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A Letter to the Duggar Daughters

If you haven’t heard of the scandal with the Duggars, you may live under a rock. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.There’s a wonderful thing called Google which will inform you of all you need to know. Anyway. ūüôā

Dear Duggar Daughters,

What your brother did to you was deplorable. I’m sorry you had to suffer like that and join the ranks that no one wants to join. I’m sorry that this is being rehashed left and right – when it should have been said and done all those years ago.

Know that it wasn’t your fault. You were children. Even if it happened now, it still wouldn’t be your fault. Nothing you wore made it happen. Nothing you said made it happen. Nothing you did made it happen. It was your brother’s choice to commit that crime. Yes, crime. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a crime.

Know that it wasn’t okay. It wasn’t acceptable. While it happens in countless families, it’s not normal. It shouldn’t have happened. It wasn’t just a boy playing doctor, it wasn’t just a young boy who was curious. It was your brother and he committed a serious crime. It should not have been brushed off like it was.

I understand if you say you forgave him to save face. It’s okay if you actually haven’t. It’s okay to be bitter and angry with him. What he did was terrible. Older brothers are supposed to protect their younger sisters, they’re not supposed to abuse them. I hope that you’re able to find peace. I hope that in the midst of the storm of it being brought back up, you are able to find hope again. But it doesn’t mean you have to forgive him. I fully understand, oh how I understand, that fundamental Christianity taught you that you have to forgive him and act like nothing happened. But that’s not true. It’s okay if you haven’t. It’s okay if mentally, you want to drop him feet first into a corn grinder.

Above all, I hope you know you aren’t damaged goods. I hope you know that each and every one of you deserves love and hope and a man who treats you right. Everyone deserves that, but most of all people who have seen hell and back deserve it. I hope you know that despite all this, there’s a God who loves you and who weeps with you. I hope you understand that there is healing and hope again. And I hope you know that I pray for you. I pray you find hope. I pray you find peace. I pray that you find a way to create your life again – be it forgiveness or not, be it having a relationship with your brother or not. Whatever you choose, you’ve got to choose what’s right for you.

I’m so sorry your abuse and intimate life details are being displayed in the limelight. You did nothing to deserve that – it was the choice of your family to paint out your lives on TLC. I am so sorry that all these years later, it’s coming back to haunt you. All abuse survivors want that, but when we don’t find closure, we find life haunting us. I hope that one day, you get proper counseling and are able to heal.

I’m closing with the lyrics to one of my favorite songs.

Innocence – Seventh Day Slumber
Something I’m not supposed to talk about¬†
The way you violated me 
Something that I could’ve lived without¬†
The way you put your hands all over me 
I wonder do you lie awake and think at night? 
How you tore my innocence in two 
I wonder do you cry yourself to sleep at night? 
‘Cause I can tell you it’s what you made me do¬†

[Chorus:]
And I can’t get back my innocence¬†
I can’t get back my innocence¬†
how could you steal my innocence? 
how could you steal my innocence? 

Sometimes I think about what I would do 
If I ever saw your face again 
So many untold stories only you can tell 
Guess I’ll just let God contend with you¬†

[Chorus:]
And I can’t get back my innocence¬†
I can’t get back my innocence¬†
how could you steal my innocence? 
How could you steal my innocence? 
I can’t get back my innocence¬†
I can’t get back my innocence¬†
How could you steal my innocence? 
How could you steal my innocence? 

God gave me back my innocence 
God gave me back my innocence 
God gave my life back to me 
God gave me back my innocence

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Jesus loves me, loves me still. Though I’m very weak and ill.

A few years back, I was asked if I thought God created me to be disabled. First off, this is a horribly offensive question. Secondly, it came from a quack chiropractor to whom I promptly gave a piece of my mind. Years have gone on since then. I’ve had three operations. I’ve withdrawn from college. My health has completely fallen apart. And I question it.

Why DID God create me this way? Why AM I so broken? Is there any purpose for the pain? I wonder why he let me be like this. I wonder why I couldn’t have a working body. Why I suffer from an array of disorders. Most of the time, I feel I can accept and own my disabilities. But there are times when I question it. When I question why. When I don’t understand. When the doctors are hunting for answers.

I wish, oh, how I wish that I knew. I don’t know that I fully believe what I find off at Ableist Assmonkey Doctor. I don’t know how¬†I feel about this in general. I don’t know why. But I do believe, that for whatever reason, God created me this way. I don’t know what he’s reasoning is, but I know it’s greater than mine. I don’t know why he thought I was strong enough to handle it, and frankly there are days I don’t know that I am. “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle” is 100% bullshit, but that’s another rant for another entry.

I don’t know. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. But what I do know is that His plan is better than mine and His vision is better than mine. In high school and middle school, I was often awarded Faithfulness awards for my steadfast faith. My faith has shaken. My faith has been shattered. But I always come back around. I know that God has a plan that I don’t – even with my disabilities.

