Skip to main content

A Midnight Meal


It's 3:15 am.
The sheet is twisted tight around my ankles.  The blanket is bunched up around my waist.
I'm too hot.  I adjust the covers and roll over.  I stick a foot out to catch the cool wind blowing from my fan.  And pull it back in when it becomes too cold.  Flip over to the other side.  My mattress feels like plywood.  The furnace kicks on.  I hear tinkering in the pipes.  My dog wakes up and licks my face.  Now I have to pee.  I throw the covers off, take care of my business, and re-adjust myself back under the covers.
They feel too heavy.  Something isn't right. 
Now I'm remembering the conversation from earlier today--or late yesterday, I'm not sure.
I'm remembering a conversation about an incident that happened years earlier.  I'm remembering the wounding words spoken to me from the lips of a trusted friend.  Feeling unsafe and vulnerable, I pull the covers up to my ears.  Perhaps I can block out the voices. 
Perhaps I can will myself to sleep amidst the lies. 
Someone has walked into my room.  He stands above me with a smirk of satisfaction.  His presence is comforting to me.  I know he has come to bring my midnight meal.  And I am hungry.  I roll over to face him and let him spoon-feed me.  Bite after bite.  My tired body surrendering to this sustenance. 
The poison settles into my brain.  I am high with lethargy.  Paralysis.
With each bite he whispers.  And rubs my forehead.   
Oh what a beautiful mess you are.  How well you have believed the lies.
Oh the extent of your wounds.  You are damaged beyond repair.  You are truly hopeless.
Just as I want you.
Remember the lies now.  You are worthless.  You are the problem.  You are the source of pain.
Shush now.  Don't squirm.  Doesn't that feel familiar?  Doesn't that feel right?  
Take another bite, my love.  That's a good girl.  You ruin everything.  You wound everyone.
There, there.  

I look into his black eyes.  He is so beautiful.  Such a constant companion.  But his meal is making me ill.  I am feeling nauseous.  What is wrong with me that I can no longer keep it down? 
What does it say about me that I am ready to heave? 
Somehow, I have become insensitive to his food. 
I am sick.
I push past him running to the restroom.  He looks after me with contempt and worry. 
I'm sorry, I say.  I can not contain it.  I have a craving for something pure.  Water. 
For the first time, I see anger flash in the darkness.  And he is gone.

Tonight, I have lost my friend.  Our friendship is dying.  He will be back, this I know. 
In the night, he will come with new tastes and new delicacies.   But tonight I drink water. 
And tonight I need sleep.







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

To those who said it wasn't abuse

It wasn't abuse, you said.
He was out of his head
crying and yelling and throwing
himself down kicking
tantrums over little things like
the tightness of a shoe
the color of a plastic cup he wanted
red we gave him blue.
The VHS player wouldn't play,
the certain condition of a day
it was raining or sunny or dry
you said you were just parenting him
getting him in line to mind
building character, you said.

It wasn't abuse, they said.
Just parenting.  A child of unruly sorts
he doesn't look us in the eye he's
disrespectful.  Doesn't tuck in his shirts
unkempt.  Doesn't sit still during prayer
sinful and ungodly a preacher's kid
you know how they are well,
not my kid.

So he would be taught respect
and godliness through discipline
a scriptural concept he would
Honor His Father he would
want to, want to, obey.
and his mother would
Honor His Father by shutting up
and covering up the little
legs slashed and bloodied
welts and bruises and broken
kitchen utensils …

What it means when a narcissistic pastor says, "I love the church"

I ran across this article while going through a rough place in my life.  It had profound meaning for me in dealing with some of the individuals in my life that have narcissistic traits. The article highlights the fact that when a narcissist says, “I love you,” he really means that he loves the way that you (fill in the blank): take care of his needs, focus your energy on him, submit, etc. Individuals that have been in relationships with narcissists often admit to feeling crazy, not recognizing the abuse while it was occurring, and to keeping secrets to cover for his abuse, infidelity, etc.  I wonder if this is what many people are recognizing in the #exevangelical movement.  Because as I was going through this article again, I began to realize that many of the narcissistic traits could be applied to the many pastors and men in church leadership that I have known through the years. Being in church ministry for twelve years, I became proficient at silence and lies to cover the behavior…

To "speak the truth in love" does not mean "reprimand"

"...speaking the truth in love..." Ephesians 4:15
Notice the "dot, dot, dot," before and after that phrase?  But how many times have you heard it as a full sentence?  Speak the Truth in love.  As a full sentence, it loses all context.  And how often is this phrase used as an excuse to reprimand another "in love" and tell them about their multitude of sins?
The New Living Translation has a completely different take on this phrase.  It states, "we will hold to the truth in love."  Now, that changes it a bit, doesn't it?  That makes the action about me and not about me acting on another.  
In context, Ephesians 4 is talking about the Body of Christ and how we must work to grow up and mature in the Lord.  "Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe..."  The work is for each of us to grow up and cling to the Lord's love.  
And what Truth are we clinging to?  It is the truth that we are d…