When I Tell The Truth, I Find The Truth

Over the weekend, I told my mom that I hope I die before she and my dad do, because I’m not sure I can handle anything else going to hell in my life. I said it calmly and nonchalantly, and she didn’t say much but nodded and knew I wasn’t going to do anything stupid. But doing something stupid and thinking something stupid are two, very different things. 

Before I digress…

I second guess everything I write because I’m all like, eeek no, don’t want my Christian friends to think differently of me, because honestly, that’s what a lot of Christians do. I would say people in general, but non Christians are seemingly a million times more empathetic than Christians, and the only thing that they seem to lack is the tangible hope at the end of grief. But I don’t careeeee. Because I’m a writer and words are my thing, so I’m not going to mince words for comfort sake. If you don’t like to be mildly uncomfortable, I completely understand and strongly suggest you click back on to Amazon or Facebook and exit out of  this, because here goes. 

I digress…

For the last few months, if not this whole year, I haven woken up and started my day wondering if that day would be the day that I will finally die. Honestly hoping and crossing my fingers. I told my mom this too. See, I’ve never been a dreamer, and I’m scared of failure- so by the time I turned 18 I was hoping I’d be dead by 22-23. But, here I am, at 25. See, generally I’m pretty clear headed, but in 2012 I found myself on a suicidal rampage, have straight up demonic hallucinations, seeing my death in front of me as if it was actually happening, and doing many things including but not limited to: cutting up and down, not sideways, eating a ton then purging hard, taking steak knives and pressing them as far into my stomach as I could handle, and taking handfuls of my depression and anxiety meds at a time, hoping I would die. But here I am, at 25. A lot of this spiraled from getting raped, something people didn’t talk about then. I was feeling too violated to tell anyone, so I kept it pretty quiet. This led me down a winding road of PTSD. Another not so awesome thing that people don’t really talk about. 

Fast forward, it’s 2017. And PTSD is that SOB that came back with a vengeance following some pretty jacked up events from last year. But I didn’t know it. Again, I was hiding grief and shoving it down in to a well so deep that even an echo couldn’t reach it. Except an echo did reach it. Somewhere between January when I created my vision board of hope for the year, and March, PTSD snuck back in for the first time in about 3 years. And it was a quiet but powerful storm. It started with anxiety, which I always had, but it came in pretty violently- in the car, in social situations, pretty much nonstop. I was becoming super sensitive, more than usual because I was grieving but didn’t want to tell anyone because of shame. Then came agitation, isolation, and finally insomnia that’s been paired with crying myself to sleep often. I’ve brushed it off the past few months, thinking that maybe living in community was just overwhelming me. I didn’t want to talk about it- so I just kept going. 

And then, in the beginning of September of this year, I started getting sick. Throwing up day after day, not with cold symptoms, just throwing up. Then came vertigo, migraines, and nightmares. These episodes happen maybe 3 or so times a week and would crush me. So I got a gym membership. Like cool, let’s get healthy because you’re gross. Now, a few months before this, I had a girl run up to me in church and poke me in my arm. No big deal, right? Except I was in excruciating pain. It hurt more than I was expecting and honestly I think I mugged the hell out of the girl because I didn’t understand why she poked me so hard. That became my norm. My skin hurt so much. So the gym just added more pain to what was already hurting. Then, a few weeks ago, the sweet Mom who lives upstairs was coming down the stairs and I didn’t hear her and I freaked out so hard and screamed at her, my heart was racing and I almost cried from fear.  Just ask her, it was honestly funny and embarrassing, an hour or so later. That fear, the jumpiness, hasn’t happened to me  in years. Then finally insomnia, and my intense fear of being attacked at night, which brings me to writing this post at 4am because even my sleep aids don’t work anymore. 

