I would like to dedicate this writing to the late William C. Elkins, my uncle, who knew a thing or two about family and loved them any way. Uncle Bill was a Baptist-I never got the chance to grow close to him-and I am well aware of the part I played in dropping the ball.
Is family even a thing anymore? I see so much devastation in the way people treat one another-it crushes my foolish heart into billions and zillions of pieces. After a moving sermon in church yesterday, I found myself in the loving arms of my sister Ruth-and by sister I mean exactly what I say. She is kind, and loving…nurturing and funny…and, like me, spent years and years self medicating. We share the same dark memories of family abandonment-we understand the evil machinations of betrayal, and we love with our entire heart. We bleed for those who deem us unworthy-and when we tire of the heartache, the trauma and denial? We head for each other.
There is something to be said of putting on a brave and stoic persona-and then there are the people who can see right through that mask: they understand fragility, despair and low self esteem. These are the minions who love you-no holes barred, and these are-more often than not-the very same people with Christ in their hearts.
I put on that brave face yesterday morning. In all honesty, I can pretty much handle anything when Dwain is by my side. And, to give myself some credit-I am as strong as they come, because I have had to be. Each morning, while working on my routine of laundry, dishes, et al, I weep. I put my head on my golden, and he comforts me while I cry countless tears, raging at the heartless attitudes of those I used to call family and friends.
It is not surprising to me that I drove over my phone on Friday. As I was returning to the jeep, I was stopped, dead in my tracks-as I noticed a woman in a Prius taking pictures. She was pointing the camera in our direction, I thought it odd and disconcerting. So much so that I left the Android on the bumper, and found it later-in pieces, cracked beyond repair. To those of you I talk to on Messenger, please bare with me-it could be weeks until I see the new phone-hey, it’s inconvenient-but in a way? I find comfort in the idea. How many times have I been happily relaxing when my phone lit itself up like a birthday cake.
An article from the Onion about a woman who became so radicalized by her skin care blog? Well, gee whiz!! Her family didn’t recognize her any longer!! This from mon frère, not two days after he said these very words:
We’re good, Michele. We are on different journeys, but we’re good.
Seriously? The constant critiquing, loveless dissecting of my thoughts and opinions. Convinced I have lost my mind because he is the Flying Monkey to my sister’s Narcissist. At 57, I think it time to take my life back.
I am reminded of the persecution my main man Jesus endured. How a prophet is never accepted as such in their own town. Yes, Jesus upset his family because even they had no sense of His purpose, that’s why he left his home town-to spread the Good News as far and wide as he could-until the day the Pharisees put an end to His life, thereby removing any competition. To this very day I skip over the crucifixion-I become completely unhinged. I am well aware of the fact that he died on the cross for our sins-a Savior who had not sinned in his entire time here on planet earth.
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Me thinks I have a chance at winning the Festivus Feats of Strength this coming Christmas. (Seinfeld)
So, the moral of the story?
Run fast, far and wide…from anyone who hurts you, who cannot love you as you are, or treats you as if you are less than them. These are the boogey men, the Jezebels, the narcissists. They have convinced the entire world that you don’t have a voice.
Don’t believe them. Not for one bloody second.