I don't know if I'm gonna hit send on this one.
If you were squeamish with the last post, you definitely aren't gonna like this one.
If you are offended by cussing or the ranting of a byproduct of the over-sexualized culture that we in America live in, we should probably part ways now.
I have been a tightly-wound ball of nerves and anger and depression for years. I am an anxious person in general. I don't know if that is a learned behavior or just the way I was wired. I tend to handle it ok. I get anxious - I question whether there's actually anything to be anxious about - and I move on. I get the occasional panic attack. But I tend to notice it - do something that calms me - and I move on.
My ability to move on has been made more difficult in the last year. I had been seeing a therapist for a year and a half, and we got to the point where we started Exposure Therapy. Basically, she wanted me to recount, in the most detailed ways possible (and retold in the present fucking tense) the rapes I experienced. It's a pretty common way to treat PTSD. I had a choice to start wherever I wanted. I started with the guy who screwed me the worse. No pun intended. The one I considered a friend. The one I very, very much didn't see coming. The one that sang to me during it.
I figured if I could get through Exposure Therapy with him, the others would be a cake walk.
And it was working. I was seeing it for what it was - the really bad, pre-meditated attack by a jerkwad that only lasted a few hours of my life. Not this giant abyss of formless, endless pain, this all-encompassing, always waiting, lurking, strong, overpowering wave of an attack that could strike at any time. But just this stupid fuck who took from me what was not his.
But....we had to stop. Mid-therapy. Mid.
I wasn't prepared when my therapist had to change jobs and I couldn't continue to see her.
I wasn't prepared for where my mind would go to when it got dark outside or when I was alone. Or worse, when I was with my kids and walking to my car after buying groceries or something equally pedestrian. Or kissing my husband. Try handling that shit while you're trying to kiss your loving husband.
I wasn't prepared for my sweet, protective hubby to go manic and essentially leave me alone to deal with my newly dug up memories. Which I mostly didn't do since he was, uh, manic, and I was spending all of my time dealing with that. I pushed my own needs to the backburner.
I wasn't prepared for when Satan would tempt me so effortlessly and how I would be more than happy to be lured along, groomed, romanced even, agreeing with him that cutting myself over and over in the last week would be the answer to all my pain. That it would, in fact, erase allllllllllll the anxiety and panic and pain I'd been experiencing soooooooooooooo fucking intensely over the past month.
Because Satan doesn't look like this -
He looks more like this -
I wasn't prepared to be bombarded with the thought that killing myself would be a good, permanent, effective way to relieve myself of this unbearable, constant anxiety and fear.
I was snapped out of it, a bit, last Sunday morning at church. Our pastor was preaching, of all things, on the last days of King David. Specifically on his last words. I thought "I wonder what my last words should be. Should I say goodbye to my kids? Give them advice that I would normally have given them, had I been alive to give it? Should I video tape it? Or what about leaving little notes all over the house? Then I can arrange for a friend to come over for coffee, take a bunch of pills, and then she'd deal with finding me and handling everything.
In the suffocating thick of those thoughts, another couple of thoughts showed up.
I looked around the room. Felt my husband, who loves me like crazy, next to me. He knew I had been fucking up. He knew I'd been so messed up in the head that I'd resorted to cutting. He didn't know (since it was such a quick thought, such a quick assault on my weakness and pain) that I was having these thoughts of killing myself.
I was terrified to tell him. I didn't want to freak him out. He's got so much on his plate already. I didn't want to be one more thing to stress him out. But I knew, I KNEW, that if I didn't speak up, I was gonna do it. I jumped up and went to a friend and spilled my guts. I told her exactly what I had just been thinking about. I told her I was terrified and needed help because I was losing my fucking mind.
She told me that she was gonna have her hubby go get my hubby and that she wanted to take me to get evaluated at an Emergency Room. We had made arrangements for a friend (who happens to go to our church) to watch our kids that evening so we could go to a concert. So she agreed to just take them earlier and keep them later. Ben came downstairs to see his wife replaced by this unrecognizable puddle of a person. He agreed to drive me to the ER. Our friends followed. To be a support for Ben, mostly.