I don’t want to say what happened last year. And when I have bad days and someone asks me how I am, I usually say there’s something going on with my family or I have to work, anything to get me out of talking. But something did happen and I’ve been stuck in this wind tunnel of shame and regret and grief. To scared to speak, regretting everything, and grieving the pain that I felt on a much more visceral level than I have in my entire life. I’m in pain and I’ve hidden it pretty well. But it’s creeping into my everyday life, and that’s harder to hide. But I’m not suicidal. I mean I think about it often, but I don’t have any plans. But I do wish either: A) Jesus comes back soon, like today, or B) I die peacefully…or painfully- either way is fine as long as it happens. Because I’m exhausted. I think about it often and it’s not that I’ve lost hope, but I’m tired. I’m anxiously awaiting for the day when faith is turned to sight, every tear will be wiped from our eyes, and all that is wrong will be made right. Ugh. And I guess maybe I’m too young to be this tired, but I grew up too fast and I’m a 25 year old with the life experiences of a 50 year old and I’m already done with it all. I’m ready. And I sit in this tension of being surrounded by Christians who say now but not yet, and I haven’t seen the now or the not yet and I question if either exist. And on the other side I hear Christians who condemn me in my brokenness yet worship church leaders who are just as broken but look better in their brokenness because they have a platform. 

And understand, this isn’t a shaking my fist at God in pissiness because He’s not doing things “my way.” Not at all- because in the midst of the mental, emotional, and physical trauma, I’ve found myself in a basement apartment with a beautiful family that feels more and more like home everyday. And sometimes I’m too scared to say my grief for fear of sounding ungrateful, because I am grateful beyond words. But I’m also broken. And if this grief requires repentance then God, lead me to it. And if this grief is part of the journey, then God bring me through it. But my small human brain is painfully aware of how much I, and many other grieving Christians, don’t understand. I’m handed ideas by many, many people, who think they have answers, but the evidence of that answer would be fruit. And it’s ok for people not to know, there is no expectation on my end that anyone would know. Now we see in part, then we will fully know. But that doesn’t remove the ache that comes with the experiences that have unresolved grief.  

So here’s the ugly truth, though there’s so much more I could say, but I’m just not ready to go there yet. I’m not quitting, I’m not tapping out. I’m not running back to the sin and self destruction of years past just because I’m hurting. But I’m broken and aware of it, maybe more than I ever have been in my short, but long life. And at the end of the day, despite my feelings and questions, I will wait for Him whom my soul loves, even though I don’t understand. I will sing truth until I believe it, I will read truth until I see it, and I will breath in truth until I become it and it inhabits every crack and crevasse of this broken heart. 

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When I Tell The Truth, I Find The Truth

The Thing About Grief..

the thing about grief. For the majority of this year, I have tried to explain how I’m feeling. A lot of people have asked me, “how are you?” And my lips are prepared to tell a lie that has come so easily over the last two years. A few years ago, when I was having a hard time, I started a blog. I had 1000s of followers, watching and reading my life intimately. And when I faced great trauma, I used my writing as an outlet to process all of my thoughts and feelings so I wouldn’t drown in overwhelming pain. Though I am grateful for the resource, it also became painful. My life, which I had desired to keep as an open book, quickly became a novel for the critiques of the masses. I felt open and vulnerable, which I thought was a good thing, but it had come back to bite me in the ass. 

As the years have progressed, I have wrestled with how open I should or shouldn’t be, wanting to invite people in, but also wanting to protect myself from others motives. It wasn’t long before I became really good at over sharing, and I spent more time conseling and apologizing to people for my experiences than talking and processing through for my own good. 

Fast forward to last year. I have always been pretty self destructive, ready to go into spontaneous combustion, waking up in the mornings asking God if today would be the day I could finally die. Drinking too much and hanging out with the wrong people. Two years ago I became friends with the wrong kind of people, and last year I was made aware of how wrong they were. That same day I started my half sleeve, looking for something to ease the pain of hurt that I hadn’t quiet figured out. A few weeks after, I spoke with a friend, and what should have been a moment of release and healing became a moment of shame beyond anything I’d ever experienced before. 

