Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Enlightenment

I am choosing to go public with what I have been dealing with for most of my life. If you care to read be my guest and if not move on.

I hate who I am. I hate the fact that I have been weak all my life and could never stand up for myself. I hate that I allowed certain individuals influence me in such negative ways and I hate that I embraced it with open arms.

For as long as I can remember I was a painfully shy child. I don't know what transpired to influence that but something did. Maybe my brain has purposely blocked that out. This is not the only time I have tried to think back and not get anywhere.

I am the poster child that will back up that what you are exposed to as a child will have an impact for the rest of your life. From the time I was at least seven till the time I was in my twenties, my parents did not get along. They constantly argued and spewed hateful words at one another. Many times I would hide in my room and pray that God would just let me die so that I could not witness this anymore.

For awhile my parents just slung back and forth at one another. When I reached my teens, my dad turned on me. Verbally abusive not physically but what difference does that make right? I don't know how many times that I was told that I was just like my mother and given the fact that I know he wasn't happy with her that meant he was certainly not happy with me. My mother did her job on me too. Not abusive but manipulative. I won't go into the things they did to hurt one another out of respect. I say that now because somehow, some way they worked things out and are not the same people. In their defense there must have been some love left between them because in May they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.

I think that was the start of how I perceived myself. I was called a lot of names and all of them mean and unflattering. The two that stand out the most… Bitch and Stupid. Whore and slut come to mind also.. this is funny since I held on tight to my virginity until I was 19. I looked for love in the wrong places. When I met Jeff's dad he knew the right things to say and for the first time I trusted someone to care for me. The truth is that I just wanted to be out of my house. I never would have admitted that to anyone let alone admitting that to myself. It wasn't until after the birth of my son that I acted out on all those years of being called a slut. Why not? I was already tainted, used goods, not good for anything. One of my parent's friends actually told me that I would latch on to the next man that would have me and there wouldn't be many. Needless to say that I didn't date anyone until Jeff was over two years old. He must have been right! So of course I latched on to the next man. He happened to be 9 years older, never been married and a man of God.

I emphasize a man of God because my family went to church every Sunday. Although my parents acted a certain way at home they were completely different in the Church setting. I grew up in the faith but I don't think I ever really had it. It was hard for me to think that God loved me because as many times that I prayed, nothing changed. In fact I truly believed that God was ashamed of me and therefore not worthy of His love. But whenever I met someone who proclaimed to be a Christian I wanted so much to make myself like glue and attach myself to them. It attracted me because they acted so much different than what I was used to. They personified on the outside what I was looking for. I was looking for a savior not Thee
Savior. There is a BIG difference. And every time I was let down I blamed God.

That was the beginning of the real downward spiral. This guy had me thinking that I was like Delilah from the bible, using my womanly ways to seduce him. Sure I was attracted to him and being that he quoted the Bible all the time and seemed real sweet in the beginning I attached myself to him. I opened up to him and he would "help" me with getting back in touch with God by breaking me down. I can remember like it was yesterday how he told me how cheated he felt because I was not the woman of his youth. Meaning, because I was not a virgin and already a mother and although he was 9 years older that it was somehow my fault that I wasn't this Goddess that God promised him. Day after day he would peel me like an onion just to criticize me. For every action that he did, that he later regretted, it was my fault. We would argue on almost a daily basis and most of the time over the phone until wee hours of the morning. When I finally had enough he would show up at my door and demand that I placate him by doing some sexual favor because it was MY FAULT he got so worked up. There was a period of about 6 months that we parted ways. Somehow and really I don't remember how but we started to talk again and yep one thing led to another. He had me so confused and so unsure of myself that he actually convinced me that to know whether or not God wanted us together that it was my duty to allow him to pursue other women and that he had direction from God to see if maybe they were the wife that God had intended for him. I did what he asked me. That took 5 years from my life. Do you see the type of crap I put myself through? You would think I would know when to stop. Nope. I truly believed that I was never supposed to be happy. I figured that every guy that I met would have to treat me a certain way because that was my reason for being here. The way I carried myself and the timidity that poured out of every pore attracted these men and the worse thing was that I was drawn to them as well.

When I was 13, I met a boy a year older than me, and he came from a Christian family and he was so nice and kind and mature and I didn't want to let him go. Since I met him in Florida while visiting my grandparents and he actually lived in S. Carolina the next best thing was to become pen pals. I saw him only one more time the next year but I wrote him all the time and for the most part he wrote back. Until he went off to college and the letters were fewer and then I found out that he had met someone and was getting married and my whole world fell apart. I think I was 20? I know Jeff was already born. But in my mind, in my own little twisted world that I chose to live in, that wasn't supposed to happen. I think he knew how I felt about him but I am not really sure anymore. The letters that I held onto for a long time have been discarded. I did that on purpose because it felt like the door to my happiness slammed shut. There have been a few good men that I didn't let in. I thought I wasn't what they really wanted, and in time they would figure that out and leave.

Chris has been the exception in time though because our relationship started out like most of mine did and it wasn't good. I believe that it was not our wants and desires that lead to us staying together. When looking back at everything that transpired, I know in my heart that God intervened and worked slowly but surely in our growth as a couple. God chose to work on Chris first. Chris will be the first one to tell you that he is not the same man that many knew 11 years ago. He has already gone through his enlightenment. He didn't make it public but I noticed immediately that something was different. I will be the first to say that I was angry and jealous. We still had many fights regarding my attitude and the unwillingness to search my own heart. I did however seek counseling after 3 years but nothing came of it because I chose not to open up. It was when I wasn't given an ultimatum of keeping our relationship in tact that I noticed a small change in myself. Little by little that small voice became louder and more determined to get me to listen. That began a little over a year ago. Although I was still stubborn and would ignore the necessity of confronting my fears, it would not go away.

On Friday night, I let it all go. It was after chatting through AIM with the man that I mentioned as my pen pal. I won't name him. He knows about my blog and this will probably come as a shock to him because our conversation didn't include what I was struggling with. It was innocent and mostly just catching up since I have not been in contact with him for over 16 years. It wasn't a long conversation but something about it stirred the emotions and the inner demon that I have been fighting with. When the conversation ended and I was left with the nagging emotions, I started to think about what it was that made me the way that I am. I prayed for the first time in many months. I prayed for a long time and for a period of time I just sat in silence because words escaped me. Then the flooding of emotions, the truth and the revelation happened so fast that I thought I was not going to survive. I cried not just with tears but through my whole body. The pain in my chest was overwhelming and I begged God to stop it. I was sure I could not handle it. Everything played on in my head as if I was watching a movie. I felt purged and it continued to come in waves and when it stopped, I cried. These tears were because I was finally released from the prison that I put myself in. From 11pm through 7:30 am I went through my enlightenment.

Chris found me out on our lanai with wet eyes and tears streaming down my face. He knew. Even before I spoke a word he knew. So for a few hours we talked and I was excited and carefree and just became this transparent person. I laid it all on the table. For the first time in my life I was not afraid.


2 Corinthians 5:12

Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.

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