Grooming

Published June 12, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Today I thought about some things that used to be special to me between my dad and I. On multiple different occasions he would take both my brother and I or sometimes just myself out to get ice cream. For whatever reason, he’d stop at Dairy Queen right before dinner and then make us promise to not tell our mom. I also remember that after he was diagnosed with cancer, he took me out of school early one day. We went fishing. I remember that day very clearly. I thought it was special that he was taking extra time to spend with me, knowing that his time was limited. There was a time before he got cancer that he took me to a local art shop- we looked at paintings and he showed me one that he had already picked out. It was a painting of a clown. He made a big deal out of the painting and of us going there. Because of that, I thought the painting must have been really expensive. He also made a big deal out of keeping it all secret- a special secret. I still have that painting. But I hate it now. Even though I hate it, I can’t let go of it because it’s the only thing I have that my dad gave me. 

It’s blurry because I zoomed in (it was in the background of an old photo) and a portion of it is blocked, but this is the actual clown painting.


Over a decade ago, I went to a counselor and received therapy. I told my therapist about the special, secret things my dad did for me. She shook her head and informed me that it’s part of “grooming.” 

I was devastated. 

I remember thinking that maybe she wasn’t entirely correct. That maybe just because my dad did something for me in secret, doesn’t necessarily mean it was grooming. But this revelation is what led me to despise that painting. I will never truly know my dad’s intentions. 

So today I was thinking about all of this. And with the new fact that my uncle was also a victim of my dad’s, I wondered if there was ever any grooming done by my dad toward my uncle. I don’t think I’ll ever know. 

The other thing I also thought about- was if I don’t make it through this…how many lives would be taken as a result of the actions of one person. 

It’s mind blowing. 

EMDR session #1

Published June 10, 2017 by Chloe Madison

You’re supposed to focus on a picture of the most distressing part of the issue you’re dealing with. Then, you decide what’s the biggest negative feeling you have about it. I wept throughout this entire session- not sure why.

I have a picture in my head of my uncle’s suicide- his body laying face down in the grass, the stark contrast of the red blood on the green grass. 

The feeling I have is that I should have been more understanding of him, I should have known (what I didn’t know yet) about his abuse by my dad. I should have been more compassionate. 

I feel pain in my heart and chest- it blows up, swells, and feels like it’s going to burst. The pain moves up through my neck and into my head. I feel like my head is going to explode as the pain swells greater and greater. I feel like the explosion will come out of my eyes and my head will shatter. 

So I turn away from the sight because I can’t deal. I keep trying to move away and I feel like I start to float away from the scene. As much as I turn my head in that direction, wanting to move away from the scene of the suicide, I feel obligated to return. It’s the right thing to do. It’s like I just can’t turn my back on my uncle- it’s not his fault. 

I feel like I need to talk with my aunt to tell her the truth. (In reality, my uncle had been sexually abused my my dad when they were younger- my uncle told several people, but no one ever believed him. He spent most of his life depressed and eventually committed suicide). So I feel like I need to tell my aunt that my uncle was telling the truth. But I don’t want to because I’m afraid it will crush her. I see us talking in fast forward with no words.

We move into her house and we begin to become submerged in blue water that’s all throughout the house. The water stands for truth. We soak in the water up to our mouths- our entire bodies are submerged and part of our heads- up to the level of our mouths. We don’t talk anymore, we just soak in the truth. I can tell it’s going to take her time to take it all in (just like it took me time to digest everything). 

As we’re soaking in the blue water, I notice the sky turns a deep red. It becomes a dark maroon, like something foreboding is coming. But there’s a lighter, circular spot that develops in the sky. In the deep red sky, this lighter spot turns into an orange color, then fades into yellow. I feel like Jesus is going to come through that spot on a chariot or something. 

But I don’t let him. Even though I don’t have the power to stop God, I push back and don’t let him come out of the sky. The sky begins to turn a deep purple. I feel like it’s a signal that Jesus is permanently leaving. (The therapist says at this point that it’s our choice to follow Jesus and allow Him to work.) 

