In Times of Isolation
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two months since the emergency “stay at home” orders were put in place during this global pandemic. I’ve been thinking a lot about writing again, a book I started 5 years ago, but I got busy baking instead. I learned how to make pretzels, Challah, carrot cake and chickpea vegan burgers (I’ll post the recipes eventually:). In these recent days of isolation however, something strange started happening, a feeling of familiarity started to hit me. I encouraged myself to go back to my book (the whole 2 chapters, sigh)and share a bit wth you. Maybe someone can relate & if anything it will remind you that there is a light in the darkness.
The Joy in the Shadows
Life seemed somewhat normal to me growing up, at least in my own world, I really didn’t have much to compare it to as I spent much of my time alone as a child. I had an older sister but we were not your typical sisterhood sisters, we were very different in many ways and our up bringing didn’t make it easy for us to connect. The truth was my parents were too wrapped up in their own conflict to even notice we were there most of the time. My dad was a workaholic & my mom sadly suffered from mental illness. Being grounded was also a common punishment in our home, and it wasn’t like todays grounding, it was solitary confinement. I learned at a young age to be very selective with friendships as I would need very understanding friends who would still be there weeks or months after being grounded, it made it difficult to build healthy social skills. For the most part, I enjoyed the world I had created for myself, it was quiet, comforting and had no drama or bullying; just me, my cat, my colouring books & my barbies. I made it work & I was content.
By the age of 12, things took a dramatic turn in my family’s life, I had lost my big sister who left home to try and figure out life as young vulernable teenage girl. Despite the lack of a deep rooted sisterhood, I was very devastated. I remember crying & feeling so unsure of the future & what I would do without her there. When push came to shove, my big sister always had my back, I felt sorry for Karen(a bully), my sister fixed her up real quick.
About a year later after my sister leaving, my dad and mom had decided to get a divorce after many years of conflict. I was in the middle of grade 7 and it didn’t take long before I found myself spiralling down a long dark tube. I had never felt more alone and insecure about life. Looking back now, this feeling of uncertainty was the beginning of a long road of depression and anxiety.
None of my friends at this time had experienced divorce with their parents, it was still fairly rare in the early 80’s and so confiding in anyone seemed pointless in my eyes and I didn’t want to be judged or looked at differently. Without any control anymore, my quiet, content little world I had created during isolation growing up suddenly turned upside down and things were never the same again.
By the mid term of grade 8 my home room teacher contacted my mom and told her she was concerned for me. My grades went from average to very below average within weeks. The teacher explained if I didn’t get help I would not pass grade 8 and move on to High school. So with the amazing love and support from Mr.Childs, (EA), I started the awful battle uphill to pass grade 8 and thankfully got to graduate with my long time friends. A special thank you to all those teachers that make such a huge difference in the lives of children.
My emotions though with the separation of my parents and the struggle to fit in were beginning to seep through the surface and very few were able to see it. There was still very much unknown about depression and anxiety and if a doctor showed any concern, the answer was short and simple; “it’s just stress”. In the meantime, things at home went from bad too worse with my mom. The pressures of High school started and my heart was becoming a hardened piece of rock, and rebellion seemed the only path to take. I remember being locked out many nights and sleeping in a park or having my best friend sneak me into their house. My mom was moving on with her new life. As far as I was concerned, I didn’t want to be there anymore and school wasn’t for me. By fourteen, I decided to go stay with my sister and found myself on a bus all the way to Penetanguishene.
A Father’s Rescue
It was only one day I would spend at my sisters after running away from home. My dad drove over 300 km to come and take me home. His disappointment was blatantly obvious and I thought for sure I was gonna get a beating, but to my surprise, my dad had become a very different dad in the last several months during the separation. He simply asked why I ran away & then proceeded to tell me he was going to fight to get custody of me. Within one year I moved to a new small town with my dad in a tiny house and started a new life. What I didn’t know was this small town would be the beginning of a very dark path.
One day strolling in the house drunk on a weekday morning at 5am, my father told me that if I don’t stop drinking I would become a “piss pot”, as hard as those words were to hear, they were very timely and I began to think of where my life was headed at nineteen years old. I was a high school drop out, depressed and an angry young girl who escaped death on a few occasions by making foolish decisions and I knew this was my wake up call! It was time to leave this small town and head for the big city and find new hope.
The Light in the Isolation
Many years later I did find that NEW hope, I opened up my heart to Yeshua(Jesus) and asked Him to be the Lord of my life. My life was never the same again. I am still on that journey today and I still have that little world I built as a young girl, however, now God lives there with me too. He is the light whenever the darkness comes.
One thing is true, no matter how dark your life may seem right now, there is HOPE. There is a Light that waits to bring you peace & strength in the struggle, that LIGHT is Yeshua, (Jesus Christ).
In my darkest lowliest hour, God sent His love to rescue me, he didn’t force a religion on me, he didn’t threaten me with hell, he simply said, “here I AM, I was with you all those years you thought you were alone, I was the contentment in the storms of your childhood, I was the peace in your midst when all hell was breaking loose.” BUT, I had to wait for you to stop being self sufficient, I needed you to open up the protected world you built & let me show you that TRUE love exists, that your life has a purpose and plan. I needed you to make me Lord, Yehovah, over your life, if you didn’t choose too, I would let you be, for I do not force anyone to invite me into their life.
Yehovah says, “I do long to be there with you, to love you, to support you AND to be the LIGHT in your darkness all I ask in return is to spend time with me, commune with me, keep my commandments, study my Word to know who I AM and NOT who “man” says I am and finally, desire those things that are holy, righteous and true.”
John 1:5 The LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.