Under Shiny Plastic Steeples

(Stained Glass Masquerade – Casting Crowns)

I recently saw on facebook one of those type this into a text message and pressing only the middle predictive text, finish the sentence things. So, this one started “I couldn’t live without.” My phone finished that sentence with “my knowledge.” That seemed super stupid at first, but after further thought, I think there are aspects of that sentence that might be true. One of my strengths finders strengths as a first year in college was input. In their words, collection and gathering of all kinds of information is important, or in my words, I am a ferocious consumer of information. I have a need to know things and I would have a very difficult time if I wasn’t able to obtain knowledge. So I guess all that to say, I know cognitively that it is okay, and even good, to cry. But I’ve noticed that even when I am completely alone and there is no reason I shouldn’t cry, I still hold in the tears. I think there are a lot of reasons. One is definitely the abuse and fallout I experienced.

 

When I was a third year, the abuse was very obviously worse if I showed any negative emotion. Like it says in the book “Scattered” by Gabor Mate, “conditioned fear learning is particularly resilient…and in fact may represent an indelible form of learning.” So I learned that showing emotion, particularly negative emotion, was dangerous. Once this has been learned, it is quite difficult to unlearn, especially when it was compounded over the next few years. In September, I had to sign that I would not tell anyone what had happened or was happening, including not being able to tell them that I wasn’t allowed to tell them. There is only so much the deer in the headlights look can get you out of. I knew if I was caught crying or otherwise visibly upset, I was likely to be asked what was going on. I couldn’t tell unless I was willing to risk losing my student-hood at least temporarily while the legality of the contract was investigated. I couldn’t truthfully say or acknowledge that I didn’t want to talk about it, because I did want to talk about it. I needed to talk about it, but it wasn’t safe. If anything slipped, there was a direct threat to my security. Sure, at times there were things it would have been reasonable to blame the upset on, but I am truthful to a fault, and if it wasn’t the primary problem I was going to have a hard time using it to cover up the real problem. I’m not saying the sparsity of my tears compared to the depth of my pain this year at not getting a residency was completely my abuser and my school’s fault – it wasn’t and isn’t. Although that is a strong contributor, even before that happened I was someone who was fiercely protective of people and therefore want to avoid burdening them with my issues. Even before that happened, and probably more before than after, I wanted to avoid too much attention on myself. I don’t like being in the limelight, and am much happier working hard behind the scenes.

 

Fear learning explains a lot of things that I wish could just go away.

 

Another concept from Scattered that I thought was interesting was that memories of something happening are stored in our cognition, but memories of nothing happening when something should have are more often stored in our bodies. These implicit memories cause us to feel things that more correctly belong to the past which is why we might not understand our own behavior, reactions, and emotions until we understand the memories we have been storing in our bodies and move those memories into our cognition…just something to think about…I think about a lot of things…like someone I saw on youtube talking about milk and cookies. Her explanation of how bad milk and cookies are made no sense biologically – she explained that milk cause the stomach contents to be too acidic which causes problems. I was only half listening at the time, so I couldn’t put a finger on why that seemed so dumb, until I realized that milk is a base, not an acid. The thing is though, that when the stomach becomes too basic, LES pressure decreases which allows stomach contents to come in contact with the esophagus. Too basic for the stomach is a bit dependent upon age, but in an adult, the stomach pH is usually between 1 and 3. Too basic could be like a 4, which is still quite acidic (to brush up on your chemistry, a pH of 7 is neutral, milk is an 8 or 9). So even the too basic stomach contents is much more acidic than the esophagus is intended to experience for prolonged contact times. That can cause erosion of esophageal tissue which can lead to inflammation. So the person on youtube got the end result correct: inflammation, but the whole series of events to get there was completely wrong, as was the location of the inflammation.

 

This is pretty unrelated, but I recently discovered the facebook feature that lets you see what you posted on today in the past years. Looking back is kind of cringe-y and embarrassing. Umm, apparently as a high schooler I sometimes posted like 5 or more status updates in the same day…compared to now where it is quite rare there are even five or more posts in the same week or sometimes even month, much less the same day. Yeah, once in a while there might be two posts the same day, but it certainly is not common now. Also, it is super obvious that I used written words where my spoken words failed me, which is to say if you didn’t know how I used facebook at the time, it looked like an extreme case of overshare. What you don’t know, is that I said very close to zero words out loud at the time. My primary spoken vocabulary was hi and my name. This was supplemented for in person communication with nods, headshakes, and, well, writing. When writing is your only means of communication, you naturally are going to share a lot more. This is also why I was pretty selective as to which friend requests I would accept…and it is also why it is/was so devastating for someone to block me on facebook. Blocking me on facebook is essentially blocking me from relationship with you. Imagine if someone quickly walked away if it appeared you may speak, and refused to speak with you around. It would feel isolating, wouldn’t it? So anyway, I was looking through the list of posts, and thought today’s were a pretty good representation of me.

 

1 YEAR AGO

…yes I am wearing a soggy t-shirt…it may not occurred to me that if I wanted to wear my back-up pajamas as real clothes I might need to wash the shirt before this morning so that it didn’t smell like pajamas…oops…there are certainly worse things than a soggy t-shirt…lol, like I could call it moist…how many people hate the word moist?!

 

Umm yeah, a year ago at 6:07am I was sitting in my car in my soggy pajamas thankful that the staff wifi reached the street, because I had the ability to show up, but was struggling with the ability to let anyone know I was there. Actually, I used the staff wifi from my car a lot that year, because I desperately needed community, and being right there almost at church was super helpful, but I didn’t really have enough social confidence to actually *be* there, so I’d come, but not actually necessarily leave my car, or if I did leave my car I didn’t actually go inside – just as far as sitting under a tree on the median, or on the curb of the median.

 

2 YEARS AGO

Today if I were going to write an autobiography it would be titiled ppl respond to emails faster when you hit send…

 

Yep, as always, I struggle enough even with written communication at times that by the time I have written the email, I have thought about it so much that I can’t remember whether I’ve actually sent it…and sending it is also hard, so I might have thought about sending it once it was written every day for the past month, which does not help elicit a response any faster…see also why things become emergencies when I’ve had forever to figure them out…

 

3 YEARS AGO

knew I was forgetting a major food group when I bought my lunch today but couldn’t figure out what it was…I had the dessert group, the fruit/veg group, the carb group…yep, it was the protein group…and this is why I usually plan meals in advance…but my juice has 4%DV of iron, and that’s kind of like protein…right?…

 

Yes, when I meal plan, I more like food group plan…which is why I end up with meals like taco meat, gold fish crackers, an apple, and ice cream. None of the foods seem like they really belong together, but I got something from each major food group so it seems like an appropriate meal to me. This post also sparked a hilarious conversation about earthworms versus sour gummy worms. I laughed at work today.