So I realize the mistake I’m making and I say, “Sorry! Come back, come back!” I don’t quite remember, but I think the sky turns from purple to orange. I rise up out of the blue pool to get a better look to see if Jesus is coming back. I keep rising up and as I do, I’m spinning and floating upwards, looking all around. I don’t see Jesus, but I get the feeling that he’s all around me. I look up, directly overhead and I see a circular area that’s made up of a whiter light (this reminds me of the very end of Twister when they look up into the middle of the tornado). I’m floating up into this white light. 

I feel like it could be God carrying me up into Heaven, perhaps for a visit. I want to visit my uncle and think that maybe I’ll see everyone there. I see the shadows of all my family members who have passed on. But then I see all the shadows of everyone fade and back away. One person floats forward (he’s a dark shadow with a bigger belly) so I think it’s my dad. I never see him clearly so I’m not sure. I wanted to check on my uncle so I keep thinking my dad will fade and my uncle will come forward. But it doesn’t happen. 

My dad keeps coming forward. He puts his arm around me, his hand on my shoulder and I think he says he needs to tell me something. He says, “I’m so very sorry.” Well, this is all I’ve ever wanted to hear! So I wonder if it’s real or imagined. I think I asked him if he apologized to my uncle…I wanted to make sure they’ve resolved things. He says, “I never meant to hurt you.” I think he said I love you. I don’t seem to receive these messages too warmly as I find myself still preoccupied with wanting to know if he’s resolved things with my uncle and if my uncle is ok. He asks me for forgiveness. I kind of hold off answering, almost like- well, if you apologized to Uncle Gary, then yes- if you didn’t, then no. I’m preoccupied with the injustice my uncle dealt with his entire life. Then my dad says, “Justice is not yours, it’s the Lord’s.” It makes me think of academy and wanting to help others get justice because my uncle never got it and I never did either. 

I tell my dad, “Of course I forgive you. I always have.” We go to hug, but I pause in the embrace. I question if it’s safe. I hold off hugging because I keep questioning the safety/ protection of the situation because it wasn’t safe before. I then see another person’s face- a giant sized face just floating there. This is a safe person, but I try to push that face away because it has nothing to do with the situation. The same giant face comes back again- this time the face itself is faded, but I recognize other facial features. I push it away again, thinking it doesn’t belong (except for the fact that it is a safe person). I can’t quite remember what happens next. 

I don’t know. I think we never fully hug. I think I inquire about my uncle again. My dad answers with something like- he did or said what he had to/ needed to me. (I notice we’re running out of time in the session.) I keep thinking my indecision to embrace or my indecision about whether hugging my dad is safe or questioning about my uncle is making Heaven impatient with me. The white light we’ve been in turns dark purple and I feel like I’m running out of time. They’re going to send me away. 

I descend back to Earth, back toward the pool of blue water. I look up and see my dad’s hand is reaching down to me. I reach up to him, but we’re too far away. God doesn’t let us touch or let us have more time. I keep descending and his hand fades away. 

I can see my aunt again in the water with me. I ask her if she understands now. There’s no response. I’m distracted by the sky turning orange. I see a light circular spot developing again in the sky. I think it’s Jesus coming back. I can’t remember, but I think I decide that  I don’t want to push him away again. 

I think it ends there. I’m not sure. I don’t remember. 

No sé, Jose

Published June 7, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Dumbest, most vague post ever. The only thing I can think of is “I don’t know.” Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? Things are happening too fast, I feel like I’m in a whirlwind and I couldn’t tell you what’s going on inside of me. I am so confused. 

I’m just not sure I can trust what people say- or even what they do. 

I have all these intruding suicidal thoughts in mid conversation. It’s incredibly distracting. I’m trying so hard to push them out of my head. But it happens so often that it’s difficult. I surprised myself by laughing a couple of times today…and then it’s like reality instantly snaps me out of happiness and back to depression and death.

I just don’t know… 


I know this makes sense to no one, not even myself really. But I’ve got to get this out somehow, some way. 

