when words choke me


I have a job interview on Monday. It’s the second one–they didn’t offer me the job at the first one, but they asked me to come back to do a drug screen and background check and bring copies of my licenses…it seems like I’m being pretty strongly considered. I have the availability, the references, the experience–and it’s not even a competitive job. But no matter how sure it seems, I am still now in the nervous not-yet place, the wondering if it will work (while desperately needing to get out of my current job…with my current boss).

Since I was nervous, I called some of my friends. My friends run the entire spectrum from strong there-every-time-the-doors-are-open Christians to strong atheists. I love the variety. However, having grown up in the former camp, I know EVERY SINGLE CHRISTIAN PHRASE out there. And having been incredibly wounded and trampled by the former culture, I physically gag when I hear those phrases. I can’t tolerate them. I have to dissociate, escape, shut the conversation down, get out.

For some reason, though, even among my much less Christian oriented friends (and mostly in the recovery community, it seems), phrases like “God’s will,” “pray about it,” and “let go” are common stock. People throw them around without even thinking about it. And for most of them, I am sure, it’s not a big deal. Those are normal, ok phrases not ridden with pain and memories and trauma. But I can barely listen to them without gagging up.

Here’s the thing: I want to take their advice, but the words hurt me so much. Sometimes I want to run and scream as far away from any words like this as I can. Instead, I shut off my phone, turn on a tv show, and crunch numbers. It’s calming. Not always helpful in the long term, though.

Christian words hurt me. The principle behind (at least some) of them, though, are pretty universally beneficial. Jesus is a good man regardless of whether or not he is God. I need to be able to separate the two, to practice not worrying and letting things go, without getting hung up on the religious history and tradition surrounding them. How can I do this? Will it just take time to detach the words from the memories?

For today, I will remind myself that people don’t know the emotions behind their words, and I will trust that what is supposed to happen, will happen.


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