God’s Hand

Something happened that severely damaged my trust in our church ward leaders, and makes me much more readily believe that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. I’ve been debating on whether or not I should write about it, and I’ve decided to share that ultimately this is Christ’s church, that my faith in His will hasn’t changed, and that I will continue to be an active member in His gospel — despite the faults of people.

That said . . .

Our church ward is made up primarily of working class people, but the bishopric and Relief Society presidency are all monied entrepreneur sorts, who literally all live on the same street. Some political topics have popped up that solely affect the working class and has caused a great deal of concern.

The relief society president flat out said that members in our ward take church aid for granted and has been trying to suppress information. The bishopric have been spreading misinformation about when and where the public meetings are going to be, and what members of the community are expected to do. Stuff like that has been going on.

And the whole time not one single person in a leadership position has ever once mentioned prayer. No one has been advised to pray for guidance, comfort, support, emotional expression, anything. It’s like our leaders have decided that God doesn’t exist in this matter.

Personally I think that they have turned their backs on prayer because they don’t want to know what God’s will is. There’s money involved.

I’ve been praying a lot over this matter. Wondering if I was being too sensitive in feeling betrayed, and totally misinterpreting good intentions combined with imperfection. Asking for the best possible outcome in the political sphere. Wanting to know what the Lord would have me do. Yesterday I had a moment when the Holy Spirit came crashing down around me, and I know beyond a doubt that God’s hand is at work.

I wonder if it would be presumptuous of me to call my ward leaders to repentance, considering that in many ways I’m still a fledgling convert. I don’t know if the thought is from me pridefully trying to raise myself up, or God wanting to send a humble message to those who were put in leadership positions. I guess that if my heart starts pounding this next Sunday, I’ll know.

I can’t imagine what a finished bathroom looks like anymore. I see them in other people’s houses, but the shapes don’t mean that much to me. I look at our empty box of a room every day, trying to imagine tile and fixtures, and I can’t make it work – I always retreat with a pounding headache.

I hate my husband for it. I hate him because even now he hasn’t decided that he’s put me through enough.

I often think that he’s trying to fill a void with words like “expensive” and “quality”. Words that are synonymous with misery and suffering for me. Words that he attacks me over for not appreciating enough. Words that won’t make us happy, but the sacrifices that we’ve made for them have made us very unhappy.

Words that my husband is willing to let me die for.

Words that ultimately mean nothing.

He doesn’t even want to grow old in this house. He talks frequently about moving elsewhere.

Our tile guy swore up and down that he would start for real yesterday. He didn’t.

This will never get better.

I had a pretty good weekend that seems to have alleviated my PTSD crazies. We went on a little drive that got me out of the box and surrounded by new sights for awhile, which felt really good. On Sunday I talked to our bishop again, and in the evening I visited one of my friends and her new baby. My little guy seemed  huge in comparison.

My bishop still thinks that I would benefit from therapy. I’m at a complete loss on how to rewire my brain and get it out of trauma mode. I have found meaning and purpose in what I went through, but getting out of it is still beyond my reach.

Today I cleaned the house up, my reflection of my mental state.

My cousin ran away. He got tired of his life, up and left without a word, and is currently living in his car. My Facebook has been buzzing about him all week.

Seeing the same people, who coldly told me that I deserved all the misery I went through while I was homeless, talk endlessly about sending love and prayers towards him has really shredded my insides. I guess it’s because this happened on top of everything else, but I wound up feeling so sick I nearly fainted.

I keep asking the agonizing question, Why don’t they love me? 

They actively went out of their way to tell me that I deserved to suffer, and I don’t know why. Sometimes it seems like the only way to gain their approval is to get a divorce and start doing drugs, like my cousin.

Homelessness damaged me so badly that I’m still having nightmares and navigating triggers, still struggling to maintain simple routines and basic friendships.

And not one single family member ever sent a prayer my way during those two years.

I left the family group on Facebook. I can’t handle it. I joined because I thought that I shouldn’t hold grudges, but this is way beyond that. This pain isn’t going to go away with positive thinking and forgiveness.

Coquette

For years now, my husband has occasionally commented that there is a range of feminine behaviors that I never approach or utilize. I never understood what he meant until recently when I watched our toddler sucker him into picking her up, after he had said that he wouldn’t because his arms were too sore. It dawned on me that our two-year-old was naturally using the fact that she was a cute little girl to wrap her daddy around her finger, and I’ve never even used a “pretty please.”

I never do any of the stereotypical preening behaviors, like playing with my hair or drawing attention to my face and neck. My instincts are more towards hiding cleavage, rather than augmenting it. My body language marks me as unavailable, even with my husband.

When I tried to visualize myself acting coquettish, it triggered my sense of danger and I recoiled from the thought with the fear of getting hurt.

I realized how my behavior while interacting with others, uncharacteristically masculine and bordering on brusk, had been an influencing factor in me getting bullied in high school. While it doesn’t excuse what happened, I can understand why those boys acted the way they did.

I can see how acting coquettish will smooth away some of the friction in my marriage, but the sense of danger is paralyzing. I can’t stop the feeling that I’ll end up forced into something I don’t want.

Hand of God

A year ago I had the reoccurring thought that if someone came out of the woodwork and confessed to sexually abusing me as a child, how would I respond? Would it end everything that I thought about myself?

I don’t have any memories, and no one has confessed to anything, but bit by bit I’ve been researching the idea. Lists of the effects resonate with me, and some of the things that I’ve told my husband about my childhood have convinced him that it probably did happen. Irregardless of what I don’t remember, we’ve decided to proceed as if it was a certainty for the sake of healing a number of my broken pieces.

Its feels oddly liberating. I wonder if instead I’m supposed to feel angry, write poetry, and draw pictures about lost innocence, but I just don’t feel it in me. It’s an answer to the heartbreaking question, “Why am I not normal?” that I’ve been asking all my life, the realization that I wasn’t simply born defective. Maybe seven years ago I would have reacted with pain and anger, but I have grown enormously in the past seven years; I have grown enormously in just the past year.

Instead I see the hand of God guiding me to become something more than average, filling me with unbreakable strength, and teaching my heart compassion. The debt incurred against me has already been paid in full, and while a number of symptoms may be my life-long companions, I am not meant to be damaged forever.

And if I have forgotten what has happened to me, then it is a tender mercy to protect me from bearing more than I can handle through the course of this difficult life of mine.

Mother’s Day

I wish that Mother’s Day had gone better for me, but it wound up being an odd day. Church was uncomfortable. A couple of people expressed views that contradicted the scripture, leaving me with a dark and yucky feeling. At the end all the women got together to eat cake and chat, which hit hard with how socially alienated I’ve been feeling lately. The cherry on top was when one woman in particular kept repeating that motherhood was hard no matter how many times I told her that I really loved it. I don’t know what sort of screwed up notions she had that made her think it was okay to say those sorts of things to a woman with a three-month-old baby anyway. Was she trying to give me postpartum depression?

Then I tried making a special dinner for myself, and was so off kilter that it turned out terribly.

My husband did give me a nice long massage at the end of the day.