All posts tagged anxiety

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 14, 2018 by Chloe Madison

I had another horrible nightmare about being hospitalized again. A co-worker was in my dream and I was pleading to not have to go to the hospital again. I absolutely hate this.

Ive had several nightmares in the last few days, but some benign dreams too.

I’ve been pretty irritable, but overall mood is good. Things are actually looking better than they have in over a year IF I keep my mind occupied 100% of the time. I took one day after work to just rest and watch TV and my thoughts and mood immediately went downhill.

I’m working hard to keep myself occupied with various projects at home- just reorganizing or sifting through old paperwork to see what I can trash, studying, stretching, working on the hunt….I’m trying. But it’s exhausting to keep myself busy 100% of the time. It’s impossible for me to do indefinitely.

But I have to say things are actually kind of ok. And THAT is amazing. The other thing is my church. I’m so thankful for God giving me that church and those people. No matter how much of a hard time I have trusting people… there are very good people at my church. My pastor is one of them. He’s amazing. I barely know the guy, but from what I see, he’s very genuine and so is everything he does. All the other people in my church too…. they’re all amazing people. I’m thankful to be in the midst of them every Sunday. It’s a good place to be.

And I’m working on trying to think of it as a safe place to be. That’s slow in coming, but I’m working on it.

I’m still anxiety-ridden knowing that God is disappointed in me. But he’s one person you can’t pretend with. I can’t pretend to trust him when I don’t fully trust him. I can’t fool him into thinking I’m ok or I have faith that the future will be good. I don’t think it will and God knows that. He knows me. He knows I don’t have perfect faith in him and he knows I’m skeptical and don’t trust him. It doesn’t matter the reason- my therapist told me again how I’m transferring my distrust of my earthly father to my Heavenly Father. And I know the reason doesn’t matter. I’m just not able to trust at this point.

I know God is disappointed in me and that feels terrible. I know he’s mad at me for not having hope and for wanting to *** ** ****. He gave it to me and I’m not appreciating it. There’s no hiding that from him. I love God, but I’m scared of him. Geez…that could describe how I feel about many people in my life. I love people so, so deeply, but I’m so terrified of just about everyone out there. I know I have good reason, but I also know I’m an adult and those reasons shouldn’t matter.

I was just thinking…dogs and babies. Those are the only living things that I’m not afraid of, that I don’t feel threatened by. Everyone else, everything else- every single person on the face of this earth is dangerous and can hurt you. People aren’t safe. Period. End of story. But I feel God has placed me in my church for a reason. Even though I can’t fully trust them…it’s not their fault…but they are some amazing people. I miss my 911 friend and the positive influence he was. But still…I think of the people at my church and they are one phenomenal group. I’m scared to even talk to most of them 😂- but I’m grateful for them.

I’m trying to remain as positive as possible…

Published March 4, 2018 by Chloe Madison

I don’t know where to start. Yesterday was disturbing. For one reason only- my apathy toward being lost in the wilderness and possibly losing my ****. Actually, I’d say that I’m not lucky enough to actually **** ** ****- the only thing that bothered me yesterday was the thought of having to spend a very uncomfortable and very cold night out in the wild.

I drove about 3 hours out into the mountains and went hiking in a remote area. I saw one other person the entire day. I had hiked up to the crest of a ridge and saw a guy hiking below on the dirt road. I don’t know why I felt so threatened. I hid from him. Even though he was far below me, I still felt the need to duck and hide. So I did.

And I had already left the dirt road and went off to that ridge. I hiked back down and went up a different ridge. My curiosity got the better of me and I kept thinking, ‘I want to see what’s beyond the next ridge.’ So I kept going and going. I must have ventured about 4-5 miles off the dirt road. I got lost. Thank God I have an amazing sense of direction. I used the sun to navigate in the general direction I thought my car was in. I finally found the dirt road, but it was down a steep, rocky incline. I went down it and finally reached the road, only to realize I had gone so far- this was not the same dirt road I had begun walking on. I had set off on a dirt road that was closed to motorized vehicles until June 15. My dirt road had two sets of tire tracks on it…this dirt road had none.

