Can’t really call it a church right?

ugh…so i’m at a different coffee shop today. While I feel like i’m cheating it’s nice to be in a different spot. They have board games just laid out for people and the tables have checkerboards. so that’s a neat thing that they have…

I’ve heard a couple of people say ” doesn’t she know this is a christian place?” I mean…yeah…if I didn’t I’d have to be blind and death. the place has a small mural of a church and they play christian music. if I didn’t guess they’re christian then I’d have to be blind and death. One patron even asked the barista to “send me on my way” to which she replied ,” she’s not hurting anything.”

There’s something to be said about the generational gaps that occur within a set religion.

bit of background on me and religion:
I was brought up in a southern baptist church. Not my choice but eh…I suppose my father found it difficult to teach me a system of morality as he was working 60-80 hour weeks or traveling for work. In any event the church was left responsible for giving me a system of morals.

If I wasn’t off at soccer/softball practice and the church doors were open then I was there. I was in the choir, on the drama team, the puppet team, the dance group, the door to door ministry, I even went on mission trips to guatemala and mexico multiple years in a row..

At the time I firmly believed in what I was taught.

That sins are sins and if the afterlife existed and by living a certain way the eternity promised would give eternal bliss. I wanted every one to know about that eternal life hack..

….

Which sounds good..

but then things started happening. I began talking to people of different backgrounds. They all seemed happy but they rejected what I believed. They didn’t really live in sin but somehow they were happy without the promise of eternal bliss. It confused me. I started asking questions.

Then I noticed things I was feeling.

I heard so much hate from the church when that wasn’t what Jesus was teaching.

I saw so much vanity.

greed.

Those were the first things to bother me. but I thought that if they were sinning in such manners then the way I felt about exploring other religious ideas, or even the way I felt about homosexuality, surely wasn’t that much of a sin. Curiousity was only a sin in Eden. Homosexuality would save the planet.

That wasn’t what they believed though. My natural inclinations of acceptance, forgiveness, and generosity were sins.
“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,” my father told me after finding my secret stash of pagan books then burning them in the yard.
“I can disown you for this,” he’d said.

I tried so hard to change my ideas. It hurt to isolate from the friends I had made. It hurt to not want men. It hurt to want to be independent, to learn, and to grow. I was a sin.

The guilt over not being able to change my natural inclinations and to not be accepted by the place I had believed so firmly in…to be rejected for existing.. became apparent in the deep cuts I’d leave on my body. I couldn’t bleed the sin out.
No matter how deep or often I cut, I was who I was.

This tension between the church, my family, and I eventually expounded in me packing a backpack with what clothes my step mother hadn’t burned and catching a bus to a new town a full 6 months before I was due to graduate highschool.

I still graduated. With honors. My state test scores blinded my new high school. They offered to send me to college for free but…I needed time. I needed to know if my “sinful” nature would be accepted in the real world.

It has been. My spirit of generosity, acceptence, patience, and a wild host of other things that the church mistakenly taught me have made my life worth living.

Dam protestant bastards…

*** Not all churches are like that. If religion works for you, so long as you aren’t hurting someone, then I’m chill with you. By all means tell me why the earth is round, or how creation started. I’m all ears for that. But if you’re legit just hating someone, who isn’t hurting anyone, for being themselves then you’re a piece of shit in my book.

The most socially awkward person at the bar just told me how to make friends….

I mean i’m not complaining I could use the help and have every intention of doing so. But when I told him how desperate i am for friendship he just smiled like he understood. which I assume he did and that makes me feel like an asshole.

Then a guy just walked in the door and asked the young college girl sitting next to it, “I heard this is a happening spot. is that true?”

apparently it is.

I’m not hip enough to be here even though that one bartender seems to like me but the other thinks i’m really weird because I bussed a table for him without saying anything after the glasses had been sitting there for an hour…

sigh…

I’ve written down some ideas that could boost the business of this place but because I don’t actually know anyone because all I ever tell them is my order because i’m too nervous to actually speak to someone…sigh

I wrote a letter and offered to do the work to get the word out about my ideas but I have such a difficult time speaking to anyone about anything..

i’m terrified i’ll stutter,

i’m scared that i’ll come off as dumb,

no one says i have to socialize except my own brain.

it’s a weird need to feel approval and to feel as if i’m accepted as a person..

I can’t count how many times I’ve wanted to cut myself in the bathroom after a social interaction just because I read in their face that they think i’m an idiot..