I feel so…I don’t know…awkward, suspicious…wanted yet unwanted, loved and yet not. I feel so unsure of myself here in this place. I feel like it might be better if I go. I just don’t know. Like I said, I’m feeling very confused. My heart very literally hurts not knowing, not being sure- worrying and fearing the worst. I mean, it’s a definite possibility and it’s been alluded to…so it’s not like I’m imagining things. I just don’t want to make people mad or to make anyone turn against me. 

There. That’s it. Nothing interesting. Although…one amazing thing happened that a friend shared- where God worked in an absolutely incredible and surprising way. I will say that is very encouraging to me, even though it has nothing to do with me. To be able to see God work so miraculousy is always a good thing, right? So as confused as I may feel, I can always try to stay focused on the positive, stay focused on Jesus, focus on His love and the unending grace of God. Right? 

Mind = Blown

Published June 5, 2017 by Chloe Madison

I think I hide it really well. But this weekend, I had three different people (all of whom I just met in the last few days and have no clue how I normally am) give me a sharp reality check. 

One person told me “wow, you’re really checked out…you’re like, if one more person comes up to me…!” I was shocked. At that particular time, I was trying so hard to be social and talk to every single person that I could. I’d been talking to people for HOURS and was actually proud of myself for trying so hard. And then this dude says that to me. It made me wonder how I was being perceived from the outside. Here I was, thinking I was being super friendly and chatting and smiling even through the hurt…but this guy, sitting across the room, called me out. 

Another person the next day told me I “looked wrecked”…he came upon a conversation I was having with someone else who started talking about way back when he wanted to commit suicide. I wondered why he brought that up- did he see through me? He went on talking about that time in his life and I listened very carefully. That’s when the third guy walked up and said I looked wrecked (after the other guy walked away). I laughed it off and changed the topic.

There are some truly amazing people in this world. Others…not so much! 😉  I am so VERY GRATEFUL for all of the amazing people who have been a part of and have touched my life over the years. I sit in awe and wonder when I think about those special people. 

Now, I’m waiting to fly back home. And for a few days, I’ve been thinking of how I need to cut ties with people…just sever things so it’s not so difficult for either of us. So that’s next… 


Please take this and run far away, far away from me

I am tainted and happiness and peace of mind were never meant for me

All these pieces and promises…

Could have been

————————————

Update:

Whoa. Like I had to change the title of this entire post- or write a whole new one. 

Whoa. My mind is still blown…still shaking my head and digesting whatever just happened. This is the second time that my little plans have been interrupted. The first time I knew it was God…I mean, this time I know it is too- it has to be! There’s no other explanation. None. 

To make a long story short- it looks like I might be staying with some friends for a few days. The fact that they even thought of it- even asked…it just blows my mind with what that does to my world. I didn’t even get home. Do you understand what that means? I didn’t even get home- not one minute alone to think about …y’know. 

I’m stunned. I don’t have anything else to say. I’m simply stunned. Holy God, this is just crazy.   o.O

Published June 2, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Feeling so conflicted. First, I want to make sure that this particular weekend, I shift the focus off of myself and onto others. It’s my mission to make sure everyone I encounter feels like a million bucks. I really want to pour into people and give them what they need. Also, I pray and I ask you to pray that Jesus is somehow able to work through me- whether through actions or words or whatever. There will be a number of people who I’ll be spending time with who don’t know Jesus. I’m going to fight the depression and in the very least, fake it- hoping to allow Jesus to move. I’m not trying to be fake- I just don’t want my depression to overshadow or taint the way others might view Christians. I also don’t want to be antisocial or down the whole time and not take advantage of this opportunity to reach out to others. 

But can you fathom how distracting it is when you’re in mid conversation with someone, listening, looking them in the eyes, and you suddenly see your dead, lifeless body strewn across a barren landscape?

It stops you in your tracks. 

Even when I stop at a red light…just that paused moment in time, I see depression boiling over and I see different ways to die. I pause and think how peaceful that would be. And yet it instantly makes me physically sick to my stomach. 

I suddenly feel the need to be secretive about it all. It makes me feel ashamed and deceitful. 

