“The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.” – Romans 8:18
The situations I was put in as a child, I didn’t have any authority to put my foot down and walk away. My family was a mess, and there was nothing I could do but hold on tight to my sanity. I began to educate myself in middle school, about anxiety, depression, anything that could help me wrap my head around the feelings I had. Though it was helpful, in comparison to doing nothing and letting it suffocate me, I wish I would’ve found God sooner. I had joined all the religious clubs during elementary school, I could recite the books of the bible, (mostly because if you memorized them you would be rewarded with little trinkets or snacks) I even went to church some Sundays with a friend of mine and her grandparents. My heart wasn’t ready for it, and God has his time for everyone.
The symptoms of anxiety I had experienced in my early years ranged from that rotten pain in my stomach, my throat felt like it was going to close, and my face would start to radiate with heat. I’d made myself vomit multiple times by worrying myself into a frenzy. I feel so much sympathy for that little girl. My parents didn’t ask, and I couldn’t tell them. I was 16 the first time my mom threatened to have my admitted to an acute intake unit, for the psychologically disturbed. I was on my knees in the parking lot of my therapist’s office, crying hysterically because I couldn’t communicate to her how badly I was hurting. She stood above me and simply stated, “Get up and knock it off, or I’m having you admitted.”
I lost my virginity at 16 as well, and that went over fabulously with my mother. Throughout the next couple years, any time I got a stomach bug, or was “overly emotional,” she wouldn’t hesitate in letting my know that if I was pregnant, she would drag me through the court system until I was deemed unfit to raise that hypothetical child. Over a decade has gone by, and I still struggle in making decisions that could possibly rub her the wrong way, for fear that she may follow through with that threat. Mind you, I was a very smart teenager, I didn’t drink, I said no to drugs, I was always extremely responsible, held down a job, and kept my grades above a B- at all times. Other than a generalized anxiety disorder from years of tension, screaming, physical altercations between my parents, there was nothing wrong with me, and I had learned very early on that the world did not accept people who outwardly showed signs of mental/emotional distress on a regular basis. I put on my big girl panties, and tried to fake it the way my family had always wanted me to.
Although, there was a big problem with that; I wasn’t one of them, and playing pretend is not one of my strong suits.