Saturday, May 31, 2008

Surprise! You've Got Issues!

Most of my posts are fun-loving, toddler and ranch-life recording posts. This one isn't. In this post I will attempt to get vulnerable and share with you from a deeper place in my heart.

At the beginning of the week I had some feelings of insecurity about who I am reeling through my head. It was enough to keep me awake one night for a couple of hours. I didn't stop very long or hard to recognize the whys and whats but they ended up stopping me in my tracks. After a strange morning of frustration and a lack of control, I realized as I spilled my guts and many tears to a trusted friend, who also happens to be my sister, that I had major root issues to seek out. Something earlier in the week had caused emotions and insecurities to begin to surface.

Where were they coming from? Why was I feeling this way? What could I do about it?

These questions kept me in tears and dialogue off and on for two days. I was able to finally get to the root issues after hours of crying and sharing and listening and churning with my sister, husband and mom. Thank you all for your support.

So, what were the root issues?

It all started when I was a very, very little girl. A loved one chose to develop a story about my "creation." Looking back you wonder "what were they thinking?" and then you realize, they weren't! This "creation story" never sparked intense feelings or emotions for me, but as I put pieces together this week I realized this was the beginning. I hesitate to share this story but I would like to be completely honest about my root issues.

The story went something like this: "One day we found this giant poop in the yard. We got a hose out and started to wash it off and there we found Baby Erin in there!" I wasn't the world's prettiest baby when I was born and this prompted someone to make up a story to fit their opinion. Having heard this story as I grew up I must have allowed it to form who I saw myself to be.

In elementary school I was sadly the victim of intense and ongoing girly social bullying. My classmates physically abused, manipulated, used, lied to, shut out, and toyed with me on a regular basis. I remember at one point it was so bad that my dad taught me how to throw a punch...and I did. Although that got a bit of the physical abuse stopped it didn't change the way my heart and identity was affected by the situation. It was a huge blessing to move schools at the end of my 5th grade year.

There were some other things that I took on that I was told about who I was in my teen years. I believed just about anything anyone said to a fault. I couldn't decipher the difference between truth and embellishment or even flat out lies. I just believed. And my belief led to me taking on an identity about myself that included that I am not lovable, acceptable, or worth much to people. I believed that my friends didn't really like me and that they weren't trustworthy.

When I was 16 I sadly lost my father to brain tumors. It was my junior year in high school. Most of my peers cared about their clothes and what they'd be doing Friday night. I was spending the last few months with my father and having to learn to let go of one of the most important people in my life. And one horrible Monday morning in November he left us. The day of his funeral was the most horrible day of my entire life. I have never had the pit in my stomach like I did that morning. I actually cannot remember much of the details of the day...but I definitely remember how absolutely horrible it was to have to go through it. It was hard enough to bury my dad that day but I also lost my five closest friends that day. I will not go into the details but they made some choices that were really hurtful and unsupportive to me. Hurtful enough that my mom had to ask them to leave the funeral reception. Those friendships died that day and were buried with my father. It was an awful time to lose those that I needed.

That day left me full-out convinced that friends were not trustworthy, however this week was the first time that I even realized that I function under that belief. It has left me expecting friends to fail me. It has lead me to be self-protective and disappointed.

As I further analyzed my hurts that were surfacing I realized that I am really sensitive to a lack of reciprocation in relationships. Even though I am self-protective at times, I really desire and try to foster deep, two-way relationships. I run deep. I give all of who I am. I get hurt. I expect others to give the same, go as deep, desire as much. Often times others do not or cannot meet my expectations or desires. There is a difference between expectations and desires.

I also recognized that I have faced much rejection in my life. This has left me with deep, deep wounds. This was actually this issue that pulled all of the rest of this to the surface this week.

As I put the pieces of the puzzle together I realized that life experiences and the beliefs I allowed to form in me were as follows:

1. I am unlovable, rejectable, unworthy to other people.
2. Friends are not trustworthy.
3. I will get hurt.

I realized that I am left very wounded when people don't reciprocate...unhealthily wounded. I realized that I am withdrawing from certain relationships because I am afraid. I realized that I have a super-sensitivity to other's behavior and personally take responsibility for other's feelings.

Yuck. I have issues.

What do you do when you piece together a puzzle that says "Surprise! You're a wounded mess!" What is crazy is that this week I am just able to piece this altogether for the first time in my life! I knew tidbits of this and that but the whole picture, the root issues, they had not been pulled together or fully surfaced.

Well, the great news is I knew exactly what to do. Go to the Father of Truth, the Creator of Love, the Healer and allow Him to deal with me. And that is exactly what I did.

I sat down with my prayer journal and asked the Lord to walk me through the process of healing. He first had me write down the root issues and where they came from. Together we also listed every person that had wounded me and through His grace in my life I was able to forgive. And the Lord also showed me the lies that I had allowed to become a part of my beliefs about who I am and what I expected from relationships. And I renounced them. He told me the truths about who I am and I claimed them.

I am new. I am healed. I am free. I am thankful.

I do want to share that the Lord has recently allowed me to connect again with one of the friends that I lost the day I buried my dad. She had sent a letter of apology years ago without a return address and I just recently was able to find a way to get a hold of her. This connection has been really awesome. It just reminds me of the importance of forgiveness in our lives. Not one of us doesn't need can we deny another the opportunity to receive it? And when we choose not to allow God to minister forgiveness for others in ourselves...we choose to imprison ourselves in hurt.

To God be the Glory.


diana said...

I just had to comment, hope you don't mind.
1. We all have issues, and most run as far and deep as yours.
2. You are extremely brave to put yours up for all the world to see, I hope it was theraputic for you.
3. I can't believe that you were EVER ugly, even as a baby...EVER.
4. I'm so glad we met.
5. I'm super glad we met, I think you are a super, awesome, wonderful person (and you have a great family.)
Thats it, just had to comment....
I'm sure you are feeling better by now, but I wanted to let you know that there is someone out there, although really far away, that thinks you are pretty freaking great!!

erin said...

Wow. You are such a strong person to write about your insecurities and "issues." Insecurites, I might add, that I am certain we all feel, only so few of us are brave enough to put them out there for the world to see. Thank you for letting the rest of us relate to you in such an intimate and honest way.