All posts for the month March, 2018

Published March 31, 2018 by Chloe Madison

I have so much weighing on me. When I think of it from an outsider’s perspective, it sounds like nothing. Finances, being alone, having no purpose in this life, having no gusto to fight spiritual battles. It used to be that I was anchored in Christ. But now, I have so much that’s….I don’t know how to say it. It’s not that I don’t believe. I do. For months I thought God was mad at me. I still do. But I realize I’m mad at him too. I feel like a child throwing a temper tantrum saying that. But it’s true. Not only do I not trust God, but I’m angry.

I think God is good. Think is the key word. I’m not sure. Like, I’m really, really not so sure anymore. I feel like God works in other peoples’ lives and that’s good- I garner faith in God from that. But I don’t see or hear him in my life. I’ve been asking him what he wants me to do. Just tell me, I say. Just tell me and I’ll do it. My life is a waste. Either I should be dead or I should be sacrificing every moment I have alive to God. So what do I do when he doesn’t answer? I think I don’t belong here and that I should just *** already. If I’m not supposed to be ****, then use me. How do I take it when he won’t use me? It just makes me feel more useless. Almost like he doesn’t want to use me.

Part of me feels like these are lies from the enemy. But part of me knows it’s not- it’s simply the harsh truth.

I used to be so ready for battle. And now I’m giving up. I hang my head in shame and disappointment. I just don’t have it in me anymore.

Published March 31, 2018 by Chloe Madison

Some firsts happened this week. I lost an entire day. Don’t think that’s ever happened before. I know I spent one day in bed…but it must have been two. I’m baffled as to how I lost a full 24 hours.

So I had planned on going out camping again and for the second time this week- I returned home instead of staying out. I just have no zest for anything at all. I don’t want to stay home so I leave…I don’t want to stay out, so I go home. It makes no sense. I’m wasting hours of driving and gas. The only thing I have to show for it is frustration and sadness.

That’s one thing I can identify- is that sadness absolutely overwhelmed me today. It’s incredibly frustrating as I thought things were looking up. But it seems I can’t keep happy for more than a day or so. I’m trying. I’m going out into nature and trying to do things to keep busy… but nothing works.

All I could think of today was *****. Over and over again. That’s all I could think of. I fought it though- I went back to see my donkeys and was sad when I couldn’t find them. I found a nest of snakes though- but they weren’t quite as fun and cute and snuggly. As depression and anger sank in more and more, I went to the valley where I envisioned the sanctuary for trafficking victims. I thought that could help derail my thoughts from going downhill.

This is it…beautiful, isn’t it? But for some reason, I had no fire. No fire about making that happen, no zest, no nothing. I looked upon this valley with emptiness in my heart. And so I turned away.

It makes me feel useless. I’m useless to this world and useless to God. I see my wonderful friends who follow God’s leading no matter where it takes them and they work wholeheartedly in obedience. I admire that. What I think is I don’t belong here. I want to disappear forever. I’m just wasting breath and life, getting nothing accomplished. The only thing I’ve accomplished is losing people. I though of that- of how I used to plan to stay away from people to make it easier on them – and now, they already stay away. I couldn’t help but wonder if God was doing that for me- making people stay away so the end will be easier. I don’t know.

I do know that I’m miserable and alone.

This is forever my reality.

Nothing will change.

I despise the lie that is hope.

Published March 29, 2018 by Chloe Madison

I’ve tried so hard not to write here. I’m super scared to be myself and say what I think and feel.

First the good- the last two weeks have been good overall. Nothing is perfect, but I feel God is providing in small ways. I had a friend come visit for 4 days and stay with me. Having constant companionship was awesome. It did me good and it kept me active. I don’t know that I was great company to be with, but I tried. I had a few bad moments- like the time I was hiking in the snow with him- where I flashbacked to one of the nights I wanted to **** ** **** ***. And I slept great the first two nights he was here…not so great the last two. But I feel him being here was God helping to occupy my time and not leave me alone. And any time I can see or feel God working or loving me is a great thing.

Then he left. And I decided to go out camping by myself. For the first time ever, it didn’t work. I came home the same day I left- late at night. I don’t quite know what’s wrong with me. I felt hollow out there. Hollow and empty….VERY hollow and empty and lost and wandering. As a matter of fact, that’s all I did was wander. And I had urges to fight and felt I had no strength out there where I was nothing but a shell. There was one super cool time- I met a group of wild donkeys (I didn’t know there was such a thing) and it was quite a magical meeting. They were so gentle and curious….I talked with them and pet them for hours. 🙂 I’d like to think we bonded.

But for the rest of the time, I felt hollow. Disturbingly hollow. It was terrible. Loneliness and emptiness nearly drowned me as I wandered on dry land. Part of the depressing thing was that I had been a bit hopeful that I was getting better- and now I suddenly felt back to square one. I don’t want to dismiss the good though because I think it’s important to focus on and I think it does show a positive increase in mood.

