Layers. There are so many layers.
We start out as a seed in our mothers womb, which was also a seed in her mothers womb, and on and on. We have been carried around for generations unbeknownst to ourselves. Have you ever heard of such a thing as generational trauma? For me and many others, it is real.
September is suicide awareness month. If you have read my blogs or posts then you will know that I am unashamed about mental health and my journey with it. There is a history of suicide in my family. There are traumas woven throughout my heritage, as like many of yours. So what else can I do but face it. I sure as heck haven't been able to escape it or the effects of it, no matter how hard I have tried. Stuffing it, numbing it, talking through it, giving it to God, are all part of my journey. There doesn't seem to be a one size fits all answer.
Today, I'm writing about a simple yet profound revelation to me and a new awareness on my own individualized journey to healing. So many layers. Here we go.
My life, my world is like a puzzle and as a child I often felt like I was put in the wrong box, but somehow I knew I fit. It was as if I was the bridge between two cities at war. There were not enough pieces of the bridge that I could see to withstand the weight. Being the one piece in this 1000 piece puzzle gave me an isolated perspective, a lonely perspective.
Writing has been a source of release over the years, especially in high school. I used to write poems as a part of trying to manage the range of emotions, to organize my thoughts, and regain some sort of control. I didn't know that then, but I see it now. Everything about it was a coping technique, not just the words that landed on the page. Some of this post may seem disjointed but that is because in my process, I am not sure yet where God wants to take it. So I'm going to just leave it here.
trying to earn salvation
trying to earn the right to breathe
the right to be loved
people pleasing, obedience, and it was never good enough
I could never earn salvation and I couldn't earn the love that was denied to me
conditional love versus God's grace, unconditional favor and opportunity
standing at the grave being reminded that I've been trying to earn your love and respect and right to breathe
but I'd rather just die because I can't be enough to earn your love and acceptance, I'm not yours
you hate me, don't you? but you say you love me, why?
it's a pit I can't climb out of
and my hope was in Jesus
you're making God feel worse which is not fair to Him
He's my only light in this dark tunnel
and as much as I don't want to go through this life like this
I won't go to hell and be separated from my God
that is a lot of pressure to put on somebody
it wasn't truth
it was lies
it was those lies that served enough purpose to keep me alive
because of God's grace I've come to learn his truth and how his love actually works
it's not conditional like yours
living like you're on borrowed time
living like a foster child
living like you were never wanted and being reminded of it
living like a burden
I guess that's why I can't breathe
when I was physically being choked and suffocated I can reconcile that
I can try to fix that
fixing the emotional suffocation, the emotional punishment for being in your life
I can't simply untrain
people say to breathe things through and to do meditation
and to do all these breathing exercises
and I can't breathe because it reminds me that my breath was never valued
that my breath was a detriment and reminder of pain for you
but I will renounce these lies
I will forgive repeatedly
I will regain my strength one day at a time, in God's time
to be able to speak with confidence and strength for Him
I will tell myself when I can't breathe, that the Holy Spirit will breathe for me
Did anyone else hide to cry? Why did I grow up hiding in a closet to cry? Why did I squash my voice so that no one would ever hear me? Why was silence my only option? Why we're feelings unvalidated? It's hard to be at peace without doing something to feel accepted. Why didn't I know that I could fight back? Why didn't I know that I mattered?
The wounds are so deep and the idea so simple. Breathe. I struggle to breathe because my breath was never valued. I was taught that I was not supposed to be born. I was taught that I was a mistake and that I should be grateful for the fact that I was saved. When being allowed to be born, I had to earn my rights to be there. I was supposed to be gracious for that breath to be present in that family.
This is not complaining. This is just becoming aware and I've been working on this for at least 15 years. I have been trying to learn how to be free to breathe since I have been alive. That journey couldn't really begin until I was out of the house and 18 because I didn't have permission yet. I had to be away so I could be allowed to start my life, to learn how to breathe on my own.
Raising children and seeing the emotional outbursts at times has been eye-opening. Parenting reveals to me what I needed and didn't get. I know the type of parent I want to be and the compassion children need. I can be there for my kids in ways that no one was ever there for me. I can help them know they are loved, that they are valued, and they are not a tool to be manipulated and used for someone else's gain.
God let me breathe, not you
God wanted me here
and nothing would have stopped that
God wanted me in your life
God gave me breath
and He will not let it be taken until the time it is time, in His time
God has a purpose and a plan for me
and I renounce any belief that he doesn't
his love for me was sent to the cross
his love for me raised from the dead
his love is coming back
God has a plan for me
every breath is a gift not a curse
every breath is an opportunity
maybe I'm not supposed to be a singer
maybe I'm not supposed to speak on a broad scale
I don't know
but I'm supposed to breathe
and I am supposed to be here
and I am valued
my Creator created me
every single unique part of me
Every time I felt that I couldn't breathe, the Holy Spirit was rocking me, holding me, saying to me, "It's okay honey, I'll breathe for you. I'm with you. I'll breathe for you.". And dear friend, I know He'll breathe for you too.
The next time I'm with someone who is overwhelmed and struggling to relax, I'll be more aware of simply telling them to "breathe". I'll be tuning in and seeing if they need me to tell them that I'm with them. If they can't do breathing exercises because their body just won't let them, then I'll say what the Holy Spirit has revealed to me, "I'll breathe for you" and I'll just be with them.
Holy Spirit, thank you for Your provision and protection even when I was so isolated in my pain that I couldn't recognize what kept me going. You intercede for me so often. My God is so gracious to me. The layers and depth of my wounds are beyond my own capability to understand. The generational curses and traumas are felt by many, not just me. Lord, help us to seek healing and peace. Replace the lies with the only Truth. Let those tears wash away the years of hurt. Let blessings replace the trauma in future generations. Let us seek You in all our days. Thank you for the redemption through the cross and sacrifice beyond comprehension. My Jesus saves. God, in all of my hurt, in all of my story, let You receive the glory. In Jesus Name, amen.