Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Lies Beneath

If you've talked to me in the past week, I may have mentioned to you that I'm feeling unstable. I may have told you that I'm experiencing some emotional turmoil, though I'm trying to keep it under the surface. I may have told you that I can't quite pinpoint what's bothering, that there are a ton of surface things that have contributed to my stress, but that none of them is actually at the root of the problem.

After talking to a friend earlier this week, I realized, in fact, that there are a good number of deeper issues that I need to deal with. The problem is, I've never dealt with them because I don't want to. I've labeled them as trivial concerns and ignored them. I've never really acknowledged them as issues, or taken the time to think much about them. For some of them, I've spent years blaming myself. For others, I've written them off as a "normal" part of growing up, or as "trivial" in comparison to the experiences of others. I've always figured I have nothing to complain about, really. I mean, a lot of people have had it a lot worse. Apparently, there's a fine line between keeping things in perspective when sympathizing with others and living in denial. I've tried to just leave my issues behind me. However, your past influences who you are. So, despite my denial of those issues, they continue to haunt me.

I'm frustrated with it, really. I mean, I know that as long as the issues of my past remain secrets, they will continue to spawn lies -- lies that get in the way of me realizing who I am and what I am capable of, lies that paralyze me. It's frustrating because I had always hoped that mentioning that some crappy stuff occurred in my past would suffice, that it would free me from the grip of that shame and guilt, but that is definitely not the case. Lately, I've been nearly paralyzed by shame and guilt and fear and insecurities. By paralyzed, I mean that I've been so aware of the pain and frustration and lies, but that I've been so overcome with shame and guilt and fear and insecurities that I've been afraid to talk about them with anyone. It's been horrible because I can't work through anything unless I can tell someone. I mean, I could start with journaling or blogging or something, but trust me...I know how I operate...I need to flat out tell someone so I can hear them respond because if I'm left to sort through things in my own mind, it doesn't take long before I start justifying things and telling myself lies all over again. Similarly, I can't talk with a counselor, or if there is one I can talk to, I haven't found them. You see, first of all, I don't trust people with secrets real quickly unless I believe they genuinely care about me. I have not found that characteristic in a counselor. I mean, I'm not saying my counselors were cold or's just, they didn't know me...they couldn't understand, and so often I felt like they weren't listening. I'd talk about not being able to sleep and they'd ask if I wanted pills for that...I don't want any pills! I hate drugs! I hate the thought of sleeping pills! I don't have enough time for sleeping pills! There are days when I wouldn't trust myself with sleeping pills! (sorry, I know that was scary, creepiness.) Someone who truly knew me would know that I need a hug, not a pill...that a goodnight and a "Takara, I love you. Get some sleep." would help...not that it would solve the problems that were keeping me up, but it would at least make me feel secure and less alone in all of it so that I could sleep. Seriously, how am I supposed to get anything out of confiding in someone who doesn't know can I trust them with my crazy when the only reason I know they won't ditch me is because they're getting paid not to? How is that supposed to make me trust them? That and the last counselor I had...she gave me plenty of suggestions/homework, but they weren't practical for me...I felt like she wasn't listening to me...she wasn't putting my problems and issues into the context of who I am and where I'm from...she couldn't grasp why I didn't feel like I could bring this crap up to my mom this summer...she didn't get why I felt like I had to take on the problems of the world...and she didn't want to discuss where these messed up ideas and lies came from...she just wanted to see me change, but I've been trying to change for years. That's what I've always done. I've covered up the crazy and the flawed as best as I could, but if I don't deal with it, it'll always lurk there under the surface waiting to rear its ugly head. I will always be lying in some way -- to myself or others -- if I don't get it out there and make all of me mesh. I just can't do that.

