When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder nearly two years ago, I thought that the best approach was complete and total transparency. I thought that people were inherently loving and giving, and that while I could handle the slings and arrows that result from my particular approach to Christianity–a serving of God through social justice–that there would be some basic human decency, especially from people in my community. Overwhelmingly, there has been. But there’s been a vocal, insistent contingent who have managed to break me. They have taken words written here, misrepresented them, and used them to criticize me in ways that are deeply personal. It has broken me.
I don’t say that lightly. These people have broken me with their half-truths and outright lies. I just can’t take it right now, so I am crying uncle. You win: I am a terrible pastor who only beats people up with my sermons; I don’t do anything to uplift; I just assault, assault, assault. I should just quit. I am mentally unbalanced. I am unhinged and write outlandish things and then do not suffer repercussions. I should give up because I just damage people and hurt them and I don’t even have the decency to feel bad about it.
Yes. These things have been said to me. Multiple times. With no end in sight really, so I give up. I can’t take hearing it again and again.
So my personal blog posts are over for now. I am pulling back from Facebook. I am turning to a period of introspection and prayer because I have let it get to me so much. I have cried more in the past 48 hours than I have since…well, since I was finally able to cry over my brother, three years after his death. I have been combing through my sermons to find examples of this great pain I have caused, of the ways I am uninvitational. I have spiraled and the thing that sucks is most of the shit isn’t even true.
Please don’t tell me to get a thicker skin. What people don’t seem to understand is that I hold in confidence a tremendous amount that I can’t even mention to defend myself when I am told that I am a minister of darkness. I am exhausted by constantly being berated for what I don’t do when there is little recognition of what I actually do; I am tired of inviting people to join efforts through three different methods, but being told that the invitation is nonexistent because I did not do it a fourth way. When you see me snap and just look at the precipitating detail and judge me based on that, it further displays a fundamental misunderstanding of what this job is and what I do each and every day.
I am tired of feeling like my Facebook page is being monitored. Because it is, even with all the security levels I have put on it. There is no mention of the great good I have done on Facebook and with the ministry; no mention in these conversations, anyway. I am tired of there being a continued platform to say these outrageous things about me.
So I cry uncle. I am broken. Good job.
This will be my last personal blog post. At least for now. I’ll continue to post sermons and social justice writings, but I can’t let myself be beaten up anymore. I need to protect my heart because it has just had the shit kicked out of it.