Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Guilt I Carry

I had a breakdown this week, probably due to exhaustion.
It wasn't pretty.
Atul and I are working really hard right now to try and get our house within the time limits imposed by lenders and visas and money.
Love that last. It's a pain in the neck.
I walked from work on Tuesday evening to get a hug from my husband at his workplace (he was on night shift). As soon as he put his arms around me, I started crying - and didn't stop for an hour.
Then on and off for the next day.
Took a half sick day off work. Ugh.

Since my marriage, I haven't seen much of my friends. And even less and less, I've been drifting offline. Well, apart from playing Farmville or watching Netflix.
Part of me is guilty for abandoning people.
Part of me thinks I can't handle staying with people.
I had a dear friend once. Someone I adopted as a daughter. And a mutual friend betrayed her and me. When I had helped her get out of the mess, I drifted away because I was cracking and I didn't know how to help. And her life...well, it's totally screwed now. I blame myself for that.
I used to be there for people, all the time. Like, when I was a teen and first came online, I would run up to twenty chats a night. I helped people. I was there for them.
And then I failed.
And failed again.
And screwed up.
Then my 'family' let go of me because - I think - I was too messed up and people were scared to be around me.
I remember the night they told me they didn't want me to come back to the conference in the US because of the parents that were up in arms about me going and threatening not to send their kids if I came.
I didn't ask why. I ended the conversation because I was so pained, so bruised. It was only three months since I'd lost the love of my life and I couldn't handle. Still haven't asked why.
I remember the wracking tortured sob-screams in the bathroom and my mom hugging me so, so tight. She still hasn't forgiven them, I think, for how much they hurt me.

I fell asleep in the middle of the floor that night, in the living room, lights blazing. People walked around me and went to bed and I woke up, alone, in the middle of the night, lights still on. I guess they figured it was best to let me sleep and heal. Well...I woke up and - I don't know how, because half of my mind was perfectly rational, like it is when I'm in suicidal depression, and the other half was screwing - it told me I was an actual monster, that people knew and had known it all along, that I didn't know myself and couldn't remember when I was the monster and people were too kind to tell me but they all knew and that was why they were scared of me and pushed me away. I knew it wasn't true. Partly. But something in my head has been terrified of my mental illness and depression since that day, although I try - have and will again - to fight, stand up, and be the victor over this through Christ.

And then there's the time that I thought I knew who had backstabbed me to the people who kicked me out. I was walking to work - God alone knows how I handled a job and this at the same time, I couldn't have without His upholding Hand and mercy - and I knew, without the shadow of a doubt, I could kill the person who had hurt me if they were within my grasp. With no remorse.
...that terrified me too.

I don't know how to let go of that.
How to stop being scared of myself.
I'm no saint. I've tried to help and to handle, even when it's been the wrong way to handle. I've tried to do the right thing and screwed it up time and time again. God has been so patient and gentle with me. I have a f***ed up past, but God and my husband know and they love me. I am. So. Incredibly. Grateful for that.
Another reason I can't handle being online. Watching people I know and love turn and walk away from the God Who has always been there, Who I - and they - wouldn't be alive without. Claiming credit for victories He has given and mocking Him. Sometimes I'm glad some of them have unfriended me. Others who haven't - I don't know. It grieves and I pray, but I still can't handle the hurt.

The flashbacks are insane. I had one recently that was pleasant. That is so rare. Flashbacks from when I was a child to the pain of being told I wasn't wanted, I wasn't loved, the memories of my brother attacking me, my mom, sexual instances I don't want to remember - gosh, that was a bad time last June. I bumped into that guy at New St at the same time I learned the guy I'd loved was in a relationship and my mom's best friend passed away. Yikes.

My memory is shot through. I struggle to remember so much, probably because I keep trying to remember the past so I can use it in the future. I want to record it, so I can let go.

There's times when I forget birthdays. Anniversaries. Meet-ups. Chores I've been asked to do. Emails I've promised to send.

I have 30 unread texts, 1400+ unread emails, unread WhatsApps, unread Instagram messages.

It's so much easier to back away from it all.
To hide in a game with cute animal noises, wind in the trees, fruit falling, fishing, the sound of running water on my little farm...or to watch Reign and absorb myself in the only form of story and character left to me, since I don't write any more.
I'm so scared I'll drift away - and I do try to reach out sometimes and then drift away, because I'm scared. I don't know how to handle people right now. To keep talking. Reaching out. To handle connections.
But I'm a fighter.
With a story.
For a reason.
So I won't stay hiding forever.
Just...let me get through this rough patch...and the next...and get up again.
I'll get there.
Keep praying for me.

To the sweetheart who left this message for me this morning:
"Good morning. It's Mother's Day, here in the U.S., and I just wanted to thank you today for being a mentor to me during some of my most difficult times. ❤️"

I have no idea what to say. I feel I barely reach out and I'm just about holding on. I feel like I'm looking at myself and my failures all the time instead of reaching out and pointing you to the One Who is the reason I am still here.
And I'm sorry for my failures.
But thank you - so, so much - for blessing me and for letting me bless you - in whatever way God has used me in your life. <3 That means the world to me.

I'll leave you with a song. Hang in there.

In Him,
Still marching,

Sunday, January 22, 2017

~The Romance of the Kumars~ (Part 1)

Once upon a time is how all good stories begin.
Ours began with a baby boy named Atul, who was born in 1989 to a loving couple in Jamalpur, India.
Three years later, halfway around the world, the other half of our story was born - a little girl named Siân, born in 1992 in Walsall, United Kingdom.
Atul and Siân both had happy childhoods.

