There are two things that really bother me right now: writing and loneliness.
It’s hard feeling so very alone like all the time. I know what you’re going to say: Foxes have dens, et cetera, but … so many of my fellow believers have their places, their tribes. They get titles and positions. They get to be called husband, wife, father, mother, friend. I’ve been to exactly one wedding ceremony in my entire life. I don’t really have any friends – none in the “real world” I mean.
True confession: I see happy couples with kids or hear about community gatherings and I have about a 1 in 4 chance of dropping into a deep depression prompted by this sense of Terrible Loss. That no one on earth can assuage.
When my mother died a few years ago, I went to therapy. I remember thinking – this is less than 1% of the emotions that I felt when I left God’s tangible presence when I was 14 years old. I was mostly relieved to have some tiny, physical foil for the profound grief I feel that I am not with you Right Freaking Now. When people die around me, I hate it. Among other things, it’s not fair.
I’m not suicidal. I just wish that I were done with this freaking planet.
I do enjoy life, don’t get me wrong. I love physicality and this planet. God never said I had to be *miserable*. It’s just that in order to be basically okay, I have to hide away like 99+% of my emotional life All the Time. It doesn’t take too much digging into my soul before you hit the bedrock that is both pure joy and mind-numbing pain.
If I can help even a single soul, its worth it, but most days I’m not even sure about that. Thinking of saving souls makes me feel the emotional equivalent of a panic attack. Because that means – someone has died. Nothing but an end to this war, Father, can ever really make up for the excruciating, mind-numbing pain that’s always there.
You know me, so you know that what I am saying is true.
Then, there’s the Eucharist. We agreed that I would not do this conscious, tangible intercession thing again without a Church. Now, here I am, interceding, standing in the gap, feeling the agony as of hell, of separation from God.
I have so many questions about the Eucharist. Just thinking about the Eucharist is like … right. I am not alone here after all. My soul feels like water poured on burning flesh. I don’t even need to receive to know it is there. I would never have asked the Eucharist for myself. I still don’t understand why Jesus chose to do this. Not really. I didn’t ask for this, just to not be alone. It’s too much for my mind to even dream or process. So small and yet so … everything. And I’m caught like a deer in his love.
There is literally nothing in this world that compares to you. Everything else is transient. There’s not a single friend who won’t break my heart if I linger too long – because none of them are Actually You.
Jesus had apostles. Sure most of them left him at the worst moment in his life. But still, he had a mother and the Beloved Disciple. As you know, I’ve occasionally optimistically rewritten my own life story to include friends and companions, but my only real friends are invisible people. I would say I don’t believe in them, but I love and cherish them all too much to doubt it. It’s just, not the same thing as physical touch and voice.
There’s this huge God-shaped hole running through my life narrative. I mean, to me it’s there.
Because, when people do believe you “talk to God” – it gets even worse when they find out you’re not on “their side.” As soon as they realize that no – you are not the kind who is going to be all peace and sunshine and happiness, not going to give clear answers that you don’t have. Then they turn on you.
Okay I guess you do know all about that.
Here’s one of the many stories in the Gospel that continue to make zero sense to me. It’s the one where Jesus told his apostles that they were going to have to eat his flesh and drink his blood – and only some of them left. I can only assume – or infer – that there must have been some kind of existing relationship there, the kind where – and this part I know very well – it’s like okay Jesus, I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I know there isn’t going to be some kind of secret bloodletting ceremony.
By the time they found out it was going to be a very public bloodletting ceremony, I imagine they realized they were now on a train moving so fast, they couldn’t get off even if they wanted to. And then it kind of begs the question. How did Jesus manage to get even a few such close friends? I’d really like to know.
I would like even just one.
So, yeah, we’ll return to this subject of feeling all alone later. Definitely not done with that.
My other thing – I would still like to be a fantasy writer someday, but let’s face it there’s a reason I’m a terrible novelist. Recently, I found myself talking to this guy who could not write happy endings to save his life. I’m the opposite. I can only write happy endings.
One day, I would like to be able to finish at least one of these fantasy novels, but honestly the idea of endings right now makes me sick to my stomach. As you know I will happily write an ending – and feel quite good about it – only to stay up at night like oh my gosh what if Skeletor is real – what if I have literally sent Skeletor to hell. And then go back in order to try to redeem Skeletor.
Seriously, dad in heaven, I could not even write a basic She-ra or He-man episode in my present emotional state. Because I can’t stop feeling like the things I write are real. Even though I know they are not.
What I can do, however, is sort of gesture in that direction. Whatever that is, I would like it if you could fix that for me. If I’m the one with the problem, then fix me. If it’s someone or something else, then … well, Father knows best.
Maybe I should give up on trying to write fantasy or horror. Maybe I should focus on romance. But that brings a whole host of other emotional problems. So, yeah, in a bit of a bind here. Help me please?
As always, your less than perfect but trying to learn daughter,