Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ugly on Purpose

The chirping of newly hatched birds coupled with a warm spring breeze wafting through the open window belied what was happening in my teenage bedroom. A fragrant burst of fresh cut grass being carried along that same gust of wind did nothing to cover the smell of burning flesh.  Not for the first time I wished for the bravado to slice rather than burn my skin, but, the risk of dripping blood onto my mother’s pristine carpet kept that wish at bay.
Turning my thoughts back to the task at hand, I deftly flicked the lighters thumbwheel, watching in morbid fascination as the spark became flame allowing me a means in which to light the needle to a red-hot state.  The lingering moment of anticipation before contact afforded me an opportunity to turn back, set the needle down and walk away, but I knew I wouldn’t do that, couldn’t possibly turn away from a moment of pain, a moment to feel something, anything.  
Life, even at its most painful was still life, so much better than walking around in a state of constant numbness, feeling nothing, but hearing everything. The taunts of my classmates as they ridiculed my never changing wardrobe, frizzy hair and all around weaknesses bounced through my head as I set the heated needle to my arms flesh, biting my tongue to keep from crying out in pain. But oh, what a blessed pain it was. To be able to feel alive, even for that brief instant in time was worth a moment’s agony.
Savoring the throbbing ache, I silently walked to my closet, inspecting its meager contents with disinterested eyes. Yes, they were right, I did wear the same ugly clothes every day, but what they didn’t understand was why. Being ugly on purpose had more benefits than downfalls in my lonely world. It was a means of defense, a way to keep people distanced. I learned at a young age that keeping people at arms length was the only way to safeguard secrets that must be kept.  An open heart becomes an easy target for pain, and I simply couldn’t squeeze another drop of hurt inside; numbness, nothingness, a blissful drifting on still waters was by far the better choice in my young mind.
I am now a grown woman, slowly learning that my secrets were never meant to be carried alone. Walking a path of self destruction for too many years has opened my eyes to the pain of others. Knowing that God never “allowed” my brother and father to molest me, but instead cried right along with me, and felt the same pain I did has given me the strength to want to share His love with others, those who feel as though secrets must be kept and carried close. The only way to set your mind free is to allow your heart to be opened and the love of Jesus to shine in. He is waiting to carry your life’s burdens for you and walk its path together.
The journey isn’t always easy, there are still days I trip and stumble, but the good news is that He catches me before I fall.
Please keep in mind, if you see someone being ugly on purpose, whether it’s the way they dress, the way they act, or just because you label them “different”, there is a reason behind those actions. Treat them with love, not scorn or a look of disgust which has the potential to send them burrowing further within themselves. The deeper we dig inside, the harder it is to come back out.
God Bless

10 comments:

  1. What a wonderful post...you have a strong voice to hurting women...I believe you will help many.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thought provoking. That's the best way to describe this post. You've given me much to think about. I especially liked when you said,"The deeper we dig inside, the harder it is to come back out." I wonder how many people walk around, hiding their fears, angst, and worries behind their appearance. I know this to be true of an acquaintance who feels that because she is overweight, she doesn't want to draw attention to herself. As a result, she doesn't spend any time or effort in her appearance--her way of telling people, "Don't look at me!"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you very much DeeLynn. This post really spoke to me today as someone is being very rude to me and it is difficult for the natural man not to respond in kind. Thank you for showing me a higher way - the Lord really spoke to me through you, so rejoice! We really need each other don't we? Elizabeth.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Journey, thank you for your inspiring words. They always brighten my page and put a smile on my face.

    Bella, the reasons why some people choose to go through life unnoticed are heartbreaking. I hope your friend realizes how loved she is very soon, then she can truly start to live.

    Elizabeth, your post had perfect timing as I sat here wondering how much good these blogs are truly doing. Helping one person means just as much as helping many. I know how difficult it is difficult not to lash out at those who are being rude, but in the end, love always wins. We all truly do need each other, thank you for the reminder.
    Blessings

    ReplyDelete
  5. You have a powerful voice. It also looks like you had a tough ride. Well done for rising above it and, by the way, on your pic you look gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you, Muriel. I did choose to rise above not only life's ugliness, but my self-imposed state of it as well. It was incredibly fulfilling and life changing to finally meet the real Denise. Thank you, Jesus!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It takes a lot of courage to shake off the hold of self-hatred and self-doubt. It can be such a comfortable yoke - so familiar in its pain. But once you find the exit, once you realise that this voice is alien and not your own... then you can take flight. And that's what you are doing. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I thought I asked you a question on this post, but do you have a relationship with your dad and brother now? Also, I am reading a memoir by a published author, Sue William, Silverman,of shewrites, who was sexually abused buy her father. It was so disheartening and I can't imagine the pain one must feel.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I thought I asked you a question on this post but maybe I did not. If it is not prying I wanted to know if you have a relationship with your dad and brother now? I was physically abused by my mom and while I forgive her, I can not trust her around my daughter. My mom has mental issues and is not stable as well as being over dramatic so I keep at bay just to have peace in my life. Also, I am reading a memoir by a published author, Sue William Silverman,of shewrites, who was sexually abused by her father. It was so disheartening and I can't imagine the pain one must feel.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Mimi, You did ask on SW. Here was my response.."As far as your question, (I'm throwing it all out there, so I don't think anything is too personal) I have forgiven both of them because I realize they are not evil, only their actions, and we both know where the ugly comes from. I pray they will see the light, but in the meantime I am walking a path apart from theirs."
    Thank you again for reading and commenting.
    Blessings

    ReplyDelete