My Story: Part I

I never realized how hard it would be to tell my story. But then again, I never realized that I had a story to begin with.

Just because I didn't come from a family of physical and verbal abuse, or from a broken home, or anything "serious" (to me, at least), I never thought that I had a story.

But even though I never thought that I had one, I was -- and am -- pretty messed up. And I probably didn't know just how messed up I was, and the people who contributed to it probably didn't know that they messed me up, somewhere along the way.

It is hard. I have prayed over this countless times, and even now, I know that I am not prepared to dish out the whole story, that's why I wrote Part I. I don't even know if there will be a part 2, or how long before a part 2, because frankly, I don't know now if I would have the courage to write a full-fledged story of Kara-Anne. But I never noticed just how hard it was to share. To share your whole story, naked to the world.

Sure, I've told bits and pieces of my story to some people along the way. But I've never seen or thought of it in its entirety and the notion scares me... a lot.

And there's tons of people on here that might read it and think differently of me. I have church friends, potential clients, and possibly family (though I highly doubt it) who might stumble across this little post. But let me just say, the same situations evoke different emotions in people. They trigger different reactions. They leave different scars. We might even remember things differently, because we don't want to remember, or we want to put ourselves in better light. It's human.

This is a process. This is self-induced, self-discovered therapy. I am learning to embrace my story. Today I'm taking my first little baby step.

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Protected. This word keeps resounding in my head whenever I am upset with my family, whenever I am disappointed, whenever I am jaded, whenever I am on the verge of giving up. I yearn for protection. I yearn that someone had tried to protect my childhoodprotect ME and protect my LIFE when I was growing up. Even till today. I wished that someone dear would have realized that I had a life that needed protecting too. That I was also going through something.

We downplay other people's pain. We are experts at telling others, "It's okay, everybody has their problems, y'know, you'll be fine." But today, I refuse to do that. I have opened up multiple times to many people that I hoped would help me, would extend a hand to save me from drowning, drowning in my self-pity, my shame, my self-condemnation, my sadness... But I have always met people who told me that. And perhaps I'm just a bad picker. But today I want to tell anyone who's reading: Your pain is not small. I know you are hurting. I know you are praying. I know you are struggling to get out of this mess that you are. I know it isn't easy. I know your pain feels so bad right now, you are about to explode. I know. I acknowledge it. I refuse to let anyone tell you that it is small. That your pain is insignificant. Because it is not. But the silver lining is... We are going to get through it together.

All along, I just wanted someone to say, "I understand, c'mon, take my hand, I'll walk you out of this, together, slowly, whatever your speed."

The "earthly man" that has come closest to this was my husband. But even he did not know, because I did not know, the depths of how messed up I was. Over the past few months I woke up and realized it. And I knew the only person who could walk me out of this was God. But y'know, it would be nice to have some earthly support. I get that.

I never felt protected. I was never seen as a child. I was pushed, nudged, to grow up as quickly as possible to protect someone else. I was told to protect people older from depression, from Internet strangers, from illnesses, from harm. All the way since I was seven. When I was just someone who wanted to be protected instead. People called on me to these responsibilities, and I inevitably rose up to the "challenges." But mind you, you couldn't complain -- if you were, you were either trying to claim credit, trying to act noble or trying to shrug off responsibilities.

I remember when I was in my teens, rolling in sweat in my bed, with a high fever that no one knew about and constantly finding medication and ice to soothe myself. I laid there thinking, how pathetic this is. That you were taught to protect everyone else, but when you needed protection, there is none to be found... It never really mattered what I did, but the first question my parents asked me when they came home from work was never about me.

Being in an Asian household, we were taught to bottle our feelings. We don't talk about our feelings. God forbid we shouted, then we'd have to close the windows and doors lest the neighbors heard. And they constantly told you to take the back seat, in whatever the situation. There's a Chinese proverb that my dad would never fail to remind me in every circumstance, "Compromise will make a conflict much easier to resolve (退一步海阔天空)." And he trained me for it. They told me tread on my toes, to be careful of what I said, to always choose to be the first to take a step back. They told me to smack on a smile even if I didn't want to. They told me to turn the other cheek after someone has slapped me. They never gave two hoots about what this was doing to me... inside. (Wow... I have never said that out loud. Ever.)

