Life is hard.  Life is very hard.  I found a page in an old notebook today that had my venting from one day earlier this summer.  I went on about how this world is cold and dark and cruel, and the only thing you can trust is pain.

It mirrored almost perfectly how I feel today.

I am a patient in a residential home for broken women.  I am trying to get better.  I’ve been here almost six months… you’d think I’d be better now.  But I guess everyone who struggles knows it doesn’t work like that.  Healing takes time, lots of time.  Otherwise, most people who struggle wouldn’t return to therapy and treatment over and over again.

I can’t see the future.  I can’t know for sure if things really will work out.  I can’t know for sure if I will ever taste joy again.  Maybe this darkness is all there is here.

But I’m clinging to hope.  I can’t see it… but I’m choosing to believe it’s there.  I’m choosing to believe I can get better.  I’ll never be perfectly healthy, but at least I can get better than I am right now.  This shadow will pass.  The sun will shine again… and I will see it.

I’m choosing to believe it.

That’s what hope is.

And stronger than hope is faith.

I’m shaking so much I can hardly stand. 

Trying not to think…

Trying not to remember…

Trying not to panic…

Trying not to assume the worst…

Trying not to give in…

Trying not to run away…

Trying not to throw up…

Trying not to draw more blood…

Trying not to be scared…

Trying…

Trying…

Trying to survive.

I haven’t had to be alone much in the past couple days.  It’s been nice.  But now I am awake at night, alone again, and I am feeling very small.

Two days.

I have two full days, and then the next day, I head to residential.

I know I’ve said this before, but…

 

I’m terrified.

 

As I’ve worked through the process of packing and planning, I keep thinking of so many ways that I could get around everything.  I could still hurt myself there.  I could still kill myself there.  It would be harder, and it would require more planning.  But it could be done.

How will they react when they find out what goes on in my head?  That suicidal thoughts aren’t just things that come and go… they’re always there.

I feel so ashamed.  I shouldn’t be going.  Those other women will have all gone through so much more than I have.

I just want to crawl into a hole and hide.  I want to hide from everyone and everything.  To lie with my body pressing into the cool mud, being nothing, being dirt.  I want to disappear.  I have been invisible before… I want to run away again.  I’m so scared.  I don’t want to do this.

Daddy, Daddy in heaven, don’t make me go.  Please don’t make me go.  I know you want me to be strong and brave… but I can’t help the shaking.  I don’t want to leave everything that’s familiar and trusted and safe.  I have people to talk to still, I have places to go and hide.  I can go off by myself when I can’t hold the tears in anymore.  But there, Daddy, there, I’ll be alone.  No one I trust, nothing familiar, nothing to hold on to.  No place to run away to.  Always on display, always being watched… never safe.

What if they don’t like me?  What if the other women don’t like me?  What if they hate me because I have a perfect life, but I’m still complaining?  What if they think I’m stuck up because I’m quiet?

Daddy, Daddy in heaven, I don’t think I can do this.  They talk about it being hard work, and we have to participate, and we have to try really hard.  But Daddy, I don’t think I can.  I mean, sometimes I can stand and laugh and focus and participate.  But that’s usually when I’m able to ignore the things in my head and on my heart.  If we’re going to be addressing it all the time, and trying to work through it… God, I don’t know if I’ll even be able to stand.  My legs wobble, and my mind goes blank, and everything around me turns to darkness.  I just want to run away and hide.

Daddy, Daddy in heaven, I’m so scared.  I can’t do this, I can’t do anything.  I’m falling apart in the dark.  I’m sorry, I’m sorry for complaining, I should be stronger, this shouldn’t be such a big deal.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.

Daddy…

Daddy… please hold me.  I know I can’t feel you right now, not for real, but Daddy, I need something.  I don’t want to just cry until there are no tears left, and then live numbly until I can cry again.  I want to feel better!  Is that allowed?  For me?  I shouldn’t ask… I should be grateful for what I have… I’m sorry…

Daddy help me!  You adopted me.  You call me yours, your very own daughter. 

I’m sorry… I shouldn’t ask… I already have so much… you have blessed me so much, so very much.

Wonderful friends, loving family, a home, a diploma, an opportunity to make a living.  And so much more.  You have provided for me so generously.  I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t want more.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry…

 

Maybe one of the devil’s lies is that we shouldn’t ask God for help.  But is it a lie?  Is it really?  Aren’t we supposed to be thankful in all circumstances, to be content, like the apostle Paul?  When we pray, isn’t it supposed to always be for boldness to share the gospel?  Like that’s the only point of life.  To tell people something, so they can tell people something, so they can tell people something.  Is there nothing more than that, right here and now, on this earth?  God’s not a vending machine.  We’re supposed to praise him and thank him and glorify him and all that.  People say we shouldn’t be asking for things all the time.  But where’s the line?  What is too much?  When should we stop asking for things and just praise him?

