"There is always more healing to be done." These were the words of one of my Living Waters leaders during the final teaching last week.
Those words feel so true today.
Today has been rough. I find myself quite depressed. My poor best friend is confused and unable to rouse me from my stupor.
Why do I feel this way? I told him I want to die. Is that true? Did I mean it? Do I mean it? (Alright, I have been taking an abnormal psychology class. We did a few days on suicide. I realize that every statement that even slightly scents of suicide is supposed to be taken seriously. So, I look at that statement of mine...seriously. Because....I said it.....and I should know better than to say it if I don't really mean it.) Do I really want to die? My best friend questioned my statement. So I rephrased, "I just want to dissolve into the couch." What was I saying? I just want to disappear. I want to be rid of the responsibilities in my life. More specifically, I want to be rid of the responsibility to feel. Feeling has become such a hard responsibility these days.
My best friend told me to go spend time with Jesus. I didn't want to. My best friend told me to go take a walk. I didn't want to. I thought maybe I'd want to sleep. I didn't want to. Long story short: I didn't want to do anything. I really did just want to dissolve into the couch.
"You must feel the pain. Don't numb it out." Another final-opportunity warning from the Living Waters leader. I slipped some. I ate two items. Thankfully, my stomach is not used to binging any more, and it gets upset and/or full very quickly.
I picked up my book (which I am actually reading for two self-directed school projects), Hope, Health & Healing for Eating Disorders by Gregory L. Jantz. I got to the section on abuse. I pushed my way through it. Trying to remain above the text--not let it affect me or trigger my own memories or thoughts. But God was not going to let that happen.
Each chapter of the book has questions that one is supposed to answer. This is the one that finally got me:
9) Find a comfortable chair or couch. Give yourself comfort. Hug a pillow, or sit with your knees up and hug your knees. Ask a friend or therapist to say each of these statements to you and then have you repeat them aloud, as loud as you want to.
"I am a special person!"
"I should not have been treated the way I was!"
"I am not responsible for what happened to me!"
"I am angry with the person who made me feel this way!"
"That person had no right to make me feel this way!"
"That person is responsible for what I went through!"
"I am not a bad person! I am a person worthy to be loved!"
"If you could not love me, the fault is yours, not mine!"
"I will not be like you!"
"I will be a person who can give love to others!"
This is all it took. The tears came down.
God has given me some measure of healing from the abuse from my childhood--I know this to be true--I have felt it. But there are other truths as well. For one, there are many different levels and types of abuse. Therefore, there is more than one person in my life that I must forgive. Also, even if I have genuinely forgiven and have had some healing.....those old feelings still run deep. And it will take time and intentional reassurance that I don't have to feel that way anymore for them to be released from my emotional system.
There are still days when I feel dirty. There are still days I am gripped with fear. There are still (many) circumstances that cause me to cringe in guilt. There is still much pain and anger within me....that I don't know what to do with or where to begin to work through it.
God.....I need You. I need You to comfort me. I need You to hold me. I need You to tell me that You love me. I need You to show me where to go next; this is too much for me to sort out with my own mind. I am still so weak. I am still confused. I am still struggling to find Your truth. I still don't know who I am. God, I am completely dependent on You. Forgive me for trying to live in a false reality where I can do this all on my own. I am scared. I am so scared. Please hold my hand. Please cleanse me. Please restore me. Please whisper to me that I am Your child--no matter what. Please give me the capacity to hold Your love, and then to bestow it upon others. I feel so empty, God. I feel like I cannot even hold Your love right now. Send Your Spirit to bind me up. And, Holy Spirit, please stay with me. Please continue to seal me in such a way that I can hold love Divine. Enable me to feel the pain, so that I can forgive, and then LOVE freely. Amen.