Tag Archives: sorrow

I will not repeat the past

The weepy teary-eyed moments usually hit when I least expect it. More phrases or memories have been triggering these weepy moments recently, and it’s becoming harder to predict when something will trigger my emotions. I find myself getting to the evening and starting to crash emotionally and hitting a wall, and wanting to just curl up and not have to work through things anymore.

My hubby and I had a conversation the other night about hoping for something and what it looks like when that hope is disappointed. I tried to explain to him how hard it is for me to hope for something, and to pray for it, because of how many times I’ve been so bitterly disappointed. We didn’t really agree on what it looked like to hope in Jesus, but as I rolled over to fall asleep, a bitter memory hit me, and I ended up curled up in my husband’s arms, crying, and hearing him whisper in my ear about how sorry he was that I had to deal with what I did growing up.

I never thought I’d say this, but I am angry at my mom. Like seriously angry, and what makes that harder is she does not know what she did. I’ve finally accepted the fact that I was truly alone growing up. I had no defender, I had no one to take my stand or to back me up. I keep trying to tell myself that I’m wrong, that I am exaggerating and making things up, but I can’t escape the truth; I. Was. Alone.  My siblings were alone, and most of them still are. We were alone as I watched my brothers get thrown around during my dad’s anger fits. We were alone when mom was out, and dad decided to start yelling and throwing things around because the house wasn’t clean enough for his high and mighty standards.

I never want a child of mine to feel the pain of having to stay at someone’s house for two hellish weeks, only to have found out at the beginning that that family really didn’t want you, they just wanted your younger brother. I don’t ever want any child of mine to feel like I would never defend them or stand up for them. I would never stand by and watch while a child of mine is verbally chewed out. The guilt (wrongly felt) and the shame (wrongly felt) I have grown up with is something I never want my children to feel.

I feel like my heart is breaking again trying to accept that I truly was alone growing up. I have opened up memories that I have not wanted to remember as I’ve looked back with these new eyes. I keep trying to defend my mom to myself, and telling myself that she really did stand up for us, for me, and the more I uncover, the harder it is to convince myself that she did. It’s like telling myself that this memory is the worst it’s going to get, and then being thrown back by the next memory when it is worse than the first.

I have had this post draining my already low energy reserves for the past week, and I’m still not sure of how it’s turning out. If anything, this opening of hard memories has shown me just how strength Jesus actually gave me through all of those years at home. I never really saw myself as strong, I just simply had to be the defender. It was that or I kill myself.  It was be my siblings’ defender, or let them crumble like dust. I am tired of being strong. All it takes to break my strength is one sleepless night followed by a day of major aches, then followed by a second sleepless night full of more aches and pains. Once in that cycle, it’s hard for me to break out, or to find the strength to hold up under memories I don’t want to remember but that have been triggered. The past two weeks have been that cycle for me, and it started when my mom told me that someone challenged her to repent of not standing up for my siblings and her response being she doesn’t know how she didn’t do that.

I passed my dad in his car on the road today as I drove home from a job. I almost burst into tears when I saw him because of how present the pain is right now. I want to have a relationship with him, and it hurts to not have one. I want to see him care and love my siblings, my mom, me. I want to see my mom recover and realize how much she’s denied throughout her life, and I want to see her heal.

I am fighting doldrums many times a day now, and I never know if I’m just going to break down and start crying or if I will find the strength to hold my head up and not let the memory get close to my heart. Jesus is a fading and shifting shadow to me right now. Sometimes He’s easy to reach out to, and other times He feels far away. I never doubt his love for me, I just get lost inside the pain.

It’s a low time right now for me. Especially as the weather gets colder and my fibromyalgia starts reacting towards the cold with a lot more pain than usual. The more pain I’m in, the more worn out and weary I feel. The more worn out and weary I feel, the less I fight to be strong.

Where is my Defender?

Psalm 68:5 – father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

Being the oldest of  large family has placed a heavy weight on my shoulders. I have never felt that weight more strongly than when one of my siblings, or multiple siblings, are in any sort of danger. As more of my siblings made their appearances while I grew up, the heavier the weight became, until one day I was faced with the stark realization that I had missed my childhood.  I was never a carefree, happy little girl, kicking up her heels in the sun, and running through fields of wild flowers.  I had to be the perfect example for my siblings, and I needed to be in charge so they didn’t make daddy angry, or make mom upset.

I was my siblings’ parent.