There were a couple of times I started to panic, but overall, I couldn’t care less if I met my *** out there. But I knew it was too warm for me to *** overnight. The temps would dip below freezing, but that won’t **** you. The sun was setting, I had no cell service…and truthfully, I hadn’t even planned on hiking. I had no pack, no food, NO WATER. I felt like a dumb ass for doing that, but I also didn’t really care. I had (and still have) huge blisters on both feet. Converse aren’t the best hiking shoes.

I started to panic again when I reached multiple intersections of dirt roads. I couldn’t tell which dirt road was the original one I had come in on. None of them had the tire tracks I was looking for. So I kept heading down the road that wound around in the general direction of my car, according to the setting sun. Finally, I reached another intersection of dirt roads that had tire tracks. Thank God. Darkness met me, but God gave me a full moon. 😏 I made it back to my car and even made the 3 hour drive home. I thanked God as I was able to sleep in my own bed last night. I came so close to hunkering down for the night out there. I’d even found multiple rock outcroppings I could use as a shelter from the cold winds. But God brought me home. My bed never felt so good.

Surprisingly, as tired and sore as I was, I did not sleep well at all- even with sleeping pills. Something is wrong. I don’t know what.

This morning, before I even got out of bed, I was crying- weeping, really. Just sadness and death. It makes me cry. I almost didn’t go to church. But I did. Church was ok. I didn’t cry there- but I had a helluva time listening and concentrating. At this point, I don’t even recall what was talked about. I talked to God so much yesterday. I found multiple crosses in nature before I got lost.

I found these sticks like that. I didn’t set it up and I don’t think anyone else did either. I was so far away from civilization.

This rock caught my attention from far away.

I’m disturbed by the fact that I didn’t care if I got lost out there. It’s not surprising…so why is it disturbing me? I have no clue. I thought of my dog. I know he needs to be taken care of.

I think of the kids I’m working with. I strongly feel God has put them in my path. And yet I feel so useless. I give God my life…but it’s nothing. There’s nothing to give. It’s not like its a sacrifice- when you give someone junk, it’s not worth anything.

I feel like God won’t want it. I feel like he’s mad at me for pulling away from him. I feel like he’s mad because I don’t trust him.

I absolutely despise where I am in life. I hate this. Fear and anxiety and loneliness dominates. I’ve lost so many friends. I feel so alone. I want people to love me, but what can they do anyway? No one can fix this mess. So maybe it doesn’t matter.

Published March 2, 2018 by Chloe Madison

EMDR session #666

I haven’t done EMDR in so long that I forgot how much it disorients me. I almost got into multiple car accidents trying to drive home. I was so out of it- it was unreal. I found myself swerving into other lanes and not being aware of it.

This writing will probably be a mess and I don’t care. I just don’t have the energy to make it all flow well. I just want to get it out.

I’ve been having multiple nightmares about being hospitalized that I haven’t had the energy to write about yet. I told my therapist though and she suggested we do EMDR for that. I had to identify my most overwhelming negative emotion. Shame, of course.

Shame- and with that, feeling unloved, not worthy of being loved, not cared for or worthy of it, alone, hated. The opposite of shame is being honorable. I broke into tears because she asked me to see myself as honorable- and I can’t even picture myself as honorable. It’s not possible. I wept constantly through this whole thing. She asked where I felt this- and I feel it in my chest- it’s super heavy and achy and it hurts. It’s literally painful.

The first thing I envisioned was being locked up. At first, I was just looking around, taking in my surroundings – essentially through memories of the experience. I was in disbelief that it was all even happening, I felt locked in- no way out, I was feeling threatened from my crazy roommate. We had 3 roommates (4 people to a room), but I was terrified of one because I actually thought she could and would hurt me.