As I drove back home, terrible and familiar thoughts barraged my mind. Later, I had nightmares. One was about me feeling left out…like, really feeling abandoned and left out by people. In my dream, my best friend was mad at me and decided to move to Nepal without telling me. I was devastated. Then, I found out that two other families were very suddenly moving to Nepal as well. One was my ex-fiancé’s sister and her family. I don’t know why that would bother me so much. But it has. I woke from the dream feeling terribly lonely and left behind and left out.

I spent the day in bed, not even showering- just eating and eating. I’m getting fat and that’s not helping me feel any better about myself. I only got out of bed to walk my dog and that was it.

I tried to read a book recommended to me- one that I don’t have the energy to fight to read. I got no closer than eyeballing it on the shelf.

I’m trying not to give up. I tried to be positive, even through feeling shitty. I checked in on a few friends to see how they were doing.

When I drove back, I wanted to disappear so badly. Like, DISAPPEAR from the earth. God, I just don’t belong here. I never have. This world is not meant for people like me.

Published March 27, 2018 by Chloe Madison

Things have been better. I’m honestly scared it won’t last for long though. But things have actually been kind of good.

I was with a friend hiking…and I looked down in the snow…and I don’t know exactly what happened. I didn’t black out, but it’s like I wasn’t present- like I was transported somewhere else. I saw the picture of one of the nights I almost did something. I was sitting in my car…stuck and unable to gather enough wherewithal to move. I thought of ******* and had my ****** out on my lap. I was crying so hard I went through half a box of tissues. Crumpled tissues where everywhere…I had my bible out…my ****** was on my lap and I was wearing camo sweatpants. I saw it all so clearly- just like I am now.

I was completely removed from hiking in the snow to seeing that scene- being there again.

What bothers me is why. Why am I seeing that? Why did I re-experience it as if it happened again? Why am I… I don’t know. It just makes me uncomfortable.

I want my ****** so badly. I’m so scared to ask for it because I’m almost certain I’ll get shut down. I think I’m fine- but frankly, I know I’ll feel empowered to do something.

One thing that struck me with my friend relapsing is how his wife told me he seemed to purposely get drunk before he tried to get drugs. She said he was “on a mission to get f***ed up.” I know exactly why he did that. It’s the same exact reason why I did and would do that. Deep down you know you don’t have it in you to **** **** ****** ***. So you plan and purposely drink and get f***ed up because that will help you do it. You know alcohol will make you not care- not gaf. And you need that extra push to get over the edge of sanity. Over the edge of where God stands.

Tonight, the streetlights went out again. Maybe it means nothing. Maybe not.

I can’t get that song out of my head- only because it’s so pertinent-

“It won’t give up, it wants me dead

Goddamn this noise inside my head”

It’s absolutely unrelenting. Un-freaking-relenting. I don’t have the strength.

I can’t escape the truth. I love God. I know he’s there. He’s just not with me. I wish he was. I don’t blame him- this is not criticism. I know it’s my fault. I don’t blame him or anyone. Ever. I thank everyone who’s ever done anything to help me or who has ever loved on me. Unfortunately I can’t repay you. I’m so sorry for that. But keep loving on other people who need it. Don’t let me being a failure ever stop you from helping others. I wish I could do more.

Published March 23, 2018 by Chloe Madison

I have actually slept super well for the last 3 nights in a row! I’ve slept long and deeply. I woke up only about 4 times each night- that’s a world record for this past year and a half.

I am so grateful. I’m still so, so exhausted that I came home from work yesterday and crashed- took a nap and then still slept through the night. I’ve only got a year and a half of sleep to catch up on. 🙂

Lots of dreaming, but very few nightmares. So that’s good. My therapist and I decided not to do EMDR again because she thinks I’m still processing with all the nightmares I previously had. Next week is spring break- so maybe the idea of vacation time is helping me to relax as well. (?) I don’t know.

My therapist said she thought I was doing too much to keep my mind occupied. The studying, the chase, and the hiking every weekend…she thought maybe I’m not giving my brain enough down time to process and that’s why I was still processing things through nightmares.

We talked a lot about my friend who relapsed. She thinks I have issues of my own that came up when things with him started happening. I guess him being mean or rude to his wife brought up my past with my ex who was pretty abusive psychologically, emotionally, and verbally. Only rarely did it turn into physical abuse. Catching him cheat on me was just the cherry on top. I do still have a lot of hurt and anger from that. I know that every time my ex was enraged with me, it was never my fault and it was never justified. I guess that’s why my friend being mean to his wife is ruffling my feathers so much now. I love the guy and care deeply for both him and his wife…but I cannot, cannot, absolutely canNOT handle a man mistreating a woman. I just can’t do it anymore. I’ve seen it my whole life and I hate it. I’m sick to my stomach about him doing it- I guess because I’d looked at him as a good, Christian guy. I’m not saying he isn’t. But it’s just a huge let down. He and his wife took good care of my little dog for me when I was in the hospital. I’m so appreciative of that and grateful for them welcoming me with open arms and zero judgment. I need to extend the same to him.

