Imposter

Christa Doran Uncategorized 18 Comments

Please check all that apply. Tired. Check. Trouble sleeping. Check. Sadness. Check. Depressed. Question mark. I walk the plastic clipboard back to the window, return to one of the gray seats that fill the waiting room and start to ponder my answers. I wonder if anyone has ever put a question mark next to depressed. I don’t think I am depressed… I think I am grieving… but I am not sure. What I do know is I don’t feel like me. I really hope she doesn’t ask me about that question mark…

My body feels heavy as I drop into the wicker chair in our dining room and start crying. I am finally ready to answer the question Mike has been asking me for weeks. The one I brush off with an annoyed “I’m fine. I don’t want to talk.”

I am wearing my softest, oversized sweatpants and sweatshirt to match, the word “salty” is inked across the front. It is the most honest thing about me right now.

I don’t feel like myself... I start to tell Mike as I feel the tears start to sting my eyes. I am morphing into an anti-social recluse who I don’t recognize. I don’t want to go out anymore. I don’t want to be with anyone or engage in conversation. I cannot wait to get home to wash the day off my face and get in my soft, warm sweatpants. My emotions feel short and sharp and I have to work hard to temper my anger throughout the day. I want to be home, on my oversized couch, in my oversized clothes, cuddling with my girls. I used to seek out conversation and look forward to social events… now I try to come up with every excuse not to be around people. I jet out early, avoid eye contact, walk quickly with my head down, and dart down aisles to avoid human contact and conversation. It’s just so exhausting being around people now. All these new and unwelcome personality traits are making me feel like an imposter. I miss my old self and the old “rose colored” world that she lived in.

We “survived” the holidays so to speak. A vision of Lea presenting Jesus with a bright and beautiful birthday card (as she always did) came to me on Christmas Eve as I gazed out the car window sitting in my sorrow, anger and indifference. It was a beautiful, peaceful image that helped me get through our first Christmas without her. I am sure the card she crafted for Jesus was magnificent, just as she was.

I can tell the people who have already forgotten what happened to us… to Lea. They excitedly ask how our holidays were with a big smile. I wonder if they see my face change and my body tense up. I wonder if they see my hands are forming fists, my knuckles turning white. I try my best to fight the war that is raging inside me. I force a smile and answer with my standard “they were fine thanks” before finding a swift exit away from this place. Inside I am screaming and yelling and punching. It is exhausting being two people. Imposter.

Nine months later, people expect it to be getting better… for me to be getting better. For the “healing” to be taking place, and the scar to be forming. While I don’t care one bit what “people think,” I guess a part of me thought I would be in less pain. Time heals all things, right? Maybe not this. There is no system for grieving, no path to follow. Nothing to help it heal faster, or to keep the waves from pulling me under and holding me there. I must endure. I must persist…but I am just so tired of enduring, and so exhausted from persisting.

Each day I wake up and wonder if I will feel like her again. If I will want to go out with my friends, attend the parties, and be in the center of the action. I wonder if my smiles will be less forced and if I will be less tired. I wonder if today is the day I will feel like one person again… one whole person who does’t feel split down the middle, ripped open, trying frantically to control the deluge of sorrow.

My grief is a solid brick wall in front of me. I want to bulldoze through it, scale it, tear it down a brick at a time. I’m desperate to get to the other side of the wall so I can see what’s waiting for me down the path. But the wall will not budge, or let me climb, or let me remove a single brick. All it will allow me to do is lean against it, exhausted. Grief is nothing but a painful waiting, a horrible patience. Grief cannot be torn down or scaled or overcome or outsmarted. It can only be outlasted. Survival is surrender to the brick. There is no such thing as progress, or if there is, it’s not linear. Every day, I wake up and march the same lap of grief, rage, and panic.

Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior

This world is full of imposters. They fill our lives and our social media feeds— their photos are smiling and happy and filtered, they tell us they are “Great! Good. Fine.” What I have learned is that like me, many are hiding hurt behind that forced smile. This world is full of pain. People are hurting. People are navigating tragedy and doing their best to heal from traumatic events while continuing to show up to life… in something other than sweatpants.