The next part, I was looking out the window at the snow- trying to see how I could get out, trying to calm myself with snow and watching the storm roll in. All of this happens in fast forward motion. From the window, it went to me seeing the docs and putting up a facade to convince them I was ok. Then, I went to walking in circles in there because there was no where to go. I remembered talking to my friend on the phone and I remember how it calmed me. I also looked out window at the homeless people and was jealous of how they’re free.

The next thing is a red balloon- like a hot air balloon- comes over to the 7th floor where I am and I can escape. I jump in to rise up and get away. They’re chasing from down on the street level, so I don’t know where to land the balloon. In Colorado? No- not safe. In Wyoming? Not far enough away. I’m speeding away in the balloon in fast forward motion- In the middle of Oregon? No, I don’t know this place- keep going. I wind up on Cannon Beach, where I’ve been before and a place I want to return to. The skies bare dark, like it’s stormy and dusk. I’m on the dark sand for just a second watching the skies and waves and I turn and my friend who called 911 is directly behind me. I feel like I’ve been caught and I panic inside. He’s going to turn me in and send me back to the hospital- so I’m not safe. So I make him disappear immediately and make him dissolve into the sand. I realize if he can find me, I’m not safe- I haven’t gone far enough away so I get back in ballon, and go over ocean- but as I go and go, there’s no where to land. So I go to Alaska. Is that far enough away?? I see memories again. I see moose and bears and a swift running creek with freezing water. I examine the creek rocks, huge and rounded by the rushing of the water. I see the cabin on my vision board- with a deck and Albe my dog laying on it, sunning himself. (I had a vision board where I sketched one of my goals or dreams in life. I drew a simple cabin on land in Alaska with a large wooden deck where I lounged in lounge chairs with my then-fiancée and with my dog, Albe.)

At this point, multiple things happen- first, I hear it said that this dream will never come true. Albe is dead. As much as that kills me. He was by my side for nearly 17 years. So that vision will never happen. Something says don’t you trust God to make your dreams come true? I look up and I see God – as the sun, up in the sky and peeking out over the mountains. But I also know this dream won’t happen- I’m alone. I never envisioned this alone. I envisioned this with my ex fiancée and Albe. Both are gone.

I look to God and try to concentrate on the positive. I feel the warmth of God- as he’s the sun. I’m soaking up his warmth. I feel my face even becoming sunburned. But while I feel the warmth- I still feel the deep hurting hole of shame in my chest.

I feel isolated and full of shame. I’m laying on the lounge chair alone- no dog and no spouse- and a black hole develops in my chest, quickly expands both outward and downward and drops out of my body, stretching down into the earth.

It slowly begins to fill with blue water- but like an underground water table- the levels slowly rise, then fall, then rise again. This takes time and for some reason, I’m confused and scared as this happens. (I think this is God healing me)

As water is filling deep down in the hole- whiteness (like snow) begins to expand and cover the ground. It spreads across the entire ground so all I can see is whiteness. It envelops me and even covers God in the sky and wraps around me. It’s like a loose soft toilet paper, wrapping itself around me in fast forward motion and I’m spinning as it does. My face is covered even. I’m standing now.

I try to remain positive so I look up to where God is to try to keep my mind on him. I face him through the toilet paper. I feel water on my toes and am surprised at how quick the healing water that was deep down in the hole in the earth actually reached my body. But it makes me panic again. I look down, thinking for a second that I could drown. I look back to God, knowing this is his water and it’s good. Then the black hole develops in my chest again. It shoots out of my back and dips down into the earth in a sharp deep point. Something tells me something like- “See?? You can’t get better! You won’t ever heal!” You’re covered with God and yet your black hole of shame will ALWAYS be here.

I can’t remember quite how it ended. It’s like I was a tiny bit close to getting healed and then the blackness enveloped me again. Like it’s something I can never escape. I’m the very end, my therapist was telling me her thoughts- and I’m sorry to say that I don’t know what she said. I saw 666 when she was talking. I know that sounds ridiculous- cheesy, even. But I couldn’t see or hear anything but that for a minute or two.