 

4 YEARS AGO

…at least if I was going to really seriously learn that I shouldn’t be attempting to travel while significantly impaired by anxiety I did it in such a way that I didn’t endanger anyone’s life…and hopefully having a real consequence is enough to finally make the lesson stick…someone asking me questions BEFORE rather than AFTER I acted would have been really nice to prevent this, but considering the other ways I could have learned this lesson, I at least found one with relatively lower stakes…

 

I guess I kind of cheated – there were really two posts along these lines, because I posted one on each account and I have two facebook accounts, but they both essentially hinted at the same thing. I was really having a hard day and asked housekeeping to cut the lock off my bike. That was a bummer, because it was an expensive high quality lock. Yeah, my key broke, but I had a few more keys at my apartment…but they didn’t question whether I was sure or what I was going to do without a bike lock until after they cut the lock off. I’m sure watching my reaction was priceless as I explained that at home I had other ke…oh crap…I can act impulsively at times, and I do have trouble with thinking things through when I am really upset. There was definitely the positive side pointed out in both posts that I could have messed up some other way and for example been run over while running a red light…

 

6 YEARS AGO

can let the help desk find out in less than 12 hours why her computer beeps and turns itself off as soon as it is unplugged…hopefully they are less confused than I am…

 

Another one where I cheated and there were actually two very similar posts…so yeah, I have always struggled with technology. In this particular instance, my computer was at like 76% battery life, but would not stay on if it wasn’t plugged in…kind of a problem since I refused at the time to plug in my laptop in classrooms because the plug in areas seemed to germy. I rarely used my computer in class, but there were certainly times when it would have been helpful or even necessary.

 

7 YEARS AGO

“She who trims herself to suit everyone will soon whittle herself away. Stay true to you!” –post-it phrase of the day

 

thinks this weather is stupid…can we please have some weather that allows me to be outside??? My bike misses me.

 

occasionally entertains herself with the call duration information on her phone…in the past 2 months she has talked (well knowing me mostly listened) on the phone (received or dialed calls including voicemail) a total of exactly 27 mins…and the number is probs going to go down now that I can avoid calls even more with texting…definitely don’t use up my share of the minutes…

 

First one: yep, I have always been one who wants everyone to be happy.

 

Second one: classic me, not I miss my bike, but my bike misses me.

 

Third: Another reference to me and my social struggles. I think 27 minutes in two months was actually above average for me, and it was primarily listening to voicemail (usually from my parents) or calling my parents for a ride or to let them know I arrived at my destination if I had driven myself. The other *maybe* one or two minutes being telemarketers and the rare occasion in which a friend called me or I called someone else. Those occasions were exceedingly rare because I would rather send an email or even go across town to talk to someone in person than to talk on the phone (and I wasn’t such a fan of talking either).

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The King of Heaven Wants Me

(Control – Tenth Avenue North)

 

I heard this lyric recently and right now I’m kinda wishy washy on if it really feels true, but it is something that I would really like to be true. It is such powerful imagery. Deep down I know that God does want me, but it just doesn’t always feel that way when life hurts.

 

But I know God is good. I know God has a plan. I know life is not my choice to make.

 

This year was better than last year. Sure, it might be a lot of learning to better control the pain. It might be that hope hadn’t totally come back and therefore the loss wasn’t as profound. It might be that I was too numb to care as much or that I had pretty much already told myself I failed…but whatever the cause, it hasn’t been as bad as last year and I am thankful. I have not had uncontrollable tears. The pain isn’t quite as crushing…and I am recovering. I am struggling, but I’m doing a lot better than last year. I’m still eating. I’m tired all day and not sleeping super well, but I am getting a lot more sleep than I was last year and I am not crying myself to sleep or waking up crying. I am definitely not drinking enough, but even without fighting myself I am not at the super dangerous stage…although between the sleep loss and dehydration, I wiped out spectacularly on Friday and I now have a really deep bruise on my knee. But all in all, compared to last year I am doing super awesome. Life is hard, but I am functioning so much better than last year.

 

I was recently reading on a blog and the person said something like life was hard so I made sure to give thanks in all situations so we could move on two level two in life lessons, but God is not player 1, I am not player 2, and He doesn’t gamble with our feelings or barter as much as I wish he would. I thought that was really insightful, and kind of frustratingly true. God and I are not playing a game in which I can choose the direction we go. He makes pretty much all the decisions, and I have to trust that what he is doing is for his glory, because it isn’t about me, it is about him.

 

Also, I really connected with the SVU episode I watched a few days ago. The victim didn’t really want to talk about what happened and didn’t want to go to trial because she thought everyone would judge her, and when the case was not going exactly as planned she was angry because before the trial she hadn’t known hope in so long that it wasn’t even real to her. The case gave her the beautiful gift of hope and she had been afraid to accept it, but had eventually been convinced of the existence of hope, and then that hope seemed to have been taken away. She was back where she was before, except this time she really had a grasp on what she did not have. All that to say, at one point, Liv was so calmly talking to her and said “because you matter, and what happened to you matters.” I loved that. I definitely need the reminder sometimes that I matter. I need to know that what happened to me isn’t something that should be completely forgotten and ignored. I am not failing by being influenced by what happened to me. What happened to me matters. A lot of what happened to me was not okay. It shouldn’t have happened, but because it did happen, it matters. There was also a time when the victim told Rollins “That’s what you think of me,” and Rollins responded “yeah, it is.” My heart broke for the girl, but I was also proud of her. She encountered the situation head on and told it like it was, then when she received the negative validation she wasn’t crushed, but instead continued to fight for herself and for understanding. Probably because of that, her and Rollins eventually could see eye to eye.

 

I have a bunch of coloring books. I have sometimes claimed I do not like coloring, but okay, you know, you get desperate enough for something to do because, for example, people will give you weird looks which in my head could end up with getting picked up by the police, if you wander around in the snow with no defined destination. I could get away with it in the pouring rain and in the heat of the summer, but with deep snow on the ground, wandering without a destination wasn’t going to work…so I tried coloring. I never really want to start coloring. I feel frustrated because I am not good at staying in the lines and I don’t have the greatest hand eye coordination and depth perception and motor planning so sometimes I color in two boxes next to each other the same color when all the other boxes got their own color. And the fact that sometimes the colors don’t turn out how I want and there isn’t a set of rules to follow to do it “right” makes it feel intimidating…but once I get started, I don’t want to stop. Once I get engaged (plus have an audiobook or a video going in the background) the hurt and pain in my life start to fade away as the colors fill the empty space on the page and in my mind. When I am coloring somehow I am no longer Wiggle Worm the girl who was abused. I am not Wiggle Worm the pharmacist frustrated with her job. I am not Wiggle Worm the stupid unwanted one who can’t do anything right. Not the one with social anxiety and OCD struggling to fit in. Not the one teased about having dyslexia and ADHD. Not any of the negative labels I have worn. Once I am drawn in, I am Wiggle Worm the resilient survivor, loved by her daddy, Jesus. I am Wiggle Worm, brave overcomer, working hard to make a place for herself when it’d be easier to give up. And you know, some of my pictures end up kind of ugly, but some of them really aren’t that bad.

