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Surprise 

Published August 5, 2017 by Chloe Madison

I’m not quite sure how to describe what happened tonight. I think it was a surprise party…? 

I feel like I didn’t respond quite the way people wanted, but I was so shocked that I couldn’t do anything but stand there and smile. And hug people. And say thank you. 

These are my church people and I was just stunned to see everyone there. I’m still digesting it all. I couldn’t thank everyone enough. 

As I was driving home, I was trying really hard to remember- I don’t think I’ve ever had a surprise party before. But y’know what? I did. One time a “friend” told me how unattractive I was. Once I confided in my best friend how much this had hurt my feelings, she made this other “friend” work with her to arrange a surprise “Chloe, you’re beautiful” party. 😂 It was just the two of them and myself. Yep. That’s the only surprise party aside from tonight that I’ve ever had. 

So this one was really special. I came home, read and reread cards, rewatched a video message from some long distance friends, and admired the balloons I got to take home. I felt like a little kid- I really enjoyed it. 

The entire night was surreal though. I felt completely out of it. I cried a few times, but only one person saw it once. I fake smiled the whole time…not that I didn’t want to smile- it was just nearly impossible for my face to do it. I think…I hope I did a good job of showing appreciation.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…how these people all came together. Wow.  

I don’t deserve it. But I feel lucky. And I’m forever grateful to all these wonderful people. 

I wish I could make myself happy. I wish things like this could give me lingering joy…

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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. 

“I didn’t notice You were standing here…”

Published May 25, 2017 by Chloe Madison

I think yesterday qualifies as one of the worst and certainly the weirdest day ever. I’m still slowly digesting all that happened and what it means.

Let’s start with the day before. At 7am, it hit heavy and hard. I had a kid come to me needing to talk. Her dad had just passed away and this day was the one month anniversary. I had previously reached out to her, talked with her, and told her she could contact me ANY time she needed, day or night. I listened to her for two solid hours. (Thank God we had a study hall period before finals started- so we actually had this time.)

Man… sadness. That’s all I can say. She shared how while her dad was in the hospital, her mom found evidence on his cell phone of him cheating with another woman. She shared how her dad would sometimes hit her mom and her older brother would secretly call the police (and then act as surprised as everyone else when the cops showed up). She shared how her grandma came from Mexico when dad was hospitalized and acted incredibly strange and indifferent. Grandma left with no explanation during the wake and never went to the funeral. She cried as she realized dad would never see her go to prom or get married. We cried together. She unloaded for two hours- we were only stopped by the bell.

My heart was and still is so heavy for her. I couldn’t stop thinking about her all day. I went home and watched MacGyver later that night. (What the ?!)

Then came the next day. I wanted her to return so we could keep talking, but she didn’t. Then it hit me that today was the day I was going to start meeting with a therapist. Suddenly, my mind shifted from her to myself and I was overwhelmed with emotions- fear, anxiety, everything was moving too fast, I wasn’t ready, I just wanted to take off and leave, I wouldn’t like or trust this new therapist, I couldn’t be honest with her…a whole list of excuses. The headaches started. At this point, I was on day 2 of not eating (just nerves). But I know that didn’t help my constant headache.

Since I made the appointment, I had considered not being fully honest with her about where I’m at with suicide and eating issues and stuff like that. Even a few minutes before the appointment, I was sitting in my car trying to decide what to do. (I have an extreme fear of being locked away in a loony bin so the idea of being put on a suicide hold is horrifying to me.)

But…I thought about my church paying for some of these first few appointments and how much that means to me. I realized I’d be wasting their money if I wasn’t fully open and I decided that just wasn’t cool. I’d be honest with her about everything. Pretty much.

And I was. I was proud of myself for opening up and telling her all of it, especially the ugly parts. She asked me questions I didn’t have answers to- like who is my support system and what’s my…I forget the terminology she used…but what was my plan for when I felt suicidal? Who would I contact or what would I do to get through those few hours or however long? I didn’t have an answer. I felt kind of stupid. But she made me come up with one before I left there.

