When we first saw my parents this morning, exhaustion seeped from them like a rotten stench. “We couldn’t sleep last night.” I knew they didn’t just mean physically. When I questioned my mom on what kept her awake, tears filled her already-reddened eyes and she looked at me as if I should obviously know why. And I did. My unbelief. Nothing more was said.
Spending all day with them was like forcing me to stay in a room with dead bodies I murdered. I felt terrified and claustrophobic. Trapped and burdened. Guilty.
I desperately tried to smile and be myself, but the weight of the pain etched in the lines on my parents’ faces and their stubborn silence forced me to bear not only my emotion, but theirs as well. It’s too much. Too painful. I’m too weak.
Usually I avoided eye contact with my dad– he couldn’t stand staring into the depths of his daughter’s hell-bound soul, and I couldn’t stand to look into the depths of the pain I caused within his. But when I did, his eyes broke me. They were aged, pained, struggling to keep back tears. They held no more joy, no more peace. His eyes were the guardians of the secrets of his mind filled with thoughts that so obviously tormented him. He was quiet, remained quiet, all day. And it killed me. We’d pass trees along the sidewalk and I was envious of the soil beneath them. How desperately I wished I could crumple below the tree and disappear into the ground.
He couldn’t even hold or play with his granddaughter without being tortured. He didn’t have to say any of this; his eyes told it all.
I can’t stand how much pain I’m putting my parents through. It’s not fair. Walking around today, I looked at passersby and resented them. How is it that so many people are given the life circumstances that bring them to believing the same as their family?? They have no idea how lucky they are. This isn’t fair, it hurts more than anything I’ve ever experienced, and I have no control over it. “God” is demanding a life to be sacrificed on his altar — either my own in its authenticity, or that of my parents.