Just like that, my high hopes went up in smoke. Along with my trust.
I had never suspected that someone within my faith would be the one to introduce me to the consuming fires of betrayal.
In January of 2015, I turned 39. I had big plans for the year–my year at the top of the hill before I officially went over it.
I even made a cute little graphic with links to the various things so readers could know more if they wanted.
Then all of this happened, and my hopes and dreams were burnt to a crisp in the raging fires of stress and anxiety and overwhelming feelings of loss, abandonment, and anger.
It turns out that betrayal isn’t really the fire, it’s the fire-starter, the spark, that sets off a series of damaging reactions.
Of course, the first flames were shock, but they quickly grew into the greater flames of depression.
Depression. It felt like postpartum all over again. I cried because I knew it was on the way, like an inevitable looming darkness. Once you have lain under the weight of that black time, you don’t quickly forget.
Shock, Bargaining, yes, they were there as well, but anger was a flame I found difficult to escape.
It’s an ugly place and one full of ashes. Hopes, Dreams, Respect, Expectations, Worth are all burnt to a crisp because the indiscriminate fires of anger don’t leave much behind. It’s a well recognized element in the cycle of grief, but it’s not anywhere I want to stay. I definitely felt abandoned (see image), and I honestly didn’t’ know what to do with that feeling. I just kept questioning Why? over and over again. Had I been completely naive to think my honesty and transparency would be respected? Did I want to become that cynical?
I knew I was grieving , but unlike the neat little graphic here, my cycle of grief looked more like toddler scribble on the living room wall.
But those stages are not innocent scribble. They blaze and can be all-consuming. They make sure the remains are unrecognizable, and as long as they are on the loose, there is no sign of hope. No, they make sure of it.