Understanding God

30 10 2009

I have been trying to read scripture every day. I am inclined to want to spend a great deal of time and energy and effort and do it perfectly, going over a book, and the Bible and highlighting and taking notes, that stuff really jazzes me. When I do it, which is rarely because it takes such and involved effort to do it perfectly. That is NOT Biblical. God doesn’t care if you do it perfectly, half of it is just showing up. So to avoid my perfectionism I decided to just read proverbs daily, correlating to the day of the month.

It’s been a little scary to be honest with you.

Certain scriptures have been jumping out at me and taking hold of my heart and speaking to me that make me really uncomfortable.

Oct 28th: He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty, Proverbs 28:19

Oct 29th: A man who remains stiff-necked ater many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy. Proverbs 29:1

I am not really sure if it is God or the guilt that lives inside of me for so many wasted gifts and hours that makes these scriptures slap me in the face. It is said in the Bible that ALL scripture is God-breathed. These proverbs make me feel as though God is going to smite the crap out of me tomorrow…SMITE, SMITE, SMITE- Like so much Dragon’s breath. I can just see him with his lightning rod, tossing bolts down from heaven upon me destroying me without remedy, bringing me from my American dream into the depths of poverty.

Now, it is good to have a healthy fear of God. Blessed are those who fear the Lord. But I don’t think that the way I am interpreting these scriptures is correct. He is a God of love and he says that love is patient and kind and is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. THIS is GOD.

It’s hard to get sometimes.

Which brings me to my Proverb today Oct 30th:

I am the most ignorant of men. I do not have a man’s understanding. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!- Proverbs 30: 2-4

You can hear the author’s desperation in his voice, the fact that he cannot understand God, that the knows that SOMEONE must be up in heaven, SOMEONE must have control over the winds and the waters and the ends of the earth. But he doesn’t know who. How frustrating. I have never really felt this way. I always knew that God was there and that he loved me, from when I was a tiny kid I believed. This is not the case for everybody. Especially analytical people who like numbers and facts and full explanations. For whom a feeling just isn’t enough.

The reason I bring this up, is this is a particularly meaningful scripture to me. It brings me to tears to remember it. In my Bible, in the corner above it in tiny lettering is the writing “K is here- 6/30/03”.  In ’03 I was talking to an old boyfriend again after being broken up for over a year and living in different cities. I was a new believer in Christ and he wasn’t. I told him I was only looking for a husband and only wanted a Christian husband, but we continued talking on the phone anyway.

When I talked to him I could feel his desperate confusion, his knowing that there was SOMETHING greater than himself out there, but not knowing what it was, or how to reach it. He could see the coincidences that were not coincidences, the miracles that were to big to ignore, yet too intangible to be sure. He would go from admitting that there was a God, to being angered at the very thought that he was considering it. He wanted names and places and proof and without a reasonable doubt. And I just couldn’t give it. And it wasn’t my job. So I wished him luck and told him not to call me anymore.

We didn’t talk that whole entire summer which was incredibly hard, because I had been so sure that I would marry him. I prayed fervently and so many other people that I don’t even talk to now did too. I quit smoking in June because he had once told me that he would never marry a smoker and I told him I would never marry an atheist. I decided to prepare for him to return to me. In August he called me up again. Triumphant, he understood he said. He got it. He had started going to a Bible study, and seeking other men and it happened. In January we were engaged, and by the following August, we were married. And he has been the most amazing blessing, and most Godly man I can imagine.

I am reminded that it is not my job to know, that I am human and He is God and he is in charge and I am not.

I don’t get alot of what I read, but if I continue to seek, God will make sure I know what I need to know, when the time is right. I don’t have to worry about being in poverty or being destroyed by God. Because he is with me, he comforts me, he loves me. But I need to heed his warnings, because at the end of it all, I don’t want to have nothing to show him for what he gave me, not because I am scared he’ll hurt me, but because I love him.

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My Dependency

21 09 2009

I am currently going through the 12 step guide, “The Hurting Person’s Handbook”  A companion for 12 step recovery. The first step in recovery is admitting that my life is out of control and become unmanageable. One of the Step 1 Meditations (based in scripture) is based on Psalm 31 9-10, “Have mercy on me, O Lord for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes my soul and my body! For my life is spent with grief and my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.”  The meditation for this passage tells us how we are unable to admit we are powerless until we have “first assessed the magnitude and gravity of what our addiction has cost us.” It goes on to suggest compiling a list of losses that are due to our problems with dependency.