When Atul was 9, he moved to a Scottish missionary boarding school. Life was hard and strict; he only saw his parents once a year.
In an environment full of boys, young Atul grew mature at a very early age.
Siân, on the other hand, was homeschooled alongside her twin brother.

Atul graduated from school and went to college, where he met some of his lifelong friends. He studied in Bangalore and became a coding engineer before deciding to go abroad and take a Master's degree. First he tried Canada, but for some unknown reason, they rejected his application. Atul gave up. His dad didn't; he applied for a UK visa for him, which was accepted.

Siân's teenage years were full of uncertainty. Her school days ended quietly due to family problems and she took a job at the age of 19 after her parents' rocky divorce. She made lots of friends in the USA, including a guy she fell in love with, and flew overseas once a year to see them at a writing conference.

In 2013, the American guy Siân loved broke her heart, and in early 2014, her American friends kicked her out. She carried on, empty and shattered, but trying to live.

Atul, meanwhile, arrived in the UK in September 2014. He got a job in a call centre in Birmingham, UK and managed both that part-time, his degree full-time and daily communication with his family in India and his girlfriend in Utah, USA.
Then in December that year, his heart got broken too. His girlfriend dumped him for no known reason, and all he was left with was his loneliness and his determination to achieve his degree, to pay back his parents for all they had done for him.

In April, 2015, a work overload in Siân's department caused a slight effect that would forever alter their two lives - the girl broken-hearted from the man she'd loved for 5 years, and the man, broken-hearted from the girl he'd been semi-engaged to, heading back to India once his degree was over.
You see, Siân and Atul worked at the same company - Atul calling people via phone to complete surveys, and Siân creating codeframes for the open text response.

Atul and his university friend Kwesi were sent downstairs to help Siân's department with coding and cleaning responses for a rush job. He arrived late that first day...
Siân, being less introverted than her colleague, ended up looking after the two of them.
By the end of the first couple of days, she'd nicknamed Atul "Hedgehog", due to his spiky hairstyle, and Kwesi "Kiwi", as that's what his name sounded like. What she didn't admit to anyone, except for herself, was that she'd developed a huge crush on Atul.
He was pleasant. He was a gentleman. He was adventurous. He had loyalty. He had passion and he wanted to see the world, a flame that instantly flickered a recognition in Siân's own heart.
But he was a Hindu, and she was a committed Christian - and he was headed back to India. She was definitely staying in the UK, now.

Once the boys had finished helping Siân out downstairs, she moved upstairs to the call centre to make some extra money. This lead to late hours, and the boys would often walk with her to the bus stop for her long trip back to Wolverhampton - Atul in particular.

In June, two months after they met, he sent her a video link on Facebook with the accompanying message - "Ignore the lyrics, just watch the video." The song was "I Really Like You", by Carly Rae Jepsen. Siân watched it, and wondered, but as in the past five years of loving one man in a different country, she began to try and remove her crush from her mind and heart again.

On June 27th, Atul and Kwesi came over to her home to bring her flowers (Kwesi) and a bottle of wine (Atul) in celebration of her birthday, two days previous. This courtesy having never been extended by any colleague before, the meeting was a little awkward, but the time soon passed.
In the following months, the boys and Siân saw less of each other, as their shifts altered and Siân lessened her call centre hours.

It was early September when they finally met again for more than a few passing minutes or a friendly wave. Atul and Siân had spoken on the phone one or two times, for an hour or so - not only did his enthusiasm for life, his thirst for adventure and his desire to travel appeal to her, but also - his broken heart, a condition which she deeply understood but equally, had no idea how to relieve.

Occasionally, Siân was going home via train at night, as the buses were arriving home at 10-10:30pm. One night, Kwesi caught the bus into town and Atul chose to walk with her. He told her, on the way, about a girl friend of his he had taken to dinner to celebrate her birthday, but that he'd really felt her pushing him to begin another relationship and he knew she liked him.
"I would move on if I could, but I don't know how."
"I wish I could help you," Siân responded, deeply sympathetic to his plight.

A few nights later, he walked with her again. Somehow, they got onto the topic of her crushes - yes, she had five at the moment, yes, two were in the company, yes, one was in the call centre.
"Is it Kwesi?"
"What does he look like?"
"Look, I'm not telling you!"
"Is it Glen?"
There was a long pause of silence.
"I think I know who it is."
"I'm still not telling you."
As they walked to New Street station together, he simply and naturally reached down and held her hand. She didn't pull it away.

It was that night he travelled with her to her home station for the first time.
It was bitterly cold, and she waited with him for his train back into Birmingham - the 10:10. He put his arms around her to keep her warm, as she was shivering violently.
"I'd like to spend more time with you, if you know what I mean. I think you do."
"Maybe," she answered evasively.
"Do I have to write it in a letter?"
"Okay, I'll write a letter. And address it to Miss Garner-Jones, at the Cottage?"
"If you like."
"Or I'll just ask you now, since you're here. Would you like to go out for a meal or a coffee with me sometime?"
The train pulled in and he moved to go. He swears it was her, and she that it was mutual, but their lips met for a brief two seconds before he pulled away and boarded the train. She waved, and left, and made a frantic phone call to her best friend.
"Help! I've kissed him."
He sent her a text: "Thanks for that sweet peck. I don't know what else to say."

(As written in their love book)