All There is to Be, Unashamed

I remember the very first time I was prescribed an antidepressant. It was shortly, before my wedding in 1997.

It was Zoloft. I had already known I struggled with depression a great portion of my childhood. 

It just seemed like I always had it. There was no moment in time I can remember not feeling it. And the fact that I was feeling so much worse before what was supposed to be the most joyous day of my life made me feel even more depressed.

I don’t remember how long I had been taking it before I started to feel better, but it felt sudden. I noticed even my days where I felt physically bad, were still better than any other time before. Even my bad days were better.

Oh my gosh I felt good, no, I felt great! So much so that even when I noticed my face starting to break out, I didn’t care. But then it was getting worse. I wasn’t just breaking out, I was breaking out in hives and as my wedding day approached I decided to stop taking them.

I was warned not to, but being that it was only weeks before my wedding, I couldn’t imagine feeling any worse than having to take pictures on my day with hives all over my face.

After the wedding, my doctor changed me to Paxil, but it was never the same. I didn’t feel good, I didn’t feel bad, I just didn’t feel. I felt numb. And that was still better than feeling bad.

So why am I telling you this?

Well, I’ve been wanting to read, again. I’ve gone to the bookstore twice looking for something I feel would help me grow, or understand who I am, and both times were tough. 

I would read title after title, thinking, “I didn’t need that. I’m past that. That’s boring.” But I finally settled on one, Unashamed by Christine Caine.

Honestly it was the first book I picked up the second time I returned to the bookstore, but put it back down. I’ve gone through Healing From the Inside Out so many times, and facilitated it for years. I’m past this. I don’t feel shame anymore. But ultimately, it was exactly what I grabbed as I headed for the checkout lane.

Today I opened it, and it took me back to the first time I took an antidepressant. Yes, the first time I took it, I felt great! But eventually I just became numb. I don’t want to feel numb. That’s not enough. Even though I’ve done a lot of healing in the past… Maybe I can still feel better; be better.

I’m not even through the intro, and so many memories have flooded my mind. Memories that are attached to emotions I thought I’ve let go. Yes, I can honestly say I feel better about myself than I did ten years ago. My bad days are still better.

But maybe I’ve settled for feeling better. Maybe better isn’t good enough anymore. Maybe the reason I was so hesitant to pick up the book in the first place was because I didn’t want to admit that this is something I still struggle with.

After all I feel better. Life is better. Shouldn’t that be enough?

I think, not.

I’m anxiously awaiting this book to wonderfully wreck me. It’s time to feel all that it is to be, unashamed.

I will keep you posted.

 

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Learning to Listen to Who I Am

For the greater part of 46 years, I’ve not listened to what my body was trying to tell me.

Actually, who am I trying to kid. What I did was more than neglect, it was abuse.

Not only did I ignore my body, I told it what I wanted it to do and how. I reminded it constantly how disappointed I was with it. And I pushed it beyond what it could possibly do.

I had my first of four babies, when I was 27.

From the moment of conception, my body has never been the same. The first signs of pregnancy to me, were tender breast tissue. Oh my gosh, I was the last of my girlfriend’s to have babies, and NO ONE told me about this!

Before I became pregnant I never used to sweat. Since then, I have not stopped.

Some things never went back to how it was before I became pregnant. Even when I tried my hardest to make it so, it never did.

It couldn’t. Not only was I not that person anymore; that wasn’t my body anymore.

It doesn’t have to be a tragedy. I love being a mom. I would never trade me in for the person I was before if it meant giving up my children.

But instead of constantly grieving for that body. I need to start accepting and enjoying the one I have now, more.

This is my new reality and I need to start living that way…

until it changes again.

The Little Girl Inside

For years I ignored the spirit of the little girl who was sexually abused as a child. She lives inside of me.

I gave her no voice.

I didn’t know how to give her a voice. I didn’t even know there was a little girl there who needed a voice.

And as I grew and became a woman, that little girl who had something to say, but was forced to stay quiet, stayed within me.

She was not able to grow as the rest of me had. I finished school. I got a job. I had a family. I secured a career. I could act like an adult.

But there would be moments that I would freeze in fear. I wouldn’t take risks.

I became five when I was dealing with my five year old son who was acting like a five year old.

I would have my own tantrums. I would cross my arms and stomp my foot, “It isn’t fair!”

She held me back.

In most cases I could handle my business. I got to work on time. I did my job. I disciplined my children and taught them right from wrong, and kept them safe. I paid my bills. I could keep on top of the kids school work. I was a completely capable adult.

But she was always there. She would always show up at the least opportune time. I’d find myself crying, or yelling, or both.

At the time, I didn’t even understand that she was there. I ignored her, always.

But she was always there to remind me of what had happened.

As hard as I tried to forget her, she would never leave.

“I don’t need you! Go away!”

But she never would. She taunted me. Made me feel dirty. Made me feel stupid. Made me feel foolish. Made me feel hopeless, helpless and worthless.

Why? Why wouldn’t she leave?

But a day finally came.

It was a day when I sat down with that little girl to see what was her problem?

It was the first time I listened.

Do you know what she said?

“I’m hurting.”

I sat with her, and we cried as she reminded me again, everything that had happened, but in her words now. In her little girl’s word.

“Why did this happen?”

I don’t know. I was little too.
But I’m not anymore. I promise you I will protect you. I will give you a voice.

I won’t let anything like that happen again. I will speak up.

And I will listen to you when you are scared.

And I will comfort you when you cry. And I will hold you until you want down.

Then I placed her in the hands of Jesus.

It was Jesus who showed her she was never alone. And somehow, that made everything alright. She felt restored. She felt safe.

Today, that little girl is still there.

But now she hosts parties, chases down homeless and plays with my daughter.

She looks for those who are hurting. She comforts them and whispers, “Me too.”

She offers them hope. She lends them an ear. She tells them a story of how Jesus is the salve for her hurting parts.

She’s not afraid anymore. She’s confident. She’s fun!

I’ve grown to be quite fond of her. After all, she’s a riot.

She’s what causes me to fall going upstairs. She’s the one who hides my glasses on top of my head. She laughs with me when neither of us gets a joke. She’s a horrible cook, but she tries really hard. She’s passionate and she’s fun.

Where she once held me back, she now pushes me forward. I finally understand why she was always there.

“Come on Kim! Let’s go! Let’s do! Let’s love!”