I’ve had too much on my mind. Too many heavy things to even know where to begin. I don’t have a good sense for how things appear outside of my own mind. The daily battle with the effects of brokenness is an uphill battle and one that I fear I am losing more than winning. On days like today anyway. Or weeks like this week. And months like this month. Am I seeing things in their true form or the form distorted by childhood experience and its accompanying emotional trauma? Am I being strong and keeping myself out of the web of lies that was laid for me so many times, or am I being paranoid and unloving? Am I being broken or strong? Or some dysfunctional combination of both?
Yes. I’ll have an order of McStrength of Character with a large side of Distrust, extra Insecure Sauce, and a large Unstable. To go. Because it never stops.
You toss around big words and diagnoses and they make you feel freer and more trapped at the same time. You might be getting better but you are not the only one in this circus. You are a chain gang and all of you are going to trip and fall down together. If I fall, you’re going down with me. And not in the Dixie Chicks sense. And if you fall, I’m spiraling too, because we’re all connected by the nigh inescapable web that connects us through our DNA, our upbringing, our association. And then there’s the guilt. That all the unsullied people in your life, all your loves that have not been broken the way you have, will have to sweep up your shattered heart again and again, and you, theirs. And their hearts will break as well, little by little, until you are all wrestling with different degrees of the same beast. It brings you together and tears you apart and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the togetherness is keeping you together. You remind yourself that they choose every day to be in your world and you in theirs. And yet you are sad for them. That you are their lot.
You move toward healing. It’s 3 steps forward and 2 back. It’s running in the sand. It’s exhausting with moments of victory and invigoration. You stand tall some days and see how far you’ve come. You take a deep breath and take a few steps as a free human.
But you’re not all healing at the same rate, if at all. And the broken humanity trips you and you feel you are right back where you started. Glimpses of today send you spinning back to memories of yesterday with its crushing fear, its paralyzing uncertainty. The definite certainty that you are wrong and you are to blame. But maybe you’re not because the small part of you that is well knows the truth. The knowledge of truth is at sharp odds with the ‘facts’ that have been engrained in your deepest soul in your earliest years by the Chinese water torture of your cult-like upbringing. By the people who brought you into the world. The people who should have been your safe haven.
You see the patterns re-emerging and you are powerless. Your newer, more healthy self is compassionate and caring, while the survivor you is yelling at you that the red flags are, oh, so evident. In an effort to be strong and shield yourself from what you know you are not able to withstand, you close down the pertinent hatches. And attempt to search for the truth in all of the madness. In doing so, you let your guard down and feel the web pulling you in.
It’s a delicate balance of allowing the whole parts of you to live in peace and the constant watchfulness of knowing you are so susceptible to so much. It’s the wariness of desiring to revel with abandon in a sunlit field of wildflowers knowing that your next step could trigger a hidden mine and your tentative stability will be blown all to hell.
And yet you cannot hide in your emotional bunker. You yearn for wellness and freedom and the innocent childlike corners of your soul and the pieces that are healing force you ever onward. You trust a little more, a little sooner. You glance back over your shoulder a little less frequently. You pass through a moment that could have been a mine and realize that not only are you safe, but that you had no fear of walking through. Only a moment, but moments are what life is built of. What victories are built of.
You become more aware. You have a finger on your pulse and you learn when to progress and when to retreat. And when to let yourself walk away from a disaster still intact because you are you. You are not all of them. And you are not who you were. And maybe someday you will all be well together. Some days there is little hope of that. You do, after all, remember where you came from. But the great Healer is bigger than all of that. Bigger than you. Bigger than the war. He has won the war already.
Some days you just have to believe it even when you can’t.
Help my unbelief.
And heaven awaits. The great, sunlit field of eternal wildflowers free from the mines of broken humanity’s tyranny.