After an hour of the usual routine to get back to sleep, I’m still awake at 2 a.m. Resigned that I’m up for a while, there are some things I’d like to get done. I grab my computer (yes, counselors make bad life choices) and I poke around on my To Do list. While researching […]
Why is this so ridiculously awkward? This shouldn’t be so stinking hard. Sheesh, woman, relax why don’t ya!? Use your tools. Ok, I can do this. Breathe. Long, deep, gentle breath. I can’t breathe! I’m sitting alone at a table in the front window of my favorite pancake slinging spot. This Saturday morning, like many […]
When clients first visit with me they often ask, “Am I crazy?” They are asking the question in all seriousness. They’ll tell me more of their story and ask again, “Am I crazy? You’d tell me, right?”
For some, the question is asked because the choices they’ve made seem utterly unreasonable. The things they’ve done to themselves seem outrageous and irrational. For others, the things that have been done to them are truly unbelievable.
My response over and over is, “You’re not crazy, you’re hurting like crazy.”
It’s the question I asked, too. It’s easier to think we are crazy than to believe that the memories are actual events. Easier to think we are crazy than to acknowledge the extent of betrayal. Easier to be crazy than to turn and face the choices we’ve made. Easier to brush off the pain by hoping we’ve lost our marbles somewhere along the way.
Many years ago I went to see a pastor in the depth of my despair. As my life bottomed out, I needed help freeing myself from the pain and shame of years of childhood abuse. I tried to explain I had been sexually abused as a little girl. The pastor’s first question was, “was there penetration?” Then, I tried to explain the flashbacks and was told, “the devil is talking to you”.
This, my friends, is Exhibit A in the “Not At All Helpful” category.
I don’t believe Christian ministry leaders and pastors intend to injure others. Regardless of intent, damage often occurs. The hearts and souls they hope to nurture and influence become collateral damage in the name of pastoral counseling. Hearts and souls are wounded. Not for lack of a minister’s desire to help, but for lack of knowledge. I see the aftermath in my office every day.
A new magazine shows up in the mail. I love the way my heart races and I get a bit woozy right after I pull it out of the mailbox. I make sure there’s nothing to distract me, relax into my favorite chair, and open the pages slowly. Two hours are gone before I know what’s happened.
The next day, I resolve not to get sucked into the compulsive vortex. I’m determined not to spend one more cent on the stuff. Then, WHAM! An email shows up with photos of exactly the material I like, or a salacious Facebook post grabs me. It almost seems unfair the way they drag me in.
Addiction sucks! That rubbish is all over my house. I get one little peek and it’s game over. I can’t stop. I have to touch it, smell it, imagine all the things I want to do with it. A skein of that sage green, bulky weight, 100% baby alpaca and I swoon