Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ghosts from Yesterday

I'll get back to the details of my last post later.

I've been wondering lately how much I'm missing out on with the friendships I've given up on. Like the twins . . . at least B will be cordial with me and ask me how life is now that I've tried to reinstate contact, but R won't even acknowledge me. I'm sorry. I was 14. you're parents took the pastor's side. I assumed you wouldn't be allowed to talk to me. Or are you still upset about that whole thing? Could you really still be taking his side, law suit and all.

And Emily . . . we were pretty much best friends in grade school. Then she moved away. We both grew up, but I guess we did it a little differently. Ok, yeah, I'm a little fucked up. I swear a little more than I probably should. I'm tattooed, and a little banged up around the edges. I don't subscribe to the same brand of Religianity that you do anymore. You always talked about Mountains and Valleys. They were you're favoriate analogies. Well, alright, I've climbed to the tops of my "ups" and I've slammed and broken through the bottoms of the "downs." I'm a little banged up around the edges, and that shows through a little more than some people are comfortable. But you know what? I'm still me. I'm still the Cooper you knew. I still breathe the same, and I still believe. I refuse to say "if you'd been through what I've been through, you'd understand" cuz I don't know what you've been through these past years. Maybe you've been through worse. And if that's the case, then just talk to me. I want to talk. I want to still be your friend.

And then there's those kids . . . yes, the pastor's kids . . . the ones I try so hard to dispise. Funny, how I have terrifying nightmares about my pastor. I mean nightfuckingmares. Like I'd punch my boyfriend in my face when I had these nightmares. But his kids . . . no, it's different with them. I keep having dreams about them, ever since this soldier from my past came back into my life. I dream about his son, and how he and I want to be together (in lala land only . . .) and his daughter, and how she sees me after years, and comes up to me, and gives me this huge leaning hug, and though we don't speak much about what happened, we exchange and deep, deep understanding through that hug. When it comes to them and what I might be missing out on by not holding on to that friendship, I cringe. "FUCK NO!" my entire being cries out. But out of all of the people in my life who left, the ones I least expected are showing back up, and they are showing back up hard core. I have to wonder about these . . . .

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Yeah, this one won't make much sense yet

A month is too long for me to go without writing.

I'm running out of energy as the days go by, running around from work to other responsibilities, and I'm feeling myself losing focus. Already late for my desired bed time, I'm just going to blurb on here, things I want to say, in short sentences, to be expanded on at a later date.

I went to see Derek for lunch. I never say what I need to say. I believe I am a strong person, but when he's involved in my life, I surrender my power to him, and I turn into a weak, weak coward. And he keeps telling me not to think so much. He knows if I think at all, I'll truly realize how bad he is for me, and walk away without ever looking back. He seems to think he's going to marry me. That would be hell in the end, I'm sure of it.

Moving right along . . . I want to discipline myself to find control and balance over my body. I want strength and focus and the ability to relax all the centers of my body at will. I believe if I can do this, I will likewise be able to focus and control both my anger and my sex drive -- probably my two biggest downfalls, if I'm being honest. If I can, at will, tune down and redirect my anger through breathing or stretching, perhaps my mind will take the moment to focus and get a grip on reality and I will therefore be able to make better decisions -- decisions that are less self-destructive and bloodthirsty. I believe gaining control over my body could in turn make me a better, more balanced person.

I'm so afraid of getting hurt again. I want to want you, but I'm so afraid you won't want me back, or that you will, then you'll take my heart, rip it out of my chest, and leave me more broken in pieces than I already am. I can't take much more of that. I'd rather be alone forever than hurt like that again.

Now I'm tired, and I have early responsibilities and my thoughts are already out of control. This is day one of beginning to try to focus and clear my mind and control my body. Maybe sleep will even come easier if I can do this.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Community Ramblings

I'm currently trying to improve my grammatical skills. As an English major, I'm embarrassed to admit that I cannot define for you what the hell a gerund is, and though I can construct a sentence alright (at least to my liking), it would take me a few minutes to figure out what the direct object is, or what a present participle is. Verbs, adjective, adverbs, nouns, subjects, etc . . . those parts of speech, I have down. But the details, the little nuances of the written language that I find incredibly annoying to learn -- I'm at a loss. So, I'm breaking out the freshman-year English composition book and starting from scratch here.

Or at least that was what I was doing before I started blogging (what a wonderful way to procrastinate and waste more time, this Blogger world).

Ok, so I'm new to the whole blogging thing, and while I started this for the purposes of recording my thoughts on faith, I admit to not really doing much of that. Maybe it's because I'm in one of those moods I get in when I come home for summer break: back in my home town, away from the amazing communal life of college, and I feel like I'm missing something. My parents, as much as I love them, drive me up a wall with their conversations about God and the emerging church and what not, and their attempts to find something, some kind of spiritual group or something.

