You may or may not have heard of Angie Smith before.
If you have, you already know that she had a book come out on September 1st called "What Women Fear".
It is also known as "MALLORY READ THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY."
Fear and I know each other well. Fear has owned me for a long time. So when I first heard the title of the book this spring, I knew I had to read it.
So far, I've only made it through Chapter 5 (darn you, college education), and so far the chapter that stood out to me the most was Chapter 2: Fear of Rejection, Abandonment, and Betrayal. (Though side note, I imagine I'll really relate to Chapter 7: Fear of Not Being Significant, as well.) I'd like to introduce you to my life story in one sentence: I've been rejected, abandoned and betrayed so many times in my life that I am now terrified of it happening again with every single person I meet.
For twelve years of grade school, I was bullied pretty much every day. I was the girl who didn't have anyone to eat lunch with. I walked down the halls and listened to people scream what they were saying about me just so they could make sure I knew. The popular girls would pretend to be my friends long enough for me to believe them and for them to find out a secret, just so the entire school could know it. And this is something I have never told anyone except my mother until now: I exaggerated my seizure disorder in hopes that I would have to be taken out of school. It didn't work, but I was that desperate. I was that miserable.
I thought that once I got out of that school, out of that town, I wouldn't be the shell of myself anymore. I wanted to believe that other people would be different, so I could be different. Matt (my best friend) swore to me I'd find people who accepted me the way he did. My mom promised me I'd make friends.
And eventually, I did. My mother talked to a colleague of hers, and that colleague told her niece to talk to me because we lived in the same dorm. (Thanks, Mom. Everyone wants to have their mommy forcing people to be their friends.) But thanks to six brain surgeries, I didn't have the energy to go out and meet people for the first semester that I was actually here (Spring '10). By the Fall 2010, I did, though, even despite dealing with the MRSA and power chair, etc. I joined a Bible Study led by that same girl whose aunt made her talk to me.
But still. The fear was there. Every time I got close to someone, I heard the voices. You better stop. You're gonna get screwed. They don't really care. The memories of grade school haunted me every single time I felt myself beginning to trust someone. So I'd retreat out of fear that pretty much consumed. I'd basically end up sabotaging things so I could save myself from what I was sure was coming.
And since I'm being completely open and honest here, when I got into those places of being scared these new "friends" would hurt or leave me, I didn't talk to God nearly as much as I should have. Those were also usually the times when the drama and craziness with my family would hit an annoying peak, so I really didn't trust them, either. I didn't lay my worries at His feet like he asks me to. I told myself that I couldn't trust anything or anyone, including myself, and especially God.
But starting today, I am officially done with that. And I have Angie to thank for being the spark that ignited this change. I will be the first to tell you that I love deeply, and I've finally realized that loving people as much as I do is a good thing, and it's not my fault if they misuse it. And even more than that, when I get hurt, I have to rely on God. He is the ONLY one that comfort me the way I need to be comforted. Not Matt, not my mother, no one.
So thank you, Angie.
And thank you, God for giving me a million second chances. I sure as heck need them.