Saturday, June 17, 2006

Admitting A Flaw

Over the years people have thought my husband a monster and have congratulated me on sticking it out. I laugh now, and tell the sometimes disbelieving folk that it isn't me that deserves the praise, but Steve. It took me a long time to realize that the monster was me. My self-righteous, hyper-critical, super-sensitive, self-pitying ways have been very hard to live with. My fear of everything that became twisted into a fear of STEVE hurt him. People, including counselors who should have been able to see the truth, believed that my fear was reality based. They believed that if there was fear, then the trigger for that fear must be vile. And I believed it too. I spent entirely too much time listening to Oprah and Phil Donahue, and not enough listening to God. Oh I wanted to listen to God, but I felt like he was silent. But when I began pleading with him to speak, to yell if need be, he began making himself clear to me.

I'm not proud of this. There are people who will forever believe Steve to be abusive. There are probably court documents which list him as so. I cannot fix that. What I will say is that I did not get better on my own. I am better by the grace, mercy and work of God. I am better because there are people who invested their lives in mine. I am forever grateful.

I don't know why I'm writing this tonight, but I just read a blog by a man who is admitting his flaws and his struggles with sin, and I found it lifted my spirits. It made me feel less alone. It made me feel a sense of community and fellowship with someone who does not want to fake it anymore! Praise God.

In my blog, I write a lot of things, sometimes a log of my daily events, but more often things I am thinking about. Some are upbeat, some are down. I will try always to be real. Some stuff though I don't write because it involves others who might be hurt or worried if they read my thoughts. Sometimes I am only a part of the story, and feel an obligation to the others to keep it quiet. Sometimes the hurt is too deep, too immediate. Some of the struggles over dealing with my dad's health issues, for instance. I write about it, but there are things I can't say. There are hurts and fears that I cannot put words to. I'm sure it's the same with you. But as much as possible I try to tell the unvarnished truth and not to protect myself, only others. I guess I don't feel the need for a whole lot of self-protection anymore.

Would I want there to be a picture of me doing something disgusting like picking my nose? Not a chance. Do I want you to see my horrifyingly messy room? No way. But even when I triumph, I don't want it to be a skewed picture, making it look like I have overcome. When we don't reveal our flaws as well as our triumphs, I think we are only protecting ourselves and hurting others who look at us and say, "I couldn't do that. I'm too messed up." What I want to show is a messed up person in the hands of a gracious and compassionate God. Glory to God. About 15 years ago or so I was a mental and emotional basket case. I couldn't form a coherent sentence. I was very nearly admitted into the crazy ward at the local hospital. I received hate mail telling me I should lose my children because I was so disfunctional I couldn't maintain even a resemblence of a decent sanitary home. I was doing everything I knew how to do, but I spent so much energy trying to hide how crazy I was that I didn't have the energy to seek out help, and delayed my cure. I lived a life without hope. If I had only known it was possible for ME to get well, perhaps I would have expended some of the energy I had to seek help. Because I thought I was hopeless, I tried to look normal. I hope that someone, anyone out there who feels hopeless can gain hope. If I can recover, you can recover. You can live with a sense of joy and hope! Seek God. Beg. Plead. Cry out to him. Ask him to provide the help you need and the wisdom to see the help when it arrives. Ask him to reveal the source of your problems. I will help in any way I can. Bless you!

1 comment:

Beth said...

You're the best at being honest of everyone I know, even when your honesty takes my breath away, thinking, "I would NEVER have said THAT!" But you're right. Your honesty can help others and help you. I will try to be more like you in that way.