 

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Also, yesterday God really showed me that he can use any situation for his plans. Y’all know how starved for community I sometimes feel…and how I really want to fall into isolation when the grief is strong. I mean, I had been trying to make comments on facebook as simple as a smiley face or the word cute and was failing, unable to use even my written words to communicate. If there weren’t words coming directly aimed at me I couldn’t respond. So clearly, although I know fighting against isolation is super important, I was failing. But I saw on facebook a $500 giveaway and somehow commenting to enter the drawing was easier than the social communication I’d been attempting, and I succeeded. Drawing on that success I saw that there was free food and an opportunity for another entry if I showed up at the store. So I did. It was a little terrifying. As soon as I walked in I was greeted by a salesperson who asked if I was okay…I suppose because, umm, normally people do not wander around in the snow to a furniture store. Some words came out of my mouth about how I was just taking a walk and thought I’d stop in because my apartment seemed to be missing something, but what that something was I didn’t really know, and with that we parted ways and I wandered around looking at the furniture. Most of the things that really caught my fancy were things I had no use for – I already have a bed and a dresser and can’t envision where in my apartment another would go without either looking weird or college dorm-like. I knew in theory that it was the smaller pieces like benches or end tables or stools that would actually complement my apartment, but my heart didn’t agree…and even if it did, I probably needed actual measurements to know what size furniture I was going to need, because I do have a tendency to rush into things full speed ahead and not realize until it is a little late that this won’t work very well…like when I tried to fit a massive entertainment center into my car one day and determined I couldn’t even lift it…but anyway, I had looked at some stuff and now life became awkward. I wasn’t exactly ready to leave yet, because I really wanted to eat something. The treats looked amazing even though my brain said absolutely not are you going to eat anything. So instead of excusing myself, I kind of awkwardly stood there in the middle of the store and had a conversation with the owners…yep, this girl who couldn’t communicate even online was now having a conversation with people who were essentially strangers. I did have to work hard to hold up my end of the conversation, and I think they were probably kind of wondering at times why this weird girl was still standing there, but somehow eventually I was eating a piece of an amazing pie and was exchanging phone numbers with one of the owners who, as it turns out, lives across the parking lot from me. I don’t really know a lot or have much experience with friendship maintenance, so I’m not sure how well a friendship with the person from the furniture store is going to work out, but I know that God gave me that glimpse of hope for a reason and I am super thankful for it. She offered to give me a ride home, but I refused. On the way home I saw someone else on the sidewalk. He tried to start a conversation, but I didn’t really understand most of what he said so I just said some words and he wandered away from me in the middle of my sentence so either I totally got it wrong as to what I was supposed to be conversing about, or he was worse at social skills than me…lol…

 

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Also, I was eating this chocolate bar for dessert today. It was really good, but it was also a lesson in patience. When I eat skittles, it doesn’t take long before I can feel my blood sugar increase. Chocolate, however, has protein and fat which greatly decrease the rate of absorption of sugars, which is why it is a very bad choice for a diabetic having a low by the way. And yes, I am aware at times of what my blood sugar is doing. So while this chocolate tastes awesome, I can’t actually feel the effects of eating it right away, which is a lesson in delayed gratification. Not sure I prefer learning lessons via dessert, but considering that I have been out of skittles for quite some time and that I probably do have the most motivation for learning when food is involved, I suppose it makes sense…

 

And I feel frustrated because church is my opportunity for community and it was cancelled today and work doesn’t usually feel like community to me, but you know what, I need to rely on God, not on my friends, and it gave me an opportunity to start working on things I’ve been meaning to do since I moved in…or at least think about doing things. For example, one of the areas that was visually disgusting when I moved in was the area next to the door. The vacuum couldn’t reach that area well enough to pick up all the crud, and I just hadn’t had enough motivation yet to deal with it, and now that my OCD is reasonably controlled, there wasn’t really much way that area my feet would never step was going to trigger me enough to get it clean. And TBH, it still isn’t completely clean, but it is a lot cleaner than it was. Actually, it was pretty disgusting to see the amount of mud caked onto the bottom of my bucket by the time I gave up. There are still plenty of things I don’t really know how to clean, like the construction glue on the windows and the glob of woodworking glue on the kitchen counter…and things I just don’t feel like dealing with yet like the more stubborn paint spots on the bathroom floor and shower, but little by little I will have a clean apartment.

Don’t think I don’t care

(Don’t Even Try – Children 18:3)

I crave community, but when life is hard, my instinct is to become more hermit-like and reaching out is the last thing I want to do.

I was told over and over, mostly 3rd year that I would never make it. No one would want me. I couldn’t be a pharmacist. I wasn’t good enough and wasn’t worth it. I worked really hard in attempt to unlearn those lies. When I failed to match on March 17th last year, not only did my dreams die among many other things, but in my grief, those lies became truth. This was further compounded when I failed again on April 12, 2017, and then in the scramble. It was the same each time “you are an outstanding candidate” and “we are so thrilled you are interested in our program.” Followed by rejection.

I wasn’t going to try again this year – I didn’t want to let down the job I have now, it didn’t seem possible to hold a job and interview, and really, I was still struggling with last year’s failure and was afraid of failing again.

Somehow I got the crazy idea to apply again this year in phase 2. I was thrilled with the possibility…alternating with telling myself how much I’d hate the job as a way of trying to avoid hope so if I failed again it wouldn’t hurt so much. And I pretended I didn’t care what the outcome was. And then I failed again on April 12, 2018. I pretended it didn’t matter that much, but it did. It does. I’ve learned to act strong, but inside I just hurt so bad and don’t know how to make it stop. I don’t understand why God lets it hurt so bad. I don’t understand why he refuses to take me home. If my eternal daddy really cares why won’t he let me come home? My earthly daddy loves having me at home. Why doesn’t my eternal daddy want me? Why am I not even good enough for the God who loves the rejects, outcasts, and beggars?