My parents taught me to parent by not parenting me. My parents had me parent others when they were too scared to parent. They had tons of excuses for it.

I would honestly say they contributed largely to my young marriage. My husband provided me with a solace that I could never have gotten from them. And my husband and marriage provided me a way out. Of this madhouse.

Today I broke down. Majorly broke down. Other days I tell myself, "Shouldn't you have gotten used to it by now? What makes you think the situation will change?" But today, something my hubby did just pushed me over the edge. And as I sat there, sobbing into my palms, I cried out for my Daddy God... Why? Why have you given me so much to handle? Why have you thrown at me so many trials and left me there, alone? I have been asking God why a lot. And I have been getting plenty of answers. Thank you God, for answering me... Even if the answers weren't what I wanted to hear.

It's funny, because God's answer to me was almost comical. Who told you that you had to handle it? Our striving, our trying, our working hard at it is preventing God from getting to it. But I have heard answers from Him for the whole week now, but I didn't want to listen. Because He told me to love more. To love my parents more, to love who they wanted me to protect more, even when I was mad pissed. I didn't WANT to do it. I DON'T now. But I am working on it. I am praying about it. I am trying to expand my heart bigger through Him whose heart is so big I can't even comprehend, to love more.

Because His answer to me was and always is love.

I rolled my eyes. I do not kid. I rolled my eyes at my Daddy God and said, what? Is this not enough? Is this torture, this pain deep in my heart, this disappointment that I might never walk out of... not enough? That now You are asking me to LOVE THEM MORE when all I have yearned for is reciprocation? 

I have never felt good enough for my family. No matter how many Internet problems I solved for them, no matter how many calls I answered from them, no matter how much help they needed from me... I have never felt loved. I have always felt cast aside when they no longer needed me. And I tell ya, that feeling mighty sucks. To feel abandoned, pushed away by your own family and only called upon when they need you. It wasn't fair. And to add insult to injury, the world continues throwing sh*t at you even when your own family does. And when your family doesn't protect you from said sh*t from the outside world as well, oh man... It's triple jeopardy. Or whatever you call something that's piled on triply, again and again.

I felt that no matter how many daughter roles I played faithfully... I was never deemed good enough. That they never ever will appreciate me.

And I have tried communicating. But see above on said Asian household. It doesn't work. More sh*t gets swept under the carpet and all that remains is awkward atmospheres around the house.

I don't even think I am telling my story "right." I don't think my story is getting enough "justice." But I am typing. I am self-therapying. I am trying to get through this.

So I am praying, some more. I am praying that Daddy God shows me how to deal with this, His way. Today, as I studied my Bible, God pointed out a verse to me,

"With uplifted hand I said to them, "I am the Lord your God." On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands."

- Ezekiel 20:5-6

My God told me that if I would only be still and wait for His command, a command that He will send to me just as He sent to the Israelites, and if I would choose differently from them, that I would choose to honor HIM and not flee or rebuke His commands... That He would bring me out of this Egypt I am in and into a land that He has searched out for me... A land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. My happy ending. My ultimate life goal. The place that I am supposed to be at. He would bring me there. If I would only listen. And love. And do. Because... love does. Love for God does. Love for family does.

It is tough. Being in Egypt is tough. Listening to God is sometimes tougher, what with our flesh fighting so hard against our spirit.

But I will get there. You will get there.

Today I am asking for prayer. And I am praying for you.

I know my story is long, it is disjointed, it doesn't have all the puzzle pieces, or maybe it just doesn't seem that bad to you. But one day, one day I might have the courage to be totally vulnerable, to type my story out for all to see, and to heal. To be healed. Totally.

I am praying for healing of the heart. I am praying for comfort. I am praying for the protection I never had. And I am praying for the courage to be vulnerable. To be selfish once in a while. To love myself more, so that I can love others more. To be able to listen to God and heed His plans. To be able to walk out of this pain that has me sobbing into my palms, so bad. To be able to be whole again. And be an outpouring of His love.

Amen, amen, amen.

Whatever my lot, it is well, it is well, with my soul. You are the rock, on which I stand, by Your grace, it is well.