I have a friend coming in town to visit tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m super scared. Either I hide who I am and all the terrible things I’m dealing with- or I’m open and honest. Obviously, he could reject me as crazy or needy or any number of things I’m scared people will judge me as. I have quite a bit of hesitation with seeing him- but at the same time, he’ll occupy about a third of my spring break- so that’s great. I don’t think I need to be alone. That’s never good. Not recently, anyway.

And the sanctuary, the shelter that I’ve been envisioning…I’d love to be able to open a Christian camp in the remote mountains. I was thinking part of it could be a place that church groups could go to for retreats- youth groups or men’s or women’s groups. The other part of it though- that’s what I’m focusing in on- the other part would be a safe haven for victims of human trafficking and/ or sex trafficking. It would be a safe place that’s remote so they have no fear of anyone they escaped from finding them and where they’d feel confident walking around outside, enjoying nature. I envision having group meetings and even counseling/ therapy for them. Maybe have a full-time therapist on staff? That would be awesome. I’d like to give a beautiful, safe place to people who need it- who need some where to go for months or even a year- to recover, to learn to live again, to learn to feel safe again. I was thinking of offering training in some kind of trade as well- so they could sustain themselves and make a living on their own.

I don’t know- it’s just a dream. I keep envisioning it in this peaceful river valley that I’ve been driving through these last few weekends.

So…there’s that.

Please pray for my friend and his wife.

Published March 18, 2018 by Chloe Madison

Oph. Nightmares have been unreal. And unrelenting. Last night I had several. The most notable was when a friend killed me. The killer’s face in my dream actually kept switching back and forth between two different people, both friends of mine. At one point, my friend/ the killer was threatening my life. I retorted with the fact that he should go ahead- he’d be doing me a favor. Smh.

I’m not quite sure why the last 2 days have been so difficult. My sleep has been so interrupted and when I do sleep, it’s nothing but nightmares. I’ve been overly emotional these last few days as well. When I was hiking this weekend, I kept breaking down crying. Hiking and crying doesn’t mix. I’m not gonna lie. I thought of ***** and ***** quite a bit out there.

These last two weeks have actually been GOOD. I was beginning to get hopeful that I was on my way out of this dark mire. But now I’m not so sure. I keep wanting to stay away from people and keep them away from me. I just want to be left alone and yet I absolutely despise it. I actually hate, hate, hate being alone. It’s just a safe place to recoil to.

Up on the mountain, I was begging God to be with me. He wasn’t. I asked out loud over and over throughout the hours, “God, are you there?” I tried to humor myself by replying to my own question with a sound effect of lightning striking. I thought I was funny. But that didn’t change the fact that I was alone up there.

I don’t know why I cried so much. Both today- during church again- and all day yesterday.

The only thing I can think of is that I’m wrestling with how I view people- and men, in particular.

I know my abusers have been men. Throughout my life, I tried to be normal and be in relationships, but my two most serious relationships ended because I was being cheated on. So I haven’t had the best men in my life- obviously including my own father. And I even think of my grandfather who was a verbally abusive a-hole.

I’ve tried to counteract this and combat it by looking to good men in my life. I think of a teacher I had in high school who I fantasized would marry my mom and be my dad. He was gay and and I chuckle, knowing even back then that my little fantasy would never happen. But I wonder if him being gay is what made him feel so safe. He would never hurt me. Beyond that, he was a gentle, sweet old man. And I love that about him. I was crushed when I ran into him a decade later and he didn’t remember me.

I fondly remember my youth pastors and how awesome they were. They were great examples of Christian men and they were fun and loving and just plain awesome. Then, after my teenage years, I ran into a void of good men. I stopped going to church and didn’t exactly surround myself with the best people. I was involved in the music/ rock scene and saw every single guy use women nonstop for sex. It was unreal. There was even one band I know who have special backstage passes made for girls called “Chicken Head” passes. It’s a lewd reference to girls giving oral sex. I mean, how much more degrading can you get?! And I’d see guys laugh about that.

Then, I started coming back to church. And I came into contact with my former pastor. He’s an amazing man. I love the guy to pieces. He told me he thinks of me as one of his daughters and I loved that. I miss him a lot. He’s the one who said my dad was a monster. But he was a pillar of strength to me and a source of encouragement through long, daily emails for years and years. Both he and his wife are phenomenal people.