When I was driving erratically home, I found myself behind a truck who’s license plate started with 666. Not even joking. Super odd.

So that was EMDR. Then last night- it was emotional. I watched the show “Hollywood Medium” and it made me think of my dad and how I always wanted and still want an apology from him. I want him to admit wrong doing or show remorse in the very least. I’ll never get that- but I do sometimes daydream of a medium giving me that message.

I watched the one with Kristin Cavallari and how she wanted her brother who died to come through. I remember following that closely in the news because he died in a way that’s very close to one of the ways I envision it. He died in the desert in Utah. He went missing for several weeks and all they knew is he had been driving through Utah. They had alluded to possible mental illness, but no one (publicly anyway) knew for sure. After a few weeks, he was found dead. He had an accident and was found off in a ditch where we wandered. What his family never knew- was if it was purely accidental or suicide? The medium said that he felt the presence of a mental illness that went back and forth (the family confirmed he was bipolar). Then he said he felt the influence of drugs and alcohol and how that made things worse- almost impossible for healing. Then, he medium said it was an accident, he felt like he was wandering and had planned to find a nearby river and follow it to civilization. But he hit his head and never made it. The family confirmed there was a river near where he crashed and they were relieved (and heart-broken) to heat he had actually tried to survive. All this made me envision all the past plans for the desert- being out there alone, dying, no one ever finding you. It just weighed heavily on me. I watched that episode twice in a row last night.

And I don’t even remember why I started talking about it. Anyway. I’m so exhausted. My head hurts and it feels like I’m in a cloud. I want to go to sleep.

Published February 28, 2018 by Chloe Madison

I read something today that struck me:

“Most human decisions are made emotionally. Only 3% of emotional cognition is available consciously.”

I remember someone calling me out on making an emotional, yet grave decision. I also remember being confused, thinking that I had logically thought out each and every avenue. This quote brought me back to that. The same issue had been on my mind. I don’t wonder if I’ll ever recover. I know I won’t. I know I won’t lead a normal life. I know I’m too f***ed up for people to love me. Everyone leaves.

I don’t remember what made me think back today to this last Christmas. But I was remembering how I did every thing in my power to try to make myself happy. I decorated my apartment like there was no tomorrow. I used to LOVE Christmas. It has always been my favorite. But it’s lost its magic. No matter how many strands of lights I put up…

I was still there alone in the quiet.

It doesn’t matter that I got a real tree so I could enjoy the smell of freshly cut pine….

I was still alone with my tree.

That was the last time I saw my roommate. She darted in, wouldn’t make eye contact with me, ignored the tree, said nothing about the plethora of Christmas lights, and tried to dart out without even addressing me. I knew she had been told about my nice little hospital stay. I knew she was shunning me- and has continued to do so- because of it. I feel so…




Left out


Cast away.


So tonight I was thinking about my old friend, ******* again. And I was thinking how logical it is to me- even though no one else understands. And I thought how I wasn’t being emotional- that this wasn’t an irrational decision.

Ugh. I don’t know. I feel beat down, barraged even… For a second this evening I saw an upside down cross in the way some lights played against the outside of a building. The street lights have stopped going off when I walk under them. Now they turn on. That has to be better. It doesn’t scare me. It just makes me feel like it’s already done. Like the battle has already been won, like there’s no use in fighting. I feel so run down anyway- I don’t feel like fighting anything at all, much less something more powerful.

I’m not giving in. Im just thinking.