So this post is me using everything I have in me right now to not shut down and shut out the world. This is mostly for my friends I actually know in real life (sorry). I am trying to learn to reach out and appropriately request help instead of drowning in silence not letting anyone close enough to notice. I tried to create a Lotsa Helping Hands community but couldn’t figure out how to make it work how I wanted it to work. So…A network of community surrounding me is the best way to help me heal. Last year I asked for but didn’t actually have the energy to set up regular texts. It doesn’t need to be much – just a simply smiley face texted to me would mean a lot. I just need a connection to the world. Because go big or go home, I am requesting one text a day for the next month. If more than one person texts me in the same day, no big deal, the more the merrier. If I don’t get a text some days, also no big deal, I don’t want to impose on anyone. All that to say, it might seem lame, but the two characters it takes to type a smiley face is something I would really appreciate. Thank you in advance if you are willing to participate. I seriously wouldn’t be who I am today without the support of the amazing people God placed in my life.

And I’m falling apart at the seams

(Have Your Way – Britt Nicole)

 

Yesterday (or at least it was yesterday when I started writing this…IDK how long it’ll have been when I finish the post and hit publish…) my facebook memories reminded me that not too long ago I was 399 days away from graduation and was bouncing out of my seat excited about it.

 

So much can happen in a year. A year later, I was fighting to hold my life together as I was falling apart at the seams. I didn’t really care so much about graduation anymore, because I had bigger things to worry about, and I mean the actual process of graduating wasn’t something I actually wanted to do either way, the part I wanted was the freedom of no longer being bound by that stupid not even valid contract. When my world came crashing down around me, I no longer had much to which to look forward. Graduating meant facing the fact that I either had a job I really didn’t want, or had no real job prospects lined up at all aside from working at Children’s and praying they kept me forever and ever. I tried to be excited about the freedom, but really all I was doing in life was going on rotation, doing homework, crying, trying to eat, trying to drink, trying to sleep, going to church. It wasn’t like I really had any margin in my life for any non-essential tasks. And I’d learned to speak in euphemisms well enough that I could express most of what I needed to express without exactly breaking the rules. I mean, IDK anymore whether the rule was “no talking” or “keep confidential” or however else it might have been worded, but either way leaves it up for interpretation whether a well placed “maaaybe” as an answer to someone’s guess and check of what was going on is okay. My opinion was that was totally valid considering the rules were stupid anyway. I am a strong follower of rules, but you have to draw a line somewhere. For me that usually means my line is so far away from the actual rule that even if you pushed me and I fell, I wouldn’t be likely to cross the line. In this case though, I actually could see that particular line. Besides, if we use Miss Princess’s definition of confidential (which is a definition I think is more like an antonym than a synonym), then that rule would mean I am free to forward on word for word whatever I want to my hundred closest friends…so it isn’t like if I fell across that line they really had a leg to stand on in doing anything about it, especially since her only punishment for the ongoing abuse was that I “got” to stay in school.

 

So anyway, then in another year, here I am. Yes, I am still struggling…and it is super obvious in my current dehydration. I am still eating well, but am having some trouble with the drinking part. Not as bad as last year by any means, but definitely enough that I notice. And I am not sleeping very well…probably partly the anxiety/grief, partly the crazy schedule I work, and partly the dehydration. I’m doing my best, but sometimes my best is not enough. If I was doing better, it would be a no brainer and I would go on a road trip this weekend. I would assume that any increase in intensity of grief symptoms would be easily manageable and mostly covered up by the excitement. But where I am now, I really really wanna go see friends, but IDK if it is a good idea. Sleeplessness plus trying to drive most likely past midnight to get there doesn’t seem like a brilliant idea. And the grief itself can make driving dangerous. Then add to that the more raw the anxiety can be when the grief is peaking. OCD plus social anxiety is a difficult combo to manage. If I can’t handle the germs in an unfamiliar public bathroom but also can’t handle going into a familiar place (if one is even practical at the time) to use the bathroom we have an issue. If I can’t use my words to ask my friends to hang out with me then it is kind of pointless to have even tried to drive that far and back all in a weekend. If any water that I didn’t bring myself feels contaminated and I am already having trouble drinking we could be looking at no drinking at all to make sure that the water doesn’t run out. That is not a good plan. Add in that I am trying to get this figured out in only a few days…and I want to know if people are available, but I don’t want to tell them I am coming if I am not, and even if I am, using my words to ask if they are available is super hard. I think part of it is that I do still reject myself first so that it doesn’t hurt so much when other people hurt me. I still brace myself for the rejection I expect is coming.

 

On Saturday, someone said something that I really appreciated. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I just got the sense from her that she really understood at least on some level what it is like to be told over and over that you are stupid or whatever that you accept it as truth. I think mostly people don’t get it. They don’t get that once you have heard it over and over that it isn’t something that really hurts your feelings so much anymore. Instead it is something you start to believe and accept into your identity. Once it is there it is really hard for it to go away. Repeated verbal abuse is different that once in a while being picked on. You don’t just get over or forget the words that feel tattooed into your heart. And to try, the scar will go very very deep and probably even lose some functionality because of the amount of scar tissue…

 

Umm, yeah, I can’t remember exactly what I started this post to say…but I guess long story short, I wish I still had something to look forward to, still even had the ability to excitedly look forward to something. I wish that graduation could have been the exciting celebration it was supposed to be. I wish that life didn’t hurt so much. I love the song for this post and really connect right now…”Feels like I’ve been here forever, why won’t you just intervene? Can’t you see the tears keep falling?” and it also starts to bring in the little pieces of hope that I am learning to re-cultivate. I am not ready for much hope yet, but I am ready for tiny little bits which is good, because like it sorta says in the Healing Path, once hope has started to thaw, rarely can it totally refreeze again. I love how the pain and unsuredness of the hope is woven in “And you never promised that this life wasn’t hard, but you promised you’d take care of me.” It leaves open whether God is really going to take care of me. He promised he would, but will he really? “And even if my dreams have died and even if I don’t survive, I’ll still worship you with all my life.” When everything had been taken away and I really didn’t think God was good or caring anymore, I still needed worship. Not just because it is what I did, but because even so upset and in a weird relationship with God, innately I still knew that I needed him.

