(Believer – Kristene DiMarco)
A few weeks ago I was looking through my journal. I clearly don’t use it nearly as much as I used to considering I am still on the same one I started in September 2015, but there were a couple things that I noticed that I think are really good things for me to remember now. So I am going to re-type them to get those things in my head…
“My life is worth too much to waste it hiding and being scared of M” Okay, so this might have been followed with something along the lines of oh cr*p she decided to hang out right in front of where I am sitting and I don’t know if I can escape…but still, I love the idea of the sentiment that my life is worth too much to let M continue to control it. While I was still in school there was a huge power differential between us that gave her the ability to do pretty much whatever she wanted while I was always walking on eggshells just trying to get to graduation, which obviously did give her some control over me, but now that I have graduated she shouldn’t get to dictate anything about my life…
The other thing was a page titled “I am Resilient.” The first section was labeled “She called me” and “But I am/was.” Here is the contents of that section. But first, just a side note that my journal is not usually intended for sharing…I am writing this for me, not for you…I need these truths in my life right now. I am not trying to sound conceited or whatever…this is purely to fill my own needs, because it is a lot harder to believe the lies is I am focused on copying out these truths. This was a super challenging activity when I wrote it originally for my journal. I had written out the negatives and was just going to find some way to artistically say this is not who I am. These are just words or something like that, but then I got the idea to talk back to each and every one of those negatives. It felt impossible at first, because these things still felt so close to truth, but slowly I filled in all the positive rebuttals. I’m not sure if I let myself delete some of the harder negatives to negate, but I think it was a really good healing activity and I think re-writing it out will maybe help me continue towards healing.
Rude – Quiet, quick to offer assistance, a resource for everyone, extremely cautious and thoughtful with my scarce words, ready to give away whatever I had regardless of the other’s relative need.
Stupid – Getting a few bad grades mostly b/c of the stress she created, but mostly getting fine grades.
Condescending – Uplifting, positive, bubbly, and wearing myself out people-pleasing.
Inconsiderate – Neglecting my own needs and wants trying to jump through the hoops of what everyone else wanted
Disruptive – Quietly minding my own business most. Occasionally my music got a little too loud drowning out the inappropriate conversations that were going on around me, because I don’t really need to know the personal business of other students that others were sharing, but even then I was quite amenable to turning down the volume and just walking away for a while.
Not trying – Working my hardest to help her and me at the same time
Not wanting to get better – Desperately trying to pull myself up while she keeps trying to push me under
Immature – Dealing gracefully with far more responsibility on my plate than should have been placed there.
Hopeless – Being continuously refined by a loving, caring, and patient God
Out of touch with reality – Not as clueless as she thinks – just unable to tattle on her and trying to make her happy
Narcissistic – Prioritizing others above myself and thinking pretty lowly of myself, especially the further time progressed, but I am working on un-learning that, because God doesn’t create mess-ups and failures; He creates masterpieces.
Dependent – Strong for realizing my need of some assistance and asking for help yet trying not to add undue stress to my extremely accommodating friends, but very willing to talk to someone else if only I could find the opportunity.
Disrespectful – Not the one texting in session, always late, ignoring confidentiality, and manipulating.
The next section was labeled “She made me feel” and “But I am.”
Worthless – I am so valuable to God that he sent his only son to die for me so that I might live and be adopted into his family. I am chosen. I am God’s girl. My eternal daddy loves me so much and will never let me go. He loves me not because he has to, but because I am worth so much to him.
Helpless – Do I sometimes need help? Yes, but were we made to live life alone? No. God created us for community so that we could be supported when we were falling and support others so they don’t have to stay stuck at the bottom of the pit.
Hopeless – Capable of improving, and I have improved SO much. Am I perfect? No, but am I better than I ever believed I would be? Yes yes yes!
Isolated – She might have taken away most of my friends, my safety, my freedom, and all the places I liked to study, but she didn’t take away my ability to create community in whatever ways possible, and cling to that community with everything I have.
Alone – NEVER ALONE (per Plumb).
Unwanted – Sought after and definitely wanted. Everyone at Karis is super appreciative of everything that I do, teachers and students appreciate my assistance and dedication and passion towards mentoring students towards success. People want me not just out of charity to make me feel good, but because they know I am reliable, and jump in heart first to do my best. At work they always beg me not to go back to school. A few even suggested that I apply to be the manager. Everyone is super happy to see me there…and at church where I am essentially the nursery director when I am home and the director of Children’s Ministries considers me more in charge than the actual nursery director.
Like a burden – A value-added member of society. I care. I do more than my part to help and protect others.
Useless – Making a difference. I might not be able to change the world, but even if I had only made a difference for one person, that is one person who wouldn’t have been impacted without me, and it all counts. Every life matters.
Unworthy of love – Probably not worthy of love, because we are all fallen sinners unworthy of love and grace, but the great thing is that God loves me anyway, and I have SO many friends who also love me.
Not enough – Doing my best and learning every day. I am not perfect, but that is okay…sometimes I felt not enough because I couldn’t meet her ever changing expectations, but I don’t need to live my life the one-year-old playing monkey in the middle with baseball stars.
Shameful – More than a conqueror through Jesus Christ though I don’t feel like a conqueror tonight. Sharing burdens makes them lighter, not heavier. People want to help if you can let them in…and in retrospect, it makes a lot of sense, because shame is part of what kept me from speaking up and letting anyone in about what was going on behind closed doors when up until that point people could get a play by play of what was going on if they asked me in a way I could answer.
Confused – Able to push everything about her into a dusty box in the attic most of the time so I can live my life…sure, sometimes I have flashbacks like last weekend with me reading her email in May that we work really well together superimposed upon her words mere weeks later that we couldn’t work together anymore, but most of the time I have set that chaos aside because I am hashtag strong.
Wrong – Now aware that this was gaslighting, no matter how close to perfection I got she wouldn’t be pleased.
Stupid – Not stupid according to other people, but sometimes struggling to believe it b/c the voice is too loud.
Not safe – Protected by my God at all times. He walks through it all with me.
Hurt – Resilient, strong, flexible, beautiful, awesome, innovative, and an overcomer.