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EMDR 3

Published June 21, 2017 by Chloe Madison

This was an extemely emotional session- I was crying before I even went in (about other stuff though). I feel so deeply tired, like I can’t move my body. Almost like I’m drunk, my body feels numb and tingly and heavy.

We had a discussion about what’s real or not in EMDR and how could Jesus be bringing forward my dad if I don’t even think my dad’s in heaven. If it’s not real, then how can this bring healing? This was important to discuss because it’s even distracting me during sessions. I wonder how much of what’s happening during EMDR is just wishful thinking on my part and how much of it is real healing that’s occurring. So we only did 20 minutes of actual EMDR.

I realize I have new anger with my dad- so much more than before. I’m incredibly angry about the life his actions have taken and the multiple lives it’s ruined.

We picked up where we left off- my dad was there with a sad face and big, questioning eyes, (waiting for me to either forgive or accept him or hug him or something) and Jesus was behind me. I pushed myself back into Jesus- not wanting to move toward my dad and wanting to rest/ rely on Jesus or to know that he’s still there for me.

Jesus and I were standing the same pool of water. The water changed from blue to red, as I was avoiding looking at Jesus because I really wasn’t ready to move toward my dad. I remembered that Jesus nudged me the last time to go toward my dad, but since I didn’t feel ready, I felt ashamed to look Jesus in the face.

The red crept up from the water and moved into the sky and everything became a deep red- I thought Jesus was leaving, but I remembered that’s what the color purple represents. I’m not sure what the red was all about. 

Out of the corner of my eye, I see green grass sprouting up.

Out of the green, blooms a single yellow orchid (which reminds me of my dad because he grew orchids- there’s even a brown orchid with a fuchsia and yellow center named after my dad, called the Charlie Orchid.) 

The Charlie Orchid


The grass morphs into the orchid plant and in fast forward motion, whole sprays of yellow orchids shoot out and bloom. I see a caretaker of the orchid plant- someone (only a shadow) bent over the plant. I think it might be my uncle (because he and his wife grew orchids after my dad died). It turns out it is my uncle. He looks up and talks, but I can’t hear him. I really want to hear what he’s saying so I tell him that I can’t hear him. He gets up close to me, smiles a great big smile and loudly says with a funny, sarcastic attitude, “What I said was…” and then he keeps talking but I can’t hear him again. His mouth moves, but he’s silent. 

I turn to ask Jesus to help out here- to help me understand what my uncle is saying. I think I forgot some parts that happened in between…but I see my uncle smile like I have literally never seen him smile before and he gives a side hug to my dad, who’s also smiling. I immediately think it’s fake. This isn’t real- there’s no way everything is all hunky dory between them. (This is where I question the veracity of EMDR). 
? I don’t remember, but I think I look back at Jesus to see if this (my dad and uncle hugging and smiling) is real- to get confirmation. Jesus looks different this time though. He looks like a real person- not like the glowing light he was before. 

⬆️⬇️ don’t know which happened first 

? At some point, I’m avoiding looking at Jesus and I look down and play around with the water, letting my hands glide over the top of the blue water. The water slowly turns white. After all the water turns white, where Jesus and I are standing together, the water begins to glow a warm yellow. I feel warmth on my back where Jesus is. I think I turn to see him. And then I turn back to see where my uncle and dad are- it’s like I’m checking to make sure they’re not the same- like there are no tricks or anything. (?)

I look directly at Jesus and ask him to talk to me, I ask, “What do you want me to know?” He says in the most convincing, sincere and compassionate way I’ve ever heard, “I LOVE you.” He continues, “I’m here with you… (and he says something else and something else- I can’t remember)…and “choose life. Choose MY life.” Jesus hugs me and holds me and says the same things all over again. I’m confused with what he means by choose “my life.” I ask him and he says, to choose the life that he has for me. I ask him to explain to me how to do that, to show me that. In response, I no longer see any visuals- I hear “scriptures” over and over again. I’m mildly annoyed by this because it’s a vague answer and It’s always been hard for me to discern the meaning or the direction that some scriptures point you in. But “scripture” was the very clear answer. 

EMDR 2

Published June 12, 2017 by Chloe Madison

We started out with the image of my uncle, shot,  face down in the bloody grass.

I almost immediately lifted straight up in the air and was floating over my uncle’s house.

I saw the events of the suicide play out from a bird’s eye view: my uncle barricading himself in the back bedroom, the police coming in through the front door, I see him leave out the back door of his room and run around to the front of the house. I see him come up behind the officers, the last of whom are still entering through the front door. I see him raise his empty handgun and point it at the officers. I see them shoot him. He falls and as they approach and pick up his weapon, they realize it’s empty. One of them says, “Ah, fuck.” 

The police take hours to write up their reports. One of my memories is staring at the circular burn marks in the grass that were made by the police cars idling on top of the high lawn.

My aunt is crying and my uncle is getting taken away on a stretcher. 

I go back into his bedroom, where he’d barricaded himself.

I feel like there’s something I need to see, something I need to find- a clue maybe. 

I’m drawn to the bed…it’s dark underneath- twice I see a long shot gun laying under the bed amidst the darkness.

I find sheets of paper between the mattresses – maybe a suicide note? Or some kind of communication from my uncle?

I hold the papers and a green vine grows up out of them toward the sky, like Jack and the Beanstalk. The vine quickly swirls upward toward the sky and soon, red blood trickles down the vine.

The trickle turns into a gushing of blood pouring down, like the elevator scene in The Shining, where blood gushes out. 