And the pain falls like a curtain
On the things I once called certain
And I have to say the words I fear the most
I just don’t know

And the questions without answers
Come and paralyze the dancer
So I stand here on the stage afraid to move
Afraid to fall, oh, but fall I must
On this truth that my life has been formed from the dust

God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man
So I’ll never understand it all
For only God is God

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Homosexuality & Jesus

This is actually a repost from my old blog. But I feel it needs to be said again. ūüôā

A few years ago, I thought that being gay was a sin. I didn’t think that anyone should be gay. I was squicked about by people being trans. I can’t say I’m proud of things I said or things I wrote. But I watched people I care about deeply struggle. I saw how hard it was for them and the way they were treated by something that isn’t their fault. I saw their struggles, and it broke my heart. It changed me. I saw the struggles in their lives, and you know what? It’s not fair.
It’s not fair that because of who they love, they can’t get married. It’s not fair that because of who they love, they can be¬†discriminated¬†against in the workplace. Oh, I know some Americans will say that “Well, I’m a Christian and I get bullied/I get ridiculed/etc”. Know what? It’s not the same. As Christians in the US, we are damn lucky to be living here. Sure, we may get “persecuted”, but we keep using that word. It doesn’t mean what we think it means. Just because our children can’t pray in public schools, doesn’t mean anything bad. Just because they don’t teach creationism, doesn’t mean anything bad. Doesn’t mean we’re some kind of martyr or that everyone is out to get us.
Back when Jesus was on the Earth, he hung out with the undesirables. The tax collectors. The ones that society threw the stink eye to, both proverbially and literally. If he were here today? I imagine He’d be hanging out with the homosexuals. Because my God, my Jesus, is a God of love. He doesn’t condone hate.
I don’t want to make anyone change their views about homosexuality. You may think it’s morally wrong, and you have a right to think that. Your neighbor may think it’s morally right, and they have the right to think that. The person across the street may fall in the gray area between, where maybe it’s okay but certain aspects aren’t. But the heart of the matter is that we live in a country where certain rights are for ALL people: Christian and Atheist, gay and straight, male and female, and every other living person has this promised to them:¬†“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Thomas Jefferson didn’t write “Oh, but not woman” or “Oh, but not homosexual people.” ALL MEN.
I am a Christian, and I support human rights. I support equality for all. I think that they should have the same rights as any of us, because we live in the “land of the free, and the home of the brave.” It’s not just the people who fit our mold of Christianity, it’s everyone. Everyone. We can’t pick and choose who gets the right to marry, the right to this and the right to that, because that’s not what this country was founded upon.
“Oh, deep in my heart. I do believe… we shall all be free someday.”
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I wonder what could be so tragic, make you want to take your life

It’s hard to see beyond your pain, when you feel so dead inside. It’s hard to see what you’ve been given, it’s hard to see the hope in life. And I know it’s hard to take what’s happening, and I know life is tough sometimes. And I know it seems like there’s no hope for you, and I know that your life is worth more than you can see.¬†

This is a Christian song by Seventh Day Slumber. It quite literally saved my life junior year of high school. I didn’t really like the Jesus-y parts as much (and they’re there, trust me) but the second verse and this chorus helped so much. The worst of my high school depression was the 2004-2005 school year. I went from private school to home schooled. I lived with my abusive father. I had very few friends and found solace on message boards. I was in the deepest parts of self injury… most of my pictures from that time frame involve long sleeves. And yet, this song carried me through. This song reminded me that there was hope beyond the horizon. That you know, it’s okay that things suck right now. Sometimes life just sucks and kicks you in the ass. And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. But at the same time, it’s going to get better. It won’t always be these bleak.

Right now, I’m in the midst of another dark depression. I’ve had a few truly dark times – 11th grade, early 2009, the Great Cymbalta Nightmare, and now. It’s bad. I’ve been playing medication roulette.

Things are bleak. Things are dark. I’m in a battle for my services. I’m in a battle for the things I need to live, to enjoy life, to have quality. It sucks. I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anybody. And it’s the life I have. It’s the life I’ve been handed. And I don’t know why.

But perhaps one day the new dawn will come. Perhaps I’ll find hope again? Right now, I just don’t know.

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Wrong way on a one way track

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Life has been hard lately. I’ve had to make some heartbreaking choices. I’ve been plagued by “what ifs?” My depression, which was already bad, has gotten worse. I try to tell myself it will get better. I try to tell myself that it will improve. I try to tell myself that it won’t always be this dark and bleak.

But it’s hard. As I take my medication cocktail of Pristiq, Buspar, and Seroquel I find myself wishing I didn’t have to do this. I find thoughts I don’t like dancing in my head. I find myself completely trapped in depression.