I spend all afternoon in the ER. I told the nurses and case workers what had been going through my head. What I had been doing. Why I felt I might have been doing it. And that I 100% did NOT want to die. (YES, I want to be in heaven and have all this world and all its crap go away for good, but on God's watch. Not mine.)
"Well, if you don't want to die, why did you come in?"
Sigh. I felt like I was getting out of control. That my incredible desire NOT to die wouldn't be enough to actually keep me from doing something permanent when I was in the middle of a severe panic attack. I mean, it hadn't kept me from cutting. And I hadn't cut in more than a freaking decade. And I wasn't just nicking myself. I was slicing. I was carving. I was really, really, really messing myself up.
I am tempted A LOT to cut. Just about EVERY FUCKING TIME I get stressed out, Satan shows up and dangels this little carrot in front of my nose. I got used to it. I was quickly and effortlessly able to identify that it was a trick, and I resisted because I didn't do that anymore. It was like watching 'Satan: Amatuer Night.' Being tempted to cut was like Satan's Personal Calling Card. I used to get the thought in my head (Hey, cutting would relieve that pain, ya know.) and I'd immediately ask God to take care of it. I knew that if I tried to look George Fucking Clooney holding a fucking, cute-ass puppy in front of me, that I'd probably cave. So I always tattled on Satan and then stood behind Him as God, in all His mercy and power, removed the threat from me.
Worked like a charm. Every time.
Except this time. This time, I looked that puppy dead in the eyes and agreed that it was indeed cute as fuck. And that I needed some relief.
Satan might not be subtle. But he is consistant. He has a way of knowing that my weaknesses are. He doesn't have complete power over me. He can't make me do anything. But I sure fell for his cons this time. Which is unnerving, to say the least.
What's even more screwed up is that I'm still acutely aware of this thick curtain over my soul. It's not completely gone. I don't really know how to describe it other than that. I still very much believe in God. I believe that He is good and loves me and wants to help me. That He is powerful enough to help me. To protect me. To heal me. I believe that He can re-create me. But I can not, for the life of me, feel Him. Or hear Him. Or anything like that. And I'm still confusing these lies as truths. I'm not wanting to shut Him out. I'm reading Scripture. I'm praying Scripture. I have friends praying Scripture on my behalf. I'm begging.
I feel a bit like I'm on my own. And let's not start with how much of an utter failure I am when it comes to resisting this shit without God. I can have all the friends in the world with the best of intentions and still royally screw up. I've done it time and time again. I know me. And I know what it's like to not trust that God is there, with His supernatural love and mercy and victory over evil...
I know He's there. But seriously. God! I need You! Get me outta this!!!
And get me outta this stupid fucking world of perverts. Seriously, I am sooooo scared. I am mad. Like white hot mad at the whole damn world.
Why is it that everytime I get on the internet to check my email, I have to see another news story about some asshole who gets off on hurting kids?
Why is it that because I have a nose ring, the cashier at my favorite store felt he had permission to ask me whether I also have a tongue ring (while flicking his disgusting fucking tongue at me) and then he reached up and stroked his nipples and fucking asked me if I had a ring in my own nipples?
I called the store manager and told her all about it. She was just as sickened. As she should be. I won't ever have to worry about being treated like that at that store. At least, not by that guy.
Maybe another guy. I mean, they're everywhere. Everywhere.
I am NEVER safe.
After getting out of the hospital, I realized that I needed to lay off from some of the responsibilities that I had. Not totally. But I can barely get out of bed. I'm probably gonna have a hard time right now standing up in front of a bunch of precious, innocent, beautiful children and preaching to them that God is there for them without completely breaking down. I'm gonna have a hard time for a little bit.
So I figured now is as good a time as any to do some stuff that I've been wanting to do but wasn't sure if my particular leadership roles would smile upon. Namely, coloring my hair. Vivid.
I was on the fence about whether or not I should go pink or blue. I've had hair every color of the rainbow before. I find it a very fun way to look. Ben said he'd like to see me with pink hair. So I got all the stuff and dyed my hair pink.
