and especially this last year. It’s like every year for the past few years, I feel like I have figured myself out the most. Clearly I am a crazy and complex person-I don’t know how the pieces even fit together. It’s like God dumped out the pieces of a dried up desert and watered them, forcing them to soften and fill in the cracks, connecting into one entity: me.

So how do I keep going seeming like I am this walking contradiction of myself? Am I soft and vulnerable on the inside and tough on the outside? Well, I disagree. I don’t care about the exterior as much, although sometimes I make myself up all pretty. I couldn’t survive the harsh world around me, and the lashings that life has dealt me without being strong inside. My outer shell betrays me-sometimes showing my soft and empathetic heart. My heart is molten and bleeds, erupting in more love than I want to show. But my mind is skilled and tricks me into questioning my feet and where they wander, seeking justice, and truth in all that I do. Is it possible to be a caring person and be in law enforcement? The violence in my past-being beat and raped, then re-victimized in the trauma center is something I still have to face and get over. I have still haven’t written about what happened in 2013, which indicates to me, as a writer, that I haven’t faced it and put it behind me as well as I was able to do with the past.

My demons mock me as I walk in the cold from class with tears stinging my eyes. These insolent “children” who haven’t experienced loss or trauma as I have, that laugh and make light of the rape scenario our lab class is going through. Like tiny needles tapping the rawness of what I went through. The assault I experienced wasn’t the only loss I suffered. Waking up in tiny fragments of time and space and screaming in my head for my daughter, with no one paying any attention to me, not knowing if she was okay. Being told they were keeping my clothing as evidence, what little I had left of being cut off of me. Pounding in my head with searing pain, unable to move or speak-just let tears roll down. My internal anguish from the heartbreak I had just suffered, having my family torn apart, was far worse than not knowing what happened to me when I blacked out-when I was almost killed. The irony of my first ride in a helicopter being me laying strapped down to a hard surface, vibrating my throbbing head against it as I was lifted to a larger scale hospital. Then laying on the large table with a bright light above it. I felt like I had been abducted by aliens, only the ones photographing every inch of my naked and vulnerable body were human. The rape kit inconclusive and the speculations of the deep laceration into my forearm from a knife. The MRI flew by in between blackouts and concluded that I had suffered an unstable spine injury and wouldn’t be able to do anything on my own for awhile-only, all I had was my 4 year old daughter, who I had found out had slept through the whole home invasion (even through the alarm I was able to hit) and found by police in her bed.

I am convinced that had I not gone through a domestic violent relationship, given a child for adoption, left for dead in a hotel room trying to stand up for what I believe, not had cancer, or any of the other less extreme trials in my life that God has slowly strengthened me through, I couldn’t have gone through all this so easily. I did move away, and so facing it wasn’t the same as if I had stayed and advocated for myself. But it drove me to chase after my kids in the town where their dad had moved to. I realized my life has flashed one too many times before my eyes and that I need to spend the rest of it giving to my kids and to those around them who can make it safer and better for them. I am strong and I am a fighter-I will get through whatever God helps me with.

So, here I sit, contemplating why I feel like I’m one soldier in my battle, realizing that even if my life can impact just one person, then my life was not in vain. I am not going to betray who I am and choose the soft sweeter side above the rugged-edged, wild and determined side of who I am. I am going to embrace my past and help anyone who has walked the steps I have with love, showing them that in Christ, all things are possible.

 

Take a Chance

“What if…” “If only…”

Such an elusive way to think.

This is me.

Someone took a chance on me.

They trusted and freely gave

And then they forgot

Their reasons fading away

Like water through my fingers

They left me alone

I couldn’t decide which thing I must have done wrong to have deserved it.

But I thought, “what if I had…”

And in the end, I now know it wouldn’t have made a difference.

There are many things in my life that I think to myself that I would change if I was given the opportunity, and yet, I am happy for the wisdom I have through it all.

Yet, I still go through this constantly.

Teeter-tottering on the concept of failure versus success.

Someone else took a chance on me.

I was tough now-more secure.

They accepted me and I them.

But I wasn’t enough in the end.

I found that out through heart-ache and tears.

Head and heart beaten to pulp.

Loss and…failure.

I had lost, again.

I wasn’t looking in the right place.

If ONLY someone who I already trusted was with me, it would be different.

But this time I wouldn’t get so deep.

Another chance-

Another heart-ache…what is wrong?

With me?

Like a rag doll…once a cared for possession but tossed aside.

