Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Written in Stone

We write our futures in the language of our pasts. Tonight I feel overwhelmed by memories that I can’t shake. I know that they are of my own making, but right now I have a thousand-pound weight on my shoulders and there is no one to share this burden with. The choices that brought me to this crossroads at this time in my life seem to me to have been the only ones I could make, but my heart whispers might-have-beens inside my head and I am tired – tired – tired…

Why is it that memories rise so viciously at the times when I am most vulnerable? Like ravening wolves, they search me for signs of weakness so that they can attack. And I am weak, I admit it. I am tired, I am heartsick, I am alone. In just five short days, it will have been twenty-six years since I was gang-raped. The anniversary is looming and my PTSD is responding with nightmares, flashbacks, and heightened anxiety. In the meantime, I am approaching the culmination of two years of reflection and prayer as I sit before the District Committee on Ordained Ministry to talk about the possibility of candidacy. This is a natural next step on the path and I am trying to feel good about it, but all I can think of is how, two years ago, I was getting ready to take this step and the pastor I trusted used his offers of spiritual support and guidance along with offers of counseling to worm his way into my life and nearly destroy my faith – not to mention the awful abuses he perpetrated on my emotions, my mind, and my body. So this time, which should be joyful with anticipation of exploring God’s calling in my life, has become something to dread for the triggers and memories it brings. One stone is easy to carry. Two stones might feel heavy but they won’t stop your progress. But I feel like I’m carrying a sack-full of stones tonight, and the weight is crushing me.

I wish the interview had come a month later, when I was past my anniversary and feeling stronger. I wish that I had never met the man who used my faith to hurt me so badly. I wish I had chosen differently, or that I had known at the first of that relationship what I know now. I wish that I wasn’t alone tonight. I wish that my past was written in easier words, ones that didn’t represent so much pain. But wishes are meaningless, and the past is written in stone.

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