Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jesus Hates Me, This I Know

Everything that worked in my favor was God pulling strings for me, and everything that worked against me was a result of my own sin. If life was good, God did it; if life was bad, I did it. That's what Christian theology taught me. God is good, right? "Every good and perfect gift comes from above" James 1:17 or Romans 8:28 which says "for those who love God, all things work together for good." So anything good was God helping me out. Anything bad was my fault, but God was *going* to use it for my good - eventually. "This too shall pass" and all that.

And you know what? It wasn't helpful. I'm dealing with a spot of depression right now, which was triggered by writing about my ex-husband yesterday morning, and really kicked in about 12 hours ago. It's easier for me to break out of black and white thinking now, and immensely easier to tell the guilt-tripping voices in my head to shut the hell up. It is hard sometimes, when thinking about my history of abuse, not to go back to that Christian space of thinking I somehow deserved it. I will never understand how people can say that religion helps people, or makes them feel good. I can't identify with that particular experience. Sure there were individual moments were faith in god, or thinking he loved me helped for a time. But more often than not, I would look at my struggles and think, "God doesn't love me."

My sister was never beaten, never raped, and never told to be more like me. I just thought God loved her more than he loved me. (Now I know that was just my family that loved her more.) Now it's something wrong with them, not something wrong with me. The reason I couldn't hear from god wasn't because I was broken or evil or wretched, but because he was never real.

I have a habit of hearing encouragement as silencing, because so often those platittudes, those "this too shall passs" statements are in some way an attempt to say "Stop whining." At least they were when my family said them. But now that I don't believe in an all-powerful all-loving god who is letting me suffer for some reason, I don't have to believe it's because I've done something horrible to deserve whatever pain I am bearing. It's just that life isn't fair. Somehow that's an easier pill to swallow.

I'm getting a referral through a government program through the kid's school social worker, so hopefully they can work things out to sign a 6 month or 12 month contract with a local mental health corporation. If they do that, my therapy and meds for a while will be covered. I told the guy yesterday, "I'd rather do nothing than go back on meds just to have the funding yanked away from me again. I've done that 5 times." Fingers crossed in superstition or prayers lifted to heaven? No. I can't exactly say I have hope this will work, but I am not doing so badly I am convinced this won't get better. I don't think it will pass on its own, but I'm hoping someone will be able to help me actually deal with this stuff, so maybe I really can put it all behind me. It's damn hard to write this memoir, and stir up all these painful memories, without the help I need to process it safely.

Suicidal thoughts are scary, no matter how fleeting, because when things hurt so much, it's hard to believe they'll get better. It's hard to believe I don't deserve it. It's frustrating to feel like I've done almost nothing of value and i'm a screw up this far into things. I feel like I'm so far behind where I wanted to be and sometimes it's hard to believe I'll ever catch up. I feel like I am failing at being a grown up. But honesty is worth everything to me, so here's the naked truth once again. I am trying to believe that if people really know me, that won't make them stop loving me. Maybe the way they see me will help me learn to love myself.

More than Jesus ever did, that's for damn sure.