And this is where things start to get weird. I left there feeling so…I don’t even know how to describe it. I felt terrible, but it was so much more than that. I had this urgent need to walk and think. I wanted to find a park, get out, walk, and simply process things. Well, I immediately got lost while driving around looking for a park. Smh. When I came out to a spot I recognized, it was near where I went to academy. I was crying pretty hard at this point and decided that before I turned onto the road with heavy traffic, I should pull over and get a hold of myself. I stopped on the side of the road, staring forward at the building I attended academy in. Three years ago, six days a week for an entire year…that building and parking lot were so familiar to me. I just sat and stared, relived a lot of the training in my head, and listened to Nine Inch Nails. I listened to the album Still over and over again. For hours. Every time “Adrift and At Peace” came on, I didn’t make me feel better. That song is supposed to be the conclusion to “La Mer,” which was my suicide song…long before I realized it was his suicide song. I thought maybe listening to “Adrift and At Peace” would show me how he went down a more peaceful path than suicide. It didn’t.

I quickly became numb and lost all my emotions. Then they’d all hit and I’d burst out crying. I stayed there in that car, on that road, listening to that album for so many hours. I posted a few lines here on WordPress. I didn’t have a title for it. When I hit “post,” I thought it would reject it, telling me I needed a title. But it didn’t- it went through. I considered deleting it…but shrugged and said ‘f**k it’ and continued sitting there.

It was like I was suspended in a heavily viscous fluid. I was just sitting there in a terribly painful stupor with my head floating.

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I thought about going home, but didn’t want to banter with my roommate, pretending nothing was wrong and I certainly didn’t think I was alert enough to drive. I was so out of it. I decided I would be ok with sleeping there. I was just so exhausted and spent. I couldn’t move. I wondered what happened with my desire to get out and walk. It wasn’t there anymore…my body felt like cement, yet my mind was floating. Once it got dark, I decided it wasn’t safe enough to go for a walk anyway.

I thought about suicide. I took out my firearm and put it on my lap. I just held it and felt it in my hands. And then cried. My thoughts floated and raced at the same time.

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I made a decision. I was going to leave the next day (today) after work. I was going to head west into the desert and flirt with suicide. I didn’t fully decide to do it, but I was just going to go out there for a few days and see what happened. I’d see if I had the guts to do it or maybe find out I wasn’t ready yet. I still like the idea of going missing just so people don’t know it’s suicide. I think that’s better for everyone. Not sure.

So that was it. I had decided to leave the next day. I’d clear out my car and sleep in it on the way out to the desert.

I tried to shake myself out of thinking down this path. I opened my Bible and read for a bit. I opened to a page where I had previously underlined, “I shall not die, but live…” I decided to stop there and reread those few pages several times.

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I prayed that God would send someone to talk, to distract me. I specifically asked for someone who would do all the talking…there in my stupor, I didn’t feel I could talk at all. But I wanted someone to talk to me. I’d just like to listen. I remembered the girl from the day before and how she had so much to get off her chest, how she talked and talked for hours. I needed someone like that. Someone who wouldn’t question why I was being so quiet.

I prayed and asked God for that. I couldn’t think of someone who I could bother (and not feel guilty about bothering them). Then I read the verses above that say, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” I got irritated almost immediately. I sat there and thought God just wouldn’t answer this prayer. And that was ok. My mind drifted to taking off and getting out of Dodge. I pictured the orange desert sand with a puddle of blood laying on top. I wasn’t happy with the thought of using my firearm- like I’ve said before, that’s not my first choice. But it’s the way I keep envisioning it. I’ve envisioned it hundreds of times by now so the idea has settled more and more with me.

I remembered the look on the therapist’s face when she asked if I had access to or a means of carrying out my plan. I answered yes so quickly, I think it startled her. And I do have the means and the access. So I thought, ‘let’s leave and go to the desert and see what happens.’

That’s what I was thinking when I got a text, asking me if I would house sit and dog sit for this coming weekend. My first thought was ‘nope, I’ve got plans to go to the desert.’ As I sat there staring at the text…in disbelief, it hit me…was this God wrecking my plans? Nah.

