It hurts to be me sometimes. Feeling you are not lovable no matter what you do has that effect. All that has kept me going sometimes is knowing God loves me.
God’s love, however, has not been enough to heal the side effects of living with the memories I have. The things that have happened to me over the years have left me with long term, chronic, anxiety, depression, paranoia and post traumatic stress disorder.
The other day I went to look at a house with a view to moving. As soon as I walked in the door and saw all the rooms I knew I could not live there. I wouldn’t feel safe. I can only keep watch over a small area so my post traumatic stress symptoms will only let me live in a small area.
I have let go of fantasies about love. I don’t want to take a chance on love again and I don’t make new friends any more for the same reason.
I’m well aware this attitude is unhealthy but I just can’t face any more pain at the hands of other people. I would rather be alone for the rest of my life so I trust nobody. It’s the only way to be sure I won’t get hurt again.
Over the years I have had counseling. One session of marital counseling that my ex walked out of saying the therapist was prejudiced against him. One session of counseling for workplace bullying and a few sessions of counselling for post traumatic stress.
I need more. I know I need more but I can’t do it. I can’t let anyone get too close to me any more apart from God and my children. The whole world is allowed to know every little detail ABOUT me but nobody can come any closer than that.
My world is small. Work, my kids, this website, computer games and gambling. It’s no wonder gambling has such a hold on me. My options for fun are severely limited!
I know my life isn’t much of a testimony to the power of God. God’s children are supposed to be filled with joy but that’s an emotion I have no experience with and I figured, at this late stage of my life, I never will experience it.
I’ve come to terms with my life. It isn’t much fun but I’d rather be safe than sorry so it suits me. I ignore the knowledge that I am putting my mental health at risk by isolating myself so much.
The other night I lay down to sleep and, as always, I began to self-soothe. Many people self-soothe to cope with stress. My chronic anxiety means I am always in a stressed state. Some people hug a soft toy, some masturbate, some chew on their fingernails to cope with stress. I do it through pressing my thumb on my forefinger and moving a tendon in my thumb to produce a clicking sound. I have been doing it all my life and there are large callouses on both thumbs and both forefingers. I have been told I even do this in my sleep since the attack on me.
As I began to “click” I felt God speak to me. I can never be sure if I am hearing God or my own thoughts at these times but I don’t worry too much about that. If it isn’t going to result in me doing or saying anything to harm anyone or mess things up for myself it really doesn’t matter. I am often only sure it was God when things turn out in such a way it convinces me it was Him.
“You need to stop doing that.” I felt Him say to me this time.
“I can’t. You know that.” I answered.
“You did once.” He reminded me.
“That was the one time in my life I had zero stress. No financial worries, no job, no husband – nothing to fear and nothing to worry about.” I pointed out. “As soon as I got a job it started up again!”
“You need to ask me for healing.” He said.
“For what?” I asked. “This habit? It seems a little trivial to be asking you to heal me of that.”
“For life.” He said and gave me a mental image of myself as He was seeing me.
I looked at the image and saw myself standing there with not one tiny scrap of flesh unmarked. From the crown of my head to the soles of my feet I was criss-crossed with scars. Tiny scratches through to massive, head to toe, gashes covered every inch of my body.
“You are the same inside.” God said and showed me my heart.
It was also a mass of scar tissue. Ugly welts of puckered, twisted, scar tissue covered every inch of my heart imprisoning it and stopping it from expanding and contracting freely.
“Life has wounded you,” God said as I began to cry, “I have healed the wounds but you have not forgotten them or the pain they inflicted. You need to ask me to heal you of those memories.”
I cried for awhile. I cried for the way those mental pictures expressed the truth about me so vividly. I feel as if there is not one atom of me that does not bear a scar of some kind and I’m so weary – like a soldier after a terrible war.
“I’m so tired Lord,” I sobbed, “it hurts so much to keep going sometimes. I would like to come home to you. When can I come home Lord?”
“You need to ask me to heal you.” He said. “You need to turn on to your back and open your hands to receive my healing.”
So I wiped my eyes, got out of bed and blew my nose, then lay on my back with my hands open and my palms facing the ceiling. I prayed for God to forgive me of my sins then I asked God to heal me of my memories.
“You need to ask for more than that.” God said. “You need to ask me to take what I will from you and give what I will to you. I need you to give me permission to do my will in this matter. It isn’t as simple as it sounds. This healing needs to come from inside you.”
Then he showed me a mental image of my heart again. At first it looked the same as the first image – dead, strangled, bloodless. Then I saw a faint red light like a little spark of fire flickering deep in the core of it.
“That is the healed part of you.” God said. “That little section is the healed, healthy, whole part of you. It needs to grow, expand, radiate outwards. It will heal whatever it takes over. You need to give it to me and I will fan the flame so it can grow and burn away the scar tissue.”
“What will it leave behind?” I asked.
“It will leave behind a new heart, a new spirit, a new soul, a new mind. They will be renewed and it will be as if they were never wounded.”
So I prayed, as instructed, that God would take from me what He would and give to me what He would and I said thy will be done not mine Lord. Then I fell asleep.
The next day I went about my life feeling no changes so I assumed it must not have been God after all. When I went to bed the scene repeated. I started clicking and God said I needed to pray the same prayer, with my hands open and palms up, again.
I did. The same thing happened the next time I tried to go to sleep and every time after for about a week. Each time I prayed the same prayer in the same position.
After the third time I understood what I was really asking for was the growth of the Holy Spirit – the more of me the Holy Spirit took possession of the more I would be healed. After I understood that the prayer was always followed by what seemed like a prayer but in gibberish words – ones I didn’t understand. Born again Christians call it speaking in tongues. I haven’t done it for a long time but I did it then.
After about three sessions that included speaking in tongues it stopped. I went to bed and prepared to say the prayers but the feeling that I was supposed to do it had gone. I said the usual prayer asking forgiveness and asked God why I didn’t feel as if I had to say the other prayers this time.
“It is done.” He said.
“Oh.” I said, “OK. If you say so.”
That was about a week ago. Nothing has changed and maybe nothing will. It may not have been God talking to me after all. Only time will tell. I plan to forget about it now. It’s in Gods hands and I will leave it there.
For now my primary concern is staying away from the pokies and finding a new place to live if I can. I am a work in progress and this is the latest development.
It isn’t much fun being me but I wouldn’t be anyone else for all the money in the world! It hurts to be me sometimes but it would hurt far worse without Gods love!
I may be battle-scarred and war-weary but it feels good to know I’m a survivor. I’m still standing and that’s not a trivial accomplishment. My heart may be damaged but I still care about other people and that is proof, to me, that God is with me.
I’m content with that. It’s God who seems to want more for me.