When I was thinking about this, I first had trouble, I mean, I am not an alcoholic. I shouldn’t be the one with the dependency problem, right? Upon closer look however, I realize that I don’t have one dependency, but several that have cost me quite a bit in my life, and I think I need to examine all of them in order to heal. Usually (I think) the codependent is the person that is obsessed with the alcoholic and trying to change or “save” them. I saw my mom try to save my dad my whole life, through manipulation, screaming, threatening, crying etc. She tried to get him to stop drinking and give a damn the only way she could think of, Drama, drama, drama! As you can imagine, this did not work. My dad still drinks and they are very much divorced.

I realize, though my husband is not an alcoholic and I cannot see any symptoms of an addiction, I am very much prone to using the same manipulation-shrewishness to get my way. I am codependent and basically get all of my self-worth from how he sees me and treats me. Looking back I saw this pattern develop starting with my very first crushes in elementary school. Since my mother ignored me and spent so much time on dwelling on my dad, I realized I desperately wanted to get my very own measure of self-worth.

As far back as the fourth grade, I can remember my very first crush, JJ.  I don’t really know why I was in love with him. He was much shorter than I was, a swarthy, athletic kid who came from a well-off family, his dad was a doctor and he did well in school. Even then I was thinking long term, this is a guy who will be able to support a family, as he wanted to be a doctor too someday. But this was no childhood crush as I imagine childhood crushes should be. There was no pulling hair on the playground or teasing and chasing. No, I carved his name underneath my desk along with the date of when I started loving him and did not cease for three years. I never told a soul, but daydreamt of our life together, imagined his parents, his siblings. Wondered how his mother would like me, imagined how I would get him to love me and carved his name a new every new  years eve, thought about how I would keep him happy. I was totally obsessed. I would picture how I would feel once he started loving me, how he would see me, once he noticed that I was the right one for him for life. How I would be totally complete.

As I grew older, I transferred my affections to another boy, then another, finally one who I dated. My very first boyfriend. I dated him from my freshman year in highschool all the way to my sophomore year in college. I did not care about anything but him. If he had asked me to marry him any of the years that we were together I would have said yes. I cannot tell you how unhealthy this was. We never slept together, just because my mom totally scared the shit out of me and I was convinced I would immediately be pregnant if we did. But if our relationship was going well, I was over the moon, if he broke up with me I was in the depths of despair.

You may think this is just normal teen-agey stuff, but I don’t think it was. It wasn’t the fact that I loved him and he was so wonderful that I just had to have him, he really wasn’t that great. It was just because he loved me that I liked him.  I needed him to see me as perfect, and cute and quirky and sexy and smart and _________, and I had to ruin him for all other women after me, or I was none of those qualities. If I didn’t project this facade of perfection, and sugar and spice and everything nice, I would ruin it and he would not love me anymore and I would be worthless. I had to see myself through his eyes.

The first step in recovery is basically giving everything over to God, and I think alot of that is seeing us through Jesus Christ’s eyes. In the handbook, the first Step 1 meditation is Matthew 9:36, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepard.” Jesus Christ sees our neediness and flaws with deep compassion and love. He is forever accepting of us, that never changes. People, especially hurting people are not able to give us that constant and complete love that God gives us. No matter what, he sees our flaws and sees us as his children that were created for him to love, the way you are supposed to see your newborn baby girl.

My mom was happy when my dad was loving her. She was all sparkly and beautiful and loving to us. But when he didn’t love her, when he was drunk and gone she was a joyless-pitiful creature who cried and slept and ate constantly to dull the pain of the fact that she was NOTHING, therefore she had NOTHING to give us when we were little. She didn’t love us the way a good mother looks at her perfect and helpless child and wants to give her the world. She saw us and saw only her pain and rejection and bad choices she had made. She projected that dissatisfaction onto us, and since one of the characteristics of an alcoholic family is hiding the pain, we were the only ones she talked to about her loss. But we couldn’t tell anyone. We were stuck being the adults, and we were no good at it. I couldn’t wait till I could grow up and I would show my mother how to be a good wife, how to be a good mom, how to love someone perfectly and get their love back. PERFECTLY.

Man was I ever wrong, I have no clue how to love somebody. I am selfish and depressive and dissatisfied and pain-ridden. I am constantly needing my husbands time and energy and love and like a SUCUBUS I am draining him of life. This is why I am getting help, not only because I want to be happier, but because my husband really does LOVE me which is crazy, because he KNOWS me and loves me anyway. I am very lucky and I need to be a blessing to him, not a curse. I need to be his helper and not a little girl, constantly begging for his approval. I need to be a strong independent woman that he doesn’t have to worry about. I need to make him glad every day when he wakes up in the morning. I need to learn different than I was taught. My dependency aside, I picked a pretty great guy, and right now, he needs help with the laundry.