Thought that conversation has since been clarified, the remnants of it have lingered. Last year was my most self destructive year since 2012. I was plummeting quickly, making  decisions that I don’t even want to speak of. I was in a fury of agony, careless with my life, done with everything. And then, January brought a beacon of hope. For the last 10 months I have battled with sorrow and shame that feel like a riptide, dragging me below the surface, into the dark deep. And the only headstrong decision I made at the beginning of the year was, that no matter what happened, I wouldn’t give up, I wouldn’t quit, and I wouldn’t back down in the face of adversity. 

I don’t have a language for my grief. I don’t have a proper way to say it where it doesn’t sound extremely offensive. I don’t have words for the sleepless, tear filled nights, the nightmares and consistent pain I feel in my body, on my skin. The nonstop throwing up and the headaches and vertigo that come when I’m most upset. More than anything this year, I’ve wanted to package my grief in a neatly, so that when I felt depression and anxiety consuming me, I’d have a nice way to present it so that no one felt overwhelmed by the words that I use. But it’s not in a neat. It’s a storm, brewing to fever pitch,  and if I slow down too much, the clouds get darker and the thunder cracks and I hide within myself. So I tuck it away and bring it to the feet of Jesus. I sing because that’s what I know how to do. 

I don’t have a language for grief. I more than anything want to. I’ve fallen somewhere in the cracks between the Pentecostals telling me to repent and I shall be healed. Pray and I shall be delivered from my demons. Reformed Christians telling me that trials and tribulations do come, but wait till Heaven because things will be made right then, but maybe not now. To the world, offering me a place to lay victim to my experiences and build a huge wall of offense around me to protect myself from anyone who threatens my peace and safety. And I have tried all of these things, thinking maybe if I just try one, everything will be ok. But, everything is not ok. I have cracks and fissures at the core of my being and outside of the kindness, grace, and mercy of God, I feel ignorant as to this season of my life.

Grieving, trauma, disappointment, tragedy aren’t neat and pretty welcoming boxes, that come open and shut quietly, with a bright red ribbon that reminds one of Christmas. They are lonely without context, they are an innumerable amount of “I’m fine, how are yous.” More than anything I wish they could be beautiful. And more than anything I wish I had a language, or maybe just a relatable ear to hear what’s actually inside of me, where I don’t feel the need to utter the same “I’m fine life.” I always want to point my posts back to God, remind myself and readers that He is good, and He is faithful. My world doesn’t make sense right now, and the wounds are too fresh to be touched let alone gazed upon by anyone that doesn’t quiet understand. I’m awkward in conversations, I feel myself stuttering and overthinking every interaction. Most of the time I’d rather not talk, but somewhere between my anxiousness and people pleasing, a whole train wreck of words spill out. 

The thing about grief is that everyone experiences it in their life, no matter what. It’s not beautiful, it’s trying. It’s messy and scary and lonely. It strengthens our resolve, and builds deeper wells of hope that maybe couldn’t have been created in any other place. And some people need days, some need weeks, months, years or even up to eternity. I don’t have a language for grief, but fortunately, I don’t have to. 

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:8-11

The Thing About Grief..

Waiting Out The Storm

It’s been a quiet summer on the writing front, as if all of my creative juices sputtered out to a halt like a car emptied of gas on the side of the road, and they are only now just picking up. Summer is over and fall is almost here; the time of year where everything inside of me comes alive. It’s been and interesting summer; processing grief, loneliness, changes, and hope deferred, whilst at the same time, entering new seasons, Heavens supply being multiplied in my life, a home found, and new friendships being made.

It’s interesting processing joy along side of sadness. I’ve always felt this impossible weight to try to be ok, and wanting to “count it all joy.” But instead of that, it became an uphill struggle, fighting for joy and peace, finding no joy in the process and shaking my head at God, sure that he had lost his frickin mind. Joy has never come easily for me, nor has optimism.

I’m finding myself in this place in my life where I don’t hide my face from grief, I don’t cover it up, I don’t pretend that it’s not there, but I also am learning to not let it consume me whilst I wait for breakthrough. It’s funny, in churches people want to pray things away, and if those things are not removed then you are either a) living in sin, or b) not in faith for healing therefore you will never be healed till your heart changes. But what if neither of the above are true? What if you are pressing in, not giving up, setting your sights higher and still not seeing a breakthrough- Then what?