And I wonder if there’s an easier path. I wonder if there are choices I could make that may not be right ,but may make it easier. I wonder if there’s a way I will no longer be trapped in the vortex of depression. I find myself just wishing there was an easy way out – but I know it isn’t right. I know it isn’t what I need. But damn, it’s so hard when what’s right and what’s easy are worlds apart.

So tired that I couldn’t even sleep, so many¬†secrets I couldn’t keep. Promise myself I wouldn’t weep, at one more promise I couldn’t keep.

It seems like I’m trapped. I have so much I should be hoping for and dreaming for and looking forward to – but none of it, right now. Right now I’m so completely trapped. And I hate every moment of it. I hate this feeling.

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Here she stands today, in her brilliant shining way

 

So, the year was 2012. I had transferred out of a fairly right wing college the year before and my best friend/roommate was still there. I guess, subconsciously, we decided to go out with a bang. The election the year was the marriage amendment for Minnesota. 

The school was strongly on the Vote Yes side.¬†So, we took matters into our own hands. Northwestern has a rock where students were allowed to paint messages. So we took painted the rock with the HRC logo and took pictures of us with the Vote No: Don’t Limit The Freedom To Marry signs. We were not known for speaking up and we were terrified. We received some backlash – we received some judgement. Not even six hours later, some dickheads painted over it with black spray paint. Not even a new message over it, just completed silenced us.

But our voice was heard. We made our stand.¬†We spoke our voice. Even though we were silenced, I have hope that it gave encouragement to anyone who isn’t perfectly straight. Who doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter mold. I still am very bitter towards my time at that school, for more reasons than just this and Ye Olde Christian College will get blog posts of it’s own about that. But for one of the first times in my life, I let my opinion be known, we spoke out about something we were passionate about.


And it was worth it.

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So when the whole world turns against me and I’m all by myself, and I can’t hear You answer my cries for help. I’ll remember the suffering Your love put You through… and I will go through the darkness if You want me to

I spent three years at a private Christian school. We often won character awards or fruit of the spirit awards. Without fail, I was always the one to win the faithfulness reward. The one who had a steadfast faith. Friends, adults in my life, everyone would comment on how strong and unshakable my faith was.

I am very much a cradle Christian. I was dedicated into the Nazarene church at a very young age. I’ve had a vast amount of Bible knowledge and have kicked ass at Bible trivia since I could read. Back then, I thought my faith couldn’t be shaken. Back then, I thought my faith was the only sure thing in my life.

Lately these days, I find myself becoming disenchanted with the notion of Christianity. And it scares me. I haven’t been to church in over a year.¬†It’s sad and depressing, really. How did my once unshakable faith become so shaken?

And I find myself wondering if God is even wanting of me anymore. If God even desires me. After all, my arms have scars I created myself. I have used food as a way to hurt my body. I’m broken. Physically and emotionally. What could God want to do with me?

It’s hard. I find myself wanting to yell at God and call Him a few select names. I find my health falling apart and no one knowing why. I find my physical and emotional health in shambles.

I find myself questioning how He could be strong enough to fix me. Which is kind of silly if you think about it. Why am I questioning the one who formed me himself? I mean, hello, God sees me even when I’m pooping. If he’s okay with that, why am I so worried that he won’t take me “as is”?

Why do I question if the One who was by my side during every appointment, even if I didn’t feel Him, is strong enough? Why do I question if the One who was strong enough to give up His own, only beloved Son is strong enough to fix me?

There’s a peace I’ve come to know, though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul,¬†I can say “it is well”
Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed
Victory is won, He is risen from the dead
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on Eagle’s wings
Before my God, fall on my knees

The thing is, my heart and flesh will fail. I’ll fall victim to my emotions, to my mortal desires, to my physical health. But there is one thing that won’t fail –¬†Jesus blood never failed me yet, never failed me yet. There’s one thing I know that He loved me so.

I may have failures in life. I may screw up. I may watch every aspect of my health fall to pieces. I may struggle with my faith. But you know what?

It’s all a part of life.

I hear the Saviour say, “thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow

Lord, now indeed I find, Thy power and Thine alone
Can change the leaper’s spots and melt the heart of stone
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow

And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete
Jesus died my soul to save, my lips still repeat
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe
Sin had a left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow

Oh praise the one who paid my debt!
And raised me up from the dead

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that’s where she lies, broken inside

I tear my heart open, I sew myself shut
My weakness is that I care too much
And my scars remind me that the past is real
I tear my heart open, just to feel 

To say things have been bad lately is an understand. A vast understatement. I am completely trapped by depression. Anxiety. My doctor had me do that PHQ-9 doohickey and my score landed in the severe category, vs the moderate it was before. Things are going poorly.