I longed for it,

But grew to trust only me.

Then it happened!

My long lost ONE!

I took a chance.

I rocked my world and went all in.

Full throttle into the life I thought was right.

I wanted him to take a chance on me too.

I thought he did, but still undecided.

And then wavered…

He couldn’t give me the chance-it conflicted with the life he desired.

And again, I was alone.

More alone than ever-and broken.

But what is broken can let in more love-more hope.

I trusted and I found one.

No chances taken-I just said let it be, whatever it may be.

Don’t take a chance, but believe in me.

I have a few friends who have taken that chance on me-they have believed in me when others wouldn’t.

They watch me fall flat on my face…

And get back up each time-tear stains down my dirtied cheeks.

But they LOVE…they ACCEPT the inevitable ME.

They don’t know my outcome and they’ve seen (or heard of) my so-called “failures.”

And yet, they still took the chance on me-they counted on me to pull through.

*****************************************************************************

My challenge to you is to take that chance and continue to have faith in someone even if and when it is not what you expect.

I am preaching to myself right now because I want the “what if” and “I hope” to work itself into reality but the fact of the matter is that it is me putting expectations on someone and that isn’t fair.  Hope is good-unconditional love is BETTER! Acceptance in SPITE of someone’s outward appearance or maybe a stigma-a label.  It’s hard to walk in someone else’s shoes.  And that is why I am happy I have had so many unsuccessful relationships in life, because it has taught me all of this-Love is eternal and people will come and go.  (Yes, you read that right.)  I have been torn and tattered.  I have been abused in almost every way in my past and who I am-how I am is too much for most people (family, spouse, friends included).  I have lost much, but I have not lost ME-and GOD has never lost ME.  HE loves ME-for ME!  HE knows where I am going and what will happen and HE takes a chance on me and that I will follow and love Him and do what HE says (definitely not because it’s popular).

When I was climbing, I learned to trust each hold and each path I chose.  When you lead, in rock climbing, you literally “commit” when you reach out and put all of your weight on a crimp or a smear and you “commit” to that route (you usually can’t go backwards unless you fail fall).  It’s so similar in life-you have to take that chance, trust, and then commit.  It’s actually a pretty simple formula.  Then if you fall, you try another route and eventually…hopefully stronger in the end, you make it to your destination.

I don’t like sounding like I’m preaching and I know if you are like me, you won’t just read this and learn it-you’ll have to live it just as I had.  If you don’t take a chance on someone, you may never know how amazing they are or will become. And you will never know how their ripples will affect you.  This may be on a loved one, lover, child, parent, co-worker, friend.  I don’t know, it may actually be that you need to take a chance on you.

Whatever the case, you are thinking of something right now that you need to take that chance on…something you just need to know. Maybe you won’t and you will never know.  Sometimes I think to myself with a smirk that I have come such a long way and done so much more than anyone who had taken the chance on me and then given up would have ever thought possible  But I don’t do these things for them…they’re because it is just the path I’ve walked.  No, I haven’t always “walked in the path that God willed” I’m sure…but He knew before the world was in motion that I would walk this path and He promises in Jeremiah that “For I know the plans I have for you…plans of good and not evil.”  We just need a little perspective to see how God equips us for those hardships and brings forth the best in each of us if we let him.

Ok, haha!  I got a little preachy and I’m sorry.  I guess I was having a moment looking back at some old poems from the past and realizing just how much I’ve come through-all which I would never have had the strength to go alone.  I struggle a LOT (hey-no one said this is easy), with who I am and why I was never “enough” for those who supposedly committed to me.  I have high expectations sometimes-more for myself than others.  And when someone does seemingly take a chance on me now, I have a hard time trusting.  I push them away and don’t talk to them much because I am afraid of not being what they “thought” and then feeling disappointed when they leave my life.  I will share an experience from my younger years that has stuck with me for a long time.  When I was in 8th grade, I was living in a 5th-8th grade girls dorm in a tiny boarding school in Bolivia, South America.  The prior year I had been in a large public school in the US (my parents went to the US every few years for a year “furlough”), so I knew none of the rules at this boarding school for this age.  Well, within weeks, I was breaking (pretty innocently) rules and my dorm parents sat me down in their office.  Their words will always sting-they told me they had expected me to be an angel since they knew my parents and they were disappointed in me.  WOW!  That hurt…and I believe that was the first of many disappointing moments in my life.

Anyway, take the chance, trust, and commit.  That is my challenge to you-to myself.