I’m torn between never going out again but knowing full well that if I do that in fear of social rejection that I will take a power drill to my temple..

it’s a constant struggle.

So I go out…but I wait for people to speak to me. they never do. I mean I get it..they don’t know me. I sit here in my dark clothes with too heavy eye liner and inhale my second coffee while typing out whatever thought had invaded my mind…I legit cannot blame them for not approaching me.

Also I’m muscular af. it’s intimidating but I have to be physically strong to handle my normal job…which…

sigh…I”m not accepted there either…

I’m reading Mary Shelly’s frankenstein and I have never felt more kin than with the creature..

I almost cried earlier in public while reading…which has happened before while writing which is why I prefer a booth but a booth isn’t always an option. I don’t want to try to find another local business. sigh…

I flinched the other day when the bartender grabbed trash from my hand and I feel so bad about that because right after she…well she’s been asking questions from other patrons about me. If they know me and such…

but she’s also looked at me like she would attack me? Idk what I did to piss her off but then…idk i’m so confused and right now there isn’t much else for me to focus on.

I’m not sleeping at night..I’m barely eating..

between the book, which I’m at a very tense point on with no idea how to continue, and trying desperately for social acceptance my anxiety levels are high enough where just simple survival has become difficult…

it’s not a money issue…i know that…

it’s a desperation to be acknowledged as human.

and I hate that.

The almost Final Chapter

I walked in here thinking that today I would finish the book. I ordered my normal coffee, did my normal set up routine, took a deep breath and….

now there’s a warning label, a foreword, what I wrote 4 days ago has been edited and I’ve made it one page closer to the grand finale…buuuutttttt
Now my procratination is forcing me to build a “story within the story.”

In all honesty I’m not ready to face the finale. I want to finish the book no doubt and I want to finish it now but..I know that when our narrator goes into that house to face the antagonist it’s me taking that step to face the child hood abuser. I’ve got the entire thing planned out and I know how it ends but…

…..sigh…I was told once that my determination is my strength but this self explorative novel of self healing constantly feels as if I’m Atlas being punished with the world on my shoulders, or Promethius eternally chained to a rock where crows eat my liver every night only for it to regrow during the day, or King Sisyphus eternally pushing a boulder up a mountain….

Don’t be silly. I know I’m no god. I know I will never be worthy enough as to become a myth. But the struggle is real and that’s no lie.

No amount of coffee or alcohol is making this easier.

I can’t sleep at night. I’m having trouble eating.

I want to face my abuser in real life. Not in some novel.

….maybe the real abuser of me is myself. maybe I’m pushing this too hard out of despiration. Do I have a responsibility to heal in order to lead the way for other victims who read my book?

yeah….yeah I do..

the novel

I felt so bad about what I wrote yesterday that I apologized to Jessica ( she thought it was awesome like she’s some hero) and had to take a shower. Today I’ve rewritten what I wrote yesterday and added some bits to try and make it flow better.

The first half I’ve decided to leave as is because it’s important that it’s understood that it’s coming from the viewpoint and perspective of a child and well..that’s where my writing was when I wrote the first half anyway so..it works.

The second half I want to flow and be natural but it’s a struggle because just like always I’m not the only one telling the story. It’s a bit stressful and I’m worried beyond myself that when i do finally submit it to the publisher I’ve already paid that they’ll tell me they need even more money for editing and such when I’m struggling as is.

I’ve decided that monday is the day I’m going to apply for that temp job. I know I’ll hate it but i also know that I want this novel to build the entire world for the next two novels I’m going to attempt. perhaps 3 if I can stomach it. Maybe just 1. I’m not sure.

I do feel more confident in my writing. when I first started it was a struggle to just put anything on the page and now i find myself writing out the next part in my head while cooking or driving.

I’m learning that it’s important to take breaks now and again. otherwise the novel will consume everything I am. I’m no stephan king but i don’t want to be a william faulkner either lol

The novel

At this point my novel is wrapping up. I feel like i’m pushing a giant boulder up a hill right now just to reach the heartfelt ending I want. I tell myself just one more paragraph but it feels so far out of reach. I’m having trouble putting myself as the narrator in the story. even though I find the ending beautiful.

I’ve been here for 2 hours now..I’ve written 1.5 paragraphs…

what am I even doing with my life?

My stomach is feeling a bit better today. maybe i need a walk. a better camera will hopefully be in our near future so Shay can be ok with our walks again. In her opinion a hobby isn’t worth having if it can’t make money.