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Monday, April 17, 2017

"Out of Control:" Chapter 11

For the explanation of my current series, go to the first installment: http://bit.ly/2nnCvFx

Out of Control:
A Christian Parent’s Victorious Struggle with Child Abuse

A Memoir by Kathy Collard Miller

Chapter 11


June 10th

Saturday and Sunday passed without my acknowledgement. Sinking in a quagmire of depression, I didn't want to face the fact I was regressing. In fear of hurting Darcy again, I tried to avert any conflicts with Darcy or Larry.

At the women's neighborhood Bible study that Sally and I led, she briefly commented on my gloominess and invited me over for snacks. Pushing Mark in his stroller and Darcy running ahead, I walked to her house, terrified she would press me into sharing about my depression. I assured myself she only wanted to plan the topics for our next session. A part of me dreaded, yet another part hoped, for a confrontation with Sally. But the thought of a glimmer of hope at the end of a very long train tunnel seemed impossible.

After greeting me at the door, Sally led me into her lovely decorated living room and brought out toys for Mark and Darcy. I could tell her kids were older because her house was so clean and ordered. 

Darcy was her usual busy self and Sally laughed in delight. "Wow, Kathy, I don't think I've ever seen Darcy so animated."

"Are you kidding? She always has that much energy--even more. Mark is definitely calmer. God knew I sure needed him easier to be cared for. Sometimes, I can get so mad at Darcy ..." My voice trailed off, knowing I had revealed too much. I glanced toward Sally, expecting a reproof. Maybe some Bible verse quoted at me, or at the least some sort of disapproval

In a second, I flashed back to the time a month earlier I'd shared with another friend how frustrated I could be. She seemed shocked and quickly changed the subject. It was obvious she looked down on me. Certainly, the same thing would happen now. Maybe Sally would feel forced to tell me I couldn't help her lead the study anymore. Inwardly, I cringed and turned my head away.

"Yes, I bet Darcy is a challenge. My Shawn was more like Darcy. Wow, he could frustrate me."

"What? You would get frustrated?"

"Why, of course. Kids can be hard to handle. I think every mom gets angry, don't you? It's the hardest job on earth as far as I'm concerned."

Relief flooded me. When I finally could focus again, I asked, "Sally, what do you find helps you when anger rises inside you?"

"Well, let's see. I think being aware of when I'm under extra stress helps. My body often tells me through sore muscles or headaches I'm too tense."

"Oh, okay. Now that I think of it, I have a tendency to grit my teeth when I start to get angry. I guess that could be a prompt to ask God to help me."

Sally seemed to have another idea pop into her mind. "Personally, I've noticed frustration gives me lots of energy so I will pound a pillow or run in place. You see, most of the time when I'm angry at Shawn, I'm not only angry at him, but other things--like Gary. Most often, it's because I'm not trusting God for the situation or person." 

I fell silent. Sally looked at me expectantly. I smiled and said, "I'm so mad at Larry, I know I'm not trusting God for my marriage. Would you pray for me right now that God will heal our marriage and heal me from my anger?"

As Sally prayed, I felt strengthened ... and also challenged. Could I really trust God's plan even if it wasn't all that I wanted? It was obvious my anger was largely caused by lack of trust in God. 

At the next Bible study, I hesitantly shared with the women my struggle. I could tell Sally was silently cheering me on. One woman spoke up and said, "Oh, Kathy, I'm sure it's not really as bad as you think. Everyone gets angry."

I felt weird trying to convince them I really needed their prayer support and accountability. When they agreed, there was a little light at the end of the long train tunnel for the very first time. As I walked home, I remembered a verse I hadn't thought of for a long time. I couldn't remember the exact words so when I got home, I flipped my Bible open to James 5:16 and read, "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

I had confessed to my friends and my load felt lighter. Tweet that! Several of the women had even shared times they had become angry with their children and their husbands. Thank you, Lord, for a caring group who loves me exactly the way I need. Maybe there is hope after all.

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