Puppy Love

18 09 2009

In the ACOA meeting on Monday, the “leader” or whatever made a very intriguing comment that really hit home with me since I have three dogs. He said, “If you want to know how your childhood affects how you care for people, just look at how you treat your pets. He didn’t tell us how, but just let us think on that. WOW. I am a crappy dog mother. I am so glad that I don’t have kids yet to mess up. I am constantly either smothering them with love, or pushing them away or ignoring them. Of course, when I’m on one of my depressive binges, I hold one or all of them close to me while they lick the tears from my face and use them to comfort me. I know, I know, they are just dogs. But, what if they weren’t? What if they were my children.

One of my first memories is of my mom grasping me close and sobbing while we waited for my dad to come home. We sat on the windowseat of our little white house, I on her lap and wiped the tears off of her face. I must’ve been like three or something. I remember wondering why I wasn’t enough for her. This was the thought my whole damn life, why aren’t I enough to make my mother happy? Why is the house always a mess, and there never any food? I just wanted her to be an adult, to love us, to make a home. Of course I didn’t know this. In my childhood brain, it was always just, I guess I am not enough to make my mom happy. Dad makes my mom sad. She only stays with dad for us. Therefore, I must be why my mom is unhappy. If I had never been born, she would’ve been happy. Why was I born?

I know that if I were to have children right now, at the age of 28, my depression and anxiety would manifest itself in my kids. Sometimes I will turn to my wonderful husband and ask, “Does Lola look depressed?” At first he would laugh, like the thought of a depressed dog was funny. But now, as I have fallen deeper and deeper into my pit. He’ll warily say, “Don’t project, our dogs are not depressed. They are dogs. They are happy to be petted and fed and sleep.” Interesting. Don’t project. That’s pretty insightful I think for a guy who doesn’t really know about this stuff.

My list of wrongdoings towards my dogs includes:
1) Not taking the time to train them, then expecting them to know how to behave.
2) Only disciplining them in public, so it doesn’t look like I am the bad dog-parent, but being too drained to consistently discipline them when we are alone.
3) Not taking time for walking them, then getting mad if they try to run away when I open the door.
4) Pushing them away when I don’t have time for them, which is often, then not taking time to give them my full undivided attention.
5) Forgetting to feed them sometimes, not having the energy to feed them other times.
6) Not picking up the dog shit in the backyard.
7) Not brushing them or giving them their meds as needed.
8) Sometimes being overly clingy or needy and expecting them to comfort me.
9) Taking them to the vet and acting like THE PERFECT dog-mother, asking lots of questions and being generally overprotective, and throwing money at the situation, they are on the best vet plan, best dog shampoo, best food, etc.

If this were a child, I would definitely be an unfit mother, one who consistently ignored, didn’t discipline and berated her children, then acted like the perfect supermom in public. This scares the shit out of me. How am I ever going to be a good mom, when I am turning into my own mother? If this were a child I would definitely call CPS, the children are running around in their own shit, nobody is feeding them, it’s squalor and they are being emotionally abused. But they are dogs. I take them to the vet, I feed them almost every day and they aren’t chained or beaten. They are in good health, always in good tail-wagging spirits, and very very sweet. They won’t grow up to be drug addicts or have abandonment issues or end up pregnant out of wedlock or in jail. But I have to get my act together if I am ever going to have real babies.





I am Here—->

18 09 2009

I called my mom up this morning in heavy, hiccupy sobs and asked her why she didn’t love me. For years I told myself that my parents loved me and that they did the best they could with what they had and thought that I had turned out pretty good for the crap family life that I grew up in. Pretty good, like I haven’t killed myself yet. I suppose, I can sorta hold down a job, I am semi-functional most of the time. Mostly anyone who knows me would think that I had my shit together. At least, I like to think that they would. I try really, really hard to project that. When I can’t project that, when I am too depressed or too messed up, I just hide in my own little cave and sleep the dreamless sleep of one whose childhood has been stolen to this wretched disease called alcoholism.

I am a lucky daughter-of-a-drunk, I didn’t marry one. I picked a good decent guy to marry me and father my 84 children, but I am driving him nuts.  Some days are good, I am happy, he is happy we are happy together. Some days he comes home  from work and I haven’t showered in two days, have been crying for two hours and am totally naked only having gotten out of bed three times to forage for food. I let clothes mildew in the washing machine, let the laundry go unfolded, and barely have energy to let the poor dogs out of the house. He doesn’t know what to do. He didn’t really grow up in a constant crisis situation and doesn’t know how to handle it.

This is my speciality, I do it with a flourish. I am so good at being  a victim it is sickening. I need help. I am trying to work from home and get my career as a realtor off the ground, but one thing about working for yourself is you are stuck with you all day long. This is very very very difficult when you hate who you are. This is not going to be one of those slash your wrists blog, really it’s not. I am going to recover. This is about hope and recovery. I just need to tell you where I am coming from. Because only if you know where I am coming from, can you celebrate with me where I am getting ready to go.