Fighting the Darkness (Depression After Abuse)

Times have gotten so dark lately…..

I used to be obsessed with studying my faith.

Now I don’t even have that anymore because the person who led me into the truth I’d been searching for, my spiritual mentor, the source of spiritual knowledge, wisdom and help–

turned around and betrayed me, and their spouse bullied and then verbally abused me (such horrid, horrid words) over misunderstandings–

and they both just kept excusing and justifying it, making me wonder what kind of people can excuse such things.

I haven’t had a moment of true happiness since it happened.

Due to my shyness and selective mutism, I have trouble making friends in real life, though online I have no trouble and I keep in touch with my old college group.

I remember praying in church one day, God please send me a friend right here in my own city and not far away, and this person came a few months later.

It seemed the Holy Spirit was leading us together, that we were meant to be friends, that our families were meant to be blessings to each other.

Then it all fell apart, they don’t seem to care if I’m alive anymore, my faith is in shatters, and I have these terrible headaches that just won’t–go–away!

How can God give me this friend in answer to prayer and use this friend to lead me into truth and then take the friend away again in such horrible circumstances?  How can this have happened?

Or is there no God to have done any of it?  Or does he just not care?  It’s hard to even get myself to pray or read my Bible.

I keep trying to make friends and extend invitations, but the phone doesn’t ring.  There is no story or novel burning within me to be written anymore, like there used to be.  There’s a whole slew of songs and albums I can’t listen to right now because of the memories they bring back about that person.

We struggle even to get basic health care because we don’t have a health plan through work or enough money to get something decent, our doctors have retired or changed practices, and new ones won’t take us without insurance.

I feel like it’s all falling out of my grasp until I have nothing left.

Ever since I came into Orthodoxy, the devil has been fighting harder than he ever has, to get me out of it.  So many things have happened.

My family (parents and siblings etc.) had a shakeup four or five years ago that almost ripped it apart.  My husband was doing well at work, promotion, salary increase, working with his best friend, then the economy hit, and he lost both the job and health insurance.

I hit turbulence inwardly as I began to fear death and wonder, can we really be sure there’s something after and we won’t just blip out of existence forever?  The thought of my hopes, dreams, memories, life, creativities all disappearing and me being nothing but a corpse, is too much to bear.

Then the trouble trying to find a decent, permanent position that pays enough for us to pay the bills and claw out of debt and provides a health plan.  My husband tries and does his best but he keeps being second pick.  How much more can one person take?–Oh, wait, maybe I’d better not ask that……

I know I’ve hit rock bottom when I constantly think, Maybe this headache is a brain tumor or aneurysm, or maybe I’ll get hit by a car taking my son home from school, and that will be that and my troubles will be over and my husband can use the insurance money to pay off the debts and get a housekeeper……

My bright spots are my husband and child and our serene household.

Please pray for me.

[Comment Added on : ]

(To those people if they read this: 6 months have passed, the break is now up, you’re allowed to call and make peace, but we hear nothing from you.

So that’s how much our friendship was really worth to you.  Is your ego worth more than peace?  Is your temper more important than apologies?  Were you just using us?)

[For an explanation of the backstory, see here.]

[I wrote this post after discovering that Richard’s friend Chris had unfriended me on Facebook without a word.  I had no clue why.

Three years later, he again–out of the blue–re-friended me, again without a word.  But at the time, he seemed to no longer want to be my friend, and I didn’t know why.

I feared that Richard and Tracy had been feeding him lies about me.  I was already in the midst of a deep depression, but this last straw sent me into a tailspin.

It was my first blog post on the subject, though I had been writing about it on my website for some time, in the “Abuse” section.  Sometimes I had the story online; sometimes I took it offline.

But this was the first time that I brought this subject onto my blog as well.  I didn’t write again for months, but it was the opening I needed to release the pain into my blog….

I posted a link on Facebook.  My friends read it, including one of Richard’s friends who had me on her blogroll, and maybe some other mutual friends.  They were all very supportive.]

  1. Nyssa The Hobbit

    (To those people if they read this: 6 months have passed, the break is now up, you’re allowed to call and make peace, but we hear nothing from you. So that’s how much our friendship was really worth to you. Is your ego worth more than peace? Is your temper more important than apologies? Were you just using us?)

  2. G.B. Sadler

    What you’re passing through is something which is fairly common — and Tradition and Scripture have much to say about this — not only to make sense of it, or to tell you what to do, but to give you examples, which does tell you two things that might be of some comfort.

    The first is that other people, throughout time, have gone through this — which provides a certain solidarity. The second is that God knows, and is still there.

    The Psalms are full of the sorts of despondent situations, including betrayal by a close friend (or “brother”) — after all they depict every emotional comportment a human being can have towards God — according to an old tradition. For that matter, they even contain the situation of the person who doubts, who wavers, who does not understand why the bad prosper and the good do not, and wonders whether all this religion might not be nonsense

    You know, you’re really got two different sets of issues going on here: all the hurt over the betrayal, and the new betrayals (justifying one’s actions like that betrays once again, no?) — and then the health and economic problems. With the second one, I think you have better cause to complain against God. Perhaps not so much in the first, where human wills and characters and decisions have woven the situation.

    People fall, they turn out not to be what one at first thought, they lapse into the pride that is always lurking at the door, that sets themselves first, over love, over friendship, even over just plain fairness — that’s actually what your comment asks about. John Cassian, in one of his Conferences, reports the story of a monk in Egypt, a pillar of the community, who near the end of his life, falls away from God, the faith, his duties. A monk, a desert father, falls, causing grief to his own community. If a monk, certainly an evangelist, an apologist, a spiritual director — they all remain vulnerable

    I can relate to the spiritual dryness, the felt inability to pray, to read. And, the feeling that one ought to be doing those makes one feel worse, that I also know by experience. Again, this is a commonplace of spiritual life, and yet a topic so important that many saints have written about it.

    God is still there — always there. And, God is forgiving, not tallying up how many days of prayer we missed, nor telling us we’re no good until we . . .

    Even offering your turmoil, vexation, pain, and a “I have no idea what to do with this or say to you” to God is a prayer.

    I’ll add your intention to mine as I say the liturgy of the hours today (or, honestly, the portions of it I get to)

  3. Nyssa The Hobbit

    Thank you for your kind words! They are very helpful.

  4. Nyssa The Hobbit

    Noting in case anyone else is reading these comments: The stories are in Cassian’s 2nd Conference, chapters 5-8.

    The whole situation demonstrates the danger of expecting perfection out of your spiritual guru. I keep going back and forth: badly wanting apologies and reconciliation, then remembering that I couldn’t stand the things I saw going on all the time, and realizing I’m better off sticking with my kinder, gentler friends. I simply can’t condone the things that these people did, or respect anyone who would do those things and excuse them. If I objected to something that was done or said to me or to someone else, I was treated as if I had no right or cause to complain. I was objecting quite a bit shortly before the incident of the betrayal and verbal abuse, because all of a sudden quite a bit was going on right in front of me to object to….But it’s so hard to close the door on it forever when it seemed like God was working in so many ways to form the friendship. It’s a question that applies in many different contexts: If you see the hand of God everywhere in a project, decision or relationship, so much so that you’re convinced the Holy Spirit is driving it, yet it all falls apart–How is this to be explained?? Can people destroy a good thing even if God is driving it? Or if we’re mistaken that God was behind it, how can we tell that something with so many evidences of God’s handiwork, is not of Him after all?

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