This popped up on my Facebook feed this week: The Pastor’s Wife Who Went Crazy
I so appreciate her honesty in sharing her story of mental illness, suicidality, and self-injury. The world needs to hear what she has to say.
While I never really tried to take my life, I frequently toyed with where the line was. How many aspirin could I take and still function? How skinny could I be without dropping dead? How deep could I plunge the razor without doing permanent damage?
In 2008, I “came out” on Focus on the Family’s webzine as a cutter. It was definitely one of the most difficult articles I’ve written.
As I read Heather’s article, I knew I needed to take my confession a step further.
I then shared with my husband several incidents where I experienced what Heather Palacios, the author of the article, describes: epsiodes where it was almost as if I lost all control of myself, where I didn’t even feel as if I was inside my body any longer. I was a animal desperate to harm myself, desperate to numb the emotional pain I felt.
As a high school student, I hit myself so hard and so many times with a meat tenderizer, I gave myself a horrible black eye. Just imagine the rage that is required to hit yourself over and over with a hammer, and you will get the picture. I lied at school that week, saying I tripped in a dark hall and hit my eye on a doorknob.
A few years later, I got into a fight with my married girlfriend. As I was leaving the house, I took the boot I was putting on and repeatedly hit myself in the eye/forehead with it. I don’t remember feeling pain. When my girlfriend realized what was happening, she ran over and gasped. In my frenzy, I didn’t notice that I had been hitting myself with the sharp corner of the boot’s heel. I was covered in blood.
There were other episodes, some less frenzied, some more calculated. While many of my scars have faded, I will forever wear on my body evidence of one of the last times I self-injured: a “W” carved into my thigh. “W” is for worthless. I was a Christian when I marked myself in that way.
All I can say to close is God is able. Seriously, guys. When I began to allow Him to, He poured His very life into me and birthed a new freedom inside of me. Just because He loves me.
He loves you, too. And He can do the same for you.
So that is my confession. Now go read Heather’s article. It’s important.
The photo was taken from this article at Christianity Today.