“The thing about people being supportive is they really have no idea what I have gone through this past year. They think it is really just about my health. I have had the longest year ever, and I have tried to just keep going.”
“And that is a real testament to who you are. You’ve been here, you have made it through.”
This conversation took place with my ‘boss’ – a man who has become my friend, my pastor, my confidante. He has been through every up and down I have encountered over the last five years. He has supported me as I have shuffled through this insane life. I had no choice but to share my real life with him as it affected my real job. You never want to bring work home, or bring home to work. Unfortunately, the two have crossed and I have had to bring both through the threshold that once separated them.
Honestly, I have always been able to ‘keep going’. I acquired this skill at a young age. Abused as a young child, I acquired many skills I never should have known. Surviving was probably the most defined skill. The rest falls under that. I had to learn to survive as I physically shut down. I had to survive, as I was emotionally tortured. I had to survive my own self-talk into negativity. My mental health survival was dependent on one thing, to keep going.
As I consider that today, I am running through a gamut of emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Deep inside, locked up tight, parts of me remain. The hurt has overcome. While the tears refuse to flow, the well remains full. Disappointment filters through my soul as anger, pain, fear, and many other feelings. I refuse to let them roam beyond my inner being. It will do no good, and I just do not have time. I have too many responsibilities and refuse to let others down.
This too is reminiscent of my childhood. As an abused child, I stayed locked behind the bars my abuser erected for the keeping. I held on tight to those bars in hopes they would protect me. Their true purpose was to contain me. The darkness I felt then, I feel now. Is it possible I am in the same place? Is it possible that life has repeated itself within a different set of circumstances? Is it possible I am living in the realm of ‘keep going’ just to please everyone else around me?
Moving forward, there is much to consider. I am not the same locked up victim I was then. I have to consider the freedom Christ gave. I am not mentally broken, or imprisoned. I dictate who I am, what I am, and for whom I live. I am not a puppet, a slave, or his prisoner. No. I am HIS daughter. I have taken my place in the line of royalty. I have moved beyond that little lost girl. There is more in me than fear. Even if it hurts to take each step forward, I will abide in Christ. My step is His step. When I cannot keep going, He will carry me. He always has. No one can take that away from me. Not the evil stepfather or the broken child I chase. Their actions will never dictate who I am.
Held in peace, I am strong, even when being thrown by chaos.
Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
..fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.