Defying Gravity (and Religion)

Dear Lovelies, The words Elphaba sings in Defying Gravity are a testament to where I am right now: “Something has changed within me, something is not the same. I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game. Too late for second-guessing, too late to go back to sleep. …

Being in a State of Unicorn

Yesterday, J. suggested, in the middle of our conversation, that I write down every emotion I was afraid to face and name while going through this process, this balancing act, of belief. The first thing I wrote down was “confused.” That one came too easily, followed by more expected feelings …

Return from Hiatus: Questioning Everything

Dear Lovelies, I know I’ve been away from you guys for a while, sorry about that. I took a break because I’m still, 3 months later, trying to figure out what my beliefs are and trying to discover what I’m actually leaving: God or the church? I don’t think there’s …

Writing in the Midst of a Flashback

6 A.M. A nurse disturbs my nightmares, and temporarily prevents me from my ritual of staring at the wall upon sweating myself awake, to take my vitals. She wants to make sure I’m still alive, even though, by virtue of this place, I am considered one of the walking dead. …

Crisis in Church

I woke up this morning to the sound of my mother playing Gospel music, the kind I hadn’t heard since I was a little girl, and I immediately felt the disconnect, the vague sense of nothingness that enveloped my soul and left me feeling numb, like nothing mattered. I almost …

A Letter to My Abuser

Dear Voldemort, I am not a social butterfly, but you took me under your wings and, for a time, made me feel like I could soar. I know that’s cliché, especially considering all the future pain you would cause, but for a little while, it was true. By watching you, …

When Forgiveness Doesn’t Eradicate PTSD

As a Christian, I’m supposed to forgive everyone so that God can forgive me of my sins. I was once an enemy of the Most High, so who am I not to forgive someone who wrongs me when God forgave me of all my junk? Easy, right? No, not really. …

On Discussing Trauma

I think the hardest aspect of trauma, especially in the context of recovery, is talking about it repeatedly. In my experience, I’ve only discussed it in detail with a counselor and my former pastor, as he has training as a licensed psychologist. I thought that talking about it to strangers …

There’s More to Life than Trauma

Trauma has a way of disrupting and contorting everything so that all one sees is pain, paranoia, danger, and withered hope in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, intrusive memories, and a flight/fight/freeze brain system in need of major repair. But that’s not all there is. There are hope and …

Honesty and Hard Questions: Why Holding a Mirror to Your Life is Hard

Earlier today, J., my therapist, asked me why I wasn’t doing the things I know I should be doing to better my life. I answered him in silence. There was no adequate answer I could give, which got me thinking: Why do we hold ourselves, and our truth, back from …