My relationship with the church is permanently over I am afraid. I struggled to fit in at our church in Colorado and way, way over inserted myself at our church here. And this spring, when I was desperate for some Jesus, I got shunned by a young person I valued and cared about over a person who took part in the mass implosion of my life. These people I reached to because I so badly and desperately needed saved, turned into the catalyst to the dissolution of my faith. Where I never could feel God before, I now, cannot even muster the energy to try. I feel, even at this moment, I was vilified for being angry at the person who lit the match to the fire that destroyed life. And when I apologized and begged for help, I got words like “to be fair” and “you shouldn’t be afraid” when I was, desperately afraid. As if my fears were not valid. As if the mental illness and gun ownership and narcissism weren’t enough for me to be afraid of.
I didn’t once feel the forgiveness and love Christians are supposed to feel in these situations. Sure the majority of the Christians who were already in my life gave me grace and told me that I was forgiven and loved, without judgment but they already loved me. To them, I was the fellow church goer and not the sinner the “new” church made me feel I was. As if my sin; of anger and hurt and pain was worse than this other person’s commandment sin. A BIG DEAL sin. Because I reacted in anger and hurt and pain, I wasn’t worthy of their love. Because I doubted my faith at that moment, I wasn’t worth fighting for. And that, that is why I will never, ever set foot in a church again. Because this person chose to do their dirty work in the “privacy” of their shitty Twitter and in emails and CRAP-EFFING-TACULAR behaviour in stores and cars and AT MY DAUGHTER’S JOB, this “church” didn’t see anything but what this liar told them and not once, ONCE did they ask if we were okay. Okay, that’s not totally true. Kevin got a half-hearted text and I got vilified. Pure love there. I feel it *eyeroll*.
I’m hurt. Really hurt lately. That instead of trying to love me back into the God’s love, I got left out on the faith raft, alone. And I’ve lost it. The light and the passion I used to feel. I feel hurt and abandoned by God. As my world continues to implode, I feel hurt and abandoned and alone. Because everyone’s afraid to talk to me about it. Because it’s scary to talk to someone who is passionate and angry and wants answers.
I don’t know why I care. These people were not my friends before all this and likely couldn’t care less about us now. I just needed to see the face of faith in someone other than the people who already love me; unconditionally. I needed to know, that outside my circle someone saw this for what it is. And I didn’t. And I don’t. But I luckily have several, wonderful people who try to keep me grounded. I am sure it’s an exhausting job. But I am grateful for them. I feel, every day, like they may walk away but I try to remind myself that this is just the mental illness talking, and not what’s happening. Not everyone walks away. Sometimes people even come back.
This has been a low week. Low. And even with the few and fabulous rays of light peaking through, I found it hard to put my feet in front of each other. In fact, for the first time in months, I cut a workout short and just sat in the stall of the YMCA and cried. I’d failed myself again. The one thing I have control over, I couldn’t complete. I was, I am sick but I needed that workout and I didn’t get it done and then I ate terribly and drank more than I should have, and folded up into myself. And it’s hard to forgive myself when I feel unforgivable all the time and I don’t even know why. I didn’t do this. I didn’t.
They keep saying one step forward, two back. It’s tiring though. Because some days, like I said, I feel utter joy and then some, I feel so incredibly afraid and lost and well, lonely. The afraid is the worst. The waiting for the next thing. “Choose to be happy”, they say. I am trying and I think it’s there sometimes but I am so incredibly lost and hurt that the light at the end of the sadness is just a pin hole. It feels a hundred years away.
Mental illness is so unfair. It’s truly unfair.
My point to all this is I hope, I wish for those who are Christians in my life, if you see a “me” out there, hold her. Don’t make her feel as though there is no love for her. She needs you more than the people sitting next to you every week. Don’t get lost in the “I didn’t know what to say”; simply I am here and I am listening is enough. She needs you to show her the love of God before it’s too late. When you’re in the bottom of the pit and there is no light, a match flame might be all you need to find your path again. My match got blown out. I don’t know that I’ll ever recover.