Well…maybe.

Then, I started wondering if God was answering prayer, changing my plans, keeping me safe. I got lost in thought and wondered what made my friend think to ask me this. I still didn’t know what to answer- yes and wreck this weekend’s plans? Or no, sorry, I’ll be out of town?

I decided this was God helping me. So not only would I answer yes, but I would answer yes emphatically. I started to text an answer back and the phone rang. It was my friend calling.

So… remember the prayer that I had prayed hours before? Well, my friend, the same one whom I opened up to (he and his wife), the same one who hooked up this therapist and our church helping out financially… the same one who wanted a house sitter while he went away with his family for a week.  Well…let’s just say, he was super chatty. It was perfect! I (think) I let him know I wasn’t ok…I can’t really remember. So he just talked and talked. And I listened. I’m not even sure, but I think he talked for several hours. I remember towards the end, I started feeling so much better that I was even chuckling a bit with some of what he was saying.

And then…there he was.

He’d walked all the way from his house. I mean, I knew he was out waking…but I couldn’t believe I was actually seeing him. Was this real? I had told him where I’d been sitting in my car, but… ?! I was so confused…I thought, ‘Wow, this guy is crazier than I am!’ I felt so guilty he walked all the way there, but I was still so shocked about it, I didn’t know how to respond. I got out of the car to talk with him and realized my legs were numb from sitting there so long. I was embarrassed, I’d been crying for hours, my car was a mess, there were crumpled up tissues all over the place from crying, and my gun was sitting there in the front seat surrounded by tissues. Everything was a mess, especially me. I felt guilty, embarrassed…and as I stood there, I still questioned the reality of the situation. Was this really happening? I mean, I asked God to send someone to talk with me. And He did? Really??? Like, for real? I was so out of it. It was surreal.

We briefly talked and prayed and then he left. I got back into my car and stared at my firearm, which was still there on the front seat. I felt this massive urge to give it to my friend. I had thought of this before, but decided I wouldn’t ask because he had kids at home and maybe he didn’t want something like that in his house. But I couldn’t stop staring at my firearm and I kept thinking- this is the chance. This is the best time because he’s alone and there’s no one around to see us passing off a gun. It’s not like you can do something like that in the middle of church! So I found myself immobile again. I didn’t move, I didn’t leave and drive home yet. He’d already left, but I could easily catch up to him so I was trying to decide if I should ask.

To get to the point, he’s got it now. I asked him to hold on to it temporarily. Man…at first, I felt incredibly uncomfortable and nervous, handing that over to someone. Then, I slowly started to feel better.

As I drove home, I kept thinking “accomplished.”

A lot was accomplished today. I just gave up my means to commit suicide. That’s kind of huge. Now…yes, Plan A was pills and I still have all those. But, since Plan B kept running through my head over and over, that was the most disturbing to me. And now, that’s gone. Temporarily.

As I got home, I almost felt like this might be a turning point and I haven’t even started the actual therapy yet. That whole afternoon/evening/night was so weird. I have no clue why I got stuck in my car with my head floating for so many hours…I don’t know why I was so immobile. It was the strangest thing. I prayed and thought God wouldn’t answer. I made a plan for this weekend. Then God moved…in the weirdest way. I’m still wondering if it really happened.

I’m sorry for being so…I don’t know. But I’m so thankful. I thank God first and foremost for being with me, for listening to me, for answering prayer. I thank my friend for calling and talking and talking- and walking and walking. I thank him for taking my “means.” I thank NBG for commenting that he was praying. When I read that, I knew God had answered his prayer too, even though I didn’t know what it was.

 

My friend shared this David Crowder song, “All I Can Say”

Lord I’m tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I’m so alone
And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I’ll stop
Rest here a while

Chorus:
And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give
And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give, that’s my everything

Lord didn’t You see me crying?
And didn’t You hear me call Your name?
Wasn’t it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You’d remember
Where you sat it down

Chorus:
And this is all that I can say right now, I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.
This is all that I can say right now [right now], I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.