What has happened that’s different is that there are times when I think I don’t want to die anymore. That’s been a breath of fresh air, no matter how fleeting. It’s happened multiple times now- where I actually smile, think life is good, and death might not be necessary. I guess the trick is to make those thoughts stay instead of them being elusive. 

God took my plans for last weekend and made a total shift. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing God work, especially in my life. But this makes me feel so guilty about what I keep wanting to do. I know it’s not what God wants. I know it’s selfish. I know it’s wrong. 

I’ve been making it a point to meet up with special people one final time. There are a few young people who I wanted to encourage one last time, to let them know one last time that I love them and care for them, to let them know how special they are. I’m not sure I’ll be able to see everyone, but doing this has been important to me. 

I’m going to do everything I can to be selfless this trip and make it all about others. Then, I can go back home and do what I need to do. I have this urgent …
I just want to give God my whole heart….to follow Him with all of my being, to fully trust Him. 

Published May 28, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Oph. Just some rambling…nothing to see here, move along.

So many things are bombarding my mind right now. I looked in a mirror today and looked hella skinny. I don’t know if it’s the mirror or me- but it stopped me in my tracks. I knew I lost some weight this last week with the craziness…but it just hit kinda hard. It made me feel bad, guilty.

I was sitting in the parking lot at church just before I went in. I saw this little kid skipping through the parking lot. My first thoughts: “that’s the church…it’s not right he has to pay for my therapy.” I know that makes no sense. Looking at this innocent little kid, I saw him as the epitome of what the church is made up of, who the church is. Then, my mind went straight to how the church is paying for a bit of my therapy and I thought how that’s not right. How it’s not right that other people need to share my burden. As the thought was occurring, I immediately realized how wrong I was.  But why did I think that way? Why was that my first thought? I’m so grateful for my church. I’m actually still shocked that they would care enough to help me out. I’m really, really grateful. 

Then there was church. Everything was fine at first. I was in a better mood than usual, I was even smiling. But once my pastor got up to start speaking, I almost immediately had an issue concentrating. I don’t know why. I struggled the entire sermon to pay attention. My mind darted around from suicide to happiness to anxiety about therapy to loneliness. All day yesterday I was marveling at what God did- my plan for this weekend was to be in the desert loaded with pills and my firearm. And yet He had me sitting in a safe, peaceful place quietly enjoying myself. My plan was to be completely and utterly alone- how my life is apparently supposed to be- and to toy with death. I wanted to go out far in the middle of nowhere, hike far away from my car, find a little slot canyon where I’d never be found and sit there in the orange dirt… I want to make sure no one finds the body. I feel like that wouldn’t be fair to anyone…to find that mess. I remember back in late Jan or early Feb, I went to the range. I was just about to start shooting and I thought, “I should shoot myself right here, right now, no excuses.” I leaned back and looked down the range to check out who was there and how far away they were- to see if I’d have the split second I would need to shoot. I remember seeing a whole bunch of people; every lane was full. I remember seeing one older lady smiling to whomever she was with. And I thought, “No, that’s not fair. You shoot yourself here and all these people will be traumatized by it. That’s not ok. Keep it private.” So I decided to not do it there that day. I posted a pic to IG of my gun and my thoughts. No one understood. 

I picture first responders finding me, making fun of the situation. They usually do- it’s not their fault. They use dark humor to help them cope. But the truth is they don’t know you, they don’t care about you, they don’t think of who you were. No one cares. Not even the people who find or remove your body. 

So these were my thoughts today. I’m still shocked and in awe of how God kept me here and didn’t let me go out there. He was standing there, answering prayer like a boss! But I also feel like it’s just delaying the inevitable. There’s no way around it. This is not going to be good. 

Y’know what’s really tragic? It’s how self-consumed I am. Part of me says it’s because I have these overwhelming issues, it’s not my fault, I need to focus on healing and on myself. But the other part of me craves the times when I had a heart for God and for others. I still love God. That will never ever change. I still really love others…but I’m not actively seeking out how to help others like I used to. I feel terrible- like I’m letting God down. I feel like I don’t deserve the prayer that He’s answered just in this last week- which is MASSIVE amounts of specifically answered prayer that literally saved a life. I’m so in awe of how much love God has shown me through that alone. It’s been unreal and surreal. Thank you, God. You will always have my heart…even though it’s not the best. Surrender. 