I feel like I’m doing everything wrong.  And I never will do it right. 

So I want to leave, and fail once and for all, and never again.  I want to die.  I want to be done.  I give up, I quit, I can’t do this anymore.  This is my last chance to die, to force death early… I’m a coward, and I don’t want to face the failures I have still ahead.  I can’t do this.

 

God in heaven, you have to help me.  Whatever they all say, you have to help me.  I can’t do this without you.  Don’t leave me here, alone.  Help me somehow get through these next two days, these last three nights.  I need you, I need you now.  Don’t abandon me.  Don’t forget.  Don’t leave me to suffer through and grow up.  I won’t make it, Daddy.  I need you to hold my hand.

 

… this song… my song right now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkXbzffVl44&feature=player_detailpage

I used to think that my own pain, struggle, battle didn’t matter so much, because it was all in my head.  I didn’t have a reason for it.  I wasn’t abused.  I wasn’t abandoned.  I wasn’t hurt, physically.  There was no really traumatic event, ever.  I didn’t lose any family or close friends to death while I was young.  I didn’t have to move, not for as long as I can remember.  My parents and family stayed intact.  I was never bullied.  I always had enough to eat.  I always had enough of every physical thing.

I thought that my pain couldn’t be real, because I came from a good home.  I thought that by hurting, I was being ungrateful and disloyal to my family and all the love they had shown me.  Yeah, they messed up.  They messed up a lot.  But not in the ways I thought should matter. 

I thought that there was something horribly wrong with me, because I wanted more than what I had.  I felt guilty every time I got discouraged or tired.  I shouldn’t feel depressed; I had gone through nothing that should make me depressed.

But the truth is… I hurt.  I have had pain in my heart for a very long time. 

I cannot identify how much of it is spiritual, biological, environmental, or from my own decisions.  It’s a mixture of everything.  But however it got here, there is pain in me.  Lots of pain.

I still feel guilty for expressing it.  I feel like everyone else has gone through so much more than I have.  I have no right to speak up.  It would be like complaining about a scraped knee to someone who’s been hit by a car.  It would be like rubbing salt in their wounds.  I feel like they would give so much to have my pain instead of their own.  I have no right to let it bother me.

Everyone around me has so much pain.  It’s always been that way.  I’ve always been sensitive to it.  I remember passing cars at stop lights, and looking into the faces of the drivers, and seeing their pain.  There would always be stress and worry and anger and sometimes real tears on their faces.  They had pain.  They all had pain.  And my family, they all had pain.  My parents grew up with a lot of pain, much more than I’ve ever experienced.  Then of course they had to deal with the pain of having me, and all the rest of my siblings.  My siblings, they had pain.  Pain from the blades of mocking words.  Pain from the wounds we caused each other, the wounds caused by me.  I can never forget their faces, every single time I hurt them.  They had a lot of pain.  And my friends… they’ve all been through so much.  So very much.

In comparison, my own pain is nothing.

But maybe pain is not something that is meant to be compared.

Pain is pain, and it hurts.  Whatever caused it, whatever form it takes, it’s still real. 

My pain is overwhelming, and that means that everyone else’s must be—

But wait.  What if I just left it there?  My pain is overwhelming.

It’s okay to just say that.  It’s okay to acknowledge how I’m feeling.  It’s okay to let it hurt.  It’s not selfish.  It’s not wrong.

 

Just… closing my eyes, and looking at only me for a second… that’s so, so hard… I am hurting.

I am hurting.  Scared.  Lonely.  Terrified.  Weak.  Vulnerable.  Tired.  Exhausted.  Confused.  Guilty.  I feel awful.  I feel like crying all the time, even when I’m laughing and talking and acting fine.  I don’t remember when I last had a day when I didn’t cry.  My heart hurts.  It aches, and I’m scared, so scared.  I’m longing to be safe and warm and loved on.  But the thing is, I’m not a little girl.  I can’t climb up on anyone’s lap when I’m hurting.  I never actually did, when I was little… but I always wanted to.

I’m scared.  Scared of staying alive.  Scared of being alone.  Scared of getting worse.  Scared of falling deeper and having to endure the torture of an entire lifetime of despair.  I’m scared that if I let go of everything I have to hold on to, there won’t be anything left.  I’m scared God’s just going to leave me here, leave me alone, and I’ll never feel him, never see him, and I’ll always have to walk with blind faith.  I’m not strong enough for that.  It hurts to be alone.