The issues that lie beneath the persona I try to put out there cause me so much pain. Some of the pain comes from remembering how much it hurt at the time. Some of the pain is from feeling like it has to be a secret in order to keep my friends and to keep my life together. Some of the pain is from keeping it a secret, locked up tight in some dark corner of my soul. Some of the pain is from the anxious feeling I get when a joke or comment or classroom lecture mentions one of my "issues" and I swear that everyone can tell that the comment/lecture/joke could easily be about me. I swear that everyone knows that I'm hiding it and is judging me. I know that's not true, but when I hear the mere mention...I feel like a turtle, except I only wish I had a shell to hide in. But then again, other time, the pain is because I know that the person making the joke or comment, or possibly even the one giving the lecture, doesn't really understand. I want to stand up and scream, "You just don't get it! You don't know what it feels like! Yeah, it sounds ridiculous to you. Like, how could anyone get wrapped up in that mindset, but it's not as easy to escape as you think! I'm not stupid! I'm not weak! I'm strong for getting through, and you don't get that...You don't know that it's a battle that you can't win! You don't know what it's like to feel that trapped -- to feel like you have no way out and no hope of ever getting out! It's a dark and terrible situation to be in and you should never make light of it because it's not funny! Your laughter makes me feel like I'm trapped there all over again! Your laughter crushes my spirit!" (I realize that that little rant made it sound like I totally get that the stuff I dealt with was a big deal....but yeah...that's not what it just means that I know that I did hurt a lot and still do...) Sometimes, the pain is from feeling all alone. I know that I always have Jesus, and trust me, He and I are pretty tight because of all this. Yet, it hurts...because there are days where I feel beat and trapped and too exhausted from crying or from arguing with myself over all of these lies...and I feel too tired to take it to Jesus, to drag myself to His feet...I feel to weak and to broken...and I believe that that's why God gave us help us to carry our burdens and ourselves to Jesus's feet...that's why it hurts to feel all alone in this...because some days, I can do my part, and some days, I need someone to lean on...

That's all I've got tonight...but I can promise you, it all stays true to the title of my blog (if you're reading this on facebook, I'm referring to my actual webpage on blogspot) is "From the Heart"...I feel like I bled all over the keyboard (I didn't really, I swear). It's crazy...these things catch up to me late at night...well...sometime after seems the longer I'm awake, the more they gain on, if you one of the unfortunate souls that routinely sees me in the PM, I'm sorry that I've been either moody, sensitive, or some form of excessively/forcibly happy (I was over-compensating)...It's getting better, probably because I'm slowly managing to put it all away again...but hopefully, someday soon, I'll be able to get out from under this for a little while and be genuinely pleasant to be around, wouldn't that be trippy? Heck, maybe I'll even manage to honest to God cheer you up or take care of you in some way...or maybe, I'll be able to just co-exist without being a spaz...we'll see...just, while I'm trying to figure out how to work through things and who I can confide them in, please be patient with me.


Anonymous said...

Takara, dear...I can't say I understand or know exactly what you're going through, or even that I know you that well, but I can let you know I'm praying for you and if you ever want someone to pray WITH you, I'm always willing. Like you mentioned, sometimes we are too weak to drag oursevles to Jesus' feet and surrender all the crap to Him, too weak to even pray, and so a friend to help out there can be a blessing...:)
Have you ever heard of Theophostic prayer ministry? I've had some experience with it and so have many of my friends, and you might find some real healing with it. Its not with a counselor, per se, but 2 very prayerful Catholic people who are trained in this prayer ministry (though one is a professional counselor by training, who has left to completely devote himself to this ministry) - the basis of it is them helping you to go back to the hurtful memories in the past with Jesus, to feel that pain, to understand the lie that is at the core (which you've already been aware of, or at least somewhat...could go deeper), and then allow the Lord to reveal the TRUTH to you. If you want to talk more about it, let me know. :) God's peace, Takara.


Anonymous said...

You have said that you have gone to counselors for the things that are bugging you, but have you ever thought, and I know this sounds crazy, but one of the last people you ever thought you would confide your secrets in. I am sure that you know a person who you would rather not tell all of your secrets to but maybe she/he would surprise you in being caring and/or understanding. You might be surprised to find that she/he may have secrets in her/his own life. Possibly different than your own or similar.

It is just worth a thought. You might be surprised in who will listen to you!

God Bless and I hope that you can find someone to help you figure out your secrets.