Monday’s session……..I’m not sure where to start. We talked about church, Easter and God, Jesus and forgiveness. We talked about the abortion. We talked about my teen self and my belief in God, we talked about when the last time was that I felt my faith was a part of my life, that I felt God was there. We talked about finding our beliefs being important. I said that they only way to find my faith again would be to work through and fix a lot, before I can even talk religion. I explained that I don’t believe there is one way to worship or believe, that there are religions all over the world and what they have in common is that they have God.
I was pushing down tears for most of the session, but managed to keep them locked up. Easter makes me sad. I couldn’t access my feelings during session, I haven’t wanted to think or feel since the out of control weekend. It hasn’t seemed safe to feel, and as long as I don’t think and stay busy and distracted, I’m okay. I don’t have to feel. But something happened today (I might write about that later, but it’s a different post), and all the feelings are back.
And Easter makes me sad. It reminds me of a time when I believed my sins were erased, forgiven. It reminds me of times after, when I would pray and pray for forgiveness. It reminds me of believing and having faith that Jesus rose and saved us all. It reminds me of church camp activities, of nailing your sins to the cross on the hill at camp and knowing they were forgiven. It reminds me of safety and of feeling cared for. I never thought about it until it was pointed out, but camp was a very safe place. I felt loved there; so much love. And peaceful, safe. I think I imagined heaven would be like that. That’s how wonderful I felt when I was surrounded by my church family. I remember sitting up one night, in the chapel. I’d had a bad dream, and we had snuck out to the chapel to sit. Jill, Dianna, Colleen, and Heather. The sat with me. And pastor Chris found us. Instead of getting mad, instead of making us feel bad and guilty for sneaking out, he asked why. And then he sat with us, and prayed and we sang my two favorite songs. Rest easy, amazing grace. And then, of course, lean on me. After that, we had permission to go to chapel at night.
There is a lot of loss when I think about church. There are good feelings, safe and loved. But also a lot of pain. It’s hard to talk about because it’s all tied up with my teen years, messy. And maybe church youth group was my safest place during that time, but there was also a lot of pain. Pain because after that sex Ed class, I knew what was happening, and I knew I was bad. So while I kept asking forgiveness, I never felt forgiven. And I was so convinced I was going to hell. Which meant losing all the good things I had with church, my safe place. So it hurt. But, there was a part of me that still believed being forgiven wasn’t beyond all hope. So I went to church, I prayed, I sought forgiveness. I think if someone had asked me what I had done that was so bad, I wouldn’t really have had an answer, even for myself. I had pushed it all so far away, it was like it didn’t really exist. It was like that was another life, another girl, not me. So, I just felt bad, wrong, tainted, guilty, full of sin, unforgivable.
And then, having that abortion was the final nail in the coffin. There’s no coming back from that. There’s no forgiveness in that. I gave up church after that. I don’t know. That’s a time when things are very blurred together and choppy. It was an out of control awful time. And again, that time period feels like it was a different life, not me. I think that is partly why it is hard to talk about the teen years (I think of the teen as ages 13-maybe 21, 22). I don’t have really clear memories. I have choppy pieces and blurred together events, impressions, and lots of emotion. The emotion is maybe the most clear.
The little girl part may have Kenny memories, and hold fear and beliefs that are unhelpful in my current life, and she may be the scared, frozen, needy part but the teen part holds a lot of the pain. She has all the hurts and failures and bad things and hatred of herself, and fears of needing other people. She has so much of the hurt, it’s hard to go there. And she is very protective of the little girl.
So. The teen is sort of running things lately, it’s between her and miss perfect. It’s usually the teen in my head, and miss perfect on the outside. It’s like I’ve yet again gone backwards and am back to where I started. I don’t know.
One part of our conversation on Monday sticks out to me. We were talking about God, and Jesus. Bea said Jesus came to save everyone and he hung out with the people in society that we considered bad– prostitutes, lepers, ext. She said that he loved even those who were considered bad. I told her I know that, and that I believe….or rather, the God of my faith is forgiving, not cold and punishing; my God is about love and forgiveness. She said that she thought some part of me must still believe I’m redeemable, that God can forgive me, and that is why church talk brings up so many conflicting messy feelings.
Then, she said that she believes there is a part of me– of all of us who have been abused– that knows it was wrong and that we didn’t deserve it. She said that of course she has always been supportive of my feelings, but had never seen any of it as my fault; pointing out why, telling me it wasn’t my fault, that I’m not bad, ext, but that she believes if she, or anyone else, took the stance of it being my fault, and agreed with me, that I was bad, a part of me would become very indignant and stand up for me, because a part of me knows I did not ask for any of this. I know she said more, and it had to be about this and maybe God and church but I couldn’t listen. I went very far away. I don’t remember leaving, or even driving home.
What I heard was: I’m tired of having to tell you it’s not your fault. I’m tired of listening to you whine about being bad. I’m tired of having to play this part of supportive therapist. I’m tired of pretending to believe it’s not your fault. It is your fault. You did a bad thing, and I’m tired of saying otherwise.
I just can’t do this anymore. It all hurts too much. I’m thinking of calling around and finding Kat a new therapist and quitting. Because the thing that keeps me from quitting is that I would still have to bring Kat on Fridays and it would be too hard. I don’t know. I’m tired of hurting, and I’m tired of feeling so alone.