Imagine if everyday we woke up and told ourselves the truth. What would that look like? What I know is that every day is different and we show up different to every day. Today, my truth would look like this…

Hi, my name is Christa and right now, I want to be alone in my sweatpants. I miss my child, and my old life and right now, what feels best to me is being at home with my family… in my sweatpants. I am tired, and sad, and for the first time in a while, being honest with myself about where I am, and who I am… or who I have become. Over the past few months I have tried to busy myself into a better place because I was tired of grieving… tired of the pain, and of the sitting in the uncomfortable places. It’s lonely and exhausting and I want to feel true happiness again. I want to feel like me again, and I am scared this is how I will be… forever.

As my fingers fly across the keyboard and words fill the page I decide my only choice is to sit here and endure, and outlast, and march on, and try to love this new person…sweatpants and all.

It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

MercyMe, Even If

Comments 18

  1. There are no words to comfort because there is no comfort. Life is navigating the sorrow around us and being there to hold each other up. Know that we who read this with tears in our eyes love you.💖

  2. However you need to be is exactly the way we will continue to love you and think of you each day. I know me and my family and all the other families at TG/FMA will continue to do everything we can to show up and be there in whatever way we can ESPECIALLY during the times you just want to rest. Even if it’s not obvious outwardly I think about what you’ve been through almost every day and pray for love and peace for you guys. I know I am just one of many.

  3. “It is well with my soul
    It is well, it is well with my soul”
    Keep leaning in Christ’s arm and that wall.
    Prayers going up for you

  4. we are with you, thinking of you, praying for you, in the silence and the abyss.
    do what you need to- we are still here. 💔💙

  5. All I have for you are prayers for comfort and peace that only He can provide. Team Thomerson sends our love to your family from Florida. xo

  6. You need to be the you,the you, that you feel right now…. grieving will always be with you.. it is a part of you today … some days it’s okay and some days it’s not, and that’s okay! You will discover your new you which will still have your old you, you will combine the yous and find that this is you now… always thinking of you and yours. Btw sweats are your friend.

  7. Dearest Christa, your constant whitnesing of your truth is corageous and beautiful even through the heartbreak & pain. Honor your hearts desires. You won’t get stuck it is not in your nature.
    Thank you for sharing your journey, sending much love & healing your way. 💜💜💜

  8. I love your vulnerability and your honesty. Thank you for your posts. They help me keep my life geared towards the perspective of the things that matter

  9. For you, Christa, with loving memories of Lea forever❤️

    There’s this place in me where your fingerprints rest, your kisses still linger and your whispers softly echo, it’s the place where a part of you will forever be a part of me.”

    Keeping you in my daily prayers forever with love, Vanna

  10. Sweet Christa. We are still here. Gina is right, not a day goes by that we don’t hold your family in our hearts. Not one day. And while we can’t make your agony even remotely better, we are here. We are going nowhere. I pray for even a fragment of relief for you every day. 💚💙

  11. Christa,
    We love you, we are sad for you, when we see you smile, it makes us smile, when you write with your heart, it makes our heart cry. We are all here for you. Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith…It’s the price of love.

  12. I dont think you truly realize how strong you are. Your strength keeps me going on bad days. We dont even know each other and you inspire me. You have an positive affect on so many people that dont know you. Your story has helped me try to be a better parent and really nurture all the moments with my child. Most of all, I love your honesty. I’m so sorry you have to live in the endless hell that you are ensuring daily. I know that I wouldnt be able to survive it. Btw I’m with you in the sweats everyday. I’ve been in the same pants all weekend🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️. God bless you, Leah and your family. You are so much stronger than you realize 💖

  13. Love you in however you show up. So many tears reading this, I miss Lea with you so much. Know that I’m hear to listen, or just hug. Xo

  14. When all you can do is lean on the wall exhausted, know that Jesus is there holding you up. This grief will never leave you, you will build strength to carry it. To carry that wall…. in a moment it will all come flooding back, but you will have strength and protection. The thought of Lea bringing Jesus a beautiful card she crafted is a new brick… of strength and hope… stairs to walk over that wall or a path a beautiful path to walk around the wall.

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