This song takes me back to King of Prussia and our local ice skating rink. I can smell the ice, taste the poignancy of the moment-now lost to time. Lately, as I’ve looked back upon my fifty seven years; I am amazed that I have such a propensity of good memories-you would think quite the opposite. The facts are I was pretty darn happy until anorexia. My closeness to my father had not yet threatened my mother to the point of narcissistic abuse-although Mary Lou died young? She became a loving and generous mother, whom I have completely forgiven. I seethed in rage for years and years, like any addict; popping any pill I could to change my reality-to just feel better for a moment or two. I pushed down my rage and grief, and the end result almost killed me.
The anger had to come out some way: windows were broken, suitcases packed-even physical restraint because I had become violent from drinking. This all happened after mom died. You see, rather than dealing with the emotion, or addressing a concern with a family member-I took everything out on myself. Somehow, some way along the line, someone had taught me I deserved to be punished. That I was so unworthy that to this day I have to keep my reality in check.
If I was furious with Dwain? I drank myself to sleep. Smoked two packs of cigarettes. If I thought no one loved me? I would cut my skin, as if to say “of course, no one loves you because you are unlovable…,” the pain from the self harming soothed me, pouring over me like so much manna-in essence, the pain transcended the emotional trauma, serving to distract my shattered heart.
One day an epiphany: I am not the predator. I don’t purposely hurt others. I had love and joy in my heart, Christ in my very being. Why were so many people, those whose job was simply to love me; why was I constantly in emotional pain? More importantly-why was I allowing them the opportunity? It took years of trusting, loving and following Jesus; before I could trust Him enough to realize the truth of the matter. I am a sensitive Empath who bleeds openly for others, especially animals as their nature is pure. I can’t sit through an SPCA commercial, for crying out loud. I am opinionated. I have made a few more enemies than I would prefer, but when I believe in something; when the Holy Spirit is telling me I am right on the mark? Well, then I am a rabid dog, biting at the chance to right the wrong. I don’t like authority, ignorance, condescension or bullies. It takes me an hour to get ready in the morning and I am high maintenance; meaning I carry seltzer, gum and mace wherever I go-it drives my husband crazy, especially on Sundays: I always oversleep, which means I have to bring my coffee and makeup along as well.
Through faith, and because I cling to His robes for dear life-I have learned that people who treat you with disrespect, violence or apathy; well, they don’t belong in your life. You are a beloved child of God. You deserve to be loved, respected and treated as others would like to be treated by you! It isn’t easy to end a friendship, but I have had to end my familial relationships, and if that doesn’t make you tough as nails, well, I don’t know what will.
And once you start treating yourself with love, dignity and reverence-others won’t even try messing with your heart. They’ll know you won’t put up with it; they’ll know that you are somebody.