Day. After. Day. He cannot breathe. He cannot move. He cannot feel safe in his own home. I try to stop. I say “I will stop.” But the words tumble out slamming into his heart. It was something so silly…he asked me to do a file. I explode. With no thought or regards for the person on the receiving end of my tirade. I feel rage. Overwhelming, hot, volcanic rage. I am scary he says.
I told him a few days before, “I am spiraling.” What does that mean? What do we do? Are you safe? I didn’t have answers and we couldn’t remember what to do. I told him I was fine, feeling better, more myself. But it was a lie.
Inside I feel numbness. Empty. The blackest deep envelopes me and takes control of my emotions and thinking.
And so, I shred him with my words.
He tries to stop me, but I only take it as more offense. I feel anger. Burning, out-of-control anger. Why am I so angry? I have nothing to be angry over. I am not justified in my pain, my hurt, when I’m the one who destroyed us in the first place.
I resolve to shut myself further behind my wall, which doesn’t help much. I won’t talk. I won’t eat. I won’t engage in anything other than cordial contact. I say I am protecting him from myself, but really I am just punishing him.
“Please talk to me. We have to talk through this. You can’t shut me out of your life.”
I recall the moment in the chair. Katie looked at me, “I love you, but you are being abusive.” She explained our foundation is built on something dysfunctional and perhaps it needs rebuilt, but I’m scared—what if we tear it down only to discover there is no reason to rebuild?
How did we get here? Only 3 years ago we were falling in love, on top of the world. How on earth do we get to the point where we cannot even speak to one another without anger?
The pattern seems familiar. We did this before. This time, he hasn’t done the things he did before. So why am I so angry?
I speak with my big sister. She is the only one who understands the crazy voices in my head. She is the one who understands the darkness that can dampen any light and make one want to end their life just to get some relief. And once again, she’s the one getting me focused on what really is truth.
“I’m abusive. Do you know what that feels like? And the internet…it doesn’t help much. It basically says I’m a monster and the only way to be loving to him is to leave. Basically I’m incompatible with human life, so perhaps I should just take myself out.”
She’s so kind. So merciful. She takes my hands and she whispers, “You know what God think? He loves you. He’s crazy about you. He doesn’t see the abuse, he sees who you are.”
And that’s really my problem. I don’t believe HE loves me. That HE really is all that happy with me. That my Abba, he wonders just how on earth he ended up with a daughter like me. And because I believe that about Him, I believe that about myself.
I hear Katie’s calm voice, “You need to live in your Imago Dei. This answers all those questions.” But I hate my image.
I hate that I am loud. I am loud and I disrupt people with my loudness. All I can hear is the voices. “You need to be quiet. A good girl is quiet. She doesn’t speak loud. She doesn’t ask questions. She doesn’t argue. She is calm, quiet, meek and submissive.” All the things I am not.
I hate that I cry. I cry over everything. The husband teases me about it. I know he finds it “cute”, but I can’t help but think that he wishes I would not cry so easily. I cry when others are sad and I cry when others are happy. I cry at movies and funerals and weddings and graduations. I cry over songs. And when my feelings are hurt, I cry. But I’m trying to not cry. Crying is weak, and I’m so freaking tired of being weak.
I hate that I feel things loudly. I love hard, I explode, I feel deep pain, I hate, to the point of rage, injustice. Can’t I just be normal?
But it’s this overwhelming anger that I hate the most. I know THIS is NOT my image. This is my image marred by sin and pain and abuse. Sadly, the abused has become the abuser. And that is more pain than I can possibly bear.
I am alone in the car, something that hasn’t happened for months. And I just decide that I have to do something…anything. The thought pops into my head, “What if I repent, for every thing I’ve done to hurt him since the beginning?”
I have this love-hate thing wit repentance. It seems a way to control others. “You must repent. You must forgive. You must. You must. You must.” I’m so tired by the you-musts. But I need relief from the poison that is killing me. So I begin…
Abba. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know how to do this. I’m not sure if you’ll believe me. I’m not even sure if I know my own heart. But I’m going to try my best. To repent. To admit who I am.
And so I begin…to repent. For all of it. The affair. The fights with his family. The money I wasted. The suicide attempts. The pornography. The self-destructive behavior. The abuse. I repented until I couldn’t think of anything else to repent for. (I’m sure there is plenty, I was just emotionally drained from crying and driving at the same time). And then I shut my mouth. And waited. To hear.
“Send this to him.”
So I wrote my prayer of repentance and sent it to him.
And the weight of the darkness lifted away from me.
I still don’t understand so much about this faith I hold to. I’m beginning to realize that fixing me involves not just my mental health but my theology. I have so much anger inside that I don’t know how to handle it. The task of overcoming the first 40 years of my life may take me the next 40 years. But I know this much.
Abba, he does love me. He loves me enough to not let me stay in the depths of my pain. He pushes me to face the fear. To face the anger and put it right. To change who I am.
He gives me a song to walk me through this journey. One that I sing at least a dozen times a day. One to remind me, that I’m not alone and he will never leave me.
Oh, my soul
Oh, how you worry
Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control
This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming
And no one would blame you, though
If you cried in private
If you tried to hide it away, so no one knows
No one will see, if you stop believing
Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down