Just the other day, my mom was going on about a family we're friends with who left the church when we did. They have three children -- their eldest is my age (19) and the two youngest are in middle school. They struggle with the youngest two much more than the eldest and (very possibly rigtfully so) believe it is because the kids have nothing to teach them morals outside of their home -- no youth group, no church, no sunday school, not many adult Christians who can mentor them, and a public school known for troublesome kids. Their parents and mine and others like mine complain (ok, maybe that word is too strong) discuss how it's not fair that the kids have nothing like that. Alright, fine and good, yeah, the church we were all apart of sure as hell screwed us all over damn good as students. It would take many pages to describe in detail exactly how the foundation all of us students (junior high, highschool, early college) were taught to stand on was torn out from under our feet in one fell swoop. A lot of us were left to flop on the deck for a while, and some of us are still there, five years after the fact. But I'll be honest -- as much as our parents complain about how we have nothing, the only communities they've tried to reform have felt "adult-only" and pretty much left us kids out.

Alright, I'm realizing I may sound bitter here. I admit to being a little. However, I think this whole thing has afforded me an interesting opportunity in the long run. Here I am, at 19, and I'm free from the chains that used to bind me to organized religion. My parents, in their 50s, are just being freed from half a lifetime of this bondage, and the struggle shows. Their roots in the IC (institutionalized church) go much deeper than my own. I have the opportunity to "search for more" at a much younger age than they do. I am going to see a lot more change in the IC and possibly religion and even spirituality than my parents ever will.

So why don't I give a damn? Ok, argue that I obviously give a damn, or I wouldn't be writing about it. But I since I've left home, I haven't really felt the need to find a community again, not like I used to hunger for one. And I don't really feel the desire to go sing pretty praise and worship songs. Though not religious, I still consider myself very spiritual and Christian, and God has never ceased to be a part of my life. Have I lost my desire to be fed?

Little tangent here, but I swear it has a point. I've been reading other blogs lately, and I ended up linking to this one, written by a mom of little ones. She talks about community, and how we all really need to need it, but it's actually our society today that's kind of destroyed it in a lot of ways. No longer to we meet together in groups to perform daily, normal activities and live together and help each other like our ancestors did. In this way, we're different than any other culture or time. Communities of old were just natural. They just happened from the lifestyles of the people. Almost makes sense that trying to force a community doesn't work so well. Things fall apart, people stop showing up, it's not natural at all. A forced leadership develops, causing more problems than not, with one or a few people's being "in charge" or "in authority over" the others, which only adds to the force with which things will eventually fall apart.

This is going to sound like another tangent, but it all comes together, I swear. Since I started college, I've been a believer that campus life cannot POSSIBLY be healthy. Stick a bunch of us together right out of high school, give some ID's to buy alcohol, and give us nearly NO supervision -- chaos errupts all over the place. How could it not? Drugs and drunkness and pregnancies and abortions, etc.

BUT, though it isn't something that has occured naturally, campus life is probably one of the most communal things I could be a part of right now. Strip it of the drugs and alcohol and rampant sex, it breaks down to peers who live together, work together, eat together, play together, support each other, fight with each other, make up, advise, laugh, cry, and grow up together. And yes, we make mistakes together. But though I've made my mistakes, and I carry more scares on my heart now, I've also grown up more, loved more, and healed more with these people.

Is this why I'm not craving the community that was once falsely errected for me at my church and youth group? (And is it also why I'm somewhat miserable during the summer when I'm away from that tight knit group?) Maybe for now, this is what I needed -- I broke away from my IC, left my home town, and became a part of a community, and during this time, I've healed from most of the pain from the fall of my IC. I've grown and I've learned.

But two years and I'm out.

So, what the hell am I supposed to do then?????

Monday, June 16, 2008

Notions on Beauty

I needed a journal last night, and found one I had barely started. Though the pages themselves were mostly blank, the journals was stuffed with scraps of things I had scribbled on during "the dark years." I continue to be amazed by the depth of some of the things I wrote when I was was 14, 15, 16 years old. My pen explained what was on my heart in so much more detail, in so much more beauty.

One scrap in particular rambled about pain. I wrote about pain as not only producing beauty, such as beauty from pain, beauty from ashes, but actually holding some beauty in the heartache itself. I talked about purity in it's stark-whiteness, and how void of beauty that could seem in contrast to the bright screaming red and deep sorrowful blues of heart ache. Is it possible that the mourning and screaming of the heart at a death bed, as a life in pulled from this world, could be just as beautiful as beautiful as the screech of life being lurched forward in this world at birth?

Now, I know in a sense, this sounds very morbid, maybe even a little sick. But aren't we as a people obsessed with both life and death, pain and pleasure? I argue that there is a beauty, not from the pain, but actually in the pain itself that captures us so, wraps us up in the ups and downs (particularly, the downs).

