must keep going.  must keep fighting.  truth, remember truth, drown out the lies…

Truth.  I am loved.  I am wanted.  I am known.  My Father believes in me, and he’s taking care of me.  This won’t last forever.  There is a purpose, and there will be an end.

Dreams are only dreams.  They’re not real.  I don’t need to be afraid of them.  Those things didn’t really happen…

I am not forgotten.  I am not rejected.  I am not alone.

My God… my God is so strong, and he’s carrying me.  He will never let me go.  He is stronger than me and my rebellious heart.  He’s stronger than the demons and darkness that torments me.  He’s stronger than all the helplessness I can ever feel.  He’s stronger than all the lies and rules and patterns I’ve been believing for so long.  He’s stronger than me when I keep holding on to things when I need to let go.  He’s stronger than my failures, he’s stronger than my pain.  He’s stronger than all the pain and worry and weariness and suffering that I’ve caused people, that I’ve caused in my friends and family.  He’s stronger than every relapse, every slip up, every time I knowingly choose to go backwards and do what is wrong, or unhealthy for me. 

My God is stronger than me and my ceaselessly selfish heart.

I am forgiven.  Even if I can’t forgive myself, God forgives me, and still loves me.

I am sorry, world.  I cannot do some great inspirational post tonight.  All I can do is hang on.  All I can do is survive.  I am trying not to hate myself right now… but it’s hard when the thing I’m fighting is myself. 

 

Little girl, run away and hide in the corner.  A dark corner, in the basement, with dust and cobwebs and shadows.  No one will find you there.  Hold yourself tight, don’t let the screams out, push it all down, make it all stop.  Calm the hysteria, the fear, the mania.  Calm down and push it in.  Breathe.  Let yourself breathe.  Your mind will slow its desperate spinning.  You’ll be able to think again, feel again, think logically again.

Hold your hands, don’t let them go.  Don’t let them tear your body apart.  Hold them tight, even if it hurts.  Don’t pick up the knife.

Hush, baby, hush, listen to the night.  Listen to the beauty of the stillness.  Let your mind rest, it’s okay, it’s okay.

 

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see.  Be the good girl you always have to be.  Conceal, don’t feel, put on a show… make one wrong move and everyone will know.

I

can’t

say

it.

can’t

make

myself

speak.

too

scared

to

let

anything

out,

it

will

all

stay

inside

and

destroy

me

until

there

is

nothing

left

but

an

empty

shell,

a

robot

doing

what

everyone

wants

but

walking

without

a

soul.

Beauty exists.

Hope exists.

Life exists.

It’s real.

 

It’s going to be okay.  It’s all going to be okay. It hurts, and my body shakes from the pressure of the war inside my brain.  But it won’t last forever.  There are moments of comfort, moments of ease, and those moments are so worth the endurance of everything in between. 

 

There is joy. 

There is peace.

There is love.

There is family.

 

We are not alone.  Someone is here waiting to hold our hands as we walk through this together.

This is truth.

sound of rain splattering on the roof, splashing against the window. 

wind howling, moaning, roaring, crying.

it’s okay to feel. 

it’s okay to know.

forgive.

remember grace.

remember to love yourself.

this battle is so hard sometimes, so very hard.

but you can’t give up.

you can never give up.

listen.

listen to the rain.

listen to it splatter on the roof and splash its healing drops onto the frozen ground.

listen.

it’s steady, it’s calm, even though it’s cold and wet and weary.

it’s gonna be okay.

you’re gonna be okay.

sleep.

go ahead and sleep.

pray the darkness doesn’t come tonight.

maybe no one will die in my dreams tonight.  maybe no one will be tortured or hurt or terrified in any way.

please.

no bad dreams tonight.

I want to sleep, to sleep in peace…

Daddy, make the demons leave.

I don’t remember what was happening.  I just know that I woke up gasping for air, terror running through my veins.  Vague shadows and figures flit through my mind… I don’t know what was happening.  There were children, lots of little children.  Did I know them?  I don’t know.  There was crying, lots of crying.  Screaming. 

Something, someone, was coming towards me.  I could not escape.  They, he, it, was going to hurt me in a way I’d never been hurt before.  I was terrified.  Just as he touched me, I woke up, sitting up in bed a little, shrieking breath into my lungs.

Little bits of memories… no, push them back, push them down.  It was just a dream.  A nightmare.  I don’t want to remember it.  I’m just glad it was only a dream.  I’m glad all these dreams I have are never real.  I’m glad I woke up gasping, and not screaming for all to hear.  I’m glad I didn’t wake anybody else up.  And I’m glad I woke up when I did.

 

Night is hard.  Very hard.  But it never lasts forever. 

I am working to remember that the morning always comes.  The sun always rises.  It doesn’t matter how deeply dark the night is, the sun still rises.  It doesn’t matter how terrified I am, how hurt I am, how paralyzed I am.  It will end.  There will be peace again.

