2002-2003 were very tough for me. It all started in the spring of 2002. I was 4 months away from graduating with my masters degree. In late 2001 I had decided to go back to the church. This meant 6 months of going to all the services, having to sit in the back and having no one talk to me. Trying to be reinstated as a witness is a very difficult and humbling experience. You know how hard it is to admit to someone when you have done something wrong? Well, those 6 months of me attending church and having no one talk to me was like having to tell someone day after day that you were wrong and just hoping they will forgive you. Finally in March 2002 the elders agreed that I had repented and I was allowed back as a member of the congregation. The elders in my committee were kind of an ass, and I really think they would have made me wait longer if it weren't for my Mother having major surgery. I think they wanted to make sure she could talk to me before she went in for this surgery. So, 5 days before her surgery the announcement was made and just like that I was a beloved member again. It really is weird how no one would talk to me one second and then just like that I was loved and it was as if I had never left. Very weird.
Usually when someone is reinstated they feel very joyous and happy, but I was very sad. I felt like I had just sold myself again to a cult that could not accept me for who I was. Yes I was happy to be part of the family again, but I was having to give up ME in order to be part of THEM. I hated myself when that announcement was made.
In May 2002 I graduated with my masters and moved on to a job that I absolutely hated. I was the social worker for a nursing home and I hated getting up in the morning to go to work. I will never again work in a job where I don't feel like I was suppose to be there.
By the end of the summer I was in the middle of a major depression. I knew I had made the wrong decision of going back to the church, but I couldn't face telling my parents that. So I just kept getting up in the morning and going to a job that I hated.
In November I went down to the garage to get something out of my car and when I was leaning into the car I hit my forehead. My first thought was, "ouch that hurt". My second thought was, "that also felt kind of good".
That was when I realized something in me felt better after experiencing physical pain.
For six weeks I continued to hurt myself to let go of some of the emotional pain I was feeling. My family knew about it as well as several other people. I really don't think people knew what to say (there was no hiding it since it was on my forehead), so most said nothing. My parents did ask me what was going on and when I told them they said I was just trying to get attention. They never understood and never tried to understand.
I really thought I was going crazy/insane. I had no idea why I was doing this and why I couldn't stop. I was using my deodorant bottle because the corner was perfect for breaking the skin. My therapist asked me to count the times I was hitting my forehead and I kind of laughed at her. The next time I cut I tried to count, but stopped counting when I got to 170 hits. Thankfully the scar I have is not too bad. But if you look closely you can see the scar.
Thankfully my therapist realized my family was doing nothing to help so she insisted I get help. I did get help and even though I was feeling a little better, I still hated who I had become.
Somehow I made it through the spring of '03 and then on July 10, 2003 my soul was literally set free.
.......to be continued