Have you ever felt like you lost part of yourself somewhere?
For years, nurse even though I was the luckiest person in the universe, I had this emptiness that nothing could fill. I would cry because something was missing. I didn’t even know what it was.
It’s not the type of emptiness that many Christians will tell you to fill with God. I had already found Him a long time ago. I trusted Him through all of the hard times I went through and praised Him for the constant miracles I saw.
But still… something was missing.
It wasn’t until recently, when I forced myself to go to my ex’s father’s memorial, that I realized what was really going on. In trying to not feel anything that hurt, I was suppressing my feelings. I even stopped doing activities that gave me great joy because of the time in my life that they were linked to, and in doing so, I made myself half a person.
It made me realize that I pretty much stopped being me.
I stopped singing for the fun of it, because it was linked to the times I was singing at TEENS. Before the memorial, anything linked to that church “hurt”me. The memories were linked to feelings I didn’t want to face because, while they didn’t hurt anymore, it was something that I wanted to forget.
I stopped writing poetry. My poems were mostly about my faith in Christ and how I would trust Him to lead me in any way that He would. But those poems reminded me of the hours I spent on the phone every night talking to a friend about my daily Bible reading.
I stopped journaling. When I journaled, I faced my feelings. I would put them in their place. I would work through my troubles. But I stopped wanting to face them. I wanted to be numb and cold to them. I wanted to run away and for them to just leave me alone.
I did, however, hold onto the defeatist feelings I was trying to avoid. I held onto the inferiority and negativity. I tried to be someone I wasn’t. I tried to be the girl who never felt the pain of others. Instead of crying with my friends, I was actively burying my friends’ pains deep in my soul and letting that pain tear me apart. I tried to gloss over my own pain like it was nothing and told myself that the things I did would never amount to anything. I told myself that I was “just a stupid housewife”.
I didn’t need to find myself. I tried that a billion times. New hobbies didn’t do the trick, even though my husband was supportive of every single endeavor that I pursued. I was still as confused and lost as ever.
What I needed to do was let my current self reconcile herself with my past self. It has taken a long time. It has been a horrible journey at times, but I’ve learned a few things through the process.
1. It’s OK to cry.
If you don’t acknowledge your feelings and constantly call them stupid, you’ll bury them deep inside. Those feelings will attack you at the worst of times. They’ll make you even more vulnerable to depression if you don’t allow yourself to feel them and deal with them.
2. You have to allow your past self and your current self to be friends.
I changed a lot after I went through that tough break up eight years ago. I let go of the activities that made me happy. When I stopped singing for the fun of it, stopped writing poetry, and barely did any journaling, I was suppressing myself. I was suppressing my gifts. My husband knew I liked to do those things, and tried to encourage me to do them, but I didn’t. I had changed myself. When I tried to find new things to do that made me happy it took going through every single new activity to realize they could not give me the joy I had.
3. You can still do the things you found out you liked because of a person who hurt you (or someone who is closely linked to that person).
I have been watching the World Series games and enjoying every single one of them. I love baseball. I love the Boston Red Sox, but my love for the sport started in 2006 when I went to a Red Sox and Phillies game in Boston with ex’s father. I hate that it took his memorial for me to realize that my enjoyment of the Sport had nothing to do with anyone but him. It had nothing to do with his son. And even if sports, music, or the books we read have anything to do with someone who hurt us, we shouldn’t shy away from the things that make us feel excited or happy just because a they are followed by a gloom cloud. In time the cloud will lift, but we won’t have the joy if we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy those things. We should never allow anyone who has hurt us to have that much control over our lives.
I have been reading in Jeremiah recently, and the verse that has stuck out the most to me was Jeremiah 18:4.
As I see it, I was always in the Potter’s hands. I was a marred vessel, but He fashioned me into a new, usable vessel. He took the same old clay that made me up to make me something new. No matter the state I am in, it’ll be for His glory, but I believe He has fashioned me into “another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it”.
Megan A.K.A. “Mom”