This week I had the misfortune being visited by the ghosts of my own personal past. My own personal Horror Story. It snuck up on me, out of the blue. I did not ask for it, nor was I looking for it. It literally fell out of the sky, out of the blue, and landed very unceremoniously into my lap.
Many years ago, like many young ladies, I dated cruel men, got myself into many a pickle through my own ignorance, lack of experience, a certain degree of innocence, complete lack of street smarts, and my annoying habit of being too trusting. Also at that time, looking for love... As many young women do.. unfortunately my crime was that I was not very particular in my choices of the company I kept be they male or female. At that time I did not choose girlfriends very well either. I was not particular and I did not choose well. Chaos ensued. Trust me I am not bragging and God knows I'm not proud. Yes, we all make mistakes. In my humble opinion, at that age in particular.
This particular 'Ghost of Christmas Past' which has showed up uninvited and unannounced has seriously upset my apple cart. Many old memories have flooded back in a rush.... And with it, bringing up other horrific memories of other things... since in my mind they are all rather lumped together.. BUT, we all have that one person that hurt us above all others..
I am currently renewing my commitment to the laity of an order I've been with for a year now.. and as much as I love my faith, and I adore the members of the order, and the spirituality of the order... right now I am so depressed I am struggling to pray.
I feel like everyone around me is dying. Or has already died. I wonder about when the time comes and I die. Will anybody remember me? I certainly have not done anything memorable. I did not exactly leave my mark on the world. I know most of us don't. No reason why I would be any different. I am certainly not remarkable in any way. I'm just a fat frumpy Southern housewife... Ironically though as bad as I feel about myself, I know that I mean something to God.
I love my husband very much. He is well aware that I suffer from clinical depression and anxiety. Bless his heart he does everything he can to help me. He tries to listen and understand. What he does not know is that I don't tell him everything because honestly I believe in my heart it would hurt him. Even though it has nothing to do with him. On the contrary he is my rock. All of those guys I dated in the past.. who used me, abused me, assaulted me, lied, cheated, drugged me, and treated me and told me I was nothing. My husband however, may not be on the cover of GQ magazine, but he is my prince. No matter how fat, broke out, hideous, and fugly I might look.. he has always put me on a pedestal.. which I do not deserve and never have.. he has always put me first.. and treats me like a princess. I love him and I'm thankful for him.
All this being said though, I do not understand why I still have a knee-jerk reaction to being hurt, even though my husband and I have been together since 1993. He has never been mean to me or raised a hand to me in any way. He treats me better than I deserve. And I don't know why. Before when I was abused and abandoned... I didn't know why that happened then either. I was the same person then as I am now?! I'm just older. Yes I have more experience.. a side effect of life.. you can't help but gain experience just from Simply living day today.. I don't understand it though. I don't understand why one guy after another treated me like I was nothing.. and then I have a good husband.. who treats me completely opposite.. don't think that I'm not grateful.. my husband has given me the marriage and the children and the home that I always wanted. I know he would never do anything to hurt me. He never has and he's never given me reason to feel that way. But I have never lost that mind-set.. that mentality.. a feeling like an abused dog. I was never starved and chained to a tree.. I never had to be rescued by The Humane Society.. but in some ways I kind of get how those dogs might feel. Clearly I've never been starved. Snort. Quite the opposite. PTSD? I've had that diagnosis given to me before. Maybe that's it. Maybe I'm just crazy. Maybe I'm just too screwed up. Maybe God allowed me to go through that for His own purposes.. only He knows the full big picture. I have complete faith in my Lord. Everybody suffers... everybody knows that. There is not one person on this planet who has not suffered in one way or another. Suffering the death of a loved one.. suffering from loneliness.. suffering from the lack of bread... From the lack of clean water.. suffering because you've been put into a nursing home and your family doesn't bother with you anymore. Mother Teresa said that loneliness was one of the worst things in the world.. that was I believe she said the greatest form of suffering with loneliness.. I may be misquoting her.. but regardless she was not wrong because everybody does suffer. Certainly I would never expect to get a free pass on this.
Anyway back to my point.. very abruptly I got through another person.. in a manner of speaking.. somewhat of a visit from one of those ghosts of my past that I only wanted to forget. It is a sin to not forgive somebody. I have done my best to forgive.. and when I sit down I think about it, I really do forgive this person.. but the pain of the suffering they caused me.. well... It's sort of like an old battle wound.. when it rains it still aches. Except in this case it's not the rain. This wound has been reopened. The scar tissue did not numb it as much as you would think.. probably half of it is the shock of it all.. I mean who the crap expects "the Ghost of Christmas past" to visit you? Especially in mid-January while having a sinus infection? Too many things I am reminded of. Things I wanted to forget. Memories and pain and hurt I wanted to stay buried. And excavation was performed without my consent. And I'm left having to identify the body. The broken body of me.. when I was left a broken shell. I can't believe I thought that was all behind me. Dear God why am I so stupid?
Timing stinks. This rude awakening I just got. Being sick with this stupid sinus problem. And currently I feel like I'm surrounded by Death. Before you start thinking I'm going to off myself, rest assured I'm not. I have a teenage daughter who is visually impaired with autism. I have an adult daughter. And I have the most beautiful little grandson you've ever seen. I may be depressed. And yeah I might feel like giving up sometimes. But I do not want to miss a single day with these children God has blessed me with.
I'm looking forward to seeing the Sisters in the order again. I am so grateful for their spiritual formation and guidance.. they help me remember that God has got this. And that no matter how bad things may get that I am a child of God. And his Divine Mercy is infinite.
So what will happen with this Ghost of Christmas Past showing up? I really don't know. I would rather sweep it under the rug and pretend I don't know. It hurts less that way. And this ghost certainly does not deserve one second of my attention. I left that in the past and that's where it needs to stay.
And my death that will come about one day as it will to all of us... Will I be missed? Did my life even make a difference? What will they say about me after I'm gone? That I had a screw loose? One thing I sincerely hope that they do say... Is that I loved my Lord, I love my husband, I love my children and grandchildren. I love my family and friends. I tried my best. I honestly did my best to help when and where I could. I was never perfect never claimed to be.. I was not a perfect wife or a perfect mom. But I did the best that I could with the knowledge that I had at that moment of my life.