[This blog entry is Part 1 of a two part series. For Part 2, please click here.]
I’m writing this series of blog entries not because I particularly like airing my “dirty laundry,” but because the Bible says that we overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11) and because if they help just one person then isn’t it worth it?
Hi, my name is Gary, I’m a grateful Christian in recovery from anxiety, depression, lust, shame, self-hatred, anger towards God and people, unforgiveness, and the list is seemingly endless.
I was a shy, introverted child who was basically a “mama’s boy”. No one taught me self-esteem or social skills or any life skills for that matter. I did not learn them at home, at church, or at school. I was left alone to figure them out for myself.
Perhaps the most damaging event occurred in middle school and came from someone whom I thought to be a friend. This girl, all of a sudden, seemingly out of the blue, called me “ugly”. I thought that we had a pretty good relationship up until that point, but apparently I was wrong. Perhaps she was just having a bad day. I did not respond to this insult but instead just quietly took it to heart believing that it was truth.
This was how I handled these kinds of situations. I wouldn’t fire back any choice words or try to initiate a fight, but rather I would just take whatever abuse was given and ponder it in my heart asking, “Could this be true?” Unfortunately, the answer that I concluded was almost always an overwhelming “Yes”. I never discussed these events with anyone. I suppose I thought that I was alone in these situations and that no one could understand me or help me.
Sadly, these situations continued throughout high school. Specifically, I was called “ugly” several more times in high school. Even once by my own uncle. This just served to reinforce the apparent truth behind these statements.
The idea that I was ugly just devastated me. I felt rejected, unacceptable, worthless, useless, powerless, and hopeless. I already had severe acne and was very self-conscious. This was all I needed. The icing on the cake. The precipitating factor that would drive me over the edge.
In an effort to ease my pain, I turned to many bad, self-destructive, and addictive behaviors.
### The above text was taken from our new book #SlayingLifesDragonsandBeasts and sanitized to make it more appropriate for this blog. ###
[For Part 2, please click here.]