This is the second piece in a series of 5.
I want to be wanted. I need a reason for being…any reason. Why didn’t you love me? Why am I not good enough?
In the tumultuous tide of high school hormones and emotions, left abandoned and abused, I started to act out. No matter how much love others gave me, it wasn’t enough. I had a strong yearning for affirmation and I felt starved for attention.
My skirts got shorter, my shirts got tighter. Shot contests and beer bongs gave me the rush and attention I craved at parties. I sought that attention no matter who it came from. Destruction and devastation was ahead. Every day was a walk of shame.
With the support of my parents’ four walls, I went from a stellar high school student to failing college my freshman year. I’ve always used the excuse (which disgusts me to my core) that my Grandma’s passing that year prevented me from focusing like I should. Yes, that was one of the most devastating moments of my life, but blaming her death for my behavior is a flat out lie. I was partying, not going to class, caring more about my social life than anything else. That would have hurt my Grandma the most, since she scraped together every penny she had just to give me money for college.
I fell into destructive relationships. Cheating, physical abuse, verbal abuse, addiction. One relationship ended in a ditch after a heated argument and crazy threats. Another ended with me choked out on the floor. For a long time I put the blame on those men. But looking back, if I’m honest, I poked, prodded, and provoked each of them until it was probably unbearable. I am not excusing any of their behavior, but taking full ownership of mine. It was extremely unhealthy.
Sorting through all of this, I know I was chasing affirmation and attention to fill a hole and a void. One that no human or substance or reward can ever fill. Only God can.
When I’m feeling shameful, I take it to God through prayer. I read scripture that reminds me He loves me no matter what and encourages me that tomorrow is a new day.
When I’m feeling unfulfilled, I seek His wisdom. He reminds me that fulfillment can only come from within, from listening to Him and living out His plan for me.
When I’m not feeling good enough or comparing myself to others, He reminds me that this world’s expectations and standards don’t reflect those in Heaven. He made each of us for a purpose, and instead of trying to chase something someone else has, I need to listen and discover His plan for me.
It’s a daily battle…