the background [pt.2]

>> 8.15.2012

If you haven't read it yet, you can find part one here.


Before I really get into all of this, I feel like I should give a disclaimer.

I don't know how to do this eloquently, and I am afraid that I'm going to stumble over my words, or convey the wrong emotion and message and present myself in a very bad light.
But at the same time, I also know that I need to just get it out there and over with, and let you be the judge so that I don't have to anymore.

So I am just asking for grace for the telling--this is a rough jumble of words, and I'm just trying to get it as right as I can.

I guess the first time I remember any inclination of it all was back around seventh grade. 

I was part of a co-op of homeschoolers that all got together twice a week and brought in teachers to teach different subjects--Spanish, Creative Writing, Algebra, Marine Science, etc. It was where I got to hang out with most of my friends, get out of the house, and get a taste of "normal" life. Unfortunately, there was always a little bit of a stigma around us, since we were a Christian group, meeting in a church, holding a Bible study, and so on. A lot of us felt the pressure to live above the standards that were set, and to be better than the examples that were held up of "the world out there". This was hard to live up to, especially since we were teenagers and trying to figure out who we even were, let alone how to be better than everyone else. 

There was one girl, a little bit older than the rest of us, a little more distant. It took her awhile to make friends, despite our mothers urging, but eventually she knocked her way into the group and settled down into it. She had all the girls over to her house for a sleepover one night, and I remember going into her room and seeing her sitting on her bed. Her arms were bare for once, and I noticed that they were covered in swirling silvery-pink lines. As I looked closer, I realized they were scars. Some more faint than others, but all etched deeply into her skin.

I remember being shocked, with a twisting in my stomach because I knew that was "bad". But I was also curious--up until that moment, pain had been something to avoid, something to fight against. Yet, here was someone actively seeking pain, giving it to themselves and carving it into their flesh.

When I asked her about it, she shrugged it off in her very nonchalant manner, saying, "It's not a big deal. It's just carving, just like a tattoo." Even though I knew there had to be more behind it, I didn't want to believe that she was carrying around so much baggage that she needed to bleed it out of her. So I accepted her answer, and walked out of the room.


I always kept the scars in the back of my mind, and every time I'd see them peeking out from underneath her sleeves, I'd feel a jolt of electricity in my stomach. 

By the time I hit high school, the emotional confusion had only intensified in our group. We were getting older, we liked boys and the boys liked us. Some had branched out and met "other" friends, dangerous friends that would take you down the wrong path. A select few had gone rogue and were the subject of much prayer and discussion. 

I was toying with all of it. 
I'd met a boy, a dangerous and mysterious boy that intrigued me and left me desperate to "fix him" and make him happy. He "had problems", but I didn't care. I was getting tired of being the example, the leader, the good girl. (They call it a cliche because it's true.)

I could feel echoes of the sadness that he felt inside of me--it's like seeing them in him allowed me to realize that they were in myself as well. And even though I sometimes wonder whether being around him magnified my own problems, I am still sure that they would have been brought to the surface eventually. It's like he was the catalyst for the implosion that was bound to happen one day. Things started to get darker and darker, like falling into a hole a little bit deeper at a time, until one day I was so far down that I couldn't see the top anymore.

You see, you have to understand something here.
This was not the expected outcome for a girl like me.
I was the little girl that grew up in the same church since she was a year old. I was the daughter of leaders in the church, the girl that everyone looked up to and parents told their kids to emulate. I kept my room clean, obeyed my parents, got a job, and did well in school. I never openly rebelled, rarely talked back or broke curfew. I was the safe friend, the one that parents liked to have over to their house because they knew I wasn't going to get their kid in trouble.

So when the darkness started creeping in, and the world felt like it was going to collapse on top of me, I didn't know what to do.
People like me don't get *shhhh* depressed
"Too blessed to be stressed", don't you know? 

I remember feeling like I was suffocating, drowning, being buried alive. 
I hated myself, and I hated everyone else for being better than I was, or being worse than I was and not caring about it. 
I hated God, for letting it get this far and not saving me from myself. 
--in fact, I remember screaming at Him, asking if He knew that this was how I was going to turn out. Did He know that that sweet little girl with the ringlets in her hair, singing 'Jesus Loves Me' in Sunday School was going to wish that she were dead on a daily basis?

Because I did. At some point each day I thought about how much better, how much easier it would be if I simply ceased to exist.

And that's when I remembered the scars.

4 thoughts:

Kirra August 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM  

Cammie thanks for writing this out. I'm so drawn in by the way you write- it's how I met you after-all! Totally blog stalked you before I even talked to you at Moody! I'm eager to hear the rest of the story- & encouraged to know He's not finished writing it yet.

eliseloyola August 16, 2012 at 7:59 AM  

I'm speechless, but I had to write a comment. I feel like this is your best piece yet, SO well written, so heartfelt, so much of you. Please, please, PLEASE keep writing these!
Love you.

Jess August 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM  

Love that you are sharing your heart. Love that as I read this I have flashbacks to our first year at Moody together when you told me some of this then... And totally agree with Elise that it is written well and full of so much of you! Keep sharing your story girl cause you have things to teach us. I Love you!

Kari Kotter August 20, 2012 at 5:29 PM  

I remember this bad boy and how much pain he caused you. Thanks for sharing these personal moments. So glad we met at Taco Time but I miss you in England.

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