To the girl getting defensive on the mesa with tear stains dominating her face,
He hits you, and you cry out desperately, wheezing, weeping, calling out for help. You have given up, though, because you know that they are all lies. When the people you barely know tell you “it will be okay” and that “no, you are not alone.” Bull shit. Complete, utter bullshit. You have accepted the fact that you are alone in this world, because not only does everyone abandon you, but also because they leave you with a completely broken and shattered heart. He hurts you continually, apologizing every time, but never repenting. You have been abused, raped, neglected, and beaten in every way imaginable. She sits there with you, telling you a snippet of her story. “I was abused, and I have just started coming out about it. First to my parents, then to staff here.”
“I’m sorry to throw all this at you,” she says, but really, you know your story is much darker than you could ever express. Yes, she has been through hell and high water, but you have been through hell and raging waters that never cease, nor give time to rest or even breathe.
To the girl who has been through countless rounds of adolescent psych wards, yes, I know it fucking sucks. You know that it will never end, never cease, and never be curable. You will be alone and hopeless and helpless forever, and who would want to live that life? I know what she called you, defensive girl on the mesa. She said you were nothing but a walking pity party, that you need to grow the hell up, that you have never cared about another person in your life, and that you suck the life out of others because you are too weak to stand up on your own. Then she went mouthing off to your best friend and convinced her it would be a good idea to ignore you for six months, and have you find out that no, she wasn’t just busy, in the worst way possible. When you saw that your excited and hopeful friend request was utterly denied, your heart sank and split, not in half, but into thirds. One piece for each of the triplets that were once inseparable, easily mistaken for each other, and undeniably close. You used to sing and dance about how cold it was at those Friday night football games. You would sit and talk for hours on the computer about God and Jesus and how important He was to the world. Granted, you could never agree on anything, because you were both too damn stubborn to admit that you were wrong, but at least you could say that you were humble, which is more than she ever could. You apologized, time after time, always seeing light and hope somewhere down the road in that relationship. She abused you, bullied you, took advantage of you, and now the hate fills your heart every time it crosses your mind. You hate her, despise her, but at least you’re willing to admit it. “She doesn’t hate you, and neither do I.” Utter complete and total bullshit. You saw the way she looked at you when you gave her a friendly smile. She blew you off all those times you offered water that no, you really didn’t want to share, but would, because she was your friend. She sucked the life out of you with her sociopathic lies, particularly about how she was herself a sociopath. “But you feel, I know you do!” you would reassure her. But would she ever listen? No, absolutely not. She completely blew you off to suit herself in her own selfish ambition, and she never once appreciated anything you did for her, and if she did, she sure as fuck didn’t show it.
Then there’s the crazy therapist, who sat there and cried and said how horrible and awful it was that there was a sad, lonely girl in there who just needs help. “But how the hell is you sitting there and crying about that helping me!” She never gave an answer, just kept cussing you out and flipping you off until you finally had had enough. You walked out on her, and were even thankful when you unknowingly cut someone off while pulling out of the parking lot, getting flipped off, because at least that gave you something else to focus on, and a reason to forget all about what had just happened in the horrible last session. Yeah, I know it really freaking sucked, but hey, at least you have nothing to show for it, right?
To the girl getting defensive on the mesa, I know that that stupid and conceited, dishonest dean was a total class A bitch, but hey, at least she forced you out of high school and took away your senior year, right? At least she was the one who recommended the crazy therapist lady and insisted that it would help, forcing you to go, or else...
At least she composed that god awful contract allowing you back into school, that, hey, wasn’t too out of line. But seriously, what is so horrible about taking a few minutes out of class when you were sobbing your eyes out leading prayer, because you had just had a heart-wrenching discussion with someone who was trying to help you see a purpose in life. Did they really have to come searching for you? Did they really have to opt to get you out of class right before a really important test that no, wasn’t worth your life, but still, seemed like it did? So seriously, what was the point of composing that contract that you knew she would never sign? What was the point of being so condescending towards the poor girl with scars on her arms and bruises around her neck, when hey, at least you didn’t have to be liable for her anymore. Get her off campus, and we won’t have to worry. So yeah, let’s not reach out and ask her how she’s doing. Let’s pretend to care and totally freak out when she walks out of chapel because she is having a total panic attack and mental breakdown, and then pull her out of class to “talk” and tell her that if she walks out now, she may never be able to come back. Seriously? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is that your way of threatening to expel me? Well thank fucking goodness, I have had quite enough of this place.
Here’s to the girl that is utterly broken and shattered inside. To the girl that had to live with her perpetrator for nearly a decade after the first time he touched you. Who still has to see him and converse with him on a regular basis, pretending like it didn’t happen and like he isn’t a total jackass that has no idea how to communicate respectfully. Here’s to the child with the fire in her eyes every time a friend was picked on or called a mean name. To the girl who would be quick to defend, slow to lose patience, and even slower to accept hate into her heart. What the hell happened to the young blonde girl with bright blue eyes that loved adventure and exploration and friendship and hope? They did. The people of this world that have hurt you, hit you, raped you, touched you, smothered you too deeply and stabbed just a tad too steep.
