For several days, I’ve been going to bed early, which is to say that I’ve pulled into my preferred camping spot, locked my car door, and reclined my seat a little after 8:00 PM. During the day I’ve been holding it together; but when night falls and I’m alone, I overflow with anxiety. Armed with WiFi from the Big Box Store I park behind, and buoyed by free soothing sounds from the Internet, I’ve been trying to take long rests.
Whenever the morning sun starts making its presence felt, I shift uncomfortably and try to snooze, but the Abuser has other plans, as usual. These last few days, instead of running skirmishes on my failure to maintain friendships, or a fun little sortie persuading me not to bother showering or going to church, he’s opted for a frontal assault:
Every AM I toss and turn and cover my head, vainly attempting to fend off enemy ordnance: I am drowning in unpaid bills. The car payment. Canceled insurance. The storage unit where my beloved matching bedroom set resides. The final dues on utilities at my former residence.
No job you take would even make a dent in the debt at this point.
Even if you suck it up and start working at a gas station, you’ll never get out from under this now.
Another few weeks and the car will get repossessed and then where will you sleep?
You did this to yourself.
And so on. My determination to remember that these are just the whispers of yet another abusive boyfriend wavers. Eventually I give up on getting any more sleep and head over to the gym. Treadmill, shower, clean clothes, caffeine. The day begins.
It’s not getting easier.
I’m uplifted by being back in church. The pastor’s messages have been timely, I’ve taken good notes, and I’ve tried to think on them afterwards.
Unfortunately, the boost I’ve gotten from Sunday and Wednesday services hasn’t been enough to keep the Enemy at bay. In fact, in the stillness and darkness of late nights and wee hours, I’m more and more overwhelmed by the words of the Abuser:
Can’t win. Don’t try.
None of the jobs I’ve applied for (apart from that one calamitous interview a month ago) have responded to me. Worse, ever since I left the dubious comfort of my former landlords’ home, I haven’t even had the strength to apply for any new ones. I’m still filling out surveys for gas money, but that’s about it.
I have no talent for acting hopeful.
I’ve written about this before: I simply don’t follow the happiness narrative. If I’m already suffocating with hopelessness, I don’t want people to cover me with an elaborately-crocheted hope cozy. I simply don’t feel it.
I follow a handful of other Christian bloggers off and on, some of whom are dealing with their own Issues with a Capital I. A child suddenly crippled; an out-of-left-field divorce because someone turned out to be gay; a narcissistic elderly parent moving in; a death, another death, yet another death. The vast majority of people whose personal struggles I’ve stumbled across have somehow maintained their faith. Or at least professed to, even as they fight the good fight and lay their pain bare.
I don’t seem to have what they have.
All I seem to have is the pain.
Don’t get me wrong. I know God is there. I don’t blame him for my problems. He loves me, I’m certain. He knew this would happen, he knows what’ll happen next.
If I do give up, he will still love me.