And I wanted so bad to be down.
So I stayed.
And someone grabbed my hand. Next thing I remember were a bunch of hands. After that questions, pleas, tears and then eyes-wide-open numbness. I remember hitting buttons for the elevator, dialing my way home, calling for an escape too late. I dragged my mess to bed, closed my eyes and slept deep. My mom called my name early next morning and thought I was drunk. I got in trouble for coming home inebriated and even though I never took a sip of anything other than soda I was punished for the rest of the summer.
But she was right. I was intoxicated and I was hung over in the worst way, a hang over that would last many years of headaches, embarrassment and pain. A lot of pain.
My eyes lost their luster that night. My smile lost, my innocence lost, my heart crumbling in my hands. I didn't look anywhere but down and the future for me was built on all kinds of decisions without a single glance at myself. I lost myself that night and with the little I could remember, it was more than enough to inflict self blame and self pain. I passed judgement on me and sent myself to a hell on earth where everything done to me was well deserved.
And that added a lifetime of pointing the finger at myself, harsh self-criticism, hurtful surges of flashbacks and reminders. I have walked this earth very raw and vulnerable.
So there it is. Never mentioned before, never said out loud, but unmasked, revealed and....probably the worst part of me.
I never saw those hands or their faces again. They served their purpose and it wasn't His will for me to see their smirks, thank You God. But, I was still a child. I still feel them and a day hasn't gone by where I'm not reminded of it.
I'm never too sure of what I write here, whether I am revealing too much, handing myself over to easily. I get a tinge of fear at those who may judge, those who may ridicule. I still don't see myself as a victim so much as a participant, but in the back of my mind I always felt that pain indicated that something was wrong.
I am emerging from a very long slumber. I thank God for somehow making these years a little blurry and empty feeling. I still feel scabbed, unhealed underneath and stretched with fibrin and dried blood. Nothing comes in, but the battle wound is there, dark red and flashy.
As hard as it is to say that God is ever present in our lives, it's moments like this where we feel He's left us in the dark to suffer and lose ourselves, to be preyed on. How do we see Him in crappy times like these?
But then I think of how revolving our lives are. Always waking up, always rising to live the day, cook a meal, get a hug, read a page, splash some water, laugh loud, cry heavily, sit and listen, pray and pray, sleep, dream and wake up again.
Everyday is like starting over. Everyday, a gift of God to write a new story, to put the old past behind us and deal with the residual feelings. Sing a new song for a new opportunity to be new again. God didn't make things happen to me. This world is broken, people searching for a fix to put themselves back together, for a hint of holy. But all the right places go un-searched while the wrong piles are pillaged and scattered because they contained wisps of glittery satisfaction gone too soon. Until we see that what we needed has been with us all along, untouched, we will always be frustrated, forever looking, eternally unsatisfied, thirsty and hungry for Him.
And some of us don't even want to know this or choose to ignore it. But His gifts don't go away. They stay, waiting for us to be ready to open them. And when we do, it's no easier to look back, as a matter of fact, it gets even harder, but just as Peter couldn't walk on water unless he trusted in Jesus, neither can we survive drowning in our messiness until we begin to believe.
It is in that faith, where believing is seeing, that we can be held up as we see our ugly reflections in the mirrors and watch it change to the beautiful that Our Father made and see in us. Our mess is mixed into the air, made of many tints and hues to make that very first covenant that we still see with our own eyes today; a rainbow.
So it is true. After the storm God gives us the rainbow, made from the very element that brought the storm.
And so I know I can heal. It doesn't matter what I tell you. What God gives you nobody can take.