Sunday, September 16, 2018


It always starts with a period of deep anger. The type of anger that comes out from your bones and leaves you feeling like there's no other feeling to have about the world, and that you never felt anything different.  It spikes at differing things that it holds to be threats, like how the sun shone in your eyes just then, or the way your son's voice sounds particularly squeaky when he's trying to communicate how much he can't say, or even when your poor wife is trying to get you to pick up the other kid cause he needs someone to hold him. There is a threat to be found, somewhere, and the anger will be damned if it can't find an attacker.

The funny thing is how reasonable it is until you open your mouth to express why you're being pissy.

Oh wait, this makes no sense. Crap.

For a brief second you feel powerless and the feedback loop is created. You are now locked into a cycle of anger at... something... along with the shame of being so irrational, which makes you angry, because no one else understands. Nor can they. It's a comforting loneliness at times. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. But the wish to not have anyone share in it just makes you lonelier.

Sometimes this cycle goes on for weeks at a time, as your body continues to break down the barriers between you and a truly horrific memory, the stuff of nightmares. You take a breath and ride it out. The little drops of anger have become an ocean that you ride upon in your little skiff. Getting wet is impossible, but you can stay on the skiff.

And then you remember.

All of a sudden you are there. Your brain snaps into awful focus, and you realize that you are in a moment of hatred so intense, so awful, that you cannot for the life of you figure out how the heck you are still around. You are being hurt, right now, and you cannot stop it. Maybe, just maybe, someone will figure it out. But you're tired, so very, very very tired. You're in two places at once. That's not figurative, you are both a child and an adult at that point and I dare anyone to tell me different. The decision to stay in one point in time must be made. What happened then is then, you are not there, not right now. The pain may be so intense that you feel that you've lost your mind, but the simple fact is somehow, some way, you are sane, because if you were not feeling like this it would be insanity itself. Flailing in the tidal wave, you get the idea to shoot a hand up, above your head.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!
I do not pretend that every time I say that prayer I feel the presence of God. That would be utterly untrue and prideful. Perhaps it's just the act of doing it that is so helpful. But there are some times I'm convinced that there's a presence that dawns in my soul.  The Presence does not say much, not normally, but He does hold me, as the waves continue to batter harder and harder. There are times I find myself terrified of everything, but He continues to hold me, and I am safe. Even in the midst of the worst tidal waves there He is. Sometimes I must pray for the person who is did the damage to me. And sometimes I realize the waves of anger that I feel against this person are so horrific that they'll destroy me too, and so I ask for the both of us to be saved from myself.  Sometimes it has to be praying for myself, because the tidal wave is aimed at me for allowing this horrific thing to happen to me. The fact that I was a child is immaterial to that level of anger. Someone must be destroyed, and if it's me, the one who made the anger in the first place, so be it. Anger is ultimately a suicidal impulse, somehow, even if you don't feel suicidal at that precise moment. To be angry at another and to wish for their harm is to wish harm to yourself.

So the waves hit, over and over, and I find that I am still alive, that the world did not wash away, and that part of me cannot hate or be angry anymore.  And the waves just... stop. Sometimes it's large parts of my personality that walk away changed, and sometimes it was just a battle for just the tiniest personality tick. But I walked through the shadow of the valley of death, and He was with me. And yes, that rod is really comforting. And without His staff I would have wandered off a long time ago. Goodness and Mercy do follow me, because if He didn't I would've drowned, and it's as simple as that. 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!

No comments:

Post a Comment