I hate that people judge me and stay away from me. I hate that my life is so alone. It’s been 9 years. NINE YEARS. I know many victims of sexual abuse wind up being promiscuous or use sex because they were used for it. For some reason, I went the opposite direction. I’m glad I did. I’d feel a lot shittier about myself if I was promiscuous. But I’m the most closed off person ever when it comes to that. I’ve lost loves over it. My ex-fiancée left me and cheated on me because I didn’t want to have sex until after marriage. He didn’t respect that and he didn’t respect me. He pressured me and mocked me and compared me to all his other girlfriends. That’s BS. I should have left him right then and there. I know I’m lucky that I’m not with him. But I am still alone. STILL. I don’t know when it will end. I don’t think a guy would respect me enough to wait until after marriage. I can blame the culture of our day, but aren’t there Christian guys out there with any ounce of respect any more?? I think it’s like believing in a magic unicorn or something- it just doesn’t exist.

That’s why I feel like it’s foolish to wish for it, wait for it, pray for it. It doesn’t exist. People just aren’t good anymore. Maybe back in the day they were- not any more.

The ONLY living thing I connect with is my dog. And he’s a precious, special one at that. I thank God all the time for him. He means so much to me.

I don’t know where I’ll be living in 4 months. I hate that feeling of uncertainty and having your life up in the air. I’m sick of it actually. It’s been 5+ years of moving and moving and not belonging anywhere. It’s been 9 years of being alone. It’s been a lifetime of not trusting my own family members.

Today I watched a portion of Dr. Phil. It sucked. HARD. There was a girl who had been sexually abused by her dad. She made games out of it- just like I did with my neighbor when I was 9. Her dad had the audacity to blame HER, saying she was not only a willing participant, but tempted him and lured him. Omg, I was torn between throwing up and punching my TV screen. He’s sick. I’m stunned that all these years later, he’s trying to blame her. Unbelievable. I had to turn it off. It literally made me ill.

All these things running through my head…..


Published February 25, 2018 by Chloe Madison

Is there such a thing as spiritual exhaustion? I don’t know how to explain what I’m feeling.

I spent Fri night and all day Sat in a sleeping pill-induced stupor. At least it was slow moving and restful. Today I went to church and for the first time in over a year, I was actually normal. It was so odd! I was ok…I wasn’t scared and intimidated, nor doubting everyone and everything that was said. I was even able to sing from my heart. It felt great. I knew I was a mess, but for a short period of time, I also knew God was good. Until my worship pastor said something about God being a good father…I flinched and immediately felt guilty about my doubt….but what can I do? I sang that song though. And I meant it. I was able to pay attention to my pastor as he preached. Dang, is he talented at what he does. The sermon was very applicable. It was about how we can be so independent that we don’t need help- God’s help. How sometimes our independence gets in the way of us admitting our brokenness and our need for God. He mentioned how we were “designed” to need God. That can explain a lot in our lives. And I was fine for most of the sermon. Then, suddenly and out of nowhere, I started crying again. I can’t even say why. I was just suddenly overwhelmed with an overbearing sadness. It lasted maybe 10-15 minutes and then it left. And I felt normal again and was even able to pay attention again. I don’t know what that was. But today in church was one of the better Sundays I’ve experienced.

I have so much weighing on me. I have no clue where I’ll be living in 4 months. I have stupid hospital bills still to pay. Oh…that reminds me of a very…I don’t know how to explain it…sharp, stabbing (?) truth that my pastor spoke about today. Shame. I hate that word, but it’s been my life for over a year now. I felt it’s weight and all that comes with it from who my father is and the terrible things my family did to cover it up. For months, I tried with my therapist to convince myself that the shame I felt belonged to my father, not me. That it belonged to my family who wronged me, not me. And then came the hospitalization. And I had no idea how devastating and shattering that shame could be. I never thought of it before because I never imagined it would happen. But now I have my own shame to carry in that. It’s mine, not my dad’s nor my family’s. I was the one hospitalized, not them. I’m the one who carries the stigma, no one else. My pastor said that shame is the most devastating of human emotions. I would agree. It makes me feel like I can’t recover. It makes me feel like I’m not good enough and never will be. It makes me understand why people don’t love me and care for me. It makes me understand why my own parents and grandparents didn’t.