Here’s to the girl who has built up endless walls, been to endless hospitals for suicide attempts, watched endless amounts of pornography just trying to seek some sort of release from the real world out there that stings any time you’re not having an orgasm. Here’s to the goddamn idiotic fifteen year old who left her only love and support network to seek out a new adventure and chapter of life. Who was so excited to be in a marching band and a real jazz band, just desperately trying to soak up more of that sweet, sweet music, which was the only thing that had been keeping you alive, really. That and the endless amounts of encouragement that you received from that highway-inspired youth group, with detour groups and worship and talks and endless drama and secrets and crap. You loved absolutely every second of those drama filled discussions in which you cared for not at all, but hey, you loved them without any sense of doubt, so you were willing to sit there, putting up with all the useless junk, just to help her out. And then there were the serious times, when all the freshman girls in the group agreed that life was unbearable. Because her parents were divorced and her dad was an abusive alcoholic and she was a drug addict all in herself with no one else to blame. Then there was her whose boyfriend turned out to be gay, even at a Christian school. Then again, there was the girl who was leading it all, who became your best friend and life-long mentor. Who would always be there for you, even when you couldn’t be there for yourself. Oh sweet Care Bare, as you called her. She was convinced in her own mind that she was fat and obscenely overweight, and this made your eyes rain and heart pour when she admitted it. Oh no, you are absolutely not, Care Bare, you are gorgeous and lovely and hilarious and kind and everything else a mentor and friend should and could ever be.
Oh how it broke the poor defensive girl’s heart when she left that group. She went and thought she had found a new family shortly after in her marching band group. She even stayed after to talk to the band director on the night of the first football game, just to tell him what band had become for her and how loved and accepted she felt that she had found a new home. Oh, sweet girl on the mesa, if only it had lasted.
They fell apart as he fell apart, his family rocky and his marriage hanging by a thread. There was so much drama and so many stories that went around, but you always knew that the truth was simple: that he just wasn’t happy. He had a band that was slipping between his fingertips and a couple of drum majors and leaders that didn’t respect him. His marriage was trembling and all this broke your heart, because he had been there for you and you had trusted him and he had pulled you out of sixth period so many times just to talk about how you had sat there with a blank stare all throughout fourth and fifth period.
Here is to the girl whose mother sat there crying in her room on the night of the accident. And oh, fuck, did losing him break your precious little pre-shattered heart all over again, simply ensuring that it could never heal again. He can never walk again, nor move a computer mouse or take pictures or walk with his wife or rub your back at ice cream shops in Sonora and tell you amazing and hilarious stories. Oh man, did losing your favorite uncle and person, for that matter, sting like pouring straight lemon juice mixed with hydrogen peroxide over an infected and deep, pusy wound.
To the defensive girl who sat there in that prayer chapel on the last night of camp, Hume:SD 2013, completely and literally crying her eyes out. You lied on the chapel floor just behind the last pew, sobbing and screaming and crying, until you couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move even, all because she had convinced you that you were a sociopath and you were trying to make sense of it all. The relationships with your youth group that you were just now realizing had shattered, the friends who were telling you lies honestly and trying to convince you you were someone you were not, and most of all, the broken heart and assurance that suicide really was the only answer.
Oh, oh, defensive girl on the mesa, oh. What must I say in order to sum up the amount of total shit you have weathered in this life? What can I do but say it totally and utterly sucked? That it was hard, or painful, or heartbreaking? Nothing, really. That is, mind you, that so many people have tried to “save” you, and so many of them have given up trying. That worn out band director who put up with so much, and that crazy school dean who basically ended your high school career just. like. that. You feel so bad for the first girl you told, who ran away screaming at a hundred miles an hour, and who never even looked back to ask how things were going. Boy did it hurt to lose your first, one and only best friend.
To the girl giving advice to the other young girl in Montreal who is going through so many challenges with her family and boss at work and her own mind. Oh, man, does life really get us sometimes. But you know what? I do believe you have learned that life will hit you, hard, in the face. It will wait for you to get back up only to knock you in the stomach, but remember, defensive girl on the mesa, that getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs just how much they like the taste of air.
There may be hope at the end of this, but hey, maybe there isn’t. But maybe, just maybe, things can get better. Maybe you can finally learn that just because that’s the way that she sees you, doesn’t mean that you have to treat everyone like they’re a threat. You don’t have to put up those walls and be defensive on the mesa, because, after all, not every one is a Curtis Monster. Not saying that all Curtises are monsters, but hey, sure seems like it. Maybe one day you will learn that “people are still good at heart”says the persecuted Jewish girl, whose life was literally vanquished during the Holocaust. If she can say it, then why can’t you? Because you’ve been hurt? Bullshit. Because you’ve been bullied and raped and abused and neglected and lied to and pushed and told that you don’t deserve life? Bullshit. Not every one will treat you like an illiterate fuck, because some people, at least, have to see that you’re not.
To the girl who finds courage and strenght and hope in the God of Angel Armies, and Emmanuel, and the cross. What would it be if that were all for nothing? Seriously defensive mesa girl, take heart. Be brave. Go back to the way it once was when you were innocent and trusting and loving and believed you were invincible, becase really, you are. With Yahweh on your side you can do anything, honestly. It’s going to be okay, and that much you can be assured is true. Oh sweetie, take heart, be brave, and never, never, never give up.
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