Things have fallen flat again. During the week, I work flat-out. I leave my house at 5am, and return near 11pm. And repeat. In the middle, on the bus, at my desk, in the lecture theatre, I teach, and mark, attend meetings, write email, speak to students, and drink coffee to stay awake.
In bed, I sleep for two hours or so at a time, wake up panicking I should be somewhere else, and fall asleep again. In between times, I crochet, I swim, listen to music, day-dream. In the spaces in between, I am vulnerable to the thoughts that tell me I would be better off dead; that I should just die. That I should die because I am loathed, that I should die because I am causing so much hurt, that I should die because I am horrid, and things are never going to change.
I do not cry anymore. I do not feel anymore. No anger, no saddness. I am a hollowed, emptied, nothing. As such, I meet with a Jesuit sister at the Chaplaincy this week. And I tell her how deeply flawed I am, every bit of me is; the evidence, solid hard evidence I have, for this. I have repeated this evidence so many times, for so many different people, who have offered to try and help, before backing away, that I can do it without thinking, without attachment.
It is as if I am telling someone else’s story. Of someone else’s battle with physical disability, with her parents, with school, with work, with mental health, with fear to disclose, lack of support, discrimination. Of fights against overwhelming social anxiety, emotional abuse, homophobia, bullying. It is not me that deals with that much stigma.With three stigmatised identities. It is someone else. I tell her that I am an awful person, that I hate myself, for not being able to control my emotion, for feeling so much hurt. I feel nothing in saying this. It is cold, hard, truth.
She tells me that God loves me. She asks me to look at her. I do. But as soon as her eyes meet mine, I break down completely. I cry as she recalls what I have said, and says that God loves me in spite of all that. That God loves me.
And it is my story. And I feel it as my story. And for those few seconds, I hold the truth that God loves me. Nothing else matters. The church can discriminate against me, make me feel like death. They can judge me for “lashing out”, tell me that they will not “let me evade mutual accountability, even if I am ill”. That I should “just stop” being ill, “ruining everything”. It doesn’t matter. What they think doesn’t matter.
God loves me.