What was I thinking? Really - what was I thinking? Did I expect that I would just tell my truth and then everything would be all better? We all came together as a community for Tamara's project and it was so awesome to know we weren't alone. But...
But the Father of Lies...he was not happy with us trying to walk down the path of healing together...or at least he sure didn't want me on that path... So in the midst of trying to heal and hear God's voice, I end up in the middle of spiritual warfare. This is what makes me not want to tell my truth sometimes. I know - I know - that the attack is going to come. The lies are going to start pouring into my head. And I think, maybe if I sit really still and don't say anything, he will leave me alone. He might, you know. But then I will have been immobilized. Isn't that what the enemy wants?
As I read the essays in the Community Collection, the little voices started. "You thought you told your truth, Carolyn? Well what about..." "Did you forget exactly how soiled you really are? What do you think this will accomplish?" Faces started to flash in my mind. Faces of ones I had tried to forget. Faces of the ones that I still try to protect and say that it was all my fault. Faces of the ones who are Facebook friends so I stay silent for fear of an attack. It's so easy to tell myself that since I had a part in it that I should just take the full blame. I gave away my innocence and gained culpability. It's so easy to believe the lies.
Emmanuel - God With Us - where are you? He's lying to me again and I need to hear Your voice.
As I read the essays, I watched people call out the thieves that try to steal worth. Can you do that? Instead of just saying I sinned because I believed these lies... I can call out those who told the lies? Those who put more on me or took more from me than they should? I can hold them to account for their part?
El Shaddai - The All Sufficient God - where are you? I cannot stand up to this alone and I need Your strength.
El Roi - The God Who Sees Me - are you watching this? I am in the midst of battle and I need you to be my rear guard.
What was I thinking? I believed we would all tell our stories and it would be done. I wanted it to be an event, not a process. How much more time do I need to spend on this battlefield? I know somewhere in my mind that God is stronger than my memories, but I don't feel it. Lord, have mercy on me.
So if there is more work to be done, lollygagging around ain't going to cut it. Let's kick this pig.
1. Mr. Perpetrator, memories from when I was 3 or 4 years old are spotty. But I do know that telling me that I had to take off all of my clothes and lay by your naked body if I was going to watch my favorite television show was wrong. I don't remember much else that happened that night before I calmly put my clothes back on and left the room. But crossing that boundary and forever damaging my ability to relate to men on anything but a sexual level - that was a crime. I will continue to work on forgiveness, but I will not continue to act like it was not wrong.
2. Calvin, yes, I have worked hard for my sobriety. Every day that I don't take a drink is a blessing. However, me having sex with you and then washing your dishes is not going to get YOU sober. It doesn't "rub off". (Yes, he really told me that.) If you drink and drug yourself to death, I will be sad, but I will not be responsible.
3. JQ, no, I did not know that you wanted me to forge your signature on your divorce papers so that you didn't have to deal with it. I thought - since you gave me a ring and were helping me plan our wedding - that you had signed them and sent them back. Having to cancel our wedding six weeks before it was supposed to happen because you were STILL MARRIED was humiliating. I felt devalued beyond my ability to express it. Putting it off on me because the papers were not signed was wrong, hurtful, disrespectful, and quite a few other negative things that I can't think of right now. Dashing her dreams like that steals a woman's worth in so many ways. PS. That dress sure was pretty. Too bad I didn't get to walk down the aisle in it.
4. To several of you - no, it was not okay for you to continually try to expose me to pornography that I just did not want to see. To self - I'm sorry that I let you get worn down and exposed you to demeaning, hurtful images.
5. Dude whose name I cannot remember - when I dye my hair it is NOT okay for you to ask me if "the carpet matches the curtains". If your wife had been standing there, would you have been so crude to me? What were you thinking? Geez.
6. Dear Police Officer Who Thankfully Did Not Arrest Me For Having Sex In Public, let me answer your question: No, he obviously does not respect me enough to spend $30 on a motel room. Did you think this was happening because I have a fetish for bucket seats?
7. Man Whom I Love But Am Not In Love With, just because we knew that we were not really meant to be a couple in the romantic sense, telling me after we have just had sex, "you're pretty but I want somebody who is captivating" is still hurtful. Work on that, okay?
8. Curtis, there are no words to describe the mess that we made, but it was OUR mess, not just my mess. Got it?
9. Kurt, I really didn't mind folding your clothes in exchange for you polishing my shoes. But pointing out that I am nice enough to have sex with but not good enough to marry was probably a comment I could have done without. Since you were going to go to medical school, I am hoping beyond hope that you have worked on improving your bedside manner.
10. G- it was very nice of you to take pictures of me for me to send to my boyfriend who was overseas at the time. I appreciate that you are an accomplished photographer. Walking over and opening my shirt to expose my breasts and starting to take pictures while I was still in shock was wrong. We did not agree that because you were doing me a favor that you got to get your jollies out of it. I look back now and see that you actually tried to groom young women to do stuff like this and more. I wish I had something more coherent to say here but the only thing that comes to mind is "despicable".
11. Lesley - never again will I apologize for calling Child Protective Services after you admitted to molesting your son. He confirmed it. We later found out that you had also molested E. It was wrong. You can cry. You can take too many of the kind of pills that hurt you but don't kill you. You can cut yourself in front of me. I'm done feeling any type of remorse for trying to protect those children. I'm done with you treating me like I am the bad guy in all of this. I'm done letting my mind that has been trained over too many years to be a victim tell me that I was the bad guy. Enough.
12. Dear Dr Whats-His-Name from the Bible Department at LCU - NO, it is not a sin for a woman to pray out loud in front of a man. We were praying for the spiritual health of those who were teaching us. We had asked many of the male students there to participate and they all said no. Guess LCU wasn't really raising up many men as prayer warriors or something. The fact that we were willing (Tara and I) when nobody else was is actually kind of sad considering the amount of people there. But the point is we said, "Here I am, Lord. Send me" and you sent us back.
Done. For now. Till God tells me there is even more work to be done. Father of Lies, slink back to your little hole. You cannot steal my truth from me any longer.
Oh Lord, please, please let me see my worth in You and not look to others - imperfect humans - for my identity. There are those who would steal it and others who just don't know how to protect it. Help those of us who have been blessed to meet in this little internet community to continue to lift each other up and reflect to each other the image of You. Thank You so much for the shed Blood of the Lamb that has washed us clean. Amen.
I was really hoping this would just be an event and not a process. What was I thinking?
* To see other Hebrew names for God, you can go here.