 

She doesn’t know why, but she knows

(Stand in the Rain – Superchick)

 

I didn’t realize how reactive I was to raised voices until this yesterday evening when some people were having a fight outside. When I heard the harsh voices my body tensed. I was trapped inside myself. Because I have grown a lot emotionally, my logical brain was able to get as far as finding my glasses, but beyond that I was pretty much stuck in the freeze part of fight flight or freeze. And when I heard one person say “you’re just a d*m* stupid b****…” I wanted to whisper “hey, let’s use our big boy and girl words.” But I couldn’t, because my body was reacting to danger which turned off my voice…and besides, a whisper from inside my bedroom would have no impact on the fight going on outside. Looking back I guess that kind of helps me understand why I can’t expect myself to get over overnight the traumas I have faced. The fear is still hardwired into my body and yeah, I do talk now…most of the time…but I still am working really hard to use my words. I still am running a marathon at a sprint in an attempt to keep even just close enough to caught up to continue to see the back of the pack.

 

I have been learning a lot this year. For the first time I had to really work to learn to make friends and create community because I moved to a completely new location at a time when I desperately needed community and caring friends. I do have to work a lot harder than other people to learn and use social skills, but I am seeing that hard work pay off. I can express myself sometimes. Sure, I do still struggle, but I am also starting to recognize areas of success. I was watching a movie with my parents and commented that it is sad the girl is so left out. My mom was like be quiet, that is not what the movie is about, but then had to admit that I was right. Later I commented that another girl in the movie probably had something really hard happen and really wants help but is pulling away, rejecting herself so others can’t and the rejecting others is totally accidental. When that also proved true, my mom asked if I had seen the movie before. I hadn’t. I realized that I understand and can predict this stuff one, because I am emotionally attuned, and I guess secondarily because this movie did a good job emulating real-world situations. There might be a lot I am not good at, but I am not stupid. I am not bad at everything.

 

Kind of unrelated, but I heard today a phrase “I am not waving, I am drowning.” At first I thought it was kind of funny, but then I realized to someone not trained as a lifeguard, active drowning does look a lot like waving and having fun. As a lifeguard and water safety instructor, I scanned for people who might need help and anticipate needs so that potential situations requiring help are recognized before they are serious. Full disclosure, I never had to jump in to rescue someone (outside of staged rescues in training scenarios), but there were times that my awareness let me get someone help before it reached that point. But taking it out of the literal realm, I started to think about what was going on last year. I was like the scariest pool patrons. I was drowning, but thought I was still just waving. I mean, yeah, I knew I was struggling hardcore, but I thought I had things pulled together in certain situations to be able to just have friends and not mention anything wrong…yeah…funny now looking back that I thought it was possible to have any aspect of life untouched, but that is where I was…and my wonderful and incredibly perceptive friend figured out before I did that I was drowning. Luckily I was willing to access help, but I guess that was probably also assisted by the fact that she didn’t outright say hey, you need help, but gently offered in a less threatening way first. She made me feel safe and understood. She stabilized my life in that time of need. I don’t know how I made it through that time, but I know people like her made a huge difference. I yearned for death to end my pain. Now, I was at a point where today I was looking forward to heaven not because I was feeling so utterly hopeless and desperate for an end to my pain, but because I was just thinking about how much of a party it was gonna be getting to see all my friends like all the time. It is hard when you’ve made friends all over the country because while it might be possible to see a few of them once in a while, it is not possible to see all of them or even really keep up with all of them. I am someone who connects deeply to people and goodbye is hard. I might not show it well, but people mean the world to me. There are so many people who likely wouldn’t recognize or remember me, but who still have a special place in my heart. And I can’t wait to catch up in heaven someday even if I do need to wait a LONG LONG time first.

 

I just wanna be worthy of love

(Beautiful – Bethany Dillon)

 

So yeah, I scribble or doodle a lot while I am work because I run out of things to do, and especially on evening shifts I need SOMETHING to do to keep myself from going completely crazy. Mostly it is literally scribbling across the paper. Random lines filling my papers in with bright red color…but yesterday one of my papers didn’t have any PHI on the back and I started drawing real pictures and words. Stupid stuff I found on the internet like “happiness is a piece of cake.” I followed that with a drawing of a piece of cake. Happiness is not a piece of cake as in easy though. Happiness is hard. Happiness is often a mask that I wear. Happiness is a disguise I put on while trying to run from myself and my pain, hoping it’ll all go away. Maybe that is why people discount my pain. I found something on the internet yesterday and it really well described what a lot of my life has been like. I have been going through a lot of life with duck syndrome. A duck looks like it is gliding across the water, but underneath it is frantically relentlessly paddling. I worked SO hard in school throughout middle and high school and college. I guess from the outside it looked easy because form the outside you weren’t with me much so you didn’t see that nearly every waking minute not consumed by the essentials of life was spent doing homework and studying. Even if I tried to access support, even if I tried to explain that I was struggling, even if I wanted to let people in that this was really really hard for me, they wrote me off. People expected me to do well, but refused to believe that my success was dependent upon actual hard work. They refused to believe that anything I did actually required any effort. Y’all, that is a huge pressure to carry. Sure, the world didn’t end when things happened and I got my first final grade that wasn’t an A, but the year that first non-A happened was the year the abuse was up front in my face for an hour every week. That first failure was partly an unfair teacher who (seriously) would randomly add points to certain student’s grades and take points away from others for no real reason, and partly because my ability to focus and stuff was inhibited by the abuse…but at the time I mostly blamed myself. I had been hearing over and over that no one would ever want me and I wasn’t good enough and here was some tangible proof that nothing I did would ever be enough. I was being told in counseling that I was lazy and didn’t want to learn, so what conclusion could I draw than that I clearly hadn’t tried hard enough and this was my punishment. I was a failure. It wasn’t something I did, it was who I was. I was paddling for everything I was worth, frantically trying not to drown. I didn’t need to be perfect, I just wanted to be worthy of love.

 

So imagine how much worse the pain when my failure is not just being one question away from an A, but the fact that not a single residency program wanted me. The crushing and reversal of shalom when every program that had told me what a strong candidate I was turned around and decided they didn’t want me. The betrayal when even my friends at the hospital I was currently working at didn’t want me and wouldn’t even give me a reason why. Those words that I would never make it as a pharmacist, that no one would ever want me felt like truth. The light at the end of the tunnel I had been reaching for was gone. This was all I had really wanted since early childhood. And graduation and residency was when I would finally be free of that abuse. Instead, the abuse took the forefront with all the chaos making it more real. And then it happened again in phase II. And I tried the Scramble and got zero response. Which meant I could live in denial for a long time, while still realistically looking for other options…looking, as in crying tears that were nearly dry while attempting to apply to positions.