I was their defender, their warrior.

I protected them.

But no one protected me.

No one told me that I wasn’t supposed to be mother, father, protector, or defender to my siblings. No one told me that it wasn’t normal to be very mature for my young age, or that I raised my siblings while my mom dealt with the youngest children. This was normal for me, and this is how I grew up. I know it’s not good to have had so much responsibility for my siblings, but I can’t give back what has already been placed on me. I do not regret having had so much responsibility, for it taught me to love much, and it gave me the strength to handle big situations. It has made living marriage that much easier when it comes to budgeting and keeping meals on the table.  I am good at what I do because I have done it all of my life. I know how to cook good, healthy, hardy meals.

I know how to stand up for and defend my friends, my siblings, my husband. I know to become the mama bear when someone mistreats anyone close to me. I know because I have been doing that all of my life.

I have a heavy weight when it comes to my siblings, and I would fight to the ends of the earth to keep them from being damaged any further by the man who is their dad. I fear for them because of how hard it has been for me to break free from my dad’s influence over my faith, my life, and my health. I have taken the brunt of my dad’s influence, but I couldn’t always protect my siblings from being grabbed and dragged to sit in the bathroom when they disobeyed. Nor could I protect my sister from being dragged by her hair half way up the stairs because she talked nasty to me. I have alternately felt like a failure when it comes to my siblings, and feeling helpless and angry at the injustice they have endured.

Even though I am married, and no longer see any of my siblings on a regular basis, I still go through spurts where I feel like the weight has grown. It is heavy and frustrating when none of my other siblings seem to take me seriously, or believe me when I get upset over their plight. Am I seeing things? Am I being too emotional and making things up? I feel alone sometimes in bearing this weight. My heart breaks for my siblings, and I pray that they will one day be able to heal from my dad’s abuse.

I am once again contacting the pastors in charge of my family, and begging, challenging them to heed my siblings’ pain. I am weary of bringing my issues forward and not feeling like anyone is paying attention to me. I will not give up on my siblings, but I do get close to doing so many times.


Chryssie Rose

Am I Beautiful? – the throes of longing for approval

I’m not one for girly girl posts, but I think this one is about to become one….

For most of my life, at least all that I can remember, I have struggled with feeling like an ugly duckling, a blemish to society.  I have hated and raged about the way I looked, even when I was only 7! Thankfully, at that age, I wasn’t aware of the anguish that would come later as my body changed from a little tomboy to a blossoming young woman. As time passed and I grew up, I went through so many phases with liking something and wearing it all the time, to absolutely hating everything in my wardrobe.  I would wear a sweatshirt and jeans in the middle of summer because I was ashamed of showing any of the “bacne” I had on my shoulders, or showing my slowly forming womanly frame. I was sure everyone watched me and thought I was ugly.

I grew up in a home where encouragement was not a norm, and still isn’t to this day. I have had to really work on encouraging my husband, and let me tell you, it’s a habit that’s hard to form! Neither one of my parents grew up in “loving” homes, but instead grew up in broken homes. My mom’s dad was emotionally absent and just simply wasn’t there. Her mom was an alcoholic and her oldest sister pretty much raised my mom and her siblings. My dad’s dad was a military man, bound to anger, and my dad will say that he never heard his dad say I love you until my dad was out of college. Both of my parents are 1st generation Christians and have a lot of regrets from their growing up years before becoming a Christian. Which, on a slightly different topic, is why patriarchy and the Quiverfull lifestyle appealed to them so much. It was a lifestyle that promised a much better life for their children. But, I don’t blame them for not being emotionally supportive throughout my life at home. I am sorrowful because I know they simply didn’t know how to be there for their children like that. It is my goal to try my best at helping my future daughters know they are truly beautiful.

As I got closer to my teen years, I remember watching the older girls around me, especially at our house church (yes, my family did house churches for a good bit in my young young years). They were so pretty, had really good looking clothes, had their ears pierced, and they got to wear makeup. I remember when I got my ears pierced for the first time when I was 12. I remember when I got my first little makeup kit when I was 14. I remember always dismaying over my big fat thighs, and worrying that my waist wasn’t thin enough. I thought that if my legs were skinnier, my waist thinner, my breasts bigger, or my hair less curly and frizzy, my dad would say I was beautiful, and people would tell me that I was pretty.  I can’t honestly remember right now if my dad has ever told me, I was beautiful. I am probably forgetting something. I remember one time he told me that I looked “really nice” and that was it. I don’t remember my mom telling me I was pretty, much less beautiful. The only times I can remember getting praised was on my birthday, and it would in a card my parents gave me, or when I had accomplished a great piece of music at a piano recital or audition.

