Day 64 of 100 intentional reflective steps.
So many have said “I didn’t know you were going through this. I hope this (abuse, depression, anxiety) wasn’t happening when I was around.” There seems to be a sense of community guilt that is hanging on to bumper of my self disclosure.
My answer? Of course it was. But there is no guilt necessary. You weren’t allowed to see inside my life. At the risk of further terror you weren’t allowed to see the wounds, hear the cries or know the painful silence. Everything was to appear perfect on the outside but in truth it was internally warped with manipulation of perpetrators who were intent on saving face.
As an adult nobody could have known the toll that the dead and dying, sick and addicted, and those intent on destroying their own lives, would take on me in the Pastorate. You didn’t know and you didn’t need to. All you needed to know is that I was trying my damnedest to survive and care for those in my charge with the limitations imposed on me.
Its a painful and almost embarrassing reality that we do not really know the insides of even some of our closest friends. Our culture feeds us independence and sets us up to compare with one another. But this competition to be the best at hiding our worst is exactly what causes distrust and further pain. We can never connect with what we already know is the plastic veneer we offer one another. The deepest connection possible is with one another’s pain and needfulness for grace and craving for peace, the exact qualities we try and hide.”
It’s not your fault you did not know. I didn’t let you. But now what? My achilles heel is exposed. You have enough details to never trust me to care for other people, pastorally or professionally. There is proof here that I shouldn’t own or carry a gun, let alone try and raise human beings. Could you do this? What risk does it take to share our deepest fears and scariest vulnerabilities. It may cost you. This may cost me.
But by learning to live an honest self, flawed, needful and growing I am validating and supporting my own struggle and personal triumph. Someone said to me recently, “I didn’t know you had gone through all of this. I always thought you were strong and put together.” Well, I am. And I’m broken.
News flash. We all are. Let’s just admit it.