Bridge:
I didn’t notice You were standing here
I didn’t know that
That was You holding me
I didn’t notice You were cry’n too
I didn’t know that
That was You washing my feet

And this is all
This is all that I can say right now, oh I know its not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.
This is all that I can say right now [right now], I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything.
This is all that I can say right now, oh I know it’s not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that’s my everything..
yeah that’s my everything..
yeah that’s my everything..
everything…

Wow. I’m feeling those verses and the chorus…but get that bridge. That’s where it’s at.

One of the worst and strangest days…and I didn’t notice God was with me the whole time. 

I’m still completely weirded out and stunned that God so specifically answered prayer.  

Good grief

Published March 6, 2017 by Chloe Madison

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Today was…odd.

I started out at church and aside from the usual distractions of envisioning Joe walking in and my subsequent fear and freak out, I had an unusually hard time focusing. I couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t sing with everyone…for some weird reason, I couldn’t even look at my pastor when he was preaching. I have no idea what that was all about! (?!) I may as well not have gone to church at all. I couldn’t even tell you what the sermon was on- I remember one word: obedience. And that alone makes me feel guilty because I’ve been so self-absorbed lately that there’s no way I’m being obedient to God.

After I left church, I went out in nature and spent a lot of time with God. My thoughts raced from topic to topic and I found myself still withdrawing from others by not responding to texts and messages…I felt (and still feel) like my mind is high up in a foggy cloud. It’s difficult to concentrate on anything except my current crisis. That can’t be healthy.

At the end of the day as I was driving home, I had a sudden realization:

The anger, the overwhelming sadness, the surprising and ever-present irritability…this is all a part of the various stages of grief!

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Until I looked at the Kubler-Ross model for the five stages of grief, I didn’t even realize that my writing here, needing to reach out to someone, needing to talk about things so badly- was actually one of the stages: Dialogue and Bargaining.

I feel like such an idiot for not realizing this sooner, but regardless…this is such great news to me. It’s a huge relief to see that I’m simply grieving. I was worried it was so much more than that. I truly thought I’d end up dead this time. I still can’t promise that I won’t. Wanting to die invades nearly every moment of my life. That’s not a part of these stages of grief. But, I honestly feel so much better realizing that all the crazy emotions recently are a part of grieving and that’s allowed me see light at the end of this dark, consuming tunnel.

After my last post that was so incredibly despondent (at least to me it was), I felt I had to share this new realization. I mean, this is good news, right?

I do believe God was the one who made me realize this…as an answer to prayer, to lessen my load and my anxiety about my life and thoughts spinning out of control. I just need to trust God, my Father and hang in there. Easy, right?

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Betrayal

Published February 14, 2017 by Chloe Madison

Memories are like that…like those chocolate chip cookies my grandma and I made…the cookies are your sweet memories and they’re sprinkled with bits of bitter darkness.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

What a great day to write about love. Or betrayal…

Don’t you just adore your grandmother? I adore mine. She was always one of my most favorite people on the face of this Earth. I have so many fond memories of her taking care of me when I was sick (and my mom had to work), us baking chocolate chip cookies from scratch, playing on her property…climbing trees and running around wreaking havoc. Sprinkled in with these great memories are a few bad ones as well. One incident occurred that caused a great rift between my uncle and I. (This is the same uncle that committed suicide.) My sweet, ol’ grandma had Alzheimer’s and entered a phase where she started wandering off. She was at my house with me (in da hood) and we were the only ones there. She suddenly took off, went out the door and down the street. I panicked because she was a little old, white lady in a very bad neighborhood. It wasn’t safe at all and this situation was not good. I ran after her, caught up with her, and begged and pleaded for her to come back inside the house. She kept walking and so did I. As a last resort, I even tried taking her purse from her, thinking that she would follow her purse. I was going to use it to entice her to turn around and head back to the house. It didn’t work. She became furious that I tried to take her purse and I quickly folded. So, this being before the time of cell phones, I left my grandma and raced back to the house to call my uncle for help. He was staying at her house about 4 miles away. I asked him to come help me, to drive her car to us and pick her up. Mind you, this is in the sweltering heat and humidity of South Florida, where people literally melt if they stay outside too long. Not only was I concerned that my sweet grandma was easy prey in da hood, but I also knew it wasn’t good for someone so old to get overheated. My uncle denied my request and we got into it. He refused to come get his mom and I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. I yelled something at him on the phone- can’t remember what- and I hung up. I had to get back out there with her to protect her. If nothing else, I would be by her side. So, I raced back onto the street and ran my little heart out to catch up to her. We walked (at a slow old lady pace) for what seemed like hours. We were over halfway to her house when my uncle pulled up in her car and got her to get inside. He took off and left me standing there on the side of the road. I was relieved he finally decided to come help her, but I was still so furious at his cold initial refusal. And it didn’t help that he LEFT ME there! He left me in the middle of a terribly dangerous neighborhood where gun shots regularly rang out. I figured he must have been mad at me too. We didn’t speak for years after that…so many years, that I actually lost count.

