This is tricky!

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Life in DBT and Hepzibah land has been eventful… The challenges and opportunities to grow and develop continue to present themselves with sometimes alarming frequency and intensity!

DBT began to develop into a new chapter a couple of months ago. This was sparked by me receiving a proof of my interview for the sexual fantasies of English women book I did some months back. (See previous posts for the background to that particular event!) As I talked through the chapter with Penelope, my sessions have ventured more into trauma work. That is all fine. I signed up to this process and I will do whatever I need to do to come through the other side. But then some things happen that have the potential to really floor me…

In my sessions and with one particular friend the issue of my toe nails has become a hot topic. Random I know but a significantly painful one for me. This sounds completely irrational what I am about to say but it is currently my experience. My toe nails are a major reason why I have stopped going to church and stopped referring to myself as a Christian. Let me try and explain… (I’m more trying to explain to myself than anyone else…)

I have had a number of unpleasant toe nail and feet experience- details are irrelevant to this boog but they have left a difficult legacy for me. But throughout my 20 years of trying to follow Jesus, I have been haunted by the fear of being tortured for Him by having my toe nails ripped off. I’m sorry I’m just trying to be honest. Christian martyrdom in the 21st century is a fact. Christians all over the world are being killed and tortured purely because they love Jesus. In many accounts I’ve read of persecuting Christians finger and toe nails being ripped off seems to be a common form of torture. I’ve always lived with the fear that if ever I was being tortured by this method I would denounce Christ- and that has always been a devastating thing to me. That my faith was so shallow I would deny my Saviour. And a couple of years ago, I felt unable to live with this hypocrisy that I would deny Him. So I just stopped trying to convince myself that I loved Jesus and decided to be honest and I feel unable to call myself a Christian as i feel totally unworthy of His most beautiful name…

In my bid to try and address my body image issues etc I have begun to try and face the toe nail situation. Last week I let a good friend cut my toe nails. (I’ve only ever let another friend do this once before). I can’t cut them myself either. To my friends I’m happy to try and talk about this at another point. But last week I let a friend touch my nails. I was shaking and crying but I let her do it.

Today I had an accident at work. I dropped a video and DVD player directly onto my big toe from a height. I genuinely screamed in agony. I now think it is likely that my big toe needs lancing to alleviate the pressure under the nail. I can’t do it. It is just too much for me. So I am lying in bed drugged up with as many painkillers as I can, ice around it and elevated… The pain is rough but the fear of needing my nails to be touched is even worse…

I was with special friends when it happened but in that moment I was trying not to vomit from the shock and I just didn’t want to try and explain why this was such a big deal to me… It all seems so silly…

As I write this I wonder why I’m blogging about it. Sometimes I blog as a means of processing my thoughts. Sometimes I blog as homework. Sometimes I blog because I just really enjoy it. At this moment I blog as I really am feeling the need to be listened to. I’m not quite able to randomly text a friend and tell them about my toe nails- I know I should but I just can’t. My sister has seen my toe tonight and knows they need seeing to but she does not know my problems with my toe nails and I don’t want to tell her why so I’m feeling very alone and frightened. Gosh it sounds so weak doesn’t it!!!!

Last week I thought God reassured me about the toe nail thing. I felt He was saying that my ability to endure pain for Him was not about my strength of faith but about His strength of power. Tonight I’m not in pain because of Him, I’m in pain because I dropped two metal boxes, one after another, directly onto my big toe nail… But the challenge to me is the same. Can I trust His ability to see me through the night and to face tomorrow… I hope so.

Thanks for listening.

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