When Your Heart Is Just Too Heavy

TRIGGER WARNING: This post talks about some issues that might be triggering, please consider before reading.

My heart is so very, very heavy and I have that aching tightness in my throat from needing to cry, but not being able to get out one tear.

I have read too many stories today of CSA (Childhood Sexual Abuse) and ChurchToo survivors. I have to read them – my heart demands I bare witness to their stories and hear their truth. But it brings pain – not just the pain that flows from their words and must be a daily part of their lives – but it stirs up my own pain, reminds me that the lid is still open on the well of my own experiences.

I also printed out almost an entire journal to read, that was recommended through the GRACE organisation – Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment. The journal was titled ‘Child Absue and the Chrusch – Prevention, Pastoral Care and Healing. I didn’t really read it as I printed, but my heart broke again that it is even needed in the first place.

Why am I putting myself through such tough reading, such constant exposure to horrible issues? Because I can’t just sit and do nothing. There are too many hurting people out there, hurting people that all too often don’t find the comfort they need within churches, and if in my battles to make people talk about these things more and have a gentle, loving response to survivors, I can help at least one person to feel listened to, valued and loved, through one of the most horrific life-experiences, then it is more than worth my pain, my heavy heart, my sore throat, my nightmares.

For now, my heart is too heavy and it has exhausted me. Sometimes seeing hope is nearly impossible and the mountain seems overwhelmingly steep.

So for now, I’m going to seek hopeful-oblivion in an afternoon nap.

Perfect & Me

I’m sipping (aka gulping) a big cup of tea, eating reheated Dominoes and staring at a blank page.

Ok, ok, I’m not actually eating the pizza anymore … my OCD just won’t allow me to eat greasy food (just about any food) and use my laptop at the same time. I’m going to say it’s a big win that I’m eating pizza and let the grease-phobia slide …

I’ve been wanting to write again for a long while. What starts as a realisation crystallising in my brain or an injustice that burns inside transforms into words bubbling up into my mind almost faster than I can think them. The thoughts and sentences almost make my fingers physically itch to be typing. I hurry through whatever I’m currently doing, race for my phone or laptop … and freeze. Like stalling in an unfamiliar car, my words stutter to a jumpy stop and my brain coughs out whatever piece of writing I had visualised and it dissipates in a cloud of anxiety.

My anxiety has been on the increase in the last 4 or 5 months (whole other story!), but this particular anxiety is nothing new.

What if it’s not perfect?

What if my words are spelled wrong, the sentence structure if off, my phrases are clumsy or I use thew wrong punctuation? What if I just can’t write very well, so I sound confused, my meaning isn’t clear to anyone and it’s just a boring mass or words?

Worst of all, what if I share too much, people brush me off or they don’t understand? What if putting myself and my feelings onto words on a page gets rejected?

This whole perfection thing isn’t exactly new to me. I have quite a pretty pile of insecurities about myself, but the desperate desire to be perfect comes out the strongest in my writing and my craft. I love to scrapbook, journal, paint and generally create things, but so many times I get frustrated by the battle between my urge to create something beautiful and unique and my desperation that it must be perfect.

In my calmer times I could passionately argue that these things aren’t meant to be perfect; that in creativity and personal expression there is no such thing as perfect; that the beauty is in how unique the picture or piece of writing is and how well it expresses the feelings and thoughts of the person creating it; that you should be writing and creating for your own emotional and physical health and enjoyment; that if other people don’t understand or ‘get it’ that’s their problem, not yours.

This is what I would say to someone else who expressed my doubts and fears and I would 100% believe it to be true. When it comes to myself however, it’s an entirely different story. I hold myself to an impossibly high standard and have very little grace or understanding where it comes to my own failings – real or not. Of course, when I do end up with a piece of work that I really think is beautiful and expressed exactly what I was feeling, I then turn around and lecture myself on being proud and feel guilty for thinking what I made or wrote was good … thank you so much to that stupid ‘christian’ value.

The need to create artwork and make pretty things for people gets the upper hand over my fears 2/3rds of the times (if we don’t count the number of tries before I’m satisfied or the amount of swearing that sometimes flies around my desk …) but somehow with writing the anxiety wins a lot more often. Maybe because putting myself into words is a lot more obvious than putting myself into colours and textures. Maybe because my older sister was always ‘the writer’ so anything I did when I was little was held up to her standard. Maybe because being vulnerable is actually harder when you’re sending it out there into the blue and I can’t try to read the expressions on your face or interpret the tone of your voice.

Whatever the reasons are for my need of perfectionism and my worry of other people’s opinions when it comes to my writing, here I am writing anyway. It takes courage every times I share and am honest with someone by my side, and I’ve been doing a lot more of that lately, so I can learn to do it again through words on paper … or on a screen. Whatever.

Here’s to imperfect words and vulnerability that builds people up!

Hello and Thank You!

About 10 days ago I was cursing my computer, swearing at my memory, kicking my (lack of) organisation and becoming more and more enraged with WordPress …

I was locked out of my account. I couldn’t remember my password! For so many years I had relied on that tricky little “remember me” button … But I’ve just got my first ever smartphone and I wanted to get my blog set up on that as well … My account is a free, internet-based one, so no user sites or admin portals, or receipts from purchases … nothing that would get me any access to my site or attention to sort it out. My email address had somehow become linked with a completely random and never-used blog of some unknown person and my user name was never getting any password re-set emails …

*Imagine Big, Involved and Long-Lasting Screaming/Frustration Noises*

At long last, after hours (trust me – hours and HOURS, seriously!) of scrolling through help pages and blogging websites, tripping my way down the source code for my original blog and regenerating long-closed email addresses in the hopes one of them would yield a password reset … I decided enough was enough … I would have to start again.

And so here I am!

I have recreated, as best as I can (with way too little patience!) my previous blog … My username is a bit different – but true to my real name and who I want to be with this blog. The blog name itself is a bit clumsy, but it was the closest I could get to what I want to convey without paying a fortune!

I’m really sad not to be able to take with me my readers, the blogs I have followed for nearly 6 years and the thoughtful, loving and wise comments of some of you dear people. But here’s to the readers of this blog and the friendships we make (and renew!) from here!

So what I want to say the loudest? THANK YOU!! Thank you for reading this blog, thank you for liking my posts and thank you so much to those that have somehow managed to follow me from my old place and find me here – that really means so much!!

Much Love – Ruthie

(Dotty Lizzy: https://whisperingintothewind.wordpress.com)

Too many words

Words keep rushing through my head. They have been all day.

There are things that have been said to me. Things I’ve heard being said to other people. Things I’ve said. Most of all, what I’ve been thinking. My (mostly) silent response to all I’ve heard.

I’m not sure that I can get them out in a way that will make any sense. Or at least, not without a lot of backstory.

So for now, next time you see the quiet person, think about what might be going through their head. They might be fine. But they might be having a dark day.

Maybe a smile, a cup of tea brought to their desk, the door held open … maybe it might help to break up the steady flow of negative words running through their head, their heart.

Words are so powerful. Sometimes the absence of words can be just as powerful.