I look back now at the lowest lows I've been too. At the time, it sucked ass. I wasn't happy, I hated life, yadayadayada, but now, in hind site -- I can see a beauty there as well.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


So I'm feeling a little like I'm on speed currently. I did something to my neck a few days ago, so my doc put me on steriods to help it heal faster, which helped a ton with the pain and movement, but I haven't been able to sleep more than a few hours for the past few days.

I've been running from the memory of my church for a long time now -- five years. I wanted everyone out of my life, I hate talking to my family about it, I want nothing to do with what happned and what was -- even who I once was. That girl I used to be -- the good-two-shoes, private Christian school girl, all modesty on the outside, all jumbled up on the inside, the honesty hidden behind pages and pages of doctrine -- the thought of her makes me nauseous. She's so far from where I'm at now. And even though I'm a little more scared, and maybe I've been hurt a little bit more and carry a hell of a lot more baggage now than I did then, I like myself a lot better this way. It's honest.

What I find ironic is how my summer is turning out. I spending more time with people from that era of my life than I spend talking to people from the college era of my life. And it's strange, because these friends of mine, they're all people I never really was friends with back then. It's this group of guys who were a few years ahead of my in youth group. I was always, to them, my brother's "little sister." A lot of them were somewhat rebellious then, or at least that's how I saw them. Looking back, I think they were all just really a little more honest about life than the rest of us were willing to be.

So I'm hanging with their girlfriends, I'm at their apartments, I'm talking to them online and on the phone. One in particular, I'm actually very intersted in. Things tend to turn out in my life far differently than I every expect them to. Sometimes life surprises me by opening a door I didn't think would possibly open, even if it's exactly what I wanted. Other times, I slam doors closed behind me only to turn around and find them standing wide open, unlocked and pulling me back through. And I think I'm just going to let this one happen.

Friday, June 13, 2008

neither of us want to be alone

I keep trying to write tonight and it's just not one of my spectacular writing nights. Not that I ever really have those. There are just days I really feel like I should sit down and write because something wonderful will appear on the page before me, but I usually spare myself the trouble by finding something better to do.

Usually, being at work keeps my mind from wandering to things it shouldn't. Being busy is good for me. But today, it really didn't help. I sat at the Intel 3 processor, waiting for it to load my next Sears lesson on harrassment and daydreamt about everything. Derek, his arms, his smell, his touch, our first time . . . smoking, drinking, running, lifting, smoking . . . school, future, money. . . So I but a pack a cigarrettes and a bottle of Dr. Pepper to mix a ridiculous amount of pepperment schnapps with.

But the cigarettes are still wrapped tightly in a blanket of cellophane, and the schnapps is still hiding in the mess of my bedroom somewhere near a suitcase. I crave a substance -- any substance -- to take the edge off life and to let me sleep. Fuck the dreams, I still need sleep. I'll still see all that blood in my mind regardless of the dreams. It was splashed across my own skin too often to forget so easily. So I take the craved substances and I sleep and they help me forget.

But not tonight. As much as my body tells me yes, give me those, I need the pills, I need the smoke, I need the drink, give me . . . give me . . ., I don't want that to rule my life. And I'm beginning to be very curious to what life would be like for a day if I could put aside the cigarrettes, the caffeine, the alcohol, and whatever else I might have at the moment, and just felt life, with the edge still on and all. How would my world look?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pet Peeve of Mine: God's "Calling" on Our Life?

I was on my facebook today, and this girl I know through a wedding we were in together had posted a note a few days ago asking for people to sponsor her for a mission trip to East Asia. Ok, all fine and good, whatever. She goes on to talk about how two years ago, she made a commitment to do this for the year after college, and even though she really is afraid and doesn't want to anymore, she can just feel that this is what God is calling her to do, so she's going to be a good Christian and do as she's told, even though she doesn't want to. This calling on her life is just so strong and it must be what God wants for her. Right?

So I get on again today, and her status has changed to something like "If you saw the note about me going to East Asia, disregard it :) God has changed his plans!"

Ok, so call me crazy, but does God really change his plans like that? I was never really under the impression that he made plans and changed them the way we do.

I get so frutrated with things like this, cuz really, the way it looks to me, either this girl Laura is too afraid to go and she's not doing what she needs to do or she was never really being "called" to East Asia to begin with.

I feel like people use "the call of God" to justify something they're doing, to ask for money, or to make it seem like they're doing something for a bigger purpose for the rest of us. Does God ever really put "calls" on our lives like that at all? It all seems so incredibly fake to me.

Maybe I'm way off base, maybe he does do this, maybe this is what Laura felt, but really? Does he change his plans just like that? Does he really go, "Hmm, nevermind, I'll send you here instead, even though I already told you I wanted you here."