Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. I live in darkness, praying for light. Nothing has changed. The darkness gets darker, demanding a higher toll. Everything has changed.
I have no job. I have been in this place too many times for too long of a time. I have applied for job after job after job. Along with the millions of others who are without work. I am just a number. A nothing. No one special. I was without work in my old place of residence and I am without work in my new place of residence. The difference? There, I had a home. A place I built and loved. Here, I am living in my brother’s house. It is small and dark. I am grateful to have a house to live in. More grateful than words can adequately express. But with no job, I have no future. So much has changed. So little has changed.
I am in a new city. A barely city. Tiny, compared to where I have been living. The place I have called home for 35 years. It is in a colder climate. It gets colder sooner and gets warm later. It has more snow. More rain. It is not at all the place I want to live. But I am here. I grew up in a little town outside of this small, cold city. My father, the one who sexually and physically abused me, was a teacher here. I am surrounded by the reminders. I can’t escape them. I haven’t been able to escape them my entire life. Here they are in my face. There, they were in my head. Always, they are in my heart and buried in my soul. Breaking me down. Destroying me. Ripping me apart. Eating my insides away until there is nothing left of me. Things are the same. Things are different.
I am sitting in a dark, silent room. My dogs are laying on my lap. In my old home, I would spend my evenings with my dogs laying on my lap. In a dark, silent room. Alone. The room is different, but that is all that is different. Here, my brother lives across the street. My aunt lives next door. There, I was 3-1/2 hours away. They lived in their own worlds, had their own lives. Here, they live in their own worlds, have their own lives. They have lives that are full. They have money and meaningful work and faith and friends and purpose. They don’t have much time for me. They give me what they can…all of it, too much to ask. So I exist mostly in solitude. I am nothing. Everything is the same. Everything is different.
I was married for 22 years…to someone who didn’t love me. Now, there is no one. He was a companion, though a disapproving one. He was conversation and assistance, a partner of sorts, though one who didn’t care about me. Now, he is with another. Someone he can love the way he could not love me. And I am living in solitude. So much has changed. But I was alone then and I am alone now. Nothing has changed.
I cry out to God. I have been crying out to Him for years and years and years and years and years and years and years. I have cried until I can cry no more. Until I have ceased to believe He cares. As much as I want to believe He cares, the contrary evidence seems overwhelming. And I suppose I am angry with Him. Because he says He loves me, but I can’t find love in any of this mess that I am, that I have become, that I have always been. He says He will never leave me, but though I reach for Him and have been doing so for decades, I can’t find His hand. I can’t hear His voice. I know I am inadequate. Worthless. I know I need Him, His help, His forgiveness, His mercy, His grace, His love. But He is silent. Silent in my world. Like the silence in the room in which I sit. So much has changed. So little has changed. Silence shrouds me always. Silence and emptiness.
What is to become of me? Is there anyone or anything anywhere who cares? Who will help me? Who will guide me? Who will love me, want me, believe in me? I reach out, but there is no one reaching back. It has been that way my entire life. My. Entire. Life. Nothing has changed at all. Yet, with the passage of time, all has changed.
My world has changed. It is shattered, decimated, upended. Everything that was has come to an end. Everything that was familiar and safe and that provided hope is gone. The semi-successful job…gone. Friends…gone. Home…gone. Finances…gone. Husband…gone. Church…gone. Independence…gone. A future…gone. God…gone? I’m trapped in this nightmare and I can’t wake up. Because the nightmare is real. And I’m not sleeping. The nightmare and reality have become one.
I have not changed, in spite of all my efforts to do so. I’m still a mess. Broken, confused, weak, incapable, depressed, discouraged, tired, worthless, useless, defective, deeply flawed. I’m stuck with this “me” that I have been trying to be free of for my entire lifetime. I’ve tried anti-depressants, talk therapy, groups, read books, done workbooks, taken classes, had prayer and prayed fervently. Nothing has made a dent. The rebuilding, restoration and healing hasn’t happened. I’m discouraged. I blame myself. I believe the reason my world has come to an end is because I have continued to be who I am. Worthless, faulty, substandard, malfunctioning, toxic. I can’t seem to change. So everything around me is taken from me. It changes. I do not change. And all is lost.
The most difficult part of my continuing nightmare? Everything has changed.
The most difficult part of my continuing nightmare? Nothing has changed.
Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. Nothing will ever change. Everything will continue to constantly change. I scream and claw, trying to find my way out. But there is no escape. I’m imprisoned in all that was, has been, is and is to be. In all that I have ever been and all that I am.
Everything changes. While nothing changes at all.