And even if it doesn’t come right away, it will come.

Dreams and nightmares are not real.  Life is real.  And in life, the sun still rises.  There are still smiles and moments of peace.  In life, life is worth it.  It’s going to be okay.

The breath of relief after a storm is over is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.  This storm was long and particularly exhausting.  But now it’s over.  Maybe I’ll sleep in peace tonight, with no nightmares.  Maybe I’ll have a couple hours of rest after I wake up again, or even a whole day of rest, before the next storm hits.

So weary, so lonely.  I’ll get through it.  I always do.  Maybe someday, there will come a time where the storms are less constant, and the sunshine lasts long enough to warm my skin.

Tonight anyway, I’m thankful for the breath of relief that I get in this moment.  It is beautiful, and there is peace, and in this moment, at this second, I am okay.

Tonight I am thankful for laughter and smiles.  Even when there’s pain underneath, it feels good to laugh.

I am thankful for games and movies and getting things done.

I am thankful for the love and support of so many people in my life.

I am thankful that though I feel lonely, I am not alone. 

Though it is night, there are stars shining bright above the clouds.

Even when days and weeks and months are long, there are moments like these, moments of peace.

Even when I’ve messed up, and I want to hate myself and punish myself… there is forgiveness.  And even if I can’t quite forgive myself yet, I can cling to God’s forgiveness.  I can know that his forgiveness is real.

The breath of relief after the storm has passed… this is a beautiful thing.  Thank you, Jesus.  Thank you.

This year has been the year of brokenness.  I thought I’d been broken before… but it didn’t feel like this.

This year was when my emotions awakened.  Those weird feelings that I’ve been pushing down for my entire life… I can feel them all now, and it’s so much stronger than anything I’ve ever felt before. 

So many things are clicking now.  Family things.  Things from when I was little, things I had forgotten or chosen to ignore.  It all makes sense now, and it’s blowing my mind.  I don’t know how to react… but somehow it makes me feel better.  I am the way I am for a reason.  There really was hurt in my life growing up.  It wasn’t all as perfect as I always made myself believe.

I guess I always knew there were problems… I just didn’t know how big they were.  Or how much I had contributed to it all.

There was a reason that in every story I made up, every game I played, the main character was an orphan.  There was a reason the little games I made up with dolls and plastic animals were always so incredibly violent.  Why the parents were so cruel.  Why the kids always ended up running away and living on their own.  There was a reason for it all.  Everything I ever did reflected the things I pushed down and hid from the rest of the world.  I made up lives and worlds where I could show all the anger and hurt and fear that I never showed to anyone in real life.

I remember the games I played.  They were cruel and bloody, filled with torture and people who didn’t care at all about a little girl’s heart.  And then the little girl would rise above them all, and they would feel so bad… and they would hurt her again.  I remember hiding the dolls, hiding the toys, and pretending I was doing something else as soon as I heard someone coming.  No one could know I wasn’t a happy little girl.  No one could know I wasn’t perfect.  I was ashamed, so ashamed.  So different when I was alone than when I was with other people.

When did this start?  I really don’t know.  I taught it to myself.  I forced it on myself.  Yeah, the way other people acted reinforced the ideas, but they were still my own choices.

I have been depressed for my whole life.  I denied it and hid it for so long.  No one knew.  No one at all.  I don’t know when I started pretending I was someone I wasn’t so that everyone else would be happy.  It’s been going on so long… I’m only recently learning who I really am, and what I’m really like. 

I have been doing self harm for my whole life.  It wasn’t cutting before… but it was self harm. 

I am remembering things I haven’t remembered in a long time.  It’s scary.  Things make sense now.  It all makes sense now. 

It’s not like my parents were abusive.  They weren’t… not really.  I don’t think.  Honestly, I’m kinda scared I’ll start remembering something like that, and I don’t want to believe that could’ve happened… I don’t think they did… I don’t think they ever would.  It’s just… I don’t know what to call it.  Neglect?  Maybe.  And this is stuff that so, so many other people face growing up… and I don’t know why it affected me so much more than it affected other people.

My family is great.  My parents are great.  We all love each other a lot, and we do show it.  It’s just… somewhere early on… I stopped being me, and I started being something else, so that everyone else would be ok. 

It’s all still kinda confusing.  But at the same time, it makes sense.  Everything makes sense.  Everything in middle school, everything that happened when I came to school, everything that happened when I went home again.  It all makes sense.  I don’t know what to think.  It’s a lot.

But it makes sense. 

There’s a reason.

There’s something behind everything. 

And that… makes me feel so much better.  Maybe I’m not crazy.  Because there’s actually a reason, and it’s something that I can work through.  Maybe… I will actually be okay.  I have a long, long way to go… but there’s a direction to walk in now. 

It shouldn’t make me feel better to suddenly realize all the pain I’ve pushed down my whole life… but it does.  Because now I know.  Now I know.

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