So, this past Christmas, my mom and I had a heart to heart discussion about the past. She told me things I never knew and I did the same with her. One of the things she told me hurt me so badly that I refused to believe her. It’s been stewing in my brain for nearly two months now. My mom told me that my grandma knew that my dad sexually abused me and that she worked to keep it covered up. It looks like she was more concerned with keeping her son’s (my dad) reputation flawless than with making sure that her 9 year old granddaughter was OK. I was in such shock when my mom told me this that I couldn’t even fathom it being remotely true. Perhaps my mom picked up on my disbelief because she repeated it and then expanded on the situation. She said that somehow in the conversation, my grandma offered to pay for therapy down the line, if I would ever need it.

Ever NEED it?!? Ha! I sat back in the midst of being dumbfounded. I am f**king ready to kill myself over this sh*t and IF I ever needed help, my dead grandmother was supposed to be the one to pay for it. Thanks, grandma.

I’m still processing it all…I still wonder how true this really is. The fact that I distrust my mom and now, my dear sweet grandma… I just don’t even know what to think!

Tears are streaming down my face as I write this…as the betrayal of someone so precious to me sets in.

All my fond memories…are sh*t. If she was so ready to betray me…to cover up her granddaughter’s sexual abuse, to leave her granddaughter in silence, with no support, no nothing, then that means that everything we did together was a lie. It was probably just her guilty conscience trying to amend things. And that’s giving her too much credit.

I’m not going to lie. My family sucks. Nearly everyone passed away when I was little anyway, but the few family members I knew and interacted with sucked. It’s a good thing that my pastor just did his sermon on the topic of family last Sunday. I guess I need to try to cling more to my church as my family.

Matthew 12: 49-50

Ephesians 2:13-22

I can’t even think of a good way to end this…my mind is fractured and I’m trying to tend to the various pieces. I can say that I’ll never look at a chocolate chip cookie the same way again.

Suicide

Published February 9, 2017 by Chloe Madison

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Suicide, my dear friend… is back again.

I haven’t been handling things too well these last few months. I resisted writing about them because I didn’t want to stir things up. But, I’ve been having many symptoms of both depression and PTSD for about 6 months now. I stopped eating for a while there- first, it was out of simple nausea (perhaps from anxiety from PTSD?) and then, it helped me feel better not to eat. I don’t know how to explain that. I realize it makes no sense.

Anyway, I’ve had several scenarios play over and over in my mind. But unlike my PTSD from a decade ago, these scenarios have never happened. I guess they’re just fears I play out in my head. Two scenarios deal with Joe. The first scenario I picture is being in the grocery store in Colorado Springs…and of course, I run into Joe. I picture various endings, depending on whether or not he’s with his family. The second scenario has been the most disabling. I’m at my church, my safe haven, and Joe comes in. This one strikes particular fear into my heart. In the scenarios, I either bolt or hide. My hiding spot is in this little, dark room in the back where mothers go to console their crying babies. And again, various endings to this scenario occur. The problem is while I’m at church, this particular scenario has been incredibly intrusive in my mind and I usually envision it happening multiple times. The result is that I can’t pay attention very well while listening to sermons or taking classes at church… I see the scenario play out in my head and then in real life, I look to the little room in the back where I would go for safety. Sometimes I’m shaking, sometimes I’m ready to vomit, sometimes I’m looking around for someone I can cling to…sometimes I can push it out of my mind.

