“You need to come get her right now, I really can’t do this right now.”
My ex-husband meets me in the parking lot. I had broken down in the store, vision burry, physically numb. I wasn’t able to be a mom right now, and I was disgusted with my uselessness and inability.
As I hand her off, he tries to ask what’s going on and spews passive aggressive statements my way. He assumes I just want to be doing something without my daughter. Not an entirely undeserved assumption at this point in my life, but he was mistaken this time. I drive off, as he’s midsentence standing by my car, unable to hear another word. I had hit my maximum capacity of pain and could bear no more.
Calmly driving. No music on, not speeding emotionally, simply driving steadily. Halfway to my destination, I catch a glimpse of myself in the rear-view mirror. A moment I’ll always be able to return to vividly. My eyes weren’t my own. They looked as if my spirit or soul was already gone, and my body was now lifeless but somehow still moving around. Going about undetected as dead, among a sea of people too busy with the chaos called life to notice.
I tried to bring myself back with provoking thoughts of my daughter, my parents, people I loved and that I knew would face hardships on my behalf; but I couldn’t care. I couldn’t care about anything. Nothing fazed me or made me feel. I knew I needed something or someone to stop me; it would be my only hope. In desperation and numbness I picked up my phone and texted one person one word.
That was all I could do. The following calls and messages I couldn’t answer. My phone felt so far away, out of reach, in another world that I had already parted from. All I could do was cry as I listened to it ring.
I pull off the smooth pavement, onto bumpy gravel and park. It’s a little chilly out, but still a beautiful sunny day. I walk a few minutes and then let out a deep breath of completion. I had finished my long journey. I was ready. I look down to the ground 145 feet below me. I sit down to smoke my last cigarette and watch the birds in the distance. I wished I could just fly away and join their family. The birds knew something we didn’t, what they did worked. They were practical and simple, enjoying life’s pleasures with each other, always in community.
As I take the last drag of my cigarette, my phone rings again. I guess I had stuffed it into my pocket by habit. I had tuned out all the ringing and vibrating after the first call, but for some reason this ring stood out to me and I answered.
“Oh thank god Megan, where are you? What are you doing?…”
We spoke for 10 minutes, and by the end of it I was living in the same world as the birds. I smiled at them with a new perspective. I had hope and felt joy. I will always be thankful to that man for giving me hope when I needed it. He later went on to shatter my heart into a million pieces, which brought me to the lowest depths of living I have ever been; but I am grateful for his act of care and kindness on that sunny Fall afternoon.
Now, we know that our bodies, minds, and spirits can only tolerate so much pain. We have defense mechanisms and different ways to protect ourselves in many areas. When you break a bone for example, our bodies give off loads of endorphins to help manage the pain. By affecting our brain receptors, they interfere with our perception of the pain. We do this with emotional pain in different ways, such as becoming apathetic, or imprisoning ourselves in solitude. When pain takes over more of our life than anything else, suicide can come into consideration.
Isaiah 43:2 tells us: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
We will all face trials and hardships in this life. In the midst of them, you might find yourself separated from God. Sometimes a situation or event is too painful to comprehend why God would allow it to transpire if He truly loves us and protects us; and it results in us giving into the world and parting with Him. Other times, pain can bring us much closer to God, because we have nothing left in this world to hold on to. We put all our hope in Him to bring us out alive. Pain becomes isolating when we compare our lives and stories to those who haven’t lived through similar experiences. This world is fallen and many things come along with that, it is not righteous or just. God can, and will, use all pain and suffering for His glory when we allow Him. He turns our mourning into gladness. He renews our strength. Simply breathing His Spirit in can bring instant comfort, joy, and thankfulness. I know firsthand.
Love yourselves, love each other, and love the Father <3
Healing blessings, Megan Bourgeois