 

And now I am trying to do it again. I wasn’t going to put any more details out there, but I just really need to write and I guess I am just going to have to hope my online anonymity plays in my favor and keeps me from oversharing with anyone who maybe shouldn’t know yet…so yeah, I got one robo-email thanking me for my application. Two complete non-responses. And the place I currently work giving me an interview. Tomorrow. Is it a pity-interview? Maybe. No one else wanted me. Why would they? But they were the only people that wanted me last year. But that was a different position. I don’t know if I want the position. I don’t know if I can take the rejection again. Applying only in phase II sped up the process. Not only WAY fewer programs, but also way less time to think about it. That was/is probably helpful to not extend the process too much, but it also means that I planned to get ready for the interview on my days off and so far absolutely nothing has happened. I did nothing last Thursday and I have done nothing today.

 

I don’t have an ADHD diagnosis. I got teased about having ADHD in school, and mostly just brushed it off, but once in a while I wonder…like how my plans for today was to prepare to interview. It is currently 12:30. I am in the middle of 4 different youtube videos. I haven’t started thinking about the interview yet besides putting tomorrow’s outfit in the bathroom so I remember what to wear. This is not to make light of the diagnosis or whatever and I know if I want to actually know I need to get over my anxiety surrounding the mental health profession…Plus, chances are that this part of it anyway is at least partly grief and anxiety and avoidance driven.

 

Pain makes us do stupid stuff…lol…umm…so it takes a LOT of preparation to figure out interviewing, especially for someone like me who works a lot harder than most other people for social situations. So, consider that a lot of “learned” “remembered” information from my interview preparation and experience last year is no longer in my memory because grief and trauma can break the connections that allow memories to be remembered or to even be formed. No problem, right, the vast majority of the information was written down as a backup anyway. Yeah, umm, in the pain following the loss, I threw away almost everything related to residency. I kept a few interviewing questions pages a little longer until I had a job, but once I had a job, it was all gone, because it was all too painful. Life was incredibly painful, and any reminder of what happened was another insult to the injury. I kind of knew I would one day do residency again, but mostly life was over. No one would ever want me, and I didn’t want to be alive. I had given God a date on which he should make sure I was no longer alive. It was all too painful.

 

I guess remembering that, I realize that I really am doing a lot better. Last year, Good Friday was really painful. I needed to be at church because I desperately needed community, but it was also hard because at church they talk about how God died on the cross and stuff, and I felt so deeply isolated because I felt so jealous that God got to die when I was stuck still alive. It still feels very painful, but remembering that, I realize that while the progress might seem slow while I am going through it, that there has been a crazy insane amount of progress since then.

 

It feels like the rejection was yesterday and at the same time it feels like I have been living in this hopelessness forever. I know the abuse ended when I graduated, but just because the abuse ended doesn’t mean the pain doesn’t still cut deep or that the words have been forgotten. Wounds don’t heal as quickly as I would like. And it still feels like no matter what I do I will still be stuck here forever. I don’t know what the right answer is. I don’t even know anymore if I even want this position. I am terrified of making the wrong decision. I am caught in the web of ambivalence. The gaslighting and powerlessness taught me to not trust even myself to know what the right thing is, and so add to that a decision that would be difficult for anyone and I am completely in over my head. I am learning trust again slowly. I am learning to trust myself and I am learning to trust others, but even before the abuse, decisions were hard for me. I just feel like I can’t. I can’t interview. I can’t. They aren’t going to want me anyway so why should I try? I know that is a horrible attitude. It just hurts too much. I just want everything to be over. I would be happier dead. Sometimes I do still think maybe I should abandon pharmacy and do social work instead. Maybe I would finally find somewhere that someone would want me. Or maybe I’d just find more rejection. IDK. It just hurts so much and I really just want a way out of the pain. I want to feel good. I want to be happy. I want to be worthy of love. Grief hurts so much. I just want everything to go away. But I can’t. It won’t. I’m stuck. I feel so isolated and alone. I want to go back to where there are people who care. Maybe I should go to that school with the pretty commercial that makes everyone look so happy. And I could volunteer again at church and the counseling center. And I would be around my awesome community again and maybe I would feel okay again. I don’t know how to keep going when it feels like my heart has been burned to charred crumbs.

 

Little Did They Know He’d Turn Their Cry Day to Good Friday

(Good Day on a Bad Day – Fish Tales – see the video of this song I found on youtube…not the highest quality video, but probably way cuter than an actual performance quality version of it…so whatev…)

 

 

I think I should probably add a disclaimer that I realized when I got to the end of writing this post that I probably shouldn’t post it…but I am doing it anyway, because, yes I do know that I should be careful about when I share my words, but I also was silenced for a long time and do not want to ever feel like I am not allowed to have a voice.

 

Today last year I was at my last on site residency interview for that residency season. I cried on my way there. I cried that night. I cried on the way home. Any residency would be better than no residency and I was drowning. The first failure to match was too much and my life was falling apart and I was trying again so fervently but at the same time knowing even getting a residency in phase II wouldn’t end my pain. It wouldn’t take away the grief. It wouldn’t be enough to re-label me. I was too far gone. I knew too deeply that I was a failure that no one would want.

 

The abuse was too raw. I never really had an opportunity to process the abuse because at first I didn’t understand for a long time that it wasn’t okay. Then I kind of went in and out of thinking maybe there was a problem, but y’all, gaslighting is for real and I would start to think again that maybe I was wrong and this is what was supposed to happen. There were signs something was wrong and I needed out, but while a few people tried, no one had enough pieces put together at the right time to create an escape. When I’m still standing my ground on the sand and you tell me not to go swimming but can’t explain why not, I feel like you don’t understand that I am a swimmer and I won’t know there is a riptide waiting to pull me under regardless of how strong I am now. When I am actively drowning holding onto a log that doesn’t quite support my weight and you tell me there is a kickboard a couple yards away that would be better for me, I feel like you don’t understand that I think I will drown if I let go of my log, and I won’t know that the seconds of fear it takes to get the kickboard will be worth it to save my life. So anyway, I finally escaped the in person one on one abuse and broke free, but I still couldn’t process because I was too busy proving to everyone else how okay I was and…okay yeah, still trying to protect the person who hurt me and feeling like a failure because I couldn’t save us both. If maybe even a week sooner I’d been willing to even kind of sort of let someone in and hint at what had been happening for the past two years I realize now there might have been discipline on her side instead of mine…but I didn’t. I couldn’t. My fierce protective nature refuses to hurt anyone or give up on anyone. I want to believe people can change and become good if they get enough love and support, even the person who was abusing me. And when the abuse was still ongoing because the little princess could do whatever she wanted including and not limited to sitting next to me in the cafeteria or following me to the parking garage and then hanging out at the entrance so I have to get past her to leave, I was finally ready to talk but forbidden from doing so under threats of losing my schooling. Was the contract I signed even valid, not really since I didn’t have the capacity to contract at the time of signing, but was I willing to test out what would happen if I boldly refused to follow the guidelines, certainly not. She had a lot of power and I didn’t so I was stuck just enduring it for the next three years.

