This is not the post I had planned for today. The original one was light hearted and this one, well, it’s just another chapter in Memoir of a Nobody…
This is what happens to me. I jump in, determined to be vulnerable and open and then that feeling creeps in: the one that makes me want to pull in, to hide, to protect. It’s a pattern -one that I am well aware of but have been unwilling to change. I like to hide, because I can’t be hurt or misunderstood or risk my heart, my words or anything that I feel the need to shield from the outside. This comes from a legacy of experience deeply rooted in my growing up and from broken experiences in places you wouldn’t think this kind of hurt would happen.
I lived with an unsteadiness that was woven tightly into daily life. From the time I was very young, I could never tell when or if the mood of the house would change. It might be something as small as a young child banging on a high chair tray-what little one doesn’t do that(?)-that would end in startling memories that render my heart too tender to share. Or, as I got older, if I accidentally made noise in the morning and woke my mother up the entire day would be filled with walking on eggshells, waiting. It could come in the night, when I was sound asleep and the light would be flipped on, the covers ripped from my sleepy body because I hadn’t done a chore completely. Those moments, and too many others to go into, of quiet and destruction are so mingled that even today when life feels normal there is always that undercurrent of fear-a lack of equilibrium that can result in emotional vertigo.
I didn’t have Christ in my growing up. Well, I did but He was an occasional visitor and more often used as a weapon of fear flung in anger. He would surely judge me unworthy or Satan would claim me because I was wicked. Imagine what that does to a five-year-olds sense of worth and ability to sleep! I would always do my best, my very hardest best to be good but it never worked. I was never good enough.
I’ve think I have finally made peace with my mom. She’s been gone ten plus years. What I can’t do is erase the soul deep hurt that bubbles up and interferes at the most inopportune times. I look around at the fullness of God displayed around me and it’s as though a thin membrane separates me from experiencing it the way I should. I can see, hear and feel everything but I can’t let it get close, to come in, to become a part of me.
I am going to make this short today since I know I tend to go on a bit. I’ve tried stepping out in my writing before only to pull back and hide. I am lousy at friendships because I pull away in order to avoid being hurt. It is hard to open up, to trust and to hope that I could ever deserve deep care from another person. The idea of putting this out there is heart poundingly frightening. I am going to do it anyway. I am determined to live into my story-painful, joyful, snarky or boring-it’s all mine and God is breathing into it daily. I have been stuck on Psalm 51 and when I feel like I have nothing to offer him I am reminded that I do:
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:17
I don’t know if my words are of any use to my readers but I am entrusting them to you. I am also praying that someone out there might land here, find a familiar heart and be comforted. Recently someone (you know who you are 😉 ) used the term ‘wash bowl friends’. I fell in love with it so if you find yourself here…welcome to the wash bowl…