Would have been…

Published May 26, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Ignore this- you know it already. I need to tell a story I’ve already told before. I just can’t get my mind off this. 

My uncle committed suicide by police. I was there hours later, standing next to the spot where he died. I remember finding his blood on the grass. I noticed all the circular burn marks in the grass, where officers’ patrol cars had sat idling for hours. Even then, his wife refused to tell me what was really going on. She explained in detail how he had died. How he said he wanted to die and she called the police to Baker Act him (Baker Act is a suicide hold). The police arrived and he apparently set his secret plan in motion. He barricaded himself in his bedroom, ran out of the back door (located in the bedroom), and circled around to the front door of his house. He carried a handgun with no magazine in it. He ran up behind the line of officers, who were still entering through the front door. They noticed him and he raised the gun and pointed it at the officers. They fired. Of course, it wasn’t until afterward that they realized his handgun wasn’t loaded. Suicide by police = quick and highly effective. 
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out why my uncle committed suicide. I don’t think that many people knew- I know of two. But those people- my cousin and my aunt (my uncle’s wife) refused over and over again to tell me. My cousin let out the most information, saying that my Uncle Gary had always accused someone of something and no one had ever believed him. Well, with my past, my mind immediately went to sexual abuse and I thought maybe my dad or someone else in the family. (I had always wondered if someone ever did anything to my dad- I mean, where did he learn this from?) Anyway, maybe two years ago, I was back in my hometown visiting. I was with my cousin and had already decided in my head that I was going to extract this information from her before I returned home. We had already gotten into some deep conversations- her husband (one of my most favorite family members) had been murdered. He was a government agent and she thought he’d been murdered by his own people. (Btw, if this blog suddenly disappears, there ya go.) So we’d broached heavy topics and I brought up my uncle. Again, she refused to tell me what he’d been so depressed about his entire life. I knew he hated me…he hated everyone. But I never knew why. I remember being so confused at his funeral as his co-workers stood up and relayed stories about how sweet, kind, generous, and funny he was. I thought these people are at the wrong funeral!! Who are they talking about? I never knew my uncle to be sweet or generous or funny. Ever. I was shocked as person after person went up to the front and said all these things about him. They were describing a side of him I never knew existed. And I remember thinking again… why did he hate his family so much? But he loved these people? I was so confused and unsettled. So years later, I’m sitting in my cousin’s kitchen. It’s nearly 2am. I told her I wouldn’t leave until she spilled it. So she finally did. 

She told me how my uncle had accused his older brother (my dad) of sexually abusing/ molesting him. No one had ever believed my uncle. I’m assuming he must have despised my father. It was no wonder he hated me too then…I was my father’s child. He was probably disgusted with all of us. And…now that I know how my grandma helped cover up my abuse…I’m assuming she did the same with my uncle. No wonder he was such as ass to her too. He had told her and she had acted like she didn’t believe him. She just kept it all covered up. Is that a mother’s loyalty? I don’t think that’s right, no matter how you look at it. 

Tears stream down my face right now as I know I would have been the only person to believe him. I wish I had known. I wish he had told me, instead of just hating me from afar. I wonder if he had shared and I believed, would that have comforted him at all? Would that have made a difference or prevented his death? Would he have been more disturbed to discover that my dad had abused another? 

So that’s where I find myself stuck. I very slowly came to the realization that my dad was a sexual predator, a child molester, a 
Until I found out about my uncle, I never thought of my dad that way. I’d honestly thought he was a good person, as everyone had repeatedly told me, who made a mistake once with his daughter. It took a while to hit me…there was more than one victim. I wasn’t the only one. That makes him all those bad things. Maybe I should have thought of him that way before, but I just didn’t. I think it’s easier to forgive your father. You want a dad so badly, you wouldn’t want to push him away by being unforgiving.