Monday, June 20, 2011
I finally had a meeting with my associate pastor who I had been angry at for a while. I waited way too long to do this but really didn't know how to do it. I was afraid but finally decided I had to push through that and do this.
My associate pastor has prayed with me, listened and counseled me and invested time in my healing for over 20 years. At times she has made comments in frustration at my inability to accomplish tasks. I don't have very good follow through. It has improved but my reputation for not getting things done precedes me. Last fall a comment was made to me when I expressed struggling with some material for a class she was leading. At that time I decided I had enough and backed off communicating with her about how I was doing. I was hurt and confused. I wasn't sure how to tell her how I felt. I also had a lot of difficulty when my friend committed suicide at the end of January. In fact, thinking about it now, it is just shy of 5 months since she died. My pastor was one of the people she started to do some prayer counseling with upon the recommendation of her therapist, way before my pastor even went to seminary. My friend had told me she felt overwhelmed at the work she was challenged with. I know my pastor can be challenging to the point of feeling the tasks are impossible. I think at times she takes that approach because we have to rely on God for our healing and require His strength to accomplish it. She certainly doesn't do it without prayer and direction from God. Others have commented on this as well. However in my pain I partially blamed her for my friend feeling as if she had to die, that there was no one who understood the depression. My pastor does in fact understand it, she's been there too. She knows what it takes to overcome it. I had to confess how I was angry at her for her approach in the case of my friend. She did not know that my friend felt that way. I wrote a letter to my pastor that I mostly used to remember what I wanted to bring up and to explain my feelings. So here is the beginning of my letter to her:
“I've been living a dishonest life. I thought I was making changes. You probably already know this. I thought that even if I didn't quite "get it" or understand I would still obey, still "do the work" and maybe God would still work in my life and bring the understanding later.
Old habits die hard. Adjusting to what I perceived almost subconsciously to what others asked of me or approved of. Being afraid of too much criticism, needing too much the love and encouragement and approval of others. But knowing that was at least a part of my willingness and motivation was not really at a conscious level. Even to the point of denying being angry about some things. Alot of things. Never mind that I was afraid of my anger, afraid to express it. Afraid of the disapproval I would get if I did. I know that some inside are pretty invested in what they want and steal memories or stage things in such a way that I don't even realize why I might do things...or not do them. Even when I tried to have times to communicate with them there was very little. I t's been that way for quite a few years now.
I went along with alot of things I wasn't sure I wanted to do. I did them because I was asked to as a part of transforming my life, growing and maturing. But so often the growth was lost in needing to meet the requirements. Fear in disapproval when I struggled was reinforced a few times. For me, they loom larger than the many times I was encouraged. I don't know why.”
There is more but this is what I want to share here. Many of my little ones really, really like her. She does know how to treat them and can be quite warm and safe for them so it wasn't difficult to refer to them with her. She asked me to forgive her for her comments, which I had done already. I told her that I was afraid to dream, to know what I wanted. I talked a few minutes about things I hope for, not just for myself. Actually mostly things I hope to see for the Kingdom of God. She stopped me at one point and got on her knees in front of me and looked me in the eyes. She is tall so when she is on her knees she is at eye level when I am sitting. She told me ever since she has known me, which has been since 1990, that she has seen the light in me. She knew that God's intentions for me were to reach many people with His light. So of course I am crying by then...I'm crying now thinking about it. She said a few other things along this line but I don't remember them now. That was the reconciliation that I have been needing this year. It was a bit messy. I had waited, wondering if my anger, which is considerable, would interfere. A lot of my anger is attached to things in the past so I am not always sure if what I am feeling is warranted by the event or person I am trying to deal with in the present. I felt little anger during that time with her. She gave me over an hour and half of her time, leaving a meeting a bit early in order to meet with me.
I did the hard thing. I “pressed” into the emotions of fear and anger and came out the other side as far as my pastor was concerned. I am glad I did. I am sure she will still have some frustration when I pull my not following through act again. I hope she understands how it affects me and my alters. While I am mature and understand that I can sabotage myself and need to be accountable, my younger less mature alters see rejection and can't handle too much of that at this time. I am blessed to have a pastor who understands DID and depression and has overcome these things herself. Too many others are in churches who would rather ignore this problem and hand it over to mental health professionals and not see God's intent for our lives. I can only seek to continue to heal and become the light that my pastor sees is God's intention for me.