Suffering Must in Time Bring Joy
Isn't he beautiful? This is my child. Last night he had a nightmare and called for me in a panic. I picked him up, laid him in my bed, and he turned to fall asleep...
* * * * *
It seems each day I find myself standing at the edge of the cliff. The amount of anxiety surrounding taking that next step is often overwhelming. Jumping is the same as facing reality. That is the exact feeling I have when I face my reality. It is why I prefer to stay in denial. That truth – reality as it were – is not only filled with fear but copious amounts of pain.
It is difficult to share this with you. It is as if I am standing in your shoes, shouting at myself with intolerant compassion (I know, an oxymoron), “Knock it off! You’re great! You’re enough! No one is perfect! Give yourself a break!” And then there’s more, “He’s an ass! He fibbed! Lied! Used you! He’s EVIL! Downright EVIL! Don’t you remember? One of your friends actually left the room when she met him! She was so uncomfortable being in the same room as him! He is the scum of the earth! Don’t you see how ugly he is inside?”
(Ok, so I put a very unflattering photo of him here... Scary, huh?)
It’s so flipping hard to face reality; I don’t want to until I exhaust all avenues of hope. When I do, life is dim. I can tell you this for certain: never in my life have I faced this. Not when my dear mother passed away, not even when Matt left. There were many days when Matt left that were difficult. This loss is much different from those days. I still had hope when Matt left. And even on that day when Matt told me he had made up his mind, even that day which... let me stress... was NOT an easy day by far, and most likely one of the top five worst days of my life... this is worse. I can't tell you why, but it is.
What I experienced in August is unlike anything I have ever felt before. If there is hell on earth, that was it. If there is eternal hell, I pray for those who have been condemned to it for I have put my toes into the boiling froth of that fiery gruel and know what it means to burn. I came out of it, but the lingering effects wrap around me like a shawl. Each time I pull it off, I find another still there.
There are a few things that keep me going, that keep hope alive.
Of course the most obvious is my son. It's not that he brings hope into my life, it's that I have a sense of obligation to be here for him. If it wasn't for him, I don't know what I would have held on to when times were tough.
Second reason: Seems trite and shallow, but I feel so good about losing weight. I am so happy with my body now, despite how naked you can still see my age and that I bore a child.
Third reason I have hope: The move, the new apartment. This is also tied closely with the fourth and fifth reasons, which are...
Fourth: Your voices. Your assurances. Your promises.
Fifth: God’s promises.
God has proven to me in all the other areas that my life is better after having gone thru difficult times and doing hard work.
I did not want to give up my old home.
I have a home as nice and in some ways nicer than before.
I did not want to give up my jet tub.
I have a fire place that keeps me warm and cozy.
I did not want to deal with getting rid of all the stuff in my home.
I have NO CLUTTER anymore!
I had to go to court and against all odds, ask for more time to move.
The judge ruled in my favor and I felt empowered! And my son had a great experience there as well!
I had a debilitating depression.
Every medical expense incurred as a result was paid for by insurance.
I read a great book, emailed the author and have someone helping me thru my depression that the author recommended.
I had to tell my tenants they had to move b/c I lost my home.
They gave me 60 day notice prior to my having to tell them! And... they stayed 90 days so I was able to collect yet another month of rent to help pay expenses.
I had a very VERY short timeline to find a place, pack and move.
I did just that with help. Lots of help.
I had to get everything out quickly, not knowing the date I would move.
I had a LOT of help. Everyone came out to help. People offered 2 hours of their time. I had to have the humility to ask.
I had to find an apartment during a time when good ones are really hard to find.
I found one just ONE hour after it was listed online!
I had to find an apartment that would accept me as reliable, with a foreclosure and bankruptcy on my record.
My landlady never checked my credit because I had been upfront and honest about all aspects of my finances. Later she told me that she ALSO had a foreclosure, many years prior. Not only that but... the house she foreclosed on was ACROSS THE STREET from the one I was losing.
I had to let people know how sick my thinking was.
People supported me and I didn't have to fake how I was feeling.
I had to let my ex-husband know about my depression because it was affecting my son.
He was compassionate and concerned.
I had to ask him for help.
And he helped.
I had been dumped on my 50th birthday.
My son was thee absolute best sweetest boy a little boy could possibly ever be. We had a delightful day.
I could not feel God anywhere.
I started to feel His presence again, and better yet, I heard Him give me hope when I listened to the sermons at church. Kelly (reader/commenter) I heard you say, "drag your ass to church" when I would be in bed, 15 minutes before church started. I went b/c I heard you say that so often on Sundays.
I had major anxiety.
I lost weight (yay), I had a woman pray over me and the anxiety went away and did not come back for weeks, and I am learning to practice mindfulness.
I had no Bill to help me with shelves, lighting, screwing things into walls, etc.
I learned to wield a drill and did all that for myself.
Bill took me to court and I was told by everyone, including an attorney, that I had no chance.
The judge ruled in my favor, and I was free from Bill's accusations.
Everything worked out for the best, more than I ever dreamt. I hang on to this because I think in time the same will happen for this awfulness I feel surrounding the rejection from Bill — his despising of me and giving everything I wanted from him to another woman. I don't see goodness in this yet; the progress is slow. But I review those 5 reasons often, just so that I can remind myself why I need to have my feet planted on this earth.
This is a challenge because I find myself in despair often. There are no signs that God will provide me with anything better than what I had with Bill (OK, I'm talking about the good stuff with Bill, not the bad).
Let me repeat:
THERE ARE NO SIGNS IN MY LIFE THAT I WILL BE LOVED AND FEEL LOVED AGAIN THE WAY I FELT WITH BILL.
THERE. ARE. NONE.
I hear your voices. I hear everyone's voices. I read scripture. I get the message at church. I get the message on forums about narcissism. I get this message from YOU.
BUT THERE IS NO PROOF YET.
There is nothing happening just yet.
I DON'T FEEL IT YET.
THIS IS WHAT SCARES ME.
THIS IS WHY EVERYONE IS SO IMPORTANT TO ME RIGHT NOW.
This is why I hang on to friends’, family’s and strangers’ and God’s words. Since I have no proof I am learning to trust the words of others that I will get thru this some day. (Like someone said, just think about 1 year from now when I will be so very different. But I have to get thru tonight. And the weekend. And Mondays & Tuesdays (date nights). And Thanksgiving. And holy shit! Christmas!
Suffering must in time bring joy.
- God Calling
I'm not one to quote scripture on RP but here goes. This is a verse which has recently been given to me and I do hold on to it...
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
Now you can see why friends, family, strangers, RP readers, and church sermons are so important to me. Why scripture has a place in my life again. My head spins ugly thoughts. Your words bring light and hope.
Suffering must, in time, bring JOY. Right?