Tears rolled down my face as I hid under a blanket and sobbed, asking the Lord why I had to be here on this Earth. This is one of my very earliest memories. It transpired while I was still living with my dad and his parents… and I only lived with them until I was two and a half years old.
As a child, I thought myself to be a monster. Not just ugly or weird or stupid… but literally non-human. I would sit and stare at myself in the mirror and cry for hours. I would point out every saggy part, every lump, every bump, every roll to myself and tell myself horrible things… things no one should ever say to anyone, let alone themselves… things like how I was worthless and would never be loved or accepted. Each and every cruel taunt and insult from others, I would internalize and accept as absolute truth. The few times when other kids told me that I should just do everybody a favor and kill myself… I agreed with them wholeheartedly. Teachers, church leaders and my mom would try to explain to me how I was a child of God and just as beautiful, inside and out, as anyone else. I would always brush it off as them just saying what they felt they had to say to someone as pathetic as (I thought) I was.
I can’t quite put my finger on what it was that has made me always feel this way about myself deep down. Every day of my life has been a fight against self-loathing… Some days I lose… Some days I win. This self-loathing has held me back from doing so very many things with my life. I’ve always had this nagging thought/feeling in the back of my head that it (whatever “it” may be) just isn’t worth trying because some part of me has convinced myself that I fail at what I do. I have come to the realization in recent years that, although I have had many failures in the past, I can and will succeed and achieve my goals from here on out. I figure if I just keep on trying… one of these days I will come out on top. I’ve said it before… I’ll say it again… I’ll keep on saying it until the freaking cows come home… I will NEVER, EVER GIVE UP!!!!!!
September 11, 2001… So many lives lost… Even more greatly affected by this unprecedented tragedy. Most, if not all Americans remember exactly what they were doing when they heard of the towers falling. That day will remain engrained in our memories for our lifetimes and passed on to future generations.
Today (or yesterday, technically, considering it is now after midnight) marked ten years since that infamous day… and reminded me how our country, while never forgetting all who were lost, has pulled through and thrived. I was reminded of this because today was such a lovely day in so many ways. While it was the anniversary of perhaps the greatest disaster in American history, it was also a day filled with beauty.
I attended the fifth birthday party of my boyfriend Dave’s niece today, and it reminded me of how life goes on. The men who attacked us that day aimed to bring our country down… and they failed miserably. If anything, I think the 9/11 attack lit a fire under the “Land of the Free” and brought an almost lost patriotism back to us. It reminded many of us just how precious life is and to never take it for granted.
I read the same words over and over again in the hopes that my mind will stop reeling and eventually the words will start to make some sense… but it never works. My thoughts are so scattered all over the place that I cannot retain anything I try to read. I try to watch tv and movies and the same thing happens. I can’t pay attention to save my life (maybe cuz I’m too broke? haha). I was about to say that, somewhere along the line, I lost the ability to concentrate, however, that statement isn’t completely accurate, being as I know exactly at what point I lost that ability. When I was a little girl I was reading constantly… I loved it. When I started college, I tested high enough to have the opportunity to be in a special reading course called “Logos”, which I was really proud of and excited about venturing into. As I mentioned in my last entry, my mom died just a few days after I started college. That was the end of my ability to concentrate. For one reason or other, it left and has never come back. As a matter of fact, recently it has gotten worse. It used to just be that I wasn’t able to concentrate on reading, but now I am also unable to concentrate enough to watch tv or movies. So, my down time is usually spent trolling around the net and listening to music.
The rest of this has nothing to do with the first part. Deal with it. …I’ve been wondering a lot lately what I have to offer. Is being a kind person enough of a contribution to our planet? I say no. I need to figure out what I can do to make some sort of difference in this world. I used to feel like I made a difference when I was working with children. A lot of people just considered me to be some sort of glorified babysitter, but I know that it is a lot more than that. I can’t even begin to describe the way it feels to make a difference in a child’s life. There are no words.
So, does this mean if I start caring for children again that all of the sudden I will feel like a productive member of society? Not in the least. I’m not sure if I could ever do enough to make myself feel “worthy”. Worthy of what? I don’t know. I do know, however, that I am a child of God, and that is where my worth lies. So, if I know that… then why can’t I take it to heart? For some reason, I hear all of Satan’s lies about me loud and clear… but can never seem to hear the Lord’s still, small voice. Sometimes I wish He would just shake me silly and scream in my face, “You are MINE and I love you and that is all that matters!!!” Every other aspect of life pales in comparison to His unyielding love.
Twelve years ago this evening, Laura came and picked me up from my college dorm across town. It was my fifth night away from home and I was already terribly homesick… I was always a mama’s girl. My mom was feeling it too. She had told me the night that I moved into the dormitory that, when she had dropped me and all of my things off there earlier that day, she felt a pang in her chest as she drove away. She had been feeling really sick since then and was having a lot of trouble breathing. From the way she had described feeling to me over the phone, my first thought was that she had pneumonia. She called her doctor and he called in a script for an inhaler but it wasn’t helping much. So, Laura and I paid her a visit and brought over some supper. I was worried sick about my mom… but had no idea it would be the last time I would ever see her alive.
I have been feeling rather off all day today and couldn’t quite put my finger on what was going on. Once I got home from having my sutures removed in Iowa City and began to relax it dawned on me that twelve years ago today was the last time I saw my mom alive… and in the wee hours of tomorrow morning it will have been twelve long years since she’s been gone from this world. I feel a bit better knowing that at least there is a method to the madness.