 

Umm yeah, that was actually not at all what I sat down to write about. The pain of the abuse still is raw, and last year’s failure to match did bring it closer to the forefront again…but I was trying to write a positive post…I guess that’s my mind’s little reminder that these things don’t disappear. I can’t put an expiration date on pain and grief and I can’t outrun it. Like Maria says in the sound of music, you can’t run from your problems, you have to face them!

 

Last year I went to a Good Friday service and was just trying to survive. Afterwards I was walking around the block and doing whatever I could trying to figure out how I was going to get myself home. The next day I was back greeting. Apparently I met someone that day. I was so focused on going through the motions and greeting people and being okay that I honestly have no idea who that person was, which I felt really bad about, but y’know, that is the brain on grief.

 

Last year though Easter was a turning point. That Saturday evening (technically the day before Easter I suppose), I don’t know what happened, but somehow that week I was able to eat a little more easily. Note that I didn’t say easily, just more easily, but considering I’d been fighting for calories and fluids like my life depended on it because I was at a point where it really did depend on it, it was a huge blessing, and I gained a pretty good amount of weight that week. I was super proud of myself. Even if it was water weight, getting fluids in was a huge positive. When not too long before you’d gone more than an entire day without peeing because you weren’t drinking enough, you can’t really deny that even getting calorie free water in is a success.

 

This year my goal was for the year to be better, not bitter. On Tuesday I am doing part of what I was doing last year today – interviewing on site in phase II. There are a lot of parallels or similarities. At that one by the time I was done interviewing I wanted the position because I just really really wanted any position by that point, but there were multiple things I really didn’t like. At this one, I do really really want the position…but at the same time I am not even sure I want the position. It isn’t an idea fit for my interests and pays pretty poorly, but I worked so hard and paid so much for the opportunity that I feel like I need to have the position, and it would be a lot better than what I have now – the problem being that I am not sure it would set me up for success in moving from plan triple Z to anywhere closer to what I really wanted to do. And once I expressed my interest in this position, suddenly I was being offered all the things that had been explained as part of the position when I interviewed for the position I am in now that I have wanted so badly and been denied. So even if I don’t get a residency, I might still end up with a job that is better than the one I have now. I might be able to be happy again. I might be able to not hate my job even if I do not actually have the job I want. This is thrilling! This is a huge step forward.

 

I don’t know what the future will hold, but I am starting to think that maybe applying was good just to give me an opportunity to find something better than what I have whether I get the residency or not. I am starting to think that maybe this will help to decrease the pain of the residency season…which in reality is pretty much all year, especially with the way my story has played out. My story holds a lot of pain, but God can redeem any story if I let go and give him a chance…maybe I can go on a trip in a couple weeks. We’ll see.

 

Well, this is going to sound super out of place now since this post went in a completely different direction for the most part than I originally planned, but it was in my head as part of this post, so I’m gonna write it here anyway…lol…

 

Food for thought: Do we anxiously await for the reminder of Christ’s return to life Easter morning as anxiously as we awaited as children for our chocolate crosses and ziplocks of jelly beans and pastel m&m’s and skittles and whatever other sugary treats we got in our baskets?

 

If I am being honest, holidays to me are hard. I live very much in the concrete here and now. Life works best for me with every day being essentially the same. Tying some extra meaning to a particular day is an abstract that I don’t always do well with. Sometimes I use prepositions to end sentences with…lol. So yeah, it is hard for me to anticipate a randomly selected day as if something big is going to happen when that something big actually happened a couple thousand years ago. I get that this is an important part of our history, but you know what I also get? I also get that this part of our history isn’t any more important tomorrow on Easter than it was a month ago. To me, it is still just another day, not more important than any other day. If I were still little enough for an Easter basket, I am not ashamed to say that yes, I would be more excited for my yummy chocolate cross than for the abstract concept of remembering when Christ rose from the dead. Sorry if that offends you, but I am my own person and I am entitled to my own opinions just as much as you are entitled to yours.

This is where your ship went down. You took the blame even harder….And my soul is at peace

(Hush hush – Nichole Nordeman….A Son of God – Journey Collective)

 

Sometimes it feels like knives into my body. Emotional pain follows the same neural networks as physical pain. I know I have seen studies that Tylenol helps with emotional pain for that reason…too bad I lost my Tylenol in South Dakota.

 

Today-ish last year (Tuesday the 28th) I was driving about 450 miles to an interview and 450 miles back. And there was too much parallel today and I was fighting back tears in the car. The shirt I was wearing today (Tuesday the 27th) is the one I wore back to school that evening. The lunch box and other stuff in the passenger seat. The country scenery. The crazy schedule. The stress of phase 2. It was just too much for a while.

 

There are three things that made me not sure when I would ever re-apply for residency and definitely wasn’t doing it yet. First, letting people down by leaving the position I am in. I am fiercely protective of other people and I don’t want to hurt other people even if that means in the process I am hurt instead. Second, my schedule and our PTO policy make it nearly impossible to travel for interviews, or really to interview at all. Participating only in phase 2 gives me at least a chance at being able to do an interview at a time I am actually available. Third, I was terrified of what could happen if I failed again. The rejection last year is still so fresh I couldn’t imagine going through it again and deepening the wound.

 

The first two are still hard. I feel really bad about potentially leaving. I am still worried that I will be excluded simply because I do not have many available opportunities to interview, trying to fit it in between a full-time schedule.

 

The third I am starting to be at more peace with. I am starting to feel like I might fail, but it won’t be my fault this time. I don’t know that it will fix the old pain, and it will still probably be hard, but I do not think that it will be nearly as bad as last year at this time. To be honest, not matching will also be positive. After I told my managers I was considering applying, they started offering other opportunities if I didn’t match – all the things I have been asking for since I started and a few more. So as long as they are actually willing to make good on those offers, whether I match or not, I get a job better than I have. If I match I get a job that qualifies me for PGY2. If I don’t match I get a job that pays three times as much. Neither one is a complete loss. Unlike last year, there isn’t really a possibility that HR will force me to be downsized if I do not match, so I also have the benefit of having a job doing something regardless of what happens. It isn’t a job doing exactly what I planned or wanted, but it is something, and something is better than nothing usually.

 

I don’t know what will happen, but I know that I need to believe that God works everything for good.

