I find myself counseling the people who are around me. It is nice helping them, but at times can seem a bit taxing. When I look around though, I don’t have anyone in my life that can act in the same capacity for me. Until I can find that stable and mature accountability person, I decided (at the prodding of God) to share what goes on with some of these conversations as well as in my own life.
Starting with my friend Mindy. I am actually friends with her and her husband Jacob, but I end up spending more time with her than them as a couple. Part of this is from my past and the hesitance I still feel in having relationships with men. I did not have an active male role model around for the majority of my youth so I am unsure how men should behave. I can see biblical examples but those rarely line up with real world expectations. I reject the notion that I should over compensate with grunting and conversations about sports and it is hard finding men who are willing to open up and have honest conversations about personal stuff.
Anyways, Mindy is a mess. Her father left at the age of 5 when he was arrested and went to prison. Her mother latter remarried a man who truly tried to raise her as his daughter, but it was with in the confines of the Jehovah Witness faith, so she always felt it was conditional. She married Jacob who was a high school sweetheart and left the Witnesses. When that happened her family and friends, save her mother, rejected her and broke all contact.
Several years ago, she and Jacob decided to have an “open” marriage in order for them to experiment because they were each other’s first. In addition, they added marijuana and mushrooms to the mix along with social drinking. I am not against drinking, but these elements are used by them to “feel” something. They are both somewhat emotional dead inside and are crying out for a sense of being alive.
They have had a couple of kids since then and now Jacob no longer wants to be open with his marriage. He wants to be responsible and act like a happy family. Mindy struggles with this because she still does not feel loved or accepted. She enjoyed pursuing men because it gave her the feeling of filling wanted and loved. When the relationship ended though, she would feel depressed and more determined to find another one. Despite this desire, she is unwilling of leaving her family, so there is some hope for it all.
We were talking last week about her father. She feels like he should have made an attempt to get in touch with her after his release but for some reason never did. At this point she is unwilling to reach out to him and that distance still seems to bother her. You can see she wants the relationship but she does not want to risk rejection. Even with the relation she had with her step-father, she says she has never felt unconditionally loved by a man. This feeling is a huge barrier to her relationship with God. She prays somewhat, but has become more of an agnostic when looking at religion. She does not accept the militant and harsh God that the Jehovah Witnesses teach about and living around fundamentalist as a child has pushed her away from accepting the Christian God.
I share my struggles with her and my everyday life to show that even though I fail miserably at times, I do not lose faith nor do I feel like I am ever rejected by Him. I hope my struggles will give her the hope to turn back towards God. It has been an interesting process and has given me more insight into my own issues. That is one of the benefits of counseling. It acts like a mirror to the problems I know I have but ignore.