Friday Feature: Sapphire Goodman
Who Am I When Everything is Dark?
Night time has always been challenging for me. Night time for my childhood represents chaos and anxiety. My mother, though she has limited evaluations completed, suffers from Bi-Polar Depression. When I was a young child, I can remember her having episodes which consisted of screaming, crying, cussing, suicidal threats, and throwing items such as a computer monitor. After this happens in my parents’ bedroom, she rushes past my room down to the kitchen. I know exactly where she is going, the knife drawer. My heart pounds in fear of what will happen next. She gets a knife and starts to cut her wrists. My mother is a habitual self mutilator. When you look at her wrists now, it seems as though she got in a fight with a bear because of the scars.
As the years went by, every night was chaotic and a never ending pattern of distress, and confusion. The confusion would start around 3am or 4am. Just last night I woke up around 3:00am. It is an experience that I will never forget. The night would start with my mom screaming and cussing at my dad. Saying things like “I have no reason to live. No one loves me. I might as well just kill myself.” After making threats of suicide, she would then use anything she could to cut herself—a box cutter, knife, blade, etc. After trying to get her out of the locked bathroom to make sure she was ok, we would find a trail of blood. My house was painted with red stains from her episodes. Then she would grab the car keys and say that she is going to kill herself, speeding off. All night I would picture my mom in a flipped car, dead or found in a river. I was afraid everyday that she would die. It was even more confusing when the next morning my mom and dad would act as if the scene from the night before didn’t happen, never talking to me about my mother’s mental health issues. This created a lot of anxiety that spilled over into my relationship with God.
As much as I told myself that I would never be like my mother, I struggle with depressive and anxious thoughts. I feel the same way my mother does at times, “No one loves me. I am not worth anyone’s attention. I don’t want to live this life anymore.” But one thing that I cherished, from my whole childhood and even now is a relationship with God. I was never alone because God was there. A chaotic, unstable, violent, empty, unloving, home that I came from should have produced a monster. But instead God kept me safe in His loving arms. I am not perfect. I still suffer from anxiety and depression at times. And I have sought professional help to address my issues more than once. But God has always been my source of strength. Sometimes I do feel ashamed. How can I be a Christian and worry about everything? But I sing praises to the Lord to calm my thoughts. The picture represents me as a child, I had to speak to the little girl inside of me to release her from her pain. Now I am able, with the Lord’s help, to have pain-free relationships.
These are the scriptures I meditate on day and night to keep my thoughts fixed on the Lord:
2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.”
Genesis 28:15 “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”