I remember my first taste of depression and anxiety when I was in third grade. I didn’t know then, but it has been a battle I have faced for the majority of my life. And for a time, a lot of it was intensified because I didn’t know how to let go of pain. I clasped on to it and all of it’s lies, letting heartache define me rather than teach me. Now, I’m not sure why it lingers. I’ve been prayed for, had hands laid on me for deliverance, oil put on me, chastised, condemned, and corrected.

But it’s wild, because in the midst of it all, while people are giving me their solutions for how to fix my heart problems, God Fathers me through it all. Through my anger and unbelief towards him, through my frustration with Christians not loving, just yelling. Through my tear filled nights where I feel like every breath has been knocked out of me and I could very well die. I know the bible says that Jesus is acquainted with our grief, and for some reason that doesn’t really permeate my brain and it doesn’t comfort me. But what does comfort me is the fact that He holds me through it all. even when I don’t want help and I don’t want to be held.

I’ve received so many solutions from people, and have asked God for grace and humility to receive and be taught by them. But what I haven’t received, outside of Jesus, is someone who doesn’t get tired of me walking through this. He doesn’t give up, he doesn’t quit. He doesn’t leave when I get pissed and want to end my life. He fathers me through it. I long for answers, and more than that I long for healing and freedom. But moreover, I’m grateful that while it has not arrived yet, Jesus is still teaching, leading, and loving me through it all. And that has meant more than any possible solution that has been brought to me.

“Cheer up, don’t be afraid. For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty Savior. He will give you victory. He will rejoice over you with great gladness; he will love you and not accuse you.” Is that a joyous choir I hear? No, it is the Lord himself exulting over you in happy song. “I have gathered your wounded and taken away your reproach. And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones, and bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory to my former exiles, mocked and shamed.” Zephaniah 3:16-18

Waiting Out The Storm

Hot Pink Fingernails

2017, why have you been so discouraging. This has been a challenging year in so many different ways. And I’ve decided, resolved within myself, not to give up when things get hard. And it’s so unfair because this year has been so hard. Honestly it’s been like I’ve been on the receiving end of an electric shock, and I don’t think God is trying to zap the hope out of me but honestly my brain is so fried and I am emotionally exhausted.

At the beginning of the year I made resolutions, which isn’t something I do. But I made them with the hope of seeing God come through and believing that He is good. And the first month I met someone who blessed me above and beyond and paid for $135.00 worth of bills. I was so blessed and grateful and believed that Jesus was preparing me for a year of a new perspective on the world and my version of hope. I left all the kink stuff, and committed myself to Him.

Since January, I’ve been so misunderstood and accused by people who are christians. I’ve been grieving trauma from last year that I haven’t even had a chance to work through. My grandfather passed and a month and a half after Pierce passed. The people I’ve worked for have hurt me and fallen short on their commitments putting me between a rock and a hard place. I have family stuff that’s awful and not mine to talk about. I have bills that I need to pay and can’t. We are movsing and I am exhausted. I haven’t been sleeping well.

I’m not making a list to say people should feel badly for me. Empathy is helpful, sorrow is not. But y’all, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t exhausted. I thought Dad said this would be a year of breakthrough and vision and hope. And I’m finding that almost 7 months in, it has felt like the exact opposite.

Today I got MORE tough news lol. I was literally laughing at this point- amazed that my life could be going so wrong when all I want to do is follow Jesus. I was driving home, fully aware of the details of a situation before they were brought to me. I was crying, then laughing, laughing, then cussing, then repenting. I didn’t think anything else this year could go less in my favor than it already had.

