A couple weeks ago, Sue (my mother-in-law) handed me a book and said that she thought I’d like it because the author sounded a lot like me. We had a screen-free Sunday, and after lunch I finally opened the book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I automatically knew I’d like it because the author’s name is Dutch and everyone knows that Dutch people are the best kind of people. And the humblest.
Chapter One was devastating and gory and heart-breaking, but not something I could relate to (witnessing one’s baby sister being run over by a delivery man). But partway through Chapter Two, I saw what Sue meant.
For years of mornings, I have woken wanting to die. Life itself twists into nightmare. For years, I have pulled the covers up over my head, dreading to begin another day I’d be bound to just wreck. Years, I lie listening to the taunt of names ringing off my anterior walls, ones from the past that never drifted far away: Loser. Mess. Failure. They are the signs nailed overhead, nailed through me, naming me.
… I wake to the discontentment of life in my skin. I wake to self-hatred. To the wrestle to get it all done, the anxiety that I am failing. Always, the failing. I yell at the children, fester with bitterness, forget doctor appointments, lose library books, live selfishly, skip prayer, complain, go to bed late, neglect cleaning the toilets. I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary. Years, I feel it in the veins, the pulsing of ruptured hopes. Would I ever be good enough, find enough, do enough?
(pp. 26-27, emphasis added)
Yes. This. I can relate to this. Self-hating? Self-destructive? Self-deprecating? Hi! That is me. That is very much me.
I’ve heard many good things about this book and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. I may have to have a screen-free Monday as well.