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.