I jump out of the way as the blood pours down from the heavens. It pools on the floor. I keep up against the sides of the walls. I don’t know what to do. I slip out of the door to the bedroom, wanting to leave the mess behind. I feel guilty right away and realize I’m turning my back on my uncle. So I face the door and put my hand on white door and on the door handle, saying to myself that I’ll go back in. I just need a minute. 

Then a yellow light forms directly behind me and garners my attention. I’m drawn to the light but I keep wanting to go back to the bloody room. I hear, “Come to the light.” I think they say, “that’s not yours,” taking about the bloody mess in the room. 

I don’t want to leave the room- it’s my depression. I’m not sure I’m ready to leave the room/ the depression behind.

A hand reaches out from the light and takes mine and it makes me smoothly and swiftly move forward. I think I say something about how easy it is when you take my hand. ? 

It pulls me sharply through a membrane or energy field kind of thing- into a bubble filled with white light. 

Inside the bubble is bright but we can see through it. We float up again over the house. I see the dark room – blackness envelops the outside of the room and the red blood is still pooled in the inside. It seems they’re pointing me in the opposite direction of the room to find happiness. It’s not toward the bloody, black room- it’s elsewhere.

I look over to see what/ where happiness is and the place has green foliage with red roses and a blue ocean. I see the red roses vividly- they stand for life. It’s just the rose- no stem, no nothing- just the flower. Suddenly I’m out in the ocean and there are about 5 or 6 of the roses floating in the blue ocean with me. I question whether the ocean is truth like the other blue water was. It’s not. It’s darker, deeper. I see it as being how I describe depression and suicide- like an uncontrollable, wild sea overwhelming and devouring you. 

Like La Mer:


Like my twitter picture:


So I decide the ocean is not where the roses belong. I look toward the shore and see the white sand of the shore and the green foliage with palm trees. I think that’s where I need to move to. I pick up the roses floating in the ocean and gather them together and paddle for the white beach. Paddling goes on forever. I make it to the white beach, sit down, gaze out over the ocean, and set the roses down in the sand. As I’m looking at them, I realize they won’t flourish here. They’re life. And to make them live, they need to reach the green foliage behind me. So I pick the roses up off the sand and take them to the greenery. I see a small gentle waterfall flowing into a small cool pool of water in the middle of the green foliage. I think the roses might belong there so I put some in the greenery and I lay some on the water to float. I stand in the water and analyze the roses in the greenery and the roses floating to see which is better. The water is better. So I take the few roses from the greenery and put them in the water with me. 

I want to lay back in the cool water and float, but I don’t want to lose touch with the roses. So I take a rose in each hand and lay back and float. With the red color in my palms, it reminds me of Jesus on the cross. 

When you float and water is in your ears, you can’t hear most of what’s happening around you. So I think it’s not safe to float because I can’t hear if anyone or anything approaches. So I sit up to see if anyone is there. I spin around and do a 360 and see no one. But I feel like someone is there so I say, “who’s there?” At this point, I think my dad begins to come forward- a faded figure with a belly. I’m not sure though. As he emerges, it becomes clear that it’s definitely him. I see his jeans and his red and white plaid shirt.


 I recognize his body, but his face is more blurry. 

I think he’s there to finish our conversation. I go to get out of the pool to hug him/ greet him. But I stop. I picture wearing wet clothes and think because of him and his past, that might not be appropriate or safe. So I remain in the water. He sits on the edge of the pool with his feet in the water. I want to talk so I say, “Is there anything you want to say?” He says, “I love you” and then says something about if there was ever any doubt or there shouldn’t be a doubt. I think he says something else but I can’t remember. 

<I think something significant happens here, but I just can’t remember what… >

I apologize, but I bluntly tell him that I just can’t trust him. I see a picture of the clown painting and a bird briefly enters the picture. I think the clown painting (representing grooming or deceitful, manipulative actions) might represent why I have doubts. 

I just don’t believe him.
I ask, “Can God say that to me so I can believe you?” But I feel bad right away and drop my head, thinking of how you shouldn’t ask God to prove things to you. 

Jesus comes almost immediately, full on in all His glory. No shadowy figure- but a bright white and yellow, very clear image of him appears. He gets in the water with me and stands right in front of me. It’s almost invasive how close He gets…but it makes me realize He’s there for me, how close He is to me.

He holds his hands out toward me with a red rose in it. The red rose turns into the red sacred heart. 


I think I hear “Jesus is life/ I am life” and “choose life” over and over and over again. Jesus takes me by the hand and I say how easy it is when he holds my hand. I grab? His other hand and ask him to never let go. We embrace in a long, strong, very safe hug.

I don’t know if I ask him if my dad loves me or not. My dad is there off to the side waiting. I explain that I love my dad and I think I’ve forgiven him. Jesus answers by saying, “I love you” with the implication of isn’t that enough? Or isn’t that all you need? Inside I know it is. I don’t answer out loud. I cry a lot (in real life) while this is happening.

I think I still want to know about my dad- what to do. When I asked Jesus to never let go of my hands he didn’t…until this point. He turns me around to face my dad and puts his hands on my shoulders. His hands feel huge and they grip strong so I know he won’t let go of me. He’s got me, is supporting me- he’s got my back, so to speak. I feel a gentle nudge forward, towards my dad- Jesus asks if I’m ready to move forward. I hesitate. I don’t know. I feel I’m not ready and I don’t know if I should accept him or what. ? 
The therapist says she sees the Holy Spirit all over this. She said something similar the last time too. I wonder if she just says that to everyone. 

I didn’t want to go today. I was crying before I even went. I’m so angry and so overwhelmingly sad. I’m surrounded by love at the moment, but all I want to do is get away- run away. I just want to disappear. On multiple levels.

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. 

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.