Can’t go back now.

Students arrived at BJU last week. The university has been posting photos that have had a shockingly dramatic affect on me. What was at first merely quiet reflection has turned into full-scale flashbacks. If I close my eyes, I am back on campus. My heart aches.

I know I need to continue with my story. And I’m not even necessarily ashamed of it anymore. But it hurts so much. It takes me to such a deep, dark place…and I’ve been pretty low recently anyway. But I think I have to write it. I have to get it out. No matter how it makes me look the fool.

In my remembering, I dragged out my old journal. There aren’t many entries from my time there. But reading these, it’s like I’m right back there again.

August 31, 2008
In the middle lounge of Creel, my dorm. My roommates are Tracie, Joanne, and Jacqueline. I meant to call Ann around 2:30 or 3:00, but I took The Longest Nap Ever. Sam just texted me to tell me Ann plans to call me when she gets home tomorrow. I’m hoping to be able to talk to her alone.

Tracie reminds me a lot of Joe, in her mannerisms. It makes it hard sometimes – so happy and familiar, yet a reminder of hellish pain. She’s my PC (prayer captain). She’s “talking” to a “man friend,” Eric. Everyone here is “talking” to someone. It’s a little scary.

Joanne is very quiet, like me. I’m still not sure if she’s okay with me.

Jacqueline seems very bubbly – an Asian Rachel. She’s more of a mystery b/c she hasn’t been around.

There are clones – people who buy into it all and ask no questions. There are genuinely nice people who seem to care more about people than rules. I can see how a freshman can get sucked in- it’s so overwhelming, and to fall into step and become a clone, to fit in…it’d be so easy. I keep making mental notes. Do this. Do this, but remember it’s wrong. Remember the Lord gave you a mind. Submit because submitting is right, not because the rule is right.

I saw Peter Wednesday, alone in his office. He seems to plan to keep in touch. He hugged me goodbye, warmly.

September 4, 2008
Had to think what day it was. I feel like I’ve lived days in the past 14 hours.

September 7, 2008
Against my fears, my doubts, my ignorance,
I trust in thee, O Father of my Lord!
The world went on in this same broken dance,
When, worn and mocked, he trusted and adored;
I too will trust, and gather my poor best
To face the truth-faced false. So in his nest
I shall awake at length, a little scarred and scored.

Things cannot look all right so long as I
Am not all right who see – therefore not right
Can see. The lamp within sends out the light
Which shows the things; and if its rays go wry,
Or are not white, they must part show a lie.
The man, half-cured, did men not trees conclude,
Because he moving saw what else had seemed wood.

Give me, take from me, as thou wilt. I learn –
Slowly and stubbornly I learn to yield
With a strange hopefulness. As from the field
Of hard-fought battle won, the victor chief
Turns thankfully, although his heart to yearn,
So from my old things to thy new I turn,
With sad, thee-trusting heart, and not in grief.

September 12, 2008
My second week at Bob Jones University is drawing to a close. I struggle still with the same pain, anger, and lust…I brought my trials with me.

I talked to Peter for about an hour yesterday online. Nothing significant…aside from furthering our contact.

Thusfar I spend most of my time in my room. I’ve made a few friends, but mostly acquaintances. We all talk about guys. All the time. The “every girl has that perfect guy waiting for her” mentality is pervasive. I’m different enough without that.

“The Devil and God are raging inside me.” I struggle with sin and wanting to be wholly committed to the Lord. Rather, I struggle with the warring desires for sin and the Lord, knowing fully I can’t have both.

September 24, 2008
I’m sick, and on prednisone. Fun times.

I miss Joe. So much that my chest aches (apart from asthma). No one has ever known me like he does. I’ve never been as vulnerable with anyone as I was with him, apart from Ann. Tracie was talking about her relationship with Eric, how she wants to hear what he’s thinking, what she does that reaffirms him, etc…Joe told me those things. How putting my arm around him when he was angry and hurting meant so much to him. How sitting with me during The Last Samurai made him feel a little better. He emailed me devotional after devotional that made him think of me. He kept my hands warm. He help me hand so I wouldn’t stumble on the rocks. He let me know that talking to me helped him a bit. Told me I was the best example of a Christian he knew – that he know the love of Christ through me. That any man would be blessed to marry me.

I’ve been so open. So naked. So vulnerable. So hurt. Once again, the deadened feeling about marriage has returned. Almost a fleeting, yet insistent nagging subconscious thought – I’ll never trust anyone like that again. I’ll never let anyone get to know me so well. If I do get married, he won’t love me. And my heart will slowly die, starving for his love, but unable to let him love me.

God, my hope is You. You know my hurt and me shame so well. I love a married man. I lust after an unbeliever. I am unfaithful. An adulteress, an idolater, a double-minded woman. Unite my heart. Give me wisdom, discernment, and courage. May I lean wholly upon You, being wholly dependent on You and wholly obedient to You. Forgive me for my unfaithfulness and my sin. Purify me. Create in me a clean heart. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation. Don’t despise my brokenness. Heal me that I may serve You with a whole heart.

October 1, 2008
Today is the day of prayer. I feel rather choked, trapped, suffocating by my inability or unwillingness to be open if anyone is around.

October 6, 2008
Sharona brought Ann to me Saturday.

I talked to Peter on Sunday.

Daniel, Janae, and I are all in hell, unable to help each other.

God, why?

October 8, 2008
Life and Ministry of Paul, having just blanked on a verse I memorized. Eh, well.

Daniel’s heartbreak breaks my heart – but never have I been more proud of him. He told her all, and told her they couldn’t be together. And I have his word he’ll never drink it all to numbness again…though I confess part of that could be that I haven’t even had that option available to me.

Janae’s trip to Penn state was not as innocent as she originally claimed. I am not angry; neither am I surprised. I hurt for her. I understand her pain too well.

I got off campus for a bit yesterday. My sanity required it. Not that I don’t love it here. But it’s easy for things to pile up and seem inescapable, insurmountable. Spending a couple of hours away in privacy helped a LOT. Kind of amazes me.

Being here makes me feel like my life is so small. I’m still the new kid. People don’t know how to take me, and I’m hesitant to become good friends with anyone. My previous “lives” as it were only exist in my head, but not in this place. Maybe that’s why getting away helped.

The next entry wasn’t written until after Joe and his wife got back together, and the ones after that are just…heartbreaking. Joy at dating Gary. A hastily-scribbled reminder that God still loved me, no matter what I did, that must have come after the first time we fooled around, quickly followed by hopelessness and despair. My emotional breakdowns becoming more frequent. Then finally after we actually had sex, and the calm before the suicidal thoughts overtook me. As if that isn’t hard enough to recount, then there’s the seeking help from our church, telling our parents, the ill-planned marriage plot, and finally the expulsion.

There’s just so much emotionally to unpack. And I know that I need to. It’s one of those pains that surely must be lessened when shared, that seems to fester the longer it’s kept inside. But it’s so hard. And I’m low as it is.

4 thoughts on “Can’t go back now.

  1. Hey, long time, no talk. Trying to get back on the bandwagon. Haven’t been on FB that much, so I haven’t been able to keep up with you, but I think about you a lot and miss you.

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