I’ve been struggling to breathe under this new shame. Only one person told me that being hospitalized doesn’t define me. I find that so, so hard to believe. I’m trying to cling to that, thinking that I can move on. But, I think I’m only fooling myself. It’s not like I can forget being hospitalized and what it’s done to me. It has literally damaged my psyche. And I’m afraid that’s permanent.

I was afraid the damage done from my perpetrators was permanent. I know God is able to heal. I just don’t understand why he doesn’t. Why does he let people die? Why does he let people suffer? Why doesn’t he heal everyone and show us his love and compassion in that way? Why is it rare that God will do this? I don’t know. And that’s part of why I think praying is useless. God will do what he wants to do. It’s not like you’re going to change his mind! But even with that, and I feel terribly guilty about doubting God’s goodness, I’ve been praying a little lately. I’ve asked God to help me find a safe place to live. I’ve been asking him to take care of my 911 friend and his family. I’ve been asking God to heal my Madagascar friend’s marriage. (They’re good, they just need a little repairing and they’re working on it.) That brings me to another topic. My isolation and lack of connection to people. My Madagascar friend has been writing a little bit every few days to me. He’s shared that he’s in counseling with his wife and he’s shared some of his own weaknesses and struggles. I am so grateful for that. Him being open with me makes me feel connected. It’s given me something (besides myself) to bring before God. I’m so grateful that our friendship is slowly blooming again. I don’t think I’ve seen this guy in 16 years… we went to Madagascar in 2000, I think and we saw each other maybe a year or so after that. I’m grateful that he hasn’t thrown me away as a friend because I was hospitalized. I’m grateful that he still trusts me. He trusts me enough to share his struggles with and not only is that opening a two way street, but like I said, it makes me feel connected to another human being. I can’t believe how much I lack that. It’s unreal.

Published February 22, 2018 by Chloe Madison

I am so fucking miserable. I have a terrible headache and I generally feel like shit. No energy. Not even to write..

Today I wept multiple times. I held my dog and looked him in his eyes and begged him to never leave me. I told him l loved him and I’d take care of him forever. I know that’s a lie though. One day, I’ll have to go through the excruciating pain of having to put him down.

He’s the ONLY thing I have in this fucked up life. No one understands that. No one understands what it’s like to go home every day to an empty house, to eat every single meal alone, to talk to no one but myself. I used to have a few friends but they’re all too busy. I have nothing and no one. I am nothing and no one.

I went to church on Sunday and was almost immediately overcome by sadness. I cried there again. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. For a few days there, I was going to abandon my desert plans for spring break. Now I’m back to them.

I remember my pastor did a great sermon that day, but now I can’t remember what it was about. I think it had something to do with- when there are bad times, God still works where you are? I’m not sure if that’s right, but I think it was something like that. That God can still use you even when you’re a mess and everything in life seems like a mess. Obviously, it resonated with me. I thought of the young people I work with. I thought of how 3 of them have come to me this year sharing their stories of having been raped. I wondered why God was doing that. How can I help them when I can’t even help myself? How can I encourage them when I don’t believe my own life will ever get better? How can I inspire them when I’m beyond ready to permanently call it quits?

After finding out that 22% of the young people I work with have been sexually assaulted, I struggled to find what I could do to help them. How could I support them? I refuse to just let them go unsupported and unloved. Not only would that be cruel, it would be negligent (imho). We created a visual of the 22%. It came out looking like more because they wanted to honor those whom they knew who had also been assaulted. Here is what we made:

It’s just post-it notes. The lighter color represents a kid who has never experienced and doesn’t know anyone who’s been sexually assaulted in some way. The darker ones represent a kid who has been sexually assaulted or who knows someone. On their post-it note, wrote their gender and their age when it occurred. That way, they could be represented without losing their anonymity. If they made a post-it note to represent someone they knew, then they wrote their relation on it, also maintaining anonymity. Some kids told me they were ok with writing their names…but I want to make sure they’re protected. So I explained that even though they were incredibly brave, I thought it would be safer to not do that.