It hurts… and it never stops.  There’s always that ache in my throat, always that pressure around my eyes.  It sometimes gets distracted, when I hurt myself physically.  Physical pain feel so much better than this.  It feels alright to be sad then, if I’m bleeding.  It’s alright to cry if I have relentless pressure constantly rubbing against open cuts, making them sting, making them bleed, making them never heal.  It’s alright… because then it’s not in my head.  Then it’s something worth crying about.

I feel discouraged.  I feel despair.  I feel angry, angry that I’m still alive.  I feel so much hurt, there are not enough words to describe it.  My heart shudders every time it beats.  My lungs scream every time I force breath into them.  My stomach cringes every time nutrients reach it.  My head pounds until there is so much pressure it cannot even pound anymore. 

Sometimes my heart stops for a second.  Sometimes I don’t breathe.  Sometimes I don’t eat, or I puke up what I do eat.  Sometimes I hold my head as tight as I possibly can, hoping that it will break, and the pressure would end.  And I think, over and over, it would be so much nicer if my heart didn’t beat, if my lungs didn’t breathe, my stomach didn’t eat, and my brain didn’t think.  It would hurt so much less if I were dead.  There’s no other escape.  There’s nothing else that works.  It always comes back.  Always.  If I were to kill myself, I would be taking a chance that all I believe is true, but at least I would know.  At least it would all be over.

In a little over one week, I’ll be in residential.  I have to make it till then.  I’m just scared, so scared of staying alive.  And I don’t know how to ask for help.  Because there’s nothing anyone can do.

 

This pain is real.  It hurts.  I don’t need to compare it to everyone else’s.  I don’t need to prove that it’s real.  It is real.  It hurts a lot. 

And it does matter.

Gentle patter of raindrops on leaves.  So steady, so reassuring.  Gentle rumble of thunder in the distance.  A low yet powerful music.

The darkness has been so strong of late.  It seeps into my mind, and I’m finding more and more that I don’t even try to fight it anymore.  I am tired, tired of wearing myself out trying and failing.  I am exhausted, and even the thought of sorting through the murkiness of my mind to find some fragment of truth and reality… even the thought of this discourages me.

I’m tired of hiding in corners until the flow of tears stops.  I’m tired of covering all traces of pain, of faking energy and life and hope.  I was fine, I was actually doing very well when I was away from home.  And the week that I was home before, that was pretty good.  But now I am home again, and I feel like I’m spinning dizzy and out of control, looking for the path, looking for the light, looking for a direction to walk in, anything to hold on to, anything at all.

It has been so dark… I fought for hours last night, trying to decide whether to end my life or keep it.  Eventually I decided to settle for coming as close as I could to death without dying, and without anyone ever knowing.  A very, very familiar place to be… but not one that holds any comfort for me.  And then my plan wouldn’t work… my sister, whom I share a bedroom with… she kept waking up.  I couldn’t find the tool I wanted, and things kept falling and making noise.  I had to do something, but I couldn’t get caught… and then it was rusted and corroded… scratching and hurting was never enough… I needed to bleed…

Today I purged.  Intentionally, as much as I could, and I hadn’t even eaten that much.  But it hurt, and that felt good.  The weariness, the feeling of my body crashing, that felt good.  I calmed down a little, maybe because I didn’t have the energy to fight with myself anymore.

And then the rain.

I was curled up on my bed, again, trying to rest, trying to sleep, willing to risk the nightmares that sleep brought for the chance of an escape.  My body wouldn’t let up on me, though.  It hurt and ached everywhere, and I could not get comfortable.  I hugged my teddy bear against my chest, held him tight, tried to imagine myself away.  And then… the rain.

It started softly, softly tapping and pattering on the leaves.  It had been sunny only a little while before, and at first I thought it must just be the sound of the wind in the trees.  But then a tiny drop leaked through the window and fell on my cheek.  I turned and watched it, not even blinking as more drops fell on me.  The cold breath of the storm blew in, and I took it in. 

The more I listened, the more I watched and breathed and felt, something within me calmed.  I curled up tight… and I slept. 

It was real sleep, with only a few dreams.

It was restful, even with all the times I woke up.

It made my head heavy, my eyes relax, and my chest release its constricting. 

It made my heart stop fluttering and skipping beats, settling instead back into a normal rhythm.

As the hours passed, I didn’t care that it was day time, and I was supposed to be being productive, and I was developing unhealthy sleeping patterns.  I was truly resting.  And the rest that finally settled in my mind was worth it all.

I am alive.  I will make it through the next hours of this day.  Beyond that, I will not worry about yet.  Moment by moment, we’ll make it through.

Listen to the rain.

There is a song that plays in my head sometimes.  Over and over, like a chilling children’s tune, mocking me, light and taunting, endlessly and ironically cheerful.

