Here I am. I guess I'm not going to finish the story about eating the mushrooms. The only important thing is that Jesus was there, and is still here. He never gave up on me, and I was amazed and fell in love with a savior.
I am home. I use the word loosely. I'm at this place where my biological family gathers every Christmas, staring at the Christmas tree decorated as it has been for as long as I can remember. Something stagnant about this place. Perhaps it's me.
I feel very stifled. I'm a sinner, a redeemed creation with a demand to express myself as sure as my very existence. I will express myself. The variable factor is how I will choose to do so. I want to love these people that look so much like me. I really do.
...but, it is hard.
My scars come from this place, and these faces. Not all of them, but the worst ones.
The memories haunt me. Like ghost among the living they remind me of the consequences of being cursed. I remember how the wounds reopened time and time again when I refused to swallow my impulses to be heard. I simply could not fit into the mold. I struggle very hard to believe I had much choice in who I was as a child in this house. All the turmoil and vicious wars of words. To think that I chose to suffer so bitterly. The only way I can stomach the memories is to think that I must have been compelled to be who I was by virtue of those around me. Why else would I be so monstrous? I had to be. I must have had a good reason. The worst of it was and still is the responsibility.
Being here with them all now restores the pangs of guilty responsibility. I feel the weight of expectation and condemnation. There is no way for me to be here and be me without arousing tempers. To be free and express myself in an authentic way will cost me. It will cost me the illusion of safety this family projects.
If I just am who I am here without engaging in the sick carousel of enmeshment that this family is, I commit treason. As my mom used to put it, "You're bombing your own harbors". People feel left out, I'm selfish and basically a big jerk. The other option is to engage and that inevitably ends in conflict or desolate "peace".
So what am I going to do?
Treason of course.
I am God's child. That is my primary role and responsibility. If, in being that, I get to enjoy my family, great! But, if my commitment to be true to myself and Him is something that they do not like, or percieve as a threat, well too bad. Nobody is telling them they can't be their own person. If I engaged them in the roles of our past, the sickly codependency, then I would only be reinforcing their own denial of life.
I will not be controlled by guilt. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, and I will not be compelled by it any longer. I choose to be moved by the love of God that has been planted in me.
Phew. I feel good.