I'm not entitled enough to be horrified when people see pink hair on someone and stare for two milliseconds longer than they would normally. It's to be expected. I mean seriously. I do it. I stare with envy when I see some beautiful, bright color on someone's head. I just love it. LOVE IT! I also love the more vanilla colors of chocolate brown, blonde, dirty blonde, ash brown, black, bald, pippi longstockings red...
l o v e
it's just all so pretty.
I had a lady at Walmart stop me at the meat section and hug me. A complete stranger. She told me that she figured I was supporting breast cancer. DOH! uh, well. I do support the end of cancer. But I wasn't being that noble when I did this. I'm just a punk who wanted a wild hair color. To be honest. She took off her beautifully knit beanie and showed me her beautiful bald head. I gave her hug and kissed her sweet head. I am praying for her. And I'm gonna tell everyone that that's what I'm doing from now on, you can count on that! ;)
But not everyone has such a positive response to my hair. Some people avoid eye contact. Whatever. Others point and laugh. Whatever. Still others stand there, staring, mouths open, as if they've just encountered an alien. Hahahaha! Whatever. Some people actually come up to me and say they like it. Uh, thanks.
But the ones that upset me, the ones that make me question whether I should just dye it some normal color right now are the ones who see me and promptly gloss over with dark, gross, disgusting lust.
Don't get me wrong. Nothing wrong with lust. As long as it's directed at your spouse. At the right times.
But I'm just trying to buy milk, you fucking perverts! I should be able to pick up my kid from school or grab some ground beef from the store without having some asshole lick his lips and raise his eyebrows and darken with desire.
I. Am. Not. Here. To. Be. Your. Superhero. Pink-Haired. Sex-Ninja!
for fuck's sake!
What the hell is wrong with people?! Is there some fetish that I don't know about? Where people get off on overpowering other people with hair that looks like candy? Does me having a nose ring or a tattoo or pink hair (or a smile) automatically bring up images of a sex-hungry, freakishly-good-in-bed, easily manipulated, kinky, constantly turned on maniac?!
Ok. So if I'm being completely honest, this happens to me. A lot. Even without the pink hair drawing attention to myself. I didn't have pink hair when that asshole cashier was shockingly inappropriate with me. I didn't have pink hair when I was asked if I liked (insert gross nickname for male genitalia) while walking with my kids at the park last summer. I didn't have pink hair when I was assaulted all those times.
I don't know what it is. I think.....that there are a LOT of fucking perverted asswipes out there. And they do not at all mind coming in contact with the rest of the world.
So then what am I to do with that?! Am I to avoid dying my hair pink? Fuck you. Of course fucking not. I'm not dressing like a whore. I'm not acting like a whore. I'm not talking like a whore.
I. AM. NOT. A. WHORE.
Pink hair does not a whore make.
You stupid assholes.
So no. I'm keeping the hair. Until *I* decide that *I* want to change it.
I'm NOT letting you take that from me.
But seriously. I can talk shit. I can talk like I refuse to let it affect me. But that's a bunch of bullshit. It affects me. so much. so so so much.
Which is how I ended up in this stupid position in the first place.
How I wish I was strong enough to stand unwavering against this kind of abuse and not question my worth.
How I WISH I was brave enough to say something each time it happens. So that they are exposed for how filthy and rotten they are.
HOW I WISH I could trust that I am safe.
How I wish that I could pray it away. or that I could expect God to wipe the earth clean. Although I'd likely be washed away in the flood as well. Knowing me.
How I wish I could just patiently wait on God to move in their hearts and redeem them. To draw them out of their filth and drench them entirely and completely in the blood of Christ.
But I am having a very hard time with that. I am in pain. I am in tremendous amounts of pain. I cry every fucking day. I am having a panic attack twice a day. At least. I am scared. I am mad. I am sad. I HURT and ACHE so damn much.
I don't really know what else to say. I am trying to trust God. I am trying to wait on Him. I am trying to resist Satan's lame temptations. I am praying with those who, like me, find themselves the target of perverts' attention and deprivation.