Lead the Way God I’m Gonna Follow You

(Now – Mallary Hope)

 

I tried to write out a brief version of my residency. I couldn’t do it. It hurt too much. And I am still too close to it. I still see only a blade of grass at the bottom of the forest at a time and can’t really put it all together to describe a bigger picture without describing blade by blade and hoping you understand.

 

It was and still is a painful experience, and I don’t know how to make it stop.

 

I do know that I am currently in the process of doing something completely crazy. I have no idea what I expect the outcome to be or even what the best outcome would be.

 

I am not ready yet to give many details via internet, but I feel like it is time now to share just a little.

 

I didn’t plan to apply for residency again this year – the pain is still way too fresh from last year and if was so difficult then I wasn’t sure how safe it even was to put myself through that again so soon. I wasn’t sure I was ready to do it again next season. When I randomly blurted out in an interview that I’d be in the position I was interviewing for for at least 5 years, I don’t know why I said that, but after further thought I really think that five years was probably the point at which the pain would be numbed enough I could try again.

 

Well, then as I was slowly spiraling down in the pain of this season’s phase I match, I started playing the what if track. What if we didn’t match where I am now? What if we also didn’t match in phase II and entered the scramble? I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be the resident at this particular site, but I knew I definitely wanted it more than I wanted to be in my position. And then match day came. I didn’t peak early. I found out we didn’t match. First the pain washed over me again as the reminder of when I saw those same words in reference to myself. Then I had to wonder if those random thoughts I had about applying were maybe something I needed to consider. About the time I decided it was the dumbest thing ever, my parents were fully convinced I needed to do this and it was the best opportunity ever. The more I thought about it the dumber the idea seemed – more competition, joining late in the game, not even as strong a candidate as before yet somehow hoping for a position in a more competitive arena. I wanted to run away kicking and screaming. And not only that, but the rush to get it all done was a reminder of the insanity of what was happening last year. And then I started telling just a few people and that made it even harder, because now this was real.

 

And I have no idea what I am getting myself into.

 

If I get a position was this a great idea to obtain a position with a lot less stress and time spent since it takes under a month versus nearly a year of preparation? Or is it a really dumb idea since it only gave me a few programs to choose from that might not have been the best ones? Am I going to constantly regret not waiting until I could do this the right way? Will getting a position start to heal the rejection from before or will the entire position just be a big poster broadcasting how much I failed the first time?

 

If I don’t get a position, will it throw me back into the deepest point of the pain I experienced before? Or is this a way to start to redeem my story? Will it let me re-write the narrative of rejection as not so bad after all? Will it encourage me to try again next time doing it right, or discourage me because how many times do you fail before you need to stop trying and just acknowledge that all you are is a failure?

 

So I don’t even know if matching is good or not good. I don’t know if not matching is good or not good. I don’t want to have thrown a few hundred dollars down the drain for no apparent reason, but at the same time I’m not sure a different job I am not thrilled with even if it is better than what I have is better than staying in the job I already have that I am not thrilled with. Either way I am not thrilled, but in one direction I am not thrilled but continue to have high likelihood of continued employment in my path, and in the other I am not thrilled in addition to getting paid 1/3 to 1/2 as much and have no guarantee of anything at the end of the year. Neither is ideal. But I suppose ideal disappeared last year when I didn’t match the first time.

 

So I guess all that to say I need God to figure this out for me, because I have no clue what I have gotten myself into and I don’t know where I am going and I have no idea how to figure this out. I guess like in the Healing Path by Dan Allender, I am tangled in the web of ambivalence, trying to choose the right way to go while being swayed by the alternative.

 

I just heard a commercial – not even sure what they were advertising – that said “are you going to keep licking your wounds or are you going to get up and fight?” Maybe this is just me trying to assign motives to God, but it made me feel like maybe I am doing the right thing. Whether I match or not this year, by trying I am teaching myself that I CAN try again – even if I crash, I am learning how to fight through the crash to find life on the other side. My story is messy and I need to trust God to know how long the story is supposed to be and to write the ending at the time and in the way that is best. Right now it feels like the ending should have come eons ago, but I have to believe that God is really good and wouldn’t intentionally write a bad story with my life. It is hard, but I have to hold on to hope that one day the wait will be worth it even if I may still wish I could have fast-forwarded and skipped the wait.

 

No one said they were above me, but I could see, and it only proved how easy climbing trees should be

(Fish Song – Jessica McCabe)

First off, I really loved this song and I felt like it could totally apply to a wide variety of situations.

Here is the song:

I feel like this is kind of where I am right now. No one has recently said anything like hey you’re a lesser person for not having done residency or you’re not worth it…but it is pretty easy to see where I am and where other people are and feel frustrated.

It isn’t the overt you’re not enough anymore. Now it is the occasions when the me on paper holds me back. It is the excited people on facebook posting about how God loves them so much and has blessed them with dream job. By extension, if God shows love and extends blessing via meeting career objectives then I must be unloved and unblessed because I didn’t get what I wanted. If happiness is the proof that God is good then by extension the crushing of my dreams must mean the opposite. I also just realized another reason those posts were so distasteful last year (there haven’t been enough this year to make a blanket judgement). Pretty much every single person claiming God was blessing them was someone who wanted absolutely nothing to do with God prior to getting the job they wanted. I realized that while it was going to hurt either way, it probably hurt more because these people who hadn’t cared about God somehow at least acted like they believed when they got what they wanted. God is really important to me. I will admit that I am fiercely protective and this is probably me trying to protect God from people who only care when they get something incredible…one more way I am just messing everything up.

I am not a monkey, but I am also not a fish. I am a penguin. Metaphorically, I can swim, but not very well or gracefully. I am a bird, but I can’t fly. I live on the land but I can hardly walk. I am a throwaway animal. There isn’t really anything I can do right so the only thing I’m really good for is a spectacle.

Why does life have to hurt so much?

Last night I worked the 2:30-11pm shift at work. I drove home. And I got home later than I usually do walking. I live a mile away yet it took like 35 minutes to get home because I got so lost and now my car is dangerously low on gas. This is my brain on grief. I will admit that I am not the greatest at wayfinding, but when you only live a mile from work, it definitely shouldn’t take 35 minutes starting at 11 at night to get home. I don’t know what happened. Thankfully God put me somewhere that I eventually realized where I was and how to get home, but it is frustrating when stuff like that happens. I guess it feels like a confirmation that I can’t do anything right.

Today is match day for pharmacy. I made it out alive last year, and I will keep going this year. It hurts. But my oatmeal and a cookie made it to my mouth eventually. I feel like I can’t, but I know minute by minute day by day I will survive this. Someday it will be okay even if I have to keep waiting and holding on until I get to heaven for that someday to occur.