Shame the Devil, Tell the Truth

I need a spa day. I need a good massage, to work out some knots that I know I have in my back from all of the pent up stress over these past few months. I need a facial or good body treatment, to renew my skin and detox it from all the toxins that are my varying emotional states of despair and anger. I need to just unwind in a hot tub, soaking in the warmth of the water, and letting it melt away all my tension.

 But a spa day isn’t in my near future. As a matter of fact, it isn’t even an option right now. So, I have to make do with what I have currently available to me. A hot shower, an exfoliating body wash and face scrub, and vitamin e oil that I can slather over my skin when I’m done. It’s not the same as the spa, but I figure, taking time to take care of myself instead of rushing in and out of the shower and getting ready for the day, may be beneficial for my emotional health. Plus, given everything I’ve received during my church’s sermon yesterday, it just seems fitting.

 I woke up yesterday morning angry. Fuming, actually. I got in the shower, had an entirely made up conversation with a select few people in which I cursed them out. I stood there, thinking of the best way to get a person back for all the pain and hurt they’ve caused, without karma rearing its ugly head and coming for me afterwards. Then I climbed out of the shower, more volatile than when I first climbed in and got ready for church. With gritted teeth, I got my daughter ready and tried to not yell at my mom, as she fussed at me from her room. As soon as we got in the car, I pulled my headphones out and opted to listen to some gospel music of my choosing, instead of my mom’s naturally upbeat gospel mix that she played every Sunday.

 It was then, in listening to Jonathan McReynold, that I started to find some semblance of peace or rather a prayer that I didn’t realize was okay to pray. Twenty minutes later, I was in church, still pretty upset, but more calm than I was when I first woke up, when praise and worship started, and my Pastor took over the lead, and then his wife got up and preached, and everything just started to feel okay again. The anger I was harboring, vanished. The compulsion to just go off of anyone that thought it was a good idea to make a comment to me, was gone.

 The ride home from church, I continued to listen to Jonathan McReynold, making sure to keep “Maintain” on repeat.

 For the past couple of months, aside from severe resentment, I’ve been holding onto a lot of anger. I’ve even been letting anger build up inside of me, with no outlet to escape. To say that I’ve been going through some things is a gross understatement. I’ve been internalizing situations and reactions more than I should have and they have been festering in me.

 I’ve stated before about the turbulent relationship I share with my ex, or rather the turbulent relationship we currently share regarding my daughter. He’s accusing me of keeping her away from her and stating that he wants to be involved in her life, and I don’t want to hear anything he has to say, because he’s said it all before. I’m at a point in which I much rather wait for a judge to make a decision regarding what custody of my daughter will mean for us, whether it be full or joint, then try to work it out between us again and have any agreed decisions fall apart in less than twenty-four hours of making them.

 But the peace and contentment that should have come from wanting to just let a court resolve this and be accepting whatever they had to say, turned venomous. His incessant calls and texts and accusations of me keeping him from our daughter, although whenever he’s in the state I allow him to see her, got to me. I wanted him to have nothing. I wanted him to suffer. And what should have just been left alone, turned into me expressing my bitterness towards him and trying to shut him out. Every one of his texts and calls got answered. Each time I told him the same thing, but more bitter than the last time, in informing him that we just need to wait on the courts to make a decision. Each time I called him out on not being a man or a father.

 My desire to have him out of my daughter and I’s life because he is an unfit parent, became a stone of anger that I held onto with dear life.

 My boyfriend’s comments and potential remedies for the situation went ignored, because I downgraded his opinions and sentiments to folly. My family’s comments and opinions, were also disregarded. I was under the pretense that I knew what I was doing and that by remaining angry, I would get what I ultimately wanted. But I was wrong.

 That anger boiled over into everything I did. My temper got short. My patience wore thin. Everything around me became contaminated with the anger I had for my ex. I couldn’t even study for the GRE without imagining him calling my phone non-stop to the point of harassment and me blowing up on him for it. I even contemplated filing harassment against him. And it just seemed so much easier to do so, considering I decided to take my boyfriend’s advice and no longer respond to his every call or message. Including the ones in which he tried to bait me out by saying I can’t keep on keeping him away from his daughter, as if he hadn’t just seen her the previous Sunday before leaving the state to head home.

 Suddenly, my personal pursuits, the things I had always wanted to accomplished, I now wanted to accomplish with him in mind. As a way to show him up and to call him out on not being a fit parent. I wanted to prove that my educational pursuits would benefit my daughter more than his minimum wage job would in the long run, by showing her that she should always pursue her education to better herself. My desire to be a published author became fodder to showing off that not only could I juggle being a mom, student, and worker, but I could also pursue my actual desires without worry of a missed pay day. That my ambition is exactly what my daughter needs to be surrounded by to encourage her to also become ambitious and realize that she can be anything she sets her mind to do. My desire to move to Maryland with my boyfriend and then marry him, also became fodder of providing my daughter with a complete and lovely family that didn’t reside in low-income neighborhoods surrounded by people that aren’t getting anywhere fast in life.

 My dreams and ambitions, I allowed my ex steal from me and replace with anger.

 I couldn’t even enjoy my relationship, because I was so hell bent on having a relationship that would be ultimately much better than any relationship he could have, and as a result would be a better model of what a relationship should look like to my daughter.

 Letting the devil steal my joy has been the one thing I haven’t been cognizant of until now. It wasn’t until my pastor’s wife began her sermon about the devil having his hands on things that don’t belong to him, that made me realize that I handed over everything of mine to the devil without even realizing it. That I let the devil move through my ex to get the best of me.

 Now, it’s all about getting back everything that I’ve wrongfully given away. For a while now, I’ve been declaring that November will be the month that things will get better, and I need to keep believing it, especially now that I know why things had gotten so difficult.

 So as much as a spa day would be absolutely amazing to help me get back to the right state of mind, I just need to take time out to really take care of myself, instead of rushing through everything in the hopes of making a point. I’m right on target with everything I have listed on my vision board. Now it’s just a matter of reclaiming everything I’ve lost and ushering in the peace that I need.

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