Everything is falling to shambles. I have so much that needs to be done. Cleaning. Phone calls. Emails. Important grown up stuff but it all falls to the wayside. The physical pain, the emotional pain, everything is too much. Everything hits too hard. I don’t even feel like myself anymore.

And I’m on the verge of failing.
The verge of falling apart.

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By the yard it’s hard, by the inch, what a cinch

When I was a child, I was in Patch the Pirate Club, as well as had a couple Patch the Pirate cassettes. Simply put, Patch the Pirate is a MAJOR NAME in Children’s Christian Music, especially in the fundamentalist Christian sect. Patch aims to teach values, not only of faith, but also of morals and character. I actually know songs about loving broccoli and cleaning my plate, about not being a wiggle worm, and many other things that really call for another blog entry. But there are a few songs that have stuck out with me, so here is the first I’m going to write about. I may write others, I may not.

“When mountains tower ragged and high,
rise to the challenge, look to the sky
Trust in the Lord, and start to climb,
Reach for the goal one step at a time

Little by little, inch by inch
By the yard it’s hard, by the inch what a cinch
Never stare up the stairs but step up the steps
Little by little, inch by inch.”

I think this is a powerful message and absolutely profound in a simple children’s song. When I think of mental illness recovery, be it from depression, an eating disorder, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, self injury… when I think of recovery, so often it IS a mountain towering, ragged and high. It’s overwhelming when we first look at it. But when we step back and take it little by little, inch by inch, it’s so much easier. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in treatment. Months? Years? It’s unknown at this point in recovery. But I do know I take it little by little.

If it means when my eating disorder is in full force, and all I eat for the day is a sandwich and drink some tea, that’s little by little. Each day, I can add a bit more food, be it a side, be it another sandwich if sandwiches are my current “safe” food, etc. If my depression is in full force and I don’t want to leave the apartment, much less my bed, I can take it little by little. Be it just getting up, taking a shower, and getting dressed. I don’t necessarily have to go DO anything, but taking the step to get up is a progress. And that’s the thing – progress is a process. It’s something we do little by little, inch by inch.

I think that it’s important to know that recovery happens. It’s possible. But sometimes, it’s overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like finding the right medication combination is never going to happen. Sometimes I feel like therapy is going nowhere, sometimes I feel like progress is being made, sometimes I feel like I’m backsliding and for each step I’ve taken, I’ve gone back twelve.

But that’s not the point. The point is I’m trying. The point is I’m living. The point is that every time I make a good life choice, however small, however insignificant it seems at the time, it’s a step toward recovery, even if it’s just an inch, even if it’s not even quite an inch yet.

The point is I’m moving. The point is I’m getting there. The point is, little by little, I’m working my way towards there. I’m “reaching for the goal, one step at a time.” And by taking lots of little steps, maybe one day, I’ll overcome. And yes, I’ll reach that goal one step at a time.

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These secrets are walls that keep us alone

Sometimes I wish I were someone other than me
Fighting to make the mirror happy – Bethany Dillon

I hate it. I hate how every day is a battle. I hate how  every frick-fracking meal is a battle. Even one BITE is a battle. It’s a fight. It’s a war. It’s an all out battlezone against myself. I didn’t chose this, though some days I wish I had because then I could just chose for it all to be over. Some days I wish it was more of a choice, because then I could just chose not to be this way. Chose not to live in this hellhole. Chose not to live in this torment inside my head for every meal, every bite, every time.

And soon, obsessing over food and meals and bites becomes not enough. Certain foods can’t touch each other. Certain foods can. Certain foods are okay to eat. Others aren’t (gluten allergy not withstanding). And the obsession and control spreads out. Certain numbers are okay. Others aren’t. And everything becomes a downward spiral of control and spins wildly out of control. And I can’t just snap out of it. I can’t just stop being anal. I can’t just cowboy up.

How I wish I could! How I wish I could just get over it. How I wish I could just start eating again. How I wish it was just that simple! I want it to be like that. I want it to be like that. I wish I could eat without my head tormenting me. I wish I could eat without such torment, such inner anguish. I hate it, I hate every bit of it.

I don’t want to be like this. At times, I find myself thinking that I wish I hadn’t chosen to have an eating disorder then I want to whack myself upside the head because who the hell does? No one chooses to have an eating disorder. It’s a psychological illness, just like depression or anxiety or a post traumatic stress disorder. And it’s not my fault. I can chose to get help and chose to overcome it, but it doesn’t change the fact it makes every day a struggle, every minute a fight.

And I hate myself for it. I hate myself for the fact that I was dealt this deck, on top of my medical problems, on top of my trauma past, on top of everything else. I hate myself for who I am today, even though none of it is my fault and it isn’t rational, I still hate so deeply although I know it isn’t right. Kinda screwed up but I guess it’s part of the cycle, part of how it goes.

I hate who I am. I hate who I’ve become. I hate what these thoughts have done to me.