I haven’t been too successful in coping with these scenarios in my head and these fears have been ruling my life. I’m not quite sure how not eating makes me feel more in control, but it does. Because I feel out of control with the scenarios, I feel in control of myself when I don’t eat or when I restrict. Plus, getting scrawny has made my body feel like a canvas onto which I’m depicting how I feel inside. I feel exhausted, strung out, abused, used up…and as my body starts to look like that, my outward appearance mirrors my inward feelings.

–Just so you know…I stopped several times while writing that last sentence ^. I don’t want you to dismiss me because I have issues with eating. I know all too well how the general public reacts to people with eating disorders. I know you don’t understand it and I know that from the outside, it looks stupid and childish. So, please try to put aside any judgments you may have and bear with me.–

I don’t have an eating disorder right now anyway. But, I did. And that’s the point I’m trying to get to: I have these new(ish) stressors in my life and I’m discovering that I’m reverting to old, very unhealthy coping mechanisms. I don’t want to go there and if I do, I certainly don’t want to stay.

In these few short months, I’ve already been badly burned by unhealthy eating habits. I experienced an extremely painful side effect. It was so horrendous that I swore to myself I would do everything in my power to not have to endure that again. So, I’m trying super hard to eat healthy all the time. Just as I get myself back on track, these thoughts come into my head.

I had this mental image: I was sitting in the field across from where I live. It’s full of waist high wild grass blowing in the wind. I’m sitting down in the midst of the high grass concealed from everything around me. I slowly lift my gun to my head and pull the trigger. I see everything happening in slow motion. It’s the only vision I see in slow motion.

Now, even though I had thoughts of suicide, I had long ago decided that I would never use a gun. Ever. It’s too violent and it’s not the way I’d want to go out. I had decided on Plan A: a deadly cocktail of various pills and alcohol. So, then why do I have this vision? And why do I keep having it? It’s not what I want.

Here is where I question the influence of spiritual warfare. If you’re not a Christian, you won’t agree with this and you might think I’m a lunatic. Hell, you probably already do! But to keep having these visions…to keep having thoughts of suicide when that’s not what I want deep down…to keep seeing myself commit suicide in a way that I would never choose anyway…   That’s what makes me think these thoughts are not my own. This is furthered by the fact that many times, these thoughts occur while I’m at church- attempting to get my soul nourished.

So, here I am. I bared all. I’m going to keep fighting the fight. Nothing will keep me away from church and perhaps these symptoms of depression and PTSD will wane. I just have to keep my head on straight and hang in there. Right?

In case you can’t tell yet from my silent writings as a means of expressing myself, I’m incredibly shy and introverted. I desperately want and need help…even just someone to listen. I’d love to have a mentor, but I’m pretty sure no one has time for that. I want to reach out for help so badly….  But, I fear people and judgment and apathy.

Anyway, I push the limits of Plan A every single weekend. Sooner or later, I’ll get there. Plan B is in effect too…it’s just a much slower way to go. Won’t God forgive suicide? Won’t He forgive such self-centeredness and wasting the life that He gave and died for?

Cancer blows.

Published January 26, 2016 by Chloe Madison

dear-cancer-you-suck

I’m currently dealing with many old wounds being brought up. A pastor at my church, (whom I barely know, yet admire immensely for his compassion and work with others) was just diagnosed with cancer. It crushed me!  It affected me and continues to affect me way more than it should. I immediately had words with God. (That’s street talk for ‘we had it out.’) I was so mad at God. How could you let cancer affect someone so wonderful? Someone so young?  Someone who does so much to spread love and caring around this world?  Someone who has a beautiful wife and two young children? Why would you allow someone like that to be afflicted? I just don’t get it.

