Search

Present Ghost

Telling stories

Tag

doubt

Not my own

Not my own

Illustration courtesy of Seth T. Hahne. Check out Seth’s graphic novel and comic review site, Good Ok Bad.

I wrote an essay for Christ and Pop Culture about how a lifelong struggle with body image and worth would never get better unless I could begin to grasp that I’m not my own.

This is out there because I thought someone might need it, and because no matter what I do, some part of this story will make it into most of my personal writings, whether or not it’s explicit.

Here is an excerpt:

“An abandoned aluminum foil container next to my sandbox provided me with my first razor when I was 4 years old. The box had been left outside after a cookout. At first, I was intrigued by its teeth. Then, after I pricked my finger, I couldn’t believe it. I was bleeding, and it didn’t hurt badly. Running my fingers across the sharp row again, I discovered I could cause and contain my own hurt. I didn’t need to cry, and no one saw me.

That incident taught me a lie that has haunted me ever since: My sadness is singular, and my body worthless.”

 

 

Idols, Part I

Image

I remember very little about being strapped in a straightjacket. The lights were bright, I was swallowing lots of my own blood, and every time I screamed for one of my parents to rescue me, I swallowed more. Continue reading “Idols, Part I”

At the Snack Machine, II

Image

Explaining to my husband how I had seen God wasn’t too difficult.  He’s open-minded and at that time, he was already used to my frequent, fleeting intimacies with strangers.

“She told me I needed to spend more time with God,” I added.

“Well, she’s probably right.”

And of course she was right, even though she didn’t know all the grief I carried with me or that I had been spending most of my long drives to work and class crying and screaming when I was sure the closest car was out of sight.

After she had left and the front desk paged me to tell me that I owed $700 that I didn’t have, I laughed and rolled my eyes, telling God that if He wanted to send me a check along with that half-crazy Pentecostal Christian, I’d really appreciate it. Better yet, God, why don’t you just let the murderer pay for my new timing belt, and then I’ll have something to write home about—something readymade for the inspirational aisle of Wal-Mart.

When I walked up to the sliding glass window, I was somewhat surprised that my balance wasn’t paid and even more surprised when their credit card machine rejected my check card. I had to call my husband to dictate our nearly maxed-out credit card number over the phone.

God, I imagine, has a low tolerance for sarcasm—particularly my brand of dry cynicism. Although I’ve always imagined the great I Am as having a rather outrageous sense of humor, I still don’t see smart aleck one-offs as a favored form of levity in the celestial realm.

In sending my last fairy godmother, He was being rather direct with me. The two other strangers had affirmed the value of my body and my style when I doubted myself, but Christ, through this woman, had publicly declared the worth of my soul when I had come to doubt its maker.

During our conversation, she quoted the King James Version of 1 Peter 2:9 to me, and the word peculiar struck me. Most other versions reference our belonging to Him, and though they may be more authoritative translations, peculiar suits those moments when the knowledge of the Spirit passes from one body into another so that we may pass from darkness into light once, and then, again.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: