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Love Song, III—Death

 . . . continued from Love Song, II
God, why did I have to be born? I just want to die . . . 

A deeply Christian, teenage girl who wants to die is not a simple soul to explain. As a little girl, I was relatively "good" in the sense that I yearned to please and could not bear to be in the wrong, to be guilty. My sensitive nature sent me to tell my parents when I needed a spanking. As a young woman, I was not "rebellious" as many define typical teenage angst; I struggled with things like being patient and sweet to my younger siblings, trying to say and do all the right things, and with severe depression because no matter what, I felt as though I never measured up to what my parents wanted—I was too artistic, too dreamy, too worldly in their eyes. But, “I don’t know why you are so depressed," they said. "You shouldn’t feel that way. You are just reacting from the flesh.” 

The flesh, which we were to crucify with all its desires. The flesh, which made it impossible to please God.  The flesh, the old man which needed to die.

I blamed only myself for not meeting the implied ideal, and cursed the stupid "flesh" which haunted every moment of  living. I was the one who "had different values", who was "going a different direction". I felt like a failure, a disappointment as I set a "bad example" for those who looked up to me in all things. My years became an endless cycle of trying, failing, religious effort, and trying again. I grew weary while life dimmed.

Dreamy and emotional, my artistic little girl soul craved life—but even more so, the assurance of love.
I’m trying to think of something I can do to make dad love me for reasons other than the fact that I’m just his daughter. There is nothing about me, other than me being his child, that he would love me more than say, if Jane Doe was his daughter. It’d be the same. I wish I could make him proud of me, something other than being his daughter. What I’m saying probably doesn’t make sense. I can’t describe it. But there’s nothing extraordinary or uniquely lovable about me, his daughter, that anyone else wouldn’t get just the same if I was non-existent, and someone else was his 1st daughter.

But lately I’ve caused too much stress. Like the mistake I made the other day . . . that was the pits, and dad admitted that he was disappointed in me and I should know better than that. I am so immature, I stink. I want to do better. I pray and pray but I don’t change. It’s frustrating. I better change the subject before I start to cry. I’m so fat. I’m so immature. There’s nothing outstanding about me. I’m so ugly inside. At least God loves me. And I know mom and dad do, it’s just that other than the fact I’m their daughter, I haven’t given them any reason to love me. I’m trying to think of something.

Too perilous to say aloud, I could pen these words in my journal, nestled in the pine. For it was not safe to be the real me, not safe to whisper what I felt or thought to those around me, or to share the words inked across lined pages in swirling eddies, while tears splattered from lashes. I shut myself inside, torn over guilt and confusion, and spent years cursing and bewailing the way I was made, imploring God to change me, to help me be good, to make mom, dad, and God Himself, happy.

But no matter what I did, it seemed never enough.

More depression, confusion

“God loves you just the way you are!” We have all heard these words. “Yet He loves you too much to leave you that way.” God made me, just as I am—yet it was not a godly way to be, for everything within reeked of foolishness, of flesh. So why, why, why did He allow me to be born, if He knew I would be this wicked, no matter how hard I tried to change? On the other hand, if—like others said—He created me to be unique, loved, and special, with my own personality and interests and abilities, why would these things be so evil? Had God made me an emotional person so that I could learn to overcome myself?

Therefore I, an emotional young woman, was my own worst spiritual enemy. And so, my mission: to rise above the callings of the flesh, manifested daily through the passion and exuberance of living, through tears and poetry, and by such catch phrases such as I feel and I want and I need. Everything within, and all the works of hands and heart were material for sacrifice. To practice self-denial.

As despair deepened over the years, I became entranced with the lure of death and beyond—for it was a way to fracture the endless, infuriating loop of our daily life, the ancient paths, which left me dizzy and tired.
I have come to a place of such self-loathing. I pass up so many chances to be unselfish and giving to my brothers and sisters. Or I’ve got a bad attitude about whatever I do for them. Why can’t I be happy and cheerful? I get impatient with them and I know I’m a jerk. But I am so tired of trying to be good. I pray so much, I try so hard. There has got to be a breaking point.

Something needs to change. Today mom and I got into an argument. Why can’t I be gentle and sweet? I’m getting to a place of detachment, almost numbness. I want to give up but I can’t. What is the point of my life? Day passes after day, and every day is the same. I don’t seem to be learning anything or changing for the better. I have this heaviness surrounding me . . . I hate myself this way.
Yet when I yearned to cease living, because I felt as though it would have been better for all if I did not exist, fear kept me from taking my life.  

Rest, cried my yearning soul. So I trampled the paths, the old way, seeking and striving. My soul grew ancient and haggard upon their steps. And yet, I could not find rest. I did not know what it looked like, felt like. Or even what it was.

But I knew what it was not.

to be continued . . .

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