I still needed to support these kids. The truth is God gave them to me to take care of and to love. I’m going to do that until the day I die. We brainstormed about how we could support each other without knowing who the victims actually were. One idea was to hear their stories. They wanted people who had been violated to write out their stories so we could read them. If we do that, it will be done on a voluntary basis. Some might not be ready to share their stories for years. Another idea was for everyone to write a letter of support and encouragement to those who had been violated. These are some of the letters:

I salute everyone for their compassion in reaching out to others who have been hurt. I want to copy all of these letters and somehow get a stack of these to each person who has been sexually assaulted. Some might not be ready to read them right away. Some might keep them and read them whenever they feel lonely or sad. Some might read them over and over. I remember my 911 friend was super encouraging to me multiple times. Occasionally, when I feel terrible, I’ll go back and find his text that said “you’re not alone” over and over again. Occasionally, I’ll also listen to a prayer he recorded. That really calms me and helps me fall asleep. 😂 It’s just so calming that I usually don’t hear the end of it…I must be asleep by then. But I was hoping that these letters of support are something the kids could keep and pull out to read again whenever they feel they need it.

Speaking of sleep, last night was the first night in over a year and a half that I slept through the night!! Ok, I didn’t exactly sleep all the way through…I woke up twice, but promptly fell right back asleep. I couldn’t believe it when my alarm actually woke me up this morning. I was shocked. I still felt exhausted as hell, but I slept. Whoa. I’m pretty sure lack of sleep is part of why my brain has turned to mush.

Back to my kids, I don’t know what else I can do to help them. I went to my boss and asked for support for them and I made connections with free counseling and therapy options for them as well. But if they’re anything like me, not only will they need a huge push, but they’ll need more. I’ve offered myself to be there for them if they ever need to talk. And many of them offered themselves in their letters- they even gave contact info. I’m going to try to keep thinking for them- to see what else I can do to help them. What my pastor talked about- God using us in the midst of our own pain and suffering- it made me think of these kids. I’ll do what I can to help them, but I don’t think it will ever be enough.

I feel guilty for wanting to give up. What would that look like to those kids? They don’t even know my story. They wouldn’t understand why I did something like that. And that brings me back to the “lost hiker” thing I’d probably run with. That way, no one would truly know.

That kind of parallels my life anyway. So few really know me and my story. The few who do have a tendency to either walk out or give up on me. I’d give up on me too- I’m surely NOT placing blame. I appreciate EVERY LITTLE THING that’s been done to help me. It means the world to me. It’s stopped me in my tracks and made me second guess myself so many times (in a healthy way). But eventually it wears thin and runs out. No one can sustain another forever. I think that’s why I don’t have a significant other. I know no one can handle this giant mess that is me. It’s not fair to expect anyone to.

I have someone who’s been casually pursuing me for a while now. First of all, just the fact that it’s casual makes me feel unimportant. Second, it is long distance. He lives across the country and our communication is sporadic at best. Additionally, just when we were about to have a deep conversation (prompted by me), he dipped out. Like…literally ran out!! 😂 I kid you not. We were having a beer and as soon as the conversation turned heavy, he jumped up out of his seat, got the bill and paid for it and said we were moving down the block to a restaurant to go eat. I remember thinking…wow. I need someone with a backbone who can handle this stuff. I need someone who can actually be there for me. I don’t need someone who’s going to run when conversation turns heavy. Am I being too cut and dry thinking like that? Am I expecting too much? I mean, this is someone I’ve known since we were teenagers…it’s not like we’re in the “getting to know you” phase.

This just makes me feel he’s not the one…or maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m not ready to be in a relationship. For a while now, I’ve thought that I would be useless in a relationship…that I’m empty and I have nothing to offer, nothing to give. I had already kind of decided I just wasn’t in a space where I was relationship material. I’m still thinking that way.

I’m useless to everyone.


FTL. I don’t want God to be mad at me. And I’m so, so thankful for when I see God working in my life or in others’ lives… but FTL. I am so over it.