The pressure was on to wrap-up the assignment with a deadline looming. Down to the last hours to put an entire semester worth of research and study into a well formatted and knowledgeable exegetic work of art. All the hours spent pouring over scripture, revisiting my concordance, scrutinizing commentary while carefully verifying sources, editing draft after draft, came down to the final submission of a sixteen-page interpretation of an assigned section of Ephesians.
Anxiety wrapped me like thick dark smoke that fills a room from scorched grease left on a high flame. Hard to breathe, difficult to see. I’ve managed final papers with ease numerous times before. This time was different. Even I was amazed at my ability to carry on my day-to-day duties, responsibilities and routines while carefully covering any trace of the hell we were living. The alarms were blaring and I heard them, but turned a deaf ear. I’d gotten used to blocking out things that were hard to deal with.
Like the noise from the TV volume intended to disrupt my concentration while I read chapter after chapter of assigned text he said was a “useless, stupid waste of time”. Like the belittling remarks thrown at me like darts that I pretended had no effect. The burning sensation of absolute disgust as his whiskey-induced comatose body pressed against me at night. I desperately tried to ignore the belligerence going on just outside the bedroom door for so many nights in a row. The hostility projected towards me was undeniable and his disdain slathered me like Vaseline. I just kept willing it away, hoping it would subside, not grow momentum. I painstakingly guarded the rage that was bubbling up inside me and I heaped scripture and verse on top of it. I prayed until my legs went numb. In my secret moments, I cried out to God and begged for courage, for peace, for wisdom, for an end to the torment. Continue reading