Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fear and Loathing in the OC

This feels odd.  It’s been at least six months since I’ve taken the time to blog.  Why (she says humorously, presuming her audience has been waiting on bated breath for her re-appearance)?  To be honest, I am really only motivated to write when I am truly inspired, and by that, I mean overwhelmed, soaking up the beauty of rock bottom, basking in the glow of desperation, longing for better days ahead.  But...I’m.Just.Not.There.  Don’t get me wrong.  The princess is just as feisty as ever, minute-by-minute testing my patience and planting seeds of doubt in my parental soul on an hourly basis.  Yes, she’s still a handful, God love her more than life itself, and the golden child is still - and will forever be - an enigma.  But I, have somehow managed to navigate the chutes and ladders of motherhood without the need to lay it all out there for all to read.  So where does that leave me presently?  Alone.  With my thoughts.  Alone to circumnavigate the inner workings of my own soul, the deafening tones of my inner voice, which seem to be growing increasingly louder as the night wears on.  And what, pray tell, would actually motivate me on yet another weary, late night to overcome the laziness and comfort of my Living Spaces Hide-A-Bed amidst the wonder and glory that is Criminal Minds to make the marathon trip to the bedroom to retrieve my laptop and pen the following diatribe?  What else but fear...and perhaps a shred of bitterness!

It’s been said that fear is a great motivator.  Hogwash!  I’m waving the bullshit flag on that one.  Fear does not motivate me.  Fear debilitates me.  Fear whispers to the most vulnerable parts of me, “It’s never gonna happen.  You are never going to have the life you long for.  You will never be the perfect wife.  The perfect mother.  You will never have enough hours in the day to meet the expectations of the masses.” Maybe fear does motivate some, but not this girl.  I’m not one of those people who looks fear in the face and says, “Nope, not today.  I got this!”  I am the one who allows the years of chaos, insecurity, pain and self-loathing to quiet the voice of reason and hope.  I am the one who succumbs.  I am the one who allows fear to warm the water just enough for me to not notice that I am slowly hitting the boiling point.  

If you haven’t guessed, I’m a huge Criminal Minds fan.  I love all things dark, disturbing and just sinister enough to ensure that I never sleep soundly again (sorry, but it’s true).  On tonight’s episode, the lovely JJ is confronted by a vision from her past.  A vision that stole from her the most sacred part of her being, her peace, her security, her strength.  She asks her “offender,” “Why am I not past you?  For a year I’ve been’ve taken everything.”

To which he responds, “Oh, Jennifer, there is so much more I’m going to take.  First, I’m going to take your sleep.  Then, your smile.  I won’t let you feel safe anywhere.  And finally, I will transform you so that your husband and your son won’t recognize you anymore.”

And God love that sweet, feisty, gorgeous little BAU agent (and the writers who pen her life so eloquently) she defiantly responds, “No.  No.  No.”  End scene.

Most people would call it a night, but me, of course not.  Two glasses in and longing for some inspiration outside of my role as chauffeur, Red Ribbon Week guru, quesadilla and chicken nugget chef, I dove in and did some soul searching.  All kidding aside, my goal in life is to tackle my fear and bitterness with the confident assurance of JJ.  With a resounding, definitive, “No.”  End scene.  But what do I actually do?  I question my decision to quit my anti-depressants.  I drink too much wine.  I fill my days with Etsy orders and elementary school drama and Bejeweled Blitz perfect party games.  I lay my Bible on the kitchen counter at midnight promising to return to my first love first thing in the morning.  And somehow the emptiness overshadows the busyness and the bitterness takes center stage.  Ugh!  So when does enough become enough?  I suppose when the writers get it right and something strikes a chord...the perfect combination of NBC, and early bedtime for the kiddos, and a good Malbec.  And I wonder, what will it take to ensure that the fear, hurt and bitterness from my past do not steal my sleep, my smile, my safety, and turn me into something my husband and children no longer recognize?  

There’s a song that I love by Plumb that I shouldn’t love, but I do.  It’s painful.  It’s heartbreaking.  It’s truth, at it’s finest.  And I’ve had the lyrics in this document for about two years, waiting for the perfect blog, the right time to share them, waiting for inspiration to pull the trigger and let the words out of the gate.  It brings me to tears every time.  It speaks to my heart, at the deepest level.  It strikes a chord.  But there isn’t a resolve and I think that’s where I get stuck and the inspiration fades.  For those of you who read my blog, you know that I like to end with a revelation, a new chapter, a glimmer of hope. I need  to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, a method to the madness, a happy ending.  This song has none of that.  There is only what is and it isn’t pretty.  It’s called Damaged and it’s basically the anthem of my life.  Here’s a snippet:

Dreaming comes so easily,
'cause it's all that I've known.
True love is a fairy tale.
I'm damaged, so how would I know?

Healing comes so painfully,
And it chills to the bone.
Will anyone get close to me?
I'm damaged, as I'm sure you know.

There's mending for my soul,
An ending to this fear.
Forgiveness for a man who was stronger.
I was just a little girl, but I can't go back.

It makes me sad for the life I should have had, or the life I believe I should have had.  The pain that should not be there.  But I can’t go back.  I can’t undo what was done.  And I certainly can’t cling to the bitterness and sense of entitlement if I intend to have any peace in the future.  The dictionary defines broken (damaged) as this:

- separated into parts or pieces by being damaged, etc.
- not working properly
- made weak or infirm
- subdued completely: crushed, sorrowful

And to that, I issue a resounding, “No.  No.  No.”  (Go JJ!)  It’s time for a new definition.  

Though I often feel I am a walking illustration of broken/damaged, I.Am.Not.  I am a walking contradiction and it’s time I start living that way.  The world says I am damaged.  My God says I am a new creation.  The world says I am broken.  My God says I am whole.  The world says I am weak.  My God says I am strong in Him.  The world says I am crushed.  My God says I am “...hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed...So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” ~2 Cor. 4:8-12

I am not damaged.  

So where does one go when they have for decades believed them self to be broken, beyond repair?  I guess the real challenge is a constant awareness of the struggle between my limitations and my God’s limitless love.  I must learn not to allow the pressure of daily demands, pain of the past, and spirit of bitterness that dwells within me to suffocate the spirit of hope, strength and perseverance my first love gave to me the day we met.  The day he took my hand and said, “Fear not, for I am with you.”  The day He promised that though the road would not always be smooth and the path would not always be clear, I would always find my way back to Him.  “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”  ~Isaiah 40:8

Though the winds whip high and the waves be fierce, He will quiet the storm and calm the seas.  When the voice inside says, “You are done,” I will find the voice inside to answer back with the truth planted in my soul years ago.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  ~Philippians 4:13

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