And then I moved out of state. It took me several years to find a good church. And almost immediately, I found a guy at that church who was a great, trustworthy person. He’s my 911 friend. I love how he interacts with people and how he cares for and loves his wife and family- and everyone else, for that matter. He’s the most recent person I’ve tried to use as someone to look to as a good example of what a good, Christian man should be like.

My 911 friend kept pushing me to stay with another couple. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I didn’t trust the guy. There were stories of him being violent towards his wife when he used to use drugs and I could never fully let that go. It’s disturbing and highly alarming to me if any person has the potential to hurt another when not in self defense. That’s not ok. It never will be. I kept trying to tell myself that this guy is no longer a drug user, that it’s in his past, it’s not who he is anymore. But I still felt threatened. And now, in the last two weeks, I’ve seen him relapse. It’s not his relapse that’s so disturbing. It’s his mistreatment of his wife while he was actually sober. He treated her like dirt and continues to- even when he’s not high. THAT is what I’m struggling with. Of course, I’m worried for his relapse and don’t want him going down that road. But I can’t believe- I’m actually shocked- that his verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse of his wife is coming when he’s sober. I don’t know what to make of that. Part of me feels justified in how I never fully trusted him and this IS EXACTLY why. But part of me feels guilty…that I should be forgiving. He’s not remorseful though. He doesn’t see anything wrong with how he mistreats and “punishes” his wife. And that makes me question why she stays with him. If it were me, I’d dip out in a second. But hey, maybe that’s why I’m not in a relationship. I absolutely cannot handle a man being cruel or abusive in any way, shape, or form. I just can’t do it.

And we…women…shouldn’t have to! Why do women put up with this? Because they love the guy? Because they’re stuck in a marriage and they don’t want to dishonor God by divorcing? Smh. This pisses me off.

And frankly, seeing all this unravel with this guy and his wife has made me lose HUGE amounts of hope in humanity and in men, in general.

And I think that’s part of what’s bothering me so much. It was him in my dream who was killing me. Him and someone else.

And then I have compassion. And I see his demons and how they’re fighting to take over his life. And I know we have the same demons. We’ve both been sexually abused, among other things. I see him relapse and I see that there’s no way out for people like us. There’s no hope for us. We claw and crawl our way up out of the pit, only to be drug right back down again in an instant. This is weighing so heavily on me. We are not in control. Satan is. You can’t fight that. There’s no winning. If God wanted us to get away, he would have done that already. But he hasn’t.

Published March 17, 2018 by Chloe Madison

My plan is to just chill for the night. I flip the channels to find some light-hearted movie just to make background noise in the house- so I don’t feel so alone. It doesn’t get any more light-hearted than Lindsay Lohan, right? So I start watching Georgia Rule while I do other things.

Then my anger grows- as she lies about being molested by her step-father. I remember the time my old pastor told me about how some people will do that- it’s rare, but it happens. I remember being baffled. Who on earth would lie about something so shameful?!? It’s not a an attention- seeking pity party- it’s a shame- filled, isolated f**king death sentence!! And here was Lindsay Lohan, on screen, lying about that. I was perplexed as I continued to watch…wondering how this fit the story line of her being an out of control, rebellious teenager.

And then the truth finally came out. She had never lied. They only thought she did. And then she actually started lying (telling her mom it didn’t happen) because her mom was in love with the guy and she just wanted her mom to be happy again.

I’m furious. For so many reasons…. crying as I write this. It pisses me off that there are people who get happy endings from this. It pisses me off that the guy in the movie is an asshole who never takes responsibility, blames her, and victimizes himself. It pisses me off that yet another movie is portraying a sexual assault victim as promiscuous. I hate that. I’m not like that- I know many victims move down that path- I honestly don’t understand it. But that’s not all of us- not all of us are promiscuous- so stop portraying us that way. So here you have a sexually abused young girl on screen and she’s a mess, rebellious, lying, coming onto guys nonstop- both teenagers and older men…and this is how the world sees us?

I’m not ok with that. I’m not ok with the fact that at the end of the movie she gets a huge hug and an “I’m sorry” from her mom when all I get is nauseated from watching this stupid movie. I never got a hug, I never got an “I’m sorry.”

All I get is people giving up on me, deciding I’m not good enough, and walking out of my life. No one has ever stuck by my side.

I know I have issues. That stupid movie kept talking about trust issues and as cliché as it sounds- it’s true. My therapist and I are talking about that too. I know I don’t trust anyone. And I know I may never get there. I know shame is devastating and ruling my very being. And I don’t think I can ever shed that.

I hate this. It’s not ending. I’ll never get better. People say they’ll help and then they dip out. I don’t understand. The only thing I can think is that I’m too much of a problem or a stress or a strain or that I’m draining. I can’t help it- I’m just being myself, however f**ked up that is. I want to tell myself to have some dignity and if people don’t care about me- then let them go and not be hurt by it. But it bothers me so much.

I am