Friday, April 13, 2012
At what point do we get to look at another being and say, "You are a despicable person," or "You are trash or a tramp" or any other combination of disparaging words that say that that person is more "sinful" than we are?
I recently had an evening of someone revealing to me things that had happened to them and I found myself judging the people that they were talking about. They didn't understand my judgement and at one point focused my vision on an incident now 22 years in my past, and called it almost the same "kind" of behavior as the people they were sharing with me.
I have a troubled and difficult past. No one who knows me would say I try to hide who I am. But I had romanticised this "piece" of my history to a point where it was almost unrecognizable as reality because the truth of the matter is that if I had to look at my behavior 22 years ago very closely, I'd break.
Last night I spent the night looking at my behavior. Judging myself and judging myself again for being judgemental of the people originally shared with me. If I had had any money, or ANY where to go, last night I would have run away from home. But I have neither money, nor place, so I had to stay.
Not to mention, as I am wont to say, you cannot run from yourself.
So here I am...looking at myself, my behavior, my choices, and wondering is my whole life since that time 22 years ago a lie? Because I didn't face my own behavior HONESTLY 22 years ago, does that make everything that has happened in my life since then a lie? An unreality? Invalid?
I want to believe that I am no longer that person from 22 years ago. That given the same circumstances now, I would make better choices. That loneliness and brokenness would not drive me to make the decisions I did...but I cannot know. I can never, ever know.
I am intelligent enough to know that I cannot go back, I cannot change a single thing I did in my past, and I also know that to beat myself up about this aberration in my being is not at all productive, but having once looked, I cannot yet look away. Like a train wreck or a car crash, I have to look and examine and see all the parts and things and pressures that caused me to step into the life I have now...
I said to my children at one point (my 4 older children that is) that I don't know who I was at that point in my life, and I believe that is true to a certain extent. And I've also said that it wasn't me who made that decision, but, the choices preceding this one, from age 15 to age 37 make that a lie in some way. Because my choice for acting out in my life clearly went the direction that this choice took me.
The differences, however, are breathtaking in their scope. And the consequences have been both so good and so bad for everyone around me that I hesitate to even speak of it. How do I talk about that time that destroyed my "family" and the decisions that led up to it without hurting people yet again? So I don't talk about it as a general rule, which leaves me fighting my way through brokenness and sorrow and unforgiveness so deep it threatens to drown me if I look too close. So I try not to look. And for the most part, I succeed.
Until nights like last night. Where the ground beneath me opens up and threatens to swallow me whole if I let it. And I run around seeking a confessional, but feeling nothing confessed would ever be enough. And knowing that is a slap in the face of all that is divine, my own unforgiveness...