Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Why, as I got older, did I not ask my father for his version of these events? Now that he is dead, it is easy to wish that I had asked. And yet I know why I did not. I did not want to live again in the great pain I had felt in the old house that night when he had wept so helplessly with Grandma and Grandpa. I did not want to be with him in the presence of that pain where only it and we existed.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
The female world turned on an axis held at one pole by Aunt Judith and at the other by Minnie Branch--Aunt Judith, with her bred-in dependency, her sometimes helplessness, ill with fright and self-regard, childless and forever needy; and Minnie, who was fearless, capable, hardy, fecund, unabashed, without apology or appeal. Minnie could cook and keep house for what amounted to a small hotel, split firewood, butcher a hog, raise a garden, work in the field, shoot a fox, set a hen or wring her neck.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I knew I was doing this. I saw it happening before I even realized I was depressed. It seemed like a reasonable response to the stress in my life. As I began to feel overwhelmed by my family’s needs my circle of concern quickly shrank. I stopped trying to get involved at our new church. I stopped calling friends to check in. I avoided situations where I’d meet new people.
One day I was in the downstairs playroom with my kids and realized I was purposely hiding from the world. I dreaded leaving the house. I felt like I couldn’t handle questions or attention from other people. I think I was struggling for some control over a situation that had spun quickly, wildly out of my grasp.
Though I am much better now I still have to coach myself into social situations and often feel spent afterwards. The phone is most difficult for me. I’d rather be face-to-face or communicate in writing than talk on the phone. I imagine it has to do with the difficulty of deciphering interpersonal cues on the phone without the benefit of body language and context.
A few weeks ago I had plans to meet a friend out for the evening and had to call at the last minute to cancel. I don’t remember what preceded it, but I was terrified about leaving the house and navigating a lively evening out. I called her in tears. It was embarrassing to admit I couldn’t leave my house. I spent the rest of the evening on the couch under a heavy blanket.
I have come to believe that the way sr pastor treated my husband was abusive. We often described it as working with a terrorist -- there was no pattern or predictability to his “attacks” except that there was always another one coming sometime.
Being abused disrupts a person’s sense that the world is basically safe. I became persistently, sometimes intensely, fearful of being with other people. I came to expect to be rejected.
Personal rejection seemed ok back when I thought most people liked me, but the constant flow of judgment, disapproval, anger, and punishment from sr. pastor to Husband (and by extension, me, as much of this related to our family) made me to feel that rejection was normal and acceptance rare.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
God pointed out something distressing to me today. I write down some of the people I want to remember to pray for and all of them are people who do not live in my house. I neglect to ask God’s blessing on the people closest to me! It’s shameful.
The reason for the omission was immediately clear to me. Every intercessory prayer on my list is a person or situation over which I am sure I have no control - people who are sick or grieving, or who are on the periphery of my life such that I care about them but have no influence over them.
My family, however, is *my* responsibility. I take care of my kids and participate in the important aspects of my husband’s life. If something is not right with one of them, I take steps to make it better.
The layers of my illusion that I have control are stunning. I’ve written down the names of my kids and my husband because it seems I need to be reminded that God is responsible for them and He’s invited me to express His care and love for them.