Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cookies and tears and hiding humanity

Welcome to Brave. Lots of words here and hopefully in them courage, a story and awareness.

In the middle of the night you sneakily walk in the kitchen, see the chocolate chip cookies and... Oh temptation takes over. Your head and your hand are at war but your hand gets that cookie to your mouth. And as you stand there in the still quiet of your sleeping house you wonder, "Can they hear me chewing?" Your chewing and crunching is as loud in your ears at that moment as a lawn mower on an early Saturday morning. In church I cry. I can't help it. So many years of being told God wanted me to hurt or God would kill me, because I was that bad.... I have yet to sit through a service that I didn't bawl like a baby- just to be back sitting before my King. Knowing that He does love me, did love me. But in my tears I wonder sometimes how disruptive I am being. I don't wail, but I wipe my tears away from my cheeks. A lady sitting near me handed me tissues once...
No one hears you chewing in the middle of the night. And not too many notice my silent crying. But, the crumbs you left on the counter... seen. Your chocolatey breath- possibly smelt by your spouse if you shared a morning kiss. My teary smudged makeup and slightly puffy eyes.... probably noticed by the Sunday school ladies when I pick up my kids and obviously by the woman who shared tissues with me. 
Shucks! While eating cookies or crying didn't really change anything- just think you were worried that they might. Worried about your humanity being seen. Everyone with access to chocolate chip cookies, or bacon or Lays potato chips has eaten them in the middle of the night. Everyone cries. We hide our humanity for fear of it being obvious to other humans.... Sounds kinda crazy when put like that huh? Be Brave! Eat, cry, sing and dance with abandon. The God I cry in front of likes it when we aren't so worried. 

Dark Corner
Domestic violence has victims. What an awful word. Needing help can feel awful.  Domestic violence is a world of misplaced shame. The victims carry that shame.
My head spun, well all the images in front of me did. It was dark. It was -5 F. It was 7pm and the wind was whipping through the Costco parking lot. I held my youngest son in his snowsuit and tried to walk without slipping on the ice or tipping over as I was dizzy. He had just pounded my head into the car window 6 times. He told me to walk home and to take the baby so we could die together in the snow. I did not have a hat. I did not have gloves- my coat wasn't suited to the -5 F windy night. The snow from the parking lot was swirling in the air as the freezing wind blew. My ears burned. I got to the ToysRUs parking lot and a man in a big Suburban asked if I needed help. I shook my head no. What would I have said? It felt like too big of a problem to share and beyond that he would find me and ..... that would be the end. Two more cars pulled over and spoke with me. I kept moving. He came for me as I passed the bank- it had taken me 20 minutes with the snow and the traffic and my son. He was mad. I was just cold. I had looked like a victim he said. He had seen me he said. That dark scary night was long.

Humanity is what it is. God made us. We are. Domestic violence has no place in truth or life- it is not God's will. The victim of domestic violence does not cause it. Sadly victims tend to believe they need to endure it. Knowing you are a victim only makes the dark corner you are in darker. For me it felt like a black hole that I was just being sucked into farther and farther. Carrying the shame of his actions was probably similar to being coated in tar. A black sticky death trap. I am so sorry if you understand this. It is ok to tell someone. You can tell someone. People will help and that is good. Let someone help you. Let someone share courage with you. Cry. But please don't stay where you are. If that is not you be glad. Be thankful and help those around you to be brave! Be brave with your humanity! 
(and just so you all know- its 3am and I just ate a chocolate chip cookie! )