I got baptized last night. I first thought it would be a good way to end my college career, but really it's washing away every negative thing I've been through the past four years and then some. Renewing myself with God has been something I keep trying to do and have so much trouble finding a way to just get unstuck. I keep getting stuck in my own head, in morbid reflection, in friendships that were completely one-sided, relationships that weren't real, and compromising my self-worth just to try to fucking fit in. I'm not in high school anymore, I'm sick of the whole thing.
For years of my life I was plagued by the need to be with someone that was never going to love me back, no matter how many good days we had and no matter how much I loved him. The reality was that he was a shitty boyfriend, and a liar, and took me for granted. I was selfish for even attempting to be with him in the first place, but I was a stupid and overly trusting child. I was desperately holding on to God still trying to believe that this man I wanted since I was 15 years old was going to change, keep his promises, and that God intended him be my prince charming.
I tried to replace him with self-destructive behavior and drinking myself into a corner where I almost died. He would do something to set me off, and then I would go off to a party and drink until I couldn't stand anymore. My alcohol tolerance had gotten so high, I'm lucky I woke up after some nights. I was anorexic, and then after living in a house full of 43 girls for a few months, I was bulimic.
When I lost all hope in his ability to be the man I thought he was, I started trying to replace him with men who treated me even worse. I still called myself a Christian while investing my heart into meaningless hookups. My only redeeming quality at this point of my life was that my "friends" were proud of me and would approve of me with every notch etched into the bedpost. Looking back, I never wanted to admit that I was pretty much date raped on more than once occasion, and I would cover it up with bragging about how hott the guy was that I don't remember being with.
All of this was going on while I was VICE PRESIDENT of Navigators. I would go to teach bible study and then go off and drink myself stupid because I either didn't have anything better to do, or I couldn't stand being around myself. I was taking anything and everything that made me happy for a brief amount of time as something from God and that He was giving me some sort of lifeline. Really, God was continuing to teach me that the things I wanted were not anything that I needed. I wanted AND needed God but I had no idea how to just be a person and be ok with being alone and searching for something from God instead of people.
So I knew I had to get away. I hated that house I was in, and how it sucked me in and changed me into someone I didn't even recognize. I couldn't stand going home anymore because I would always go visit my ex even though it would always end badly and hurt me even more than it felt right in the beginning. I went to England to get away. I was desperate.
Studying abroad gave me perspective on true friendship. The friends that you want to have for the rest of your life and you will never want to leave, (I only had a couple of these back home and I had been taking them for granted) and I had to fly 3400 miles to live with some of the best people I've ever known. Their views on alcohol, relationships, even people helped me grow so much. And I had my little study-abroad affair that put the icing on the cake. I had found myself again.
Coming back here, I quit my sorority, I got a job that surprisingly suited me, and I started going to therapy for my anxiety. God was really knocking on my heart saying, "open up, I want to come in... you've still got some pain you need healing for" at this point I was coming to terms with the things that had hurt me, and wasn't so much dealing with the fact that I had been so hurt. I was repressing a lot of pain in my life, and now that my college career has been coming to an end it was time to deal with that pain.
Last night my friends that I have been taking for granted the past four years really showed me that they were my real friends. They've helped me understand myself, and they really believe in me. "I believe you're a woman of God" was probably the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me, because I don't believe it a lot of the time. So I need to start believing that because when I get out into the real world, I deserve to love myself and allow God to love me, and make more friends that will always support me, and someday have a relationship that's healthy with God's love and blessings, instead of me tricking myself into believing God was blessing it just because I was with a Christian man.
Renewing my relationship with God through a baptism was something that needed to be done. I'm going out into the real world now, and my crazy stupid self-destructive behavior is also something that I need to leave behind. In a sense, UMass is going to be a lot like Vegas. What happened here, will stay here, and I will not be taking it with me, save for the lessons I learned.