I’ve never been one for crying – especially not in front of other people. I hate everything about crying, the reasons for it, the painful feeling that’s experienced deep inside – I can’t see any positives in crying. I remember when I lost my sister to a brain hemorrhage I cried and cried and cried – any little thing could set me off. Eventually the crying became less often but when it did it felt even more stupid – how can I still be crying over something that happened so long ago. I remember in the middle of a science lesson 4 years after I was set off again and had to leave the class I felt as though everyone was looking at me as if I was pathetic or a complete drama queen seeking attention. After that day I think I subconsciously decided to refuse myself to cry.
The dangerous thing about that decision was of course that undoubtedly I would not be able to fulfill that decision so therefore I would just beat myself up everytime I cried or became close to tears – “I’m pathetic, weak, ungrateful, stupid, annoying!” are among the things I’d say to myself to try and fire the pain away to shut out the feelings that made me cry. I switched the pain of sadness to anger; not towards others but towards myself. I have kept this; what I assume is now an instinct; and allowed myself to bully and emotionally abuse myself – no-one has informed me that it’s possible to abuse yourself but now I can see that’s exactly what I do.
This whole realization has only come to me as I sat at home today dwelling on things that were out of my control but that I informed myself were my fault. I couldn’t hold in the emotion or the pain I felt, I tried to hold back the tears that filled my eyes; I tried to swallow the lump that was growing in my throat; I didn’t want my children seeing me like this and giving them the weight that was on my shoulders – that wasn’t right. Stupidly I realize now that it wasn’t right or fair to place it upon myself either.
I cleared my desk of the mound of clean washing that was yet to be put away and found my recently started prayer journal and began to write. I wrote and wrote and sobbed and sobbed as I expressed to my God, my heavenly father, my friend of all that I felt. How the pressure of finances was crushing me and how I was to blame. I felt guilty that I had lead my family to this point and that I hadn’t sought after God more. I wrote the blame and guilt I felt and as I did so I sobbed harder. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I see now that the finances weren’t really the problem or what was causing the emotional pain – it was the blame and emotional abuse that I had placed upon myself.
As I was still feeling like c*** I sent a message to a friend to say I was struggling:
I can see reading it back now the obvious abuse I was giving myself – if I had punched someone else and said those words to them I’d probably be arrested. Why are we so hard on ourselves?
As I read my friends reply I was reminded softly of how I used to deal with this pain during some of the darkest days – I used to draw. I would hear my heavenly father’s small sweet whisper of inspiration and just let my hand draw. So I did exactly that I drew (the above image being the result). The affect was amazing; within that short 20mins of drawing the whole weight lifted and the tears dried up and the lump in my throat disappeared.
I’m not saying I’ve solved all my emotional problems with the simple idea of drawing but I hope I remember when the pain hits and the abuse begins I need to find somewhere to draw. A place where I can listen to my father’s quiet voice and create.
Finding our outlets for pain are important (which I’m only just discovering.) Do you have a special outlet that Brings you back into God’s peace?