This brought me closer in to the Lord…I find myself in prayer constantly for this man. I feel so deeply sad for him and his family. I know they’re in for a long term struggle and I feel so helpless! I feel like there’s nothing I can do to help him. Yes, I can and do pray for healing and peace…but aside from that, there’s not much one can do for cancer.

I had a short conversation with him at church the other day. I had already decided I only wanted to lift this man up, always be encouraging, never say anything negative. I wanted to make sure that he only got hope…so I had already decided to NOT mention anything of the many, many family members I’ve lost to cancer. Only a week before I found out about his diagnosis, I lost my cousin to a rare form of incurable cancer. And yet, somehow my stupid mouth spewed out about my dad. Shit. I didn’t want to say that. I didn’t want him to know that my dad didn’t make it (because I wanted him to have hope that anyone can make it!) So, I tried to clarify right away- I pointed out that my dad did not want treatment and he gave up and let cancer eat him alive. My dad was diagnosed at Stage IV only because he waited so long to seek help for feeling sick. My dad hated hospitals and doctors and it took my mom forever to get him to agree to go see what was wrong. So, my dad agreed to surgery for the cancer, but he refused to do chemo or radiation. I remember my parents fighting about it multiple times. My mom felt (and still feels) abandoned by my dad. She just couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want to fight it and try to live through it. So, in realizing that I just told my pastor friend about someone who died of cancer, I tried to show him the difference- that he was going to fight it and my dad didn’t. That he would have hope even though my dad didn’t.

Let’s not even go near the fact that I now believe that maybe my dad thought he deserved to die. He was a sexual predator- he had preyed upon and abused his little brother and his daughter. I can’t help but wonder if he felt guilty, if he felt that this was karma. Maybe he just accepted his cancer as a death sentence and that might be why he refused to fight it.

Maybe that’s part of why it’s affecting me so deeply.

Cancer has cut through me over and over and over again- with each family member it’s taken. And then all these memories come flooding back…my dad with cancer, dying at my house when I was little. I have one very distinct memory: my dad was yellow because the cancer had caused bile to spill into his body. He got up from the bed and rushed to the bathroom and started vomiting. As a little kid, I didn’t know what to do to help. So, I stood with my father and gently rubbed his back while he was bent over the toilet. In between bouts of vomiting, he yelled at me to stop and get away. At the time, I was deeply hurt. I was only trying to help and didn’t know what to do. As an adult, I can understand that when someone is nauseated, rubbing their back probably only makes them feel more sick. So, I understand why he pushed me away. But, that’s pretty much the last memory I have of interacting with my dad. My next memory is of him laying in his casket.

 

 

Update:

Cancer is in remission for the amazing guy I started off writing this post about. YAAAAAYYYY!!! I can’t exclaim that enough! I am so happy for him and his family! I thank God every single day for his healing and I pray that God continues to keep his body free of cancer.  🙂

So much has happened internally with regards to this situation. Since I first wrote this post, I’ve been in serious prayer daily for his healing and that’s brought me face to face with all kinds of issues that I personally have. I’d look at this guy’s children in church. I’d try not to stare. When all this started I believe his daughter was around 10 or 11 years old. I was 9 years old when I was first raped by my adult neighbor. I’d look at how sweet and innocent and frail-looking his daughter is and wonder how the hell someone could hurt or take advantage of a little girl like that. Even the thought of this is making my hands shake right now as I’m typing.

I think his son was about 11 or 12- the same age I was when my dad passed away from cancer. I remembered how I thought I caused my dad’s death and how the heaviness, the guilt, the seriousness of the situation weighed upon me and pressed me down.

Having this guy beat cancer was so important and symbolic to me on so many different levels. Yes, of course the victory is his and his family’s and the Lord’s…but seeing myself in his children had such a profound impact on me. I can’t even think of words to explain it.

Needless to say, I’m ecstatic for his healing and I’m so relieved he and his family can go on living their lives. He’s become one of the people that I admire greatly for their walk with the Lord…his selflessness and compassion, the caring nature of both him and his wife, the way they love their children…these are truly great people and this world needs more people like them! Praise God for remission!  🙂