Thursday, September 15, 2016
Imagine with me...
You're in a relationship with Someone. You spend time with them, sometimes four or five times a day, hours at a time. Sometimes your interactions are simple. Sometimes they're deep and complex, leaving you deeply satisfied down to your soul. Their existence keeps you going. They've been around your entire life. Your parents, grandparents, spouse, friends, and family, all share the same relationship with Someone. It's easy to love Someone who treats you so well and keeps you alive.
Now imagine that Someone starts hurting you, destroying you from the inside out. At first you tell yourself it isn't that Someone. It's someone else, anyone else, because Someone is in every part of your life to an extent. But then eventually you realize you can no longer ignore the painful destruction. Some days you can't get out of bed because of your interaction with Someone. Tears overtake you in waves because the pain is too much. You begin changing how you see them because you're tired of being hurt. You still have to interact with Someone though, even briefly, every single day because they are everywhere. There's no safety, even at home. There's safer, but nowhere completely safe from Someone. You reduce your interactions, as much as possible, but Someone keeps sneaking back in because you forgot to check every single door, window, air vent, pipe, crack, and crevice, then realizing you have to continually check those things... over and over and over... because Someone keeps changing the game. Thinking about your interactions causes anxiety because you just want to not be hurt anymore. Just once, maybe. You don't want another mark on your face, another punch in the gut, another kick to the groin. Remembering the repeated pain causes you depression. Before every interaction, there's a cycle of questions. How much am I already hurting from Someone? How much did they hurt me last time we interacted that way? Remember, you have to interact with Someone or you will die. So you start constantly weighing with a scale in your mind that is all yours to see and carry. Nobody else sees the pain quite the way you do because they're not inside your body or inside your head. Loved ones try, but Someone doesn't hurt them the way he/she hurts you. Someone tells you they think you're crazy, that you're all alone, even while your loved ones tell you otherwise. Remember, you've been around Someone more times than any of your loved ones, so Someone's words seem truer in your damaged soul. You're constantly exhausted from how quickly your mind has to move, always aware of Someone's location and where he/she might decide to sneak in this time. You look around and very rarely, but occasionally, you hear someone call out from their own painful interactions, "I hear you. I see you. I get it. You're not alone. Don't believe Someone when they lie to you that way. This isn't your fault. This is all Someone's fault." They're living through their own hell though, trying to figure out how to escape the control of Someone and the physical and emotional damage that has wreaked havoc on their bodies, hearts, and souls.
For me... Someone is food. Food allergies. Food sensitivities. Food. The very thing that is needed to keep me alive is trying to kill me. My loved ones are incredibly patient with me, but they don't have to live in this hell I didn't create. They hold my hands, they wipe my tears, they listen to my pain, but they can't take it away. They can't make it stop. I didn't ask for this. I don't want this. It's been a lifelong battle, even though it has only recently gotten named. I'm constantly begging God to take away my food issues or take me home to be with Him. There has never been anything more isolating in my entire life. I keep hearing the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5, verses 7b- 9 "Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." So, while Satan keeps trying to attack me, to keep me home, in my safest place, I'm going to keep cutting off the chains he's shackling me with while I can. I'm going to keep going out and doing the things God has called me to do- LOVE PEOPLE. I will put on the smile, through the pain, when I can. I will laugh. I will cry. I will pray about my attitude when someone cracks jokes about all the things I can't eat, knowing that most people just don't know how to deal with allergies of my level. I will keep asking those around me to do what they can to keep me safe, by reducing the allergens they bring to me. I will keep asking God to take this away, every single day, until the day He does finally call me home. And when I get there, there'd better be homebaked corn bread with extra butter and honey and a big old cherry pie a la mode.