I remember asking my mom at one point if I was pretty. I don’t remember her ever answering that question directly. I think she said something like it wasn’t about outward appearances, but about the heart. As I started going through my teen years, the acne hit, and there were many days I was too ashamed to be seen. I couldn’t control it, no matter what I did. It was terrible, and I hate, even now, looking at pictures of myself from those days. It is hard to look back on that teenager me and not feel anything but pity and sadness for her. She was so eager for approval for her sewing, her piano playing ability, her writing. She was starved for affection, aching to feel loved, to feel beautiful. Behind that stony exterior, that I got so good at projecting, was a tiny little girl who’s heart wept and ached for affection.

My married, 21 year old, self still feels the ghosts of those aches and longings. I am married to one awesome dude who is constantly lovin’ on my body, telling me how much he loves the way I look, and how much he is so rich to be married to me. Me! the older version of that little girl! He loves me! Sometimes it is too much for me, but I am slowly learning to accept it and know that I truly am beautiful. It’s really hard though. Even more so living in a culture that praises the thin shapely legs of a very skinny person, the thin flat stomach of a barbie doll, and the round voluptuous breasts of a D cup. You’re not going to see this culture praise wide hips and thighs, short waisted, B cup women. Do you know how hard it is to find clothes to fit endowed hips and butt? Or how hard it is to find a dress or shirt that looks good on some with a short torso? It sure requires a lot of digging and and usually takes awhile to find something that fits and, in my opinion, looks good. I truly believe that most women struggle with feeling disgusting and ugly. I know I’m definitely not the only one. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier though.

I stumbled across several articles a friend shared with me a few months ago. They dealt with women who, like me, had grown up in a broken home, or with emotionally absent parents, and couldn’t see their own beauty. They shared their journey of realizing that they were truly beautiful, and how it was draining them to constantly be picking on themselves for their perceived ugliness. Those articles were another step in this journey I’ve been on in regards to my weight, body, and the perspective I have of myself. I am tired of constantly beating myself up for gaining weight after I got married because I was finally free from the stress of my family’s home and I was happy, and I finally could eat without feeling sick to my stomach. I am tired of worrying that I’m ugly and seeing pictures of myself and wanting to hide and delete every picture of me. It is embarrassing feeling ashamed of myself.  I am done with not accepting my husband’s eager pride in me and how I look.

I have made it my goal to find one thing, usually more, that I can praise my friends about, and especially praise and encourage my sisters. I know how it feels to feel ugly, and I want to make sure my sisters know that I see them as beautiful young women. It really does help my view of myself when I’m more concerned about encouraging a friend or sister than how I look.   I have made myself find one thing, or more, that I absolutely love about myself every time I look in the mirror. I am working out, and watching food amounts so I can lose the 20 pounds (or more!) I have gained since getting married.  I refuse to step on a scale because of how depressing it is to me. I work hard to make sure that my wardrobe is only full of clothes I love the way they look on me and I am comfortable in them. I have learned what times of the month I am most prone to beating myself up, and I set up reminders for myself that this is for only a little while. I know the times of the month when I feel the best, and I think I look the best. Even with doing these things, my husband still has to put up with my anguished cries of feeling fat and ugly. That still happens on many occasions. and each time he constantly reminds of me of how much he loves the way he looks.

I am learning to be constantly amazed at two things. The first is that over every single woman in the world, my husband chose me. He CHOSE ME. The short, thick-thighed, non-flat stomach me. The little girl inside the older girl asking, “am I beautiful?” Yes, he answers, yes, you are beautiful. My husband once told me, when we first start dating, that I was the one he wanted to grow old with, and he knows I will be still beautiful even then. The second, I think even more important, is that God has chosen me, loved me, wanted me, called me perfect and beautiful since before the beginning of time. I am awed that I really am beautiful, I am graceful, I am worth something. I am brought to tears as the little girl inside me claps her hands in delight.

I am learning, I am striving for my own perfection levels, and I don’t always remember that I am beautiful. I am constantly comparing people I see to myself, and tearing myself down with each comparison. I truly am my worst critic. That is, until I can again remember, I am beautiful.

With that in mind, and without further ado,

Chryssie Rose

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