I finally arrived home, sat on the couch, gritted my teeth through a tough conversation with someone I care about but was also bringing me not super great news. Once off of the phone, I shook my head, cried and then laughed, made my way upstairs, closed my bedroom door, locked it and snuggled in bed as I shared with my friends the news and tried to grit my teeth through their shocked responses. After a few minutes I made my way back downstairs, and grabbed some nail polish and the buffer and cuticle removed. I wanted to paint my nails black, because it’s my favorite color, but there was also hot pink in the box. I stared at the two colors and frowned. And in that moment I felt like I heard the Lord say (though idunno cause it seems like I’ve been off all year) that I shouldn’t wear the black nail polish because I’m not in a hopeless situation. I rolled my eyes and poured as I grabbed the pink and just shook my head.

I have felt like a joke this year. My life is a joke. I didn’t have much dignity and now it’s been wiped out with a flood. I didn’t have much vision for my life but I had was dashed in a few seconds. I didn’t have much hope, but I placed the little I had in Jesus.

so I painted my nails pink. Because today [expletives] Sucked. But at some point this will allllll turn around? Or Jesus isn’t real? Lol not ready to give that one up 🤷🏾‍♀️

Hot Pink Fingernails

December Drive (december, 2016)

A week before Christmas and I find myself snuggled on the couch next to my roomie, stuck in the house due to a snow and ice storm the night before. I haven’t written much this month as I haven’t really known what to say. I feel like I’m in a loop of the unknown and I don’t know where I am going or exactly what I am doing. My constant sickness let up for about a week or two and that was an awesome reprieve, though that very week I managed to fracture my foot and then catch a cold.

December.

December Drive (december, 2016)

Words Unspoken… (Valentines Day 2017)

I haven’t written in a while, mostly because my blogging became journaling and I needed a different outlet to do some deeper though processing. At the beginning of February I began watching Kinsley. Kinsley is an adorable 3 year old girl with sass for days. I’ve got little to no maternal desire to have my own kids, but I do enjoy watching kids. The last month and a half has been a journey of learning who I am, what i believe, and what is and isn’t truth. In the process I’ve felt like my insides are being pulled to the outside and laid upon a table and cleaned. That’s a really gross picture but it’s reality.

While watching Kinsley I’ve learned a lot about myself as well as about my perception of who God is. When Kins gets upset, she throws tantrums. I mean she screams and yells and loses her shit. She doesn’t mean to, but she doesn’t know how to communicate and so she just loses it. In the same way, I stuff all of my emotions to the pits of my heart and deal with them by myself. In the process, I’ve become emotionally immature and unable to think through my own feelings and thoughts without getting caught up in the whirlwind that is my own being. I hate confrontation because I don’t know how to communicate what I am feeling. I don’t know how to tell someone that I am hurting.

When I was a kid, we weren’t allowed to argue with mom and dad. We weren’t allowed to talk back or really even talk when we were in trouble. It was now listening time, and you were expected to answer the questions that you were asked. When I was asked these questions I was consumed with anxiety. I immediately retracted and believed that my emotions weren’t important. That the things I was feeling weren’t important. This has easily transferred into my adulthood, because even when i do know what I am feeling I am too scared to say it. I feel as if I say that what I am saying is wrong or could be perceived as not listening, so I tend to cower back and not say what I am thinking which catapults me into self destructive behaviour.

All this to say- even though looking from this side of things it feels scary and gross to learn all of these things about myself, it’s also relieving to know these things about myself. It brings clarity to different aspects of my life, different destructive ways and patterns that I have lived in. I’ve been horrible at communicating to people my feelings and even worse at communicating to God how I feel, or even receiving his heart towards me because I believed that all I would get is a reprimand.

But happy valentines day to me, because today I know that He is listening, and He does care and I and my thoughts are so so so important to Him. And that is one of the best things I could ask for.

Words Unspoken… (Valentines Day 2017)

Last Night (From June 3, 2017)

Last night a good friend died. He was like a little brother to me. He had a way of walking in to the room and lighting it up. He liked to be the center of attention. He was young and craved a love that no one could give him. When i met him he had just moved out of his parents house. He told me that didn’t have a good relationship with his dad, and his sister didn’t invite him to her wedding. I tried to love pierce the best I could, but I’m sure I didn’t know how the way he needed. My heart hurts so much.

Last Night (From June 3, 2017)