Friday, February 13, 2015

Why I hide my Pain

Do you remember the story of Christ in the garden praying before He was crucified? He asked his disciples to stay awake with Him, but they could not. Do you remember how many of those closest to Him were at the cross when they crucified Him? All had vanished except for John. Eleven of His closest friends abandoned Him. One sold Him for 30 pieces of silver and Peter denied even knowing Him.

Now, let me tell you how I relate the sorrow of Christ with my sorrow and why I feel that I must wear my facade and allow no one save Christ to see the depth of my pain.

I did not just lose a son. I did not just lose a daughter. I lost all my blood relations except for my son, Michael. My mother was diabolical in what she did.

My sisters abandoned me. I loved my sisters - both of them very much. Patti and mother did not always get along. There were many nights when Patti would be knocking on my bedroom window and crying over a fight she and mother had. I would go unlock the door, and she would pile into my arms and tell me her troubles. I never said,"Go away." or "Why are you waking me up in the middle of the night (or wee hours of the morning)?" Instead, I was there for her - loving her.

After my sister, Sherry, had her first born, mother started making claims that Sherry was a bad mother and that she suspected that Rusty was doing inappropriate things to Sandy. I told my mother that she was way out of line and that she was wrong. I told her that Rusty was a good father and that Sherry loved her daughter. I defended them both adamantly and told her that if she continued with her lies that I would tell Sherry and Rusty what she was saying. Later, mother told me that she did not mean those things and that she was having a hard time emotionally and shouldn't have said them.

I loved my parents and my grandparents. We lived between Murfreesboro and LaVergne, TN. My grandmother stopped by my house one day and started complaining about my parents. My dad's business had gone bankrupt and my parents were experiencing financial difficulties. My parents also did not attend church, which was very important to my grandmother. Grandmother said several things very hateful about my parents - while I tried to defend them. Finally, grandmother told me that if Sandra wasn't her daughter that she would not have anything to do with my parents.

I was stunned. At that point I calmly replied, "Grandma, you need to leave now. I love you and Papa but I also love my parents and I will not allow you to come into my home and say such horrible things." At that point, I walked to the front door and opened it and told her good-bye.

About fifteen minutes later my phone was ringing. (This was before the days of cell phones or caller ID.) My mother was on the phone asking me to tell her about my visit with my grandmother. She informed me that grandmother had stopped at a pay phone and called her and told her that I had told her to leave my house. Grandmother told mother that she might have said some negative things about her and daddy and that when she told me, I made her leave my house. I told my mother it was true and I had asked grandmother to leave if she was going to say unkind things about the people that I loved. My mother told me that grandmother had said she would never do that again.

I am writing these stories to emphasize the fact that I loved my crazy family. I defended them from each other. I stood by them. Yet, NONE of them defended Mark and me when mother started saying horrible lies about us. Sherry who had run away from home twice as an older teen and again in her twenties without telling anyone where she was because (as Sherry told me) our parents were nuts, abandoned me. Patti who used to come to me crying about mother and my grandmother who told me that she did not want to have anything to do with her own daughter.... ALL of these people climbed on board the crazy ship with my mother and did nothing to help me when my mother brainwashed and stole my children.

When mother started making the accusations, I tried talking to my father and his response to me was, "Debbie, I have gone too far and there is no turning back for me now." I had NO idea that his going to far was accusing nearly every official in Murfreesboro as being in the satanic cult or that he had made plans to kidnap my children.

Instead of my sisters, my grandparents and my father telling mother to close her mouth and tell me what she was saying.... they abandoned me. Patti even lied in court for my mother and then confessed to the lie and the judge told her to get out of his courtroom. These people who I loved and still love did nothing except abandon me and probably helped my parents.

But, these people were my family and they were loved by me. And, I lost ALL of them. I did not just lose two of my children, I lost everyone that I loved because none of them defended me. None of them told me what mother and daddy were doing.

Can you imagine my pain? Can you even begin to think that you could endure me if I walked around and let friends or church members or neighbors really see the depth of sorrow that is in my heart? I think not. I believe like the disciples, they would abandon me and leave me hanging alone on my cross.

What does my sorrow look like? My sorrow is darker than the darkest black of the deepest cave. My sorrow has evil, hideous yet familiar faces waiting to tear into my flesh and rip out my heart. My sorrow contains more pain than the burning of flesh that I experienced when I was 8 years old. My sorrow cannot be endured by anyone save Christ.

So, I go to Him. I cry out to Him and He provides me with enough strength to face one more day. He provides me with enough sanity to live and believe that His return will rescue me from this tortured life I live. He gives me enough strength to try to walk among the breathing and pretend that goodness dwells in the land of the living. Yet, I am truly a shell and only exist because of His strength. Jesus daily picks up my sorrow and carries it. And, I know without any doubt that if I ever tried to let another living mortal carry that pain instead of allowing Christ to bear it, I would stop breathing.

No, I will continue to wear my facade and try to live in this world with the knowledge that He will not abandon me and that His love is the only strength on which I can truly count.  

God has provided me with friends but they only know me through the strength that Christ has provided. The few times I have tried to allow Mark to see this pain, he turns me off. He cannot bear it and he lost his children along with me. But, he didn't lose everyone.

Most of us only have one Jonathan (as to David) or John (as to Jesus) in our lives. If you have that one than count yourself blessed. I have one friend who comes close to truly seeing and knowing the agony of soul. And, she has never judged me or left me or pushed me away. But, even with her, I do not allow her to truly know all.

God has given me others who reach out in comfort, prayers, and support but I know that they would not  be capable of handling the totality of my agony. I am not ignorant to the fact the God does have His church here for a purpose but the church is not Christ. So, I will trust that the amount of pain that Christ lets others see, it is the amount they might can comprehend.

I hesitate to say that I will not hide my pain because those who have seen a portion of my pain usually do not begin to understand it. Often, they try to minimize it and this sorrow cannot nor should it be marginalized. My children are worth all this sorrow. The lost of all those that I loved is worth all the agony. After 25 years of allowing Jesus to keep a record of my tears, I will not give this task to another.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Memories and Poems

On occasion folks have inquired how I am able to continue and to live a relatively normal life. Of course, I am not sure exactly what normal is and I don't think that Mark and I have lived a normal life; however, we have prevailed with the help of the Father.

Today, I am sick most likely with the flu. I am sure that most Christians have experienced severe attacks from Satan when your body and health are compromised. Unfortunately, I am not immune from this type of spiritual warfare. So, this morning I continued  reading in Ezekiel (11 - 13). Such a lovely place to read when feeling ill and  melancholy. Not. I read today's devotion from "My Utmost for His Highest" and heard myself murmur, "I don't know what I just read."

My day continued and I decided that a shower was the thing that would invigorate me. Wrong. The shower nearly did me in. That's when my mind began to think on my sisters. Sisters that I loved and thought loved me. That's when my thoughts went to my oldest son, Bobby. I nearly gave in to my feelings of remorse but instead I heard myself say, "No, God. I am done. I can't deal with the sadness today. Take this away from me because I have no prayers left to cry."

I continued trying to half dry my hair when God spoke through another memory. - a better memory. As a little girl I got sick often. During some of those times, my mother would come into my room and put a cool cloth on my forehead. She also read me this poem.

Land of Counterpane
by Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

Let's face it, I would rather one of my sisters or Christi and Bobby call me but for now I'll take a memory that isn't dealing with my mother's destructive plans. The fact is this, I have never stopped loving my family. While they continue to spurn me, I continue to pray for them. And, today.... I'll remember poems.

Be Blessed,