Hiding in her room.
Creeping down hallways,
Tears staining a frightened face.
Stop the yelling!
It’s too loud…
Why do you tell everyone you’re so proud?
Do you even know what love is,
When smiling photos are just a lie?
This is God’s plan, they say.
So, He wants little girls and boys to
Suffer this way?
Who couldn’t even make their own choices,
Or know of anything else?
Stay strong, they say.
As if I have another choice.
Just give it to God, they say.
But, wait, didn’t they say it’s been
In His hands all along?
How do I trust the God who led me here…
Where do I begin…
Lord, I do believe,
Now, please help me in my unbelief
Because, on my own
On my own,
This will surely
10 years. 10 years I fought the biggest battle of my life. Depression came in 2nd only to my choking anxiety. Though, I felt insecure, sad, and confused early on – I was 10 years old when I can remember actual depression starting.
The dark cloud followed me. My world lacked definition and color. I existed in a grey world. Lacking joy. Lacking peace.
I was just a little girl…but one voice in my life told me a big lie, showed me his words were “true” and an enemy unlike any I could have imagined took hold.
But, though God had never abandoned me, He finally took hold. There was finally a release. And, for 8 years, I’ve been free. Beautifully free.
Six months back in the worst place I’ve ever known, around the most toxic person I’ve ever had to have in my life, and it’s almost back in full force.
When I moved back, I thought it could be different; things were getting better. I thought I could stay clean here – but I’ve relapsed.
I thought I had the tools – I do have the tools.
And, though I do this with others daily, still the question arises:
How do we use these tools when the toxic environment doesn’t change?
You see, we lack a voice.
Depression and anxiety have kept me so worried about my family that I have no voice – no way to expose the abuse & injustice done…Unfair for a 5 year old. Unfair for a 13 year old. Unfair for a 28 year old.
And, after all, who can I talk to in the church? The “safe place”.
Because, honestly, the church has, as a whole, been extremely irresponsible when it comes to Mental Health concerns & abuse.
Over the years, I’ve heard:
Well, what did you do?
He’s the head.
Your job is just to be submissive. Your mom, too.
This is God’s plan.
Just try to stay strong.
Shh. You can’t talk about that. Especially not here.
How he treats your mom is none of your business.
The most freeing words I’ve ever heard from a pastor was that the ABUSER breaks the covenant with God by abusing the power & breaking God’s will. Not the spouse. Not the kids.
This is why I have spent my entire adult life giving a voice to others’ struggles…reflecting places where I could not give a voice to my own. (Proverbs 31:8-9)
But I refuse to be afraid anymore.
So, I’ve decided to attempt to extend an olive branch, do some patch work, explain my side, demand a response, and let the chips fall where they may.
But, I will no longer stay silent. I will give a voice – finally, a true & honest voice – to my pain, my struggle. I will no longer live in fear or walk on eggshells.
Not for my family. Not in my church. Not in my life.
Because, I fully believe God did not intend for me to live this way.
He intended for me not to live in the darkness that has been so familiar, but in His light.
He did not intend for me to fear judgement of others, but to trust in His love.
His intent was not that children would be used, rejected, & broken,
But to be loved, trained, and disciplined through both.
You see, what happened in the darkness – secret things like this – are not meant to remain secrets (Mark 4:22, Matthew 10:26, Luke 8:17)… So, after 23 years, it’s time.
It’s no longer a burden I will carry. At least, not alone.
Linked up with Tuesday @ 10 over at FindingtheGraceWithin.