Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
Hundreds of uncategorized blog posts. Hundreds of old posts in need of editing. Hundreds.
Day after day for the last three and a half months I have worked at repairing five years of work. At the start in 2012, some of my ideas were incomplete and in a few cases, wrong. By ditching the most questionable and fixing the rest, I am rewriting history. Within a few weeks the archives will seem as if I’ve been articulate from the beginning.
That is how I want to be understood and remembered. Well-spoken, wise, helpful… also non-conformist, irreverent, challenging the status quo and false piety. Ironically, I may be better known as the opposite of the above, at least by some people.
One mother said, “I wish my teenagers could remember their early years when we shared so much laughter. They will not remember me from then – they will only recall these tougher years when I have to be strict and more disciplinary.”
Darn it. She’s right. The negatives of my family of origin are easily recalled. I’ve written and spoken about the open hostility, emotional neglect, and abuse. However, am I rewriting history by focusing only on the bad (albeit very bad) stories? Truth needs no repair. Fuzzy and shrouded good memories are still memories.
Some of my fondest remembrances are due to my dad, the same man I credit with near-total destruction of my childhood. It’s confusing, and yet reality.
He took me for long drives, allowing me to choose “turn right” or “turn left”. Once convinced I had him thoroughly lost, his challenge was to get us home, which invariably he did.
On these fun outings he would point out falling stars, roaming deer, full moons, and other points of nature. In those days, falling stars were rare, and deer were not often seen. He would say, “Remember – this is once in a lifetime.”
He could not have known that one day deer would leisurely munch in my backyard, or that meteor showers would be forecast. You see, it is not the end story that determines a memory’s value. What made it special in the first place was quantity time with my dad.
So it is when pain pierces a nice memory. Good does not become fake when simultaneously mixed with evil. Most of my life I separated the two, and obliterated positive experiences from my mind. If hurt, betrayal, or abuse was reality, then pleasantry, trust, and safety were not.
I write this as a warning to anyone who thinks similarly. That black and white interpretation of life will remove peace of mind and prevent joy.
I urge you to look at both realities. Yes, some memories are agonizing. Accepting that fact is hard yet healing. Also factual are those moments beauty, kindness, or reprieve flavored life. Try very hard to focus on those. Give your past a break by embracing history in its fulness.
Today’s Helpful Word
And I said, “This is my fate;
the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.