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

I visited a Mosque. And went to church.

Today, our local International Rescue Committee organization hosted a solidarity event at the Islamic Society of Wichita while their members were gathering for Friday prayers.  We stood outside, held signs, and let them know that we are with them.  That we are forthem.

But before the event I met my new friend, Ratna, for a tour and some lunch in the well-worn gym.  I was running a little early so I sat by myself on the concrete fountain in front of the building.
It was a beautiful day.  The sun was warming me.  I could smell the food cooking.  A suburban in the parking lot said, "Girl Scout Cookies For Sale!" written in white shoe polish on the dark windows.

Pretty soon, Ratna pulled up in her minivan, tagged along behind by her 5-year-old son with his bright blue iPad and headphones.  He was watching a Pokemon cartoon and was humming along to the songs.  Skipping as he went.  Ratna smiled, hugged me, and led me inside for a tour of their worship space.

It was a beautiful b…

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…

For my 40th birthday, I let go

It was my birthday present to myself. I decided to let go of the desire to have a healthy relationship with my mother. 40-years-old seemed right for me to make this decision.  I have debated it for years. I have been in a cloud of hope the past year, with my mother.  I always get frustrated at myself for being sucked into the cloud of hope.  The fog of delusion.  Damn but isn’t hope hard to surrender?!  I have always felt guilty about letting go.  I have always wanted to give it another go.  Try again.  Hope again.  Maybe she’ll change.  Maybe things will improve. But when another birthday went by with no call and no card, I decided to end my own agony.  I once heard that there was a woman who went to meet with the Dalai Lama.  She had experienced a ton of trauma in her life and she was worn ragged and thin.  After telling him some of her life story he looked at her with his sweet smile and asked, “Have you suffered enough yet?” Sometimes I ask myself the same thing.  Yes, I have suf…