There is no hope for me, my friend, no hope for me at all. 

No hope for now, no hope for then, no hope for evermore. 

Do not try to save me now, there is no hope for that.

Do not cry, and do not weep, you will not miss me once I’m gone.

All will be over, soon enough, soon when I am dead.

There is no hope for me, my friend, no hope for me at all.

No hope for now, no hope for then, no hope for evermore.

 

It plays over and over.  I’m going crazy.  I can’t turn it off.  When I’m with friends, it would stop.  Sometimes it would only quiet to a whisper, but at least then I could ignore it.

Why must the darkness attack so hard now?  I’ll be in residential within a couple weeks.  I’ll be safe from myself, I’ll be able to work all this out, figure out how to think properly, how to live this life, how to be.  But I have to make it through til then.  I have to stay alive.  I have to fight through.

It’s so hard.  And I am such a baby, complaining about stuff in my head when other people are dealing with so much sorrow and pain and hardship, so much more than even a fraction of what I have faced.  This should not be such a big deal.  I have a wonderful life and a wonderful family and a wonderful home and wonderful friends.  I have food to eat for the next week, and a home to stay in, and a bed, a wonderful warm bed, and trees in my backyard that sing to me… and myself… destroying myself… from the inside.

I feel like I honestly could go crazy.  If I let myself.  Completely lose grip on reality, and myself, and all knowledge of how to function.  But I feel like I can still stop it right now.  I just have to keep fighting.

For two more weeks.

Then I’ll be safe.

Then I can fall apart.

It was just a dream.  It wasn’t real.  You don’t need to worry about it.  It’s never going to happen.

But then why can’t I stop shaking?  Why can’t I breathe regularly?  Why can’t I feel it when I’m tearing open my own skin?

I can’t get it out of my head.  Running, chasing, being chased.  Putting my family in danger.  Hiding, trying to get away, always being found.  By friends, by people I know, by people I used to see every day… and they would be mocking me, staring at me, trying to make me leave.  I didn’t belong.  I didn’t belong anywhere.  Even the kids didn’t like me.

I was climbing, climbing trees, and even that didn’t help.  They found me there.  I was running, running through the woods… I love the woods… but even the woods wasn’t safe.  They followed me there.  They saw me.  They called each other, so that they could run me down, chase me away, make me leave.

Hiding places, safe places, places I come to a lot in my dreams… they were destroyed, compromised, taken over.  They were not mine anymore.  Some were destroyed, or worse… made into centers of abuse and torture and dehumanization.

My family was not my family anymore.  They had been changed, turned against me… I was alone.

I would hide, everywhere, anywhere, but it was never enough.  I would scrape my body, cut into my skin… I would bleed, but I could not feel it.  I was constantly trying to force everything down, to force the fear, the emotions down, to think logically, to figure out how to ward everyone off.  I was abusing my body, getting more and more desperate, because nothing was working.  Nothing was helping.  Nothing was calming me down.  I couldn’t feel any of it.  It wasn’t enough.  I had to keep going, cutting deeper.  I had to find more and more things, tools, I could abuse myself with.  But there wasn’t enough, there was never enough.

And then I was high, looking down, and if I jumped, I would die.  It was high enough, I could get away, I could be free, I could be free.  But then they were there again, chasing me, mocking me, telling me how I failed.  I could hear them talking to each other, telling stories about how terrible I was.  I could hear them talking to my closest friends.  I could see their faces changing, from love and trust to disgust and horror.  They were turned against me.

I didn’t know how to defend myself.  What if the words they were saying were true?  How could I deny it?  How could I deny my own corrupted heart?  Yes, I was selfish.  Maybe I really didn’t care about other people… maybe I just wanted attention, I just cared about what people thought of me, what people could give me… maybe it was true.

I wanted to die.  I wanted to reach the poison, to climb the tree, or the top of that building… I longed for a knife, a sword, a gun… anything that would end it all… but I could never get to it.  Always, they came and chased me away, mocking me, laughing at me, never letting me go, never letting me be free.

 

And now I am awake again.  It was only a dream.  Just another dream.  I can forget it, and it will be gone. 

But then why… why am I still searching for that escape?  Why am I still torturing my body, hoping to sometime feel pain, feel something, so I can calm down?  Why am I still longing for a knife, a sword, a gun?

I’m curling up, in the corner of my bed, in the corner of my room, trying to make it stop, trying to shut out the mocking voices.  But no matter how tightly I squeeze my body, no matter how hard I press and pound on my head, it never goes away.  It never stops. 

I just have to wait for it to quiet enough that I can get up and pretend it’s not there, pretend I’m fine, pretend I’m happy and calm and safe and strong…

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