Thoughts | Until I'm Done

Phantom Pain

December 31, 2009

It’s late.

I should be in bed.

My contacts are drying to my eyeballs and there is a dull ache crawling up between my shoulder blades and settling in sadistically at the base of my skull.

Such a day it has been.  Full of Important Things and Schedules.   People and Conversations of Great Importance.

Yet still I am compelled to write… Something.   To try to quantify or express some of  this whirling dervish of thoughts, feelings and perspectives that flit just beyond the range of expression while wreaking havoc on my sense of calm and well-being.

It’s not only the New Year that draws out a pervasive sense of introspection.   That’s just a part of how I process life.  Is it possible it is only the momentous-ness of the holidays?  The memories of days filled with so many other voices that their absence echoes in this wide open space I find myself?

Now that the anger has faded and the crushing sadness has mostly abated I am left with a most exquisite sense of loss.

I see faces in pictures and I wonder if I ever truly knew these people.  And if I didn’t?  How else have I been wrong?  In judgment and determinations?  In character assessments and alliances?

I must constantly remind myself  that it is not wrong to love.  Even if the object of your devotion and dedication is not worth the treasure or treats you with disdain.  Surely there is an empathy we can experience with our Messiah when we find ourselves in those circumstances.

Wouldn’t you agree?   A microscopic pinch of fellowship in His suffering as He pours out His love on an undeserving, ungrateful and mutinous people?

It seems foolish and haphazard to miss something that ultimately played an enormous part in intense personal and public destruction?

It doesn’t seem… right.  Somehow.

There was such a sense of belonging.   Of integration.  Of conjoined purpose.  Perhaps that is what I miss most.Y

Yes.  This is some of what whispers and lurks when I get quiet enough to see it.   And underlying it all is confusion.  A msperception of G-d’s timing.  An undercurrent of indignation that they continue while we sit on the sidelines.

I’m tired of looking over my shoulder every time I go to certain stores.   Of feeling the need to check “the perimeter” before settling into certain coffee shops.   Of knowing there are still people I care about that I must keep at arms length to both protect this shaky sense of well-being and to prevent them from the contamination of affiliation with me and mine.

I’m tired of reminding my children to walk in forgiveness and asking them to pray for the family they left behind.   The aunts/uncles/grandparent types they were so fond of.   These precious people they poured their lives into.

I’m tired of knowing there is an entire group of people who professed love and fellowship to us and yet, in a heartbeat, chose to believe horrific things about my husband.   When he only loved them.  Prayed for them.  Served them quietly.  Fasted, wept and fought for them.

I get it when it relates to me.   I’m not easy to love.   I’m spectacular in small doses.   More than that?   You either love me or you  can’t stand me.

Which is fair.

I feel the same way about myself.

I think I am beginning to realize this whole experience will not be something I can compartmentalize and put “behind” me.   For better or worse it is now a part of me.   It is most evident in the fiery red edges of a newly forged  and not fully realized definition of who I am becoming.

I don’t entirely hate it.   I don’t entirely recognize it.  I am not quite comfortable in this metamorphosis.  I may never be.

There is a pain just beyond the reach of my understanding that lurks and twinges and spasms.

Is it really there?

Or is it simply the remnants of  a spiritual hurricane gradually working itself out in my unconscious and unsettled heart?

Phantom pain.

If only it didn’t feel quite so real.

  • The phantom pain of loss, of thinking you were wrapped up in God’s perfect timing and space and activity and service, to have it pulled out from under you and left with nothingness, I can say – I’m thinking I can understand at this moment. Not the same set of circumstances, but the wonderment of God and His people. To have the little 9 year old wipe a tear and say, but it’s God’s plan, His timing. and see his eyes so trusting, and know parts of me trust, and parts of me just say the words.
    There is a change coming, a growth, a readiness, for what I do not know. Thought I knew.
    So many people love you, even if they don’t know how to reach out to you. I am working on not creating a bubble around me of protection that will keep others out, the very thing I’d like to have right now – a bubble and others all at the same time.
    So, sitting in the rain, ready for a new calendar year, I wait. And Trust, in word and in deed. 🙂
    I Love You!

  • wendy

    I wish I could say that his kind of experience does not change us. My experience is a bit different, but I can tell you that the distance of time helps…but that doesn’t comfort right now. In the space that time has created for me, I have seen that love covers. And there is more of it that we can imagine.
    Praying for trustworthy people for you….and for the pain to fade. With love, w

  • Joelle

    I can relate to your pain. I know our experiences haven’t been the same, but I feel I could have written (if I were a better writer) much of what you posted here. It hurts to have your love rejected and stomped on – repeatedly.

    It does get better. Slowly. Though you are never the same on the other side, in both good and bad ways.

    And while you may not think people like you, I’ll have you know that you are at the top of my list of people I’d like to meet in person some day. 🙂

    I hope and pray you and your family have a wonderful 2010.

  • Heidi, my father-in-law recently kindly trimmed our oak trees for us, which were becoming a danger to our roof. Their branches and foliage are certainly much thinner, and they look rather hacked up in spots, but the morning sun lights up my living room now. My father-in-law tells me that now that the sunlight can reach the ground, we should see plants providing ground cover for our rather bare front lawn, and that by relieving the trees of the weight of the excess branches, the remaining limbs will be able to lift upward once more.

    Your pruning sounds painful, but I suspect that you will be rewarded with more light and more growth in the years to come because of it. (Forgive me for sounding corny.)

  • I’m not averse to pain. It has it’s uses. I am still alive. I can feel. All good things… 🙂

    I like the fact that I experience loss. It means at one point there WAS something worthwhile. Even if it is just opportunity to learn a lesson.

    To quote my 12 year old son… “We wouldn’t be who we are today if we hadn’t gone through that… I like us now. Even though it was hard to get here.”

    Arielle, I love the mental picture. And I am so glad that Adonai has brought me to this place where I can see the wisdom in His understanding and the immaturity and silliness in mine.