Pandora opened it and all evil contained therein escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the container, but the whole contents had escaped; Except for one thing that lay at the bottom – the Spirit of Hope.
The lid won’t keep shut anymore. The crises, the assessments, blew the top off the jar, and now all the rubbish won’t be squeezed back inside.
I used to be able to keep everything in that jar separate. Any emotion attached to the experiences I had as a child was safely locked away. This was good. I still had the memories, and I could use them in my research, my teaching, safely. It was almost like the memories weren’t my memories: like it had all happened to someone else entirely. My career was going well.
Then the box started to leak. The stories I was told by children came too close to my story. Their emotion meshed with the feelings buried deep in the jar and the feelings escaped. And I despaired as the jar opened and emptied, and I felt that I would never be able to cope.
And since then, more rubbish has been added, and I am screaming inside, as the lid won’t stay fast. Screaming and screaming, and nobody hears. The screaming is anger at a church body that doesn’t fully accept the LGBT community. I try to speak the anger, but find it barely touched. I feel left out of the church that I love: pushed out from where I thought I belonged. I was fooling myself. Childhood memories’ of being excluded flood my mind. It’s not about marriage anymore. This is all I can see. I will never belong anywhere. I implode. A river of self-hatred runs through me. I cry to God: I am exhausted from pushing against its tide. It bleeds into my arms, etches into my wrists. I do not see the point anymore. I’ll never be truly accepted even when I think that I am.
After the bleeding, there is calm. I am crying. But I can breathe. Hope flutters Her wings in the bottom of the jar. Its other contents are safe with Her. She has heard. I am held.