Icame home from work today and felt exhausted.
Every hour at work felt like it took 3 hours to pass. I had to plaster on a brave face and greet everyone with a bright smile.
I went to the bathroom 3 times during my shift at work; shutting the cubicle door behind me and stood there with my back against it – just to let the tears flow, hot and heavy down my cheeks. I wiped them carefully away, took deep breaths and went back out to reception, smiling away as if nothing at all was wrong. All the while thinking I just want to sleep and sleep and to never wake up. Life is just too painful.
By the time I let myself in the front door at home, I was so weary that I considered going to bed and not even taking my shoes off.
My love of Pjs took over and I changed into my favourite pair and curled up into a ball on the top of the bedcovers.
I laid there, listening to my heart and hoping it would slow. Slow and slow and slow.
Because I feel so broken and hurt over the last few months.
Because I feel like I’m 5 years old again – frightened that I was going to be thrown away and that a new baby would take my place. Frightened to be cast off, passed over – knowing my future was un-steady and wondering what I did so wrong that I wasn’t enough.
I did go to Bunnings and looked at rope, you know.
I couldn’t afford it.
If it wasn’t so serious – it’d be quite funny.
What is my life?
Really Father God – what is my life? Is it worth anything?
Tears started welling in my eyes and I could hear every bad thing every person in my life has ever said about me echoing inside with every heartbeat.
Have you ever experienced that time in school where teachers pick two children (usually the 2 most popular/athletic) and ask them to pick others for their teams? For some people, this won’t be a big deal. They’re the ones who got picked first. Or at least picked in the top 3-5.
For people like me, it was hell.
That awful, heavy, leaden weight in the bottom of your gut as you saw child after child being pointed to. Selected. Wanted. Children smiling broadly at each other, or fist-pumping and letting out exuberant yelps “Yes!!!” “Woo!” and high-fiving each other as they were so happy to be on the same team.
And inside, your self esteem withers and dries up like a leaf on an Autumn’s day.
I always got picked last.
And the shame. Oh the shame of it.
That’s the feeling my family give me. That’s the feeling I’ve always had in my heart – in my gut – as I’ve grown up beside my ‘golden’ brother.
That if they could pick – they would pick me last – out of all the children in the world.
That awful feeling when you stand with the other children and they actually argue over NOT having you “Awww – no fair! We had Janet last time!” “No you didn’t – we did – its your turn to have her” “Can we swap her for someone else?”
And I’m stood there the whole time, hearing it. Their complaints settling on my heart like heavy bricks being thrown right at my face.
Guys – you know I’m right here…right?
That’s how it feels to be me. Especially when I’m with my family.
Because even after feeling neglected and rejected at school…I’d then wait on the curb and watch child after child being picked up.
“Hey kiddo – how was your day?”
Children would climb into back seats of cars, everyone chatting and being collected, school bags swung into seats and hugs from parents who’d missed their children.
But no one ever came for me.
Principal Grey would come and sit by me. It was so kind of him to wait with me. When even the cleaners had left an hour later, he’d puff out his cheeks and look down at me with kind eyes.
“Want a lift?”
I’d shake my head.
And walk home.
I’d glare at my parents as I entered the front door, my eyes welling with angry tears “where were you?!”
Oh. We forgot. Oops.
So I had shame at school…and more shame at home.
I laid on my bed today and thought about that and felt more and more like dying.
What is the point of my life? What is there about me that’s likeable?
It’s better for everyone if I just die. I know it.
Then I heard it.
I looked at the clock on my phone. Alun wasn’t due home for another hour yet.
Who could this be?
I unravelled myself from the ball I’d been tightly curled in and walked slowly towards the front door.
I could see the outline of a figure stood by the door.
Well, I’d wished for death just now – maybe this is the person to grant my wish?
I wanted to die, so that’s why I opened the door without hesitation.
Come on then, kill me.
I swung open the door, resigned to see an angry stranger wielding a knife or gun.
and instead, “Kirsty” was at the door.
It was so strange. She was the last person I expected to see.
“I uh…I read your blog and saw you were suicidal…I wanted to come and see you and tell you that you’re loved and please don’t hurt yourself…I know you probably don’t want to see me, but I wanted to -“
I didn’t need to hear another word.
I threw myself forward and wrapped my arms around Kirsty.
Kirsty, you have no idea how much I’ve missed you and how many times I’ve wanted to come and see you and Ted. You have no idea how my heart has ached to hold your son and how much I’ve wanted to see his gorgeous little face.
Kirsty hugged me back.
Something broken inside of me…mended.
Even with everything that’s happened between us, she’d run to my house in the rain – to make sure I was okay.
I don’t need to know anything else, really. That is enough.
We sat on the couch in the living room and it was as if we’ve always been the best of friends. As if we’ve never been apart. I loved seeing Kirsty’s familiar, beautiful face and hearing her voice.
It’s been so long. Too long.
I cried out to God this afternoon to please kill me.
Instead, He sent me an old friend.
Father God, you work in mysterious ways. My heart is blessed and I am so very, very thankful.