Based in New York, Spiritualundertones is a blog by Sarah Almengor. Her posts reflect spirituality, relationships, and everyday life through her personal musings, photography and acquired wisdom.

This just in: my late twenties are approaching, and typing that out just made me cringe. 

When were my mid-twenties over? Was I around (much less sober) when they even began? I turn twenty-eight three months from today, and externally, I have nothing to show for it other than a failed marriage and forlorn bank account. I got married in haste at twenty-five years old, and within 4 months of taking the plunge, I found myself drenched in a pool of my own cold and lonely tears, void of knowing the person I had always been; "I do" shortly morphed into "I don't want to live anymore, if this is how marriage is supposed to be". In short, I became suicidal. Oh, and I was blamed for it. 

"You're miserable because you're so contentious", "maybe if you'd learn to be more grateful and thank God for me, you would be happy", "you're the only person in the world who has a problem with me", "you are so ungrateful and mean and evil" — let me pause right here and say that, yes, these loving and encouraging words of affirmation were hurled at me day in and day out of my "marriage" — all while under the guise of false righteousness. Romantic, right? It's one thing to be a life-sucking, joy-stealing, self-absorbed and selfish narcissist, but when you sprinkle the blood of Jesus over it, that's just the perfect recipe for repulsing every person you come in contact with. 

I don't let my failed marriage define me, I simply just acknowledge that it didn’t work out. I also don't even consider it a marriage, but rather some arranged slave/owner agreement. But like, I never even agreed to be someone's slave. I mean, talk about ball and chain! I always felt awkward in public as a married woman, almost as if people can see the bridle that was in my mouth and rope around my neck. Others looked at me differently; friends, acquaintances, family members, and even strangers had eyes of worry when they saw me, and I sensed the panic from a mile away. I always felt as if there was some smaller version of me stuck inside my body, screaming and kicking with all her might for someone, anyone to hear and rescue her. She just wanted to get out…but she seemingly had no voice. No one heard her. 

Of course I'd pray and do my best to rely on God's strength to become mine. Half the time when I'd talk to God, I was mocked. "Look at you, talking to yourself, seems like you're the crazy one". People, I need you to get this: that was coming from a self-proclaimed "man of God"! Again, it would be one thing if he was like, a Satanist?, because then I would understand why he would mock and taunt me. But, how can you realistically claim to be right with God and yet attack your spouse for asking the Almighty for wisdom on how to deal with their ass?! All jokes aside though, the whole thing was just an abusive tailspin of a religious circus. Nothing I did seemed to prevail; if I prayed quietly: I was accused of "not really being a Christian". If I prayed out loud: I was mocked. If I didn't go to church: "why are you not going to church? Are you even saved? You need to go, you need help". If I went: I was a hypocrite. So on and so forth. As an added perk, I also experienced frequent nightmares which before that time of my life was pretty rare.

Last November I was at my lowest weight: 110lbs. Since the age of about eighteen, if not maybe a few years younger, I had always averaged between 120 and 125. My clothes were actually falling off of me and my skin was starting to sag. My body wasn't as tight or firm or fit as it once was. I wasn't starving myself either! I was eating, I just think my appetite dramatically decreased due to the mental and emotional anguish I was going through. I started smoking cigarettes again, stressed out over the fact that my ex-husband convinced me I was the "sick one" even though something in me knew that wasn't true. You see, what gas lighting (psychological manipulation) does is cause you to question your own sanity. I was a wreck. Yeah, outwardly I held myself together because my job required me to be on my A-game, and of course on Sundays I pretended I was happily married when I walked through the church doors. Inwardly, however, I was cracking. Badly. 

Tito's vodka became my husband, cigarettes my dessert, YouTube videos on mental abuse my therapy. I realize more and more now that I am no longer in it that my marriage was extremely traumatic. Anyone care for some PTSD? Look no further. I was never spoken to, I was barked AT. The robotic and rehearsed sex was colder than a brutal blizzard…and ironically enough, left me shivering from distant abandonment masked as "intimacy". I remember thinking to myself, "why do I have a feeling this is what rape feels like". There is no lonelier feeling than turning to your side after what is supposed to be a sacred, bonding, loving experience and having cold tears escape out of you. No feeling. No emotion. They are neither sad nor indifferent tears. They're just tears of a victim. I realize that may sound dramatic but I honestly don't know how else to describe it. Imagine never believing you're loved by the person who claims to love you (albeit they are very dry and emotionless when they mechanically spew out "I love you" — it's quite terrifying, actually). And the reason you don't believe it is because you don't know it, and you don't know it because you don't feel it. Literally, you can FEEL when someone loves you. Fight me on this. Love is something that can be felt, one hundred percent. Two hundred percent, actually. 

The greater portion of the past two years of my life was hell on earth. I almost didn't make it out alive. I remember literally desiring to die. However, as I approach a new age in January, looking back at the last year…I can say the emotionally battered and bruised butterfly has been blessed with new wings. Downtrodden and without strength to get up, the butterfly was practically defeated. With her beautiful wings pinned down, therefore having no place to go, another butterfly glides to her. Although this butterfly still has remnants of his cocoon stuck to him, he rescues her and unpins her wings so she can fly freely. She now desires to spread her beauty with him, the one who rescued her from captivity. 

Not only did they fly high together, they carried each other when one grew weak. He had rescued her when she was helpless and couldn't fly…and she carried him when his strength didn't last and he lost one of his wings. And now they can be seen for miles happily fluttering around together, perhaps disabled and imperfect…but never enslaved.  

 

I want to thank you
Heavenly Father, for shining your light on me
You sent me someone who really loves me
And not just my body
He keeps me happy, so very happy
And he loves me
I don't know how to be
It's been a long time since I had someone who loves me
I owe my thanks to Thee

Prompt: Don't Interrupt

The Serpent Sowed