Puzzle pieces

Puzzles demand completion.  I am not sure why.  Something in our brains compells us to put their pieces together.

I feel like my life is a puzzle.  It has offered me plenty of pieces, probably enough to get a pretty clear picture of the trauma.  Somehow, however,  I adopted the belief that I am not allowed to put my puzzle together.  I am forced to stare at this 1000-piece puzzle, unmade, knowing that these pieces probably look something like a nightmare when put together, but I am never allowed to fit them next to one another.  That act would be way too presumptuous.  I would be making assumptions and would automatically become a liar.  I am allowed to report on one piece of experience at a time, each little snapshot, or piece of a snapshot.  But to chain those snapshots together to make a clear portrait would be unthinkable.

The irrational thing about my belief is that no one says that it is presumptuous to put a puzzle together.  No one says, “Who are you to assume that those pieces fit together just because they make a complete picture and their shapes match?”  No. That would be ludicrous.  This is what we do with puzzles.

So how did I come to adopt the belief that my life puzzle is never allowed to be completed?

What do we do with a puzzle once it is completed?  We say, “Yay,” take it apart, and put it back in the box.  Then we put it on the game shelf with a nice mental check mark.  We feel better.  The puzzle goes back on the shelf.  It is no longer sprawled out on the kitchen table, making it so that we cannot eat or drink without staring at the incomplete picture.  We can go on with our lives, and use the table for other purposes.  My puzzle, with thousands of pieces, is spread over the table of my life.  Because I am not allowed to complete it, I cannot see anything else but the fragments.  It haunts me.  This sucks.  But there is a spell cast, one that has enchanted the puzzle and my mind.  I must sit and stare at the fragments, with a brain that is desperately bent towards completion but has been bewitched into believing that completion is a felony.

So maybe today,  I will fit two pieces together.  Maybe I will break the spell so that one day, my table can be used for living purposes.

Light and Dark

In Bible study last night, we spoke of the missional mindset, the call to “go to the nations.”  This call has been heavy on my heart for most of my life.  I remember Amy Carmichael being one of my major heroines.  I was asked what planted the idea of missions in my head, and I was perplexed.  My mother did.  

My mother, the one who along with my father, introduced me to the occult and ritual abuse, also was a missionary for the message of Christ.  How do these two things co-exist?  Surely my memories are false, if my parents also raised me in the evangelical Christian church.  Serious, death-centered cult by night and Bible-believing evangelicals by day?  

How did this happen? Does this happen?  The wonderful, loving pastor of our church was supposedly at the hospital when I was born, yet during the first four years of my life,  I was exposed to unbelievable evil, darkness, death, and terror.  How did this duality exist?  How did my parents live two lives?  How could the darkness and the light live side-by-side in my life for so long?  

This dichotomy is one of the main reasons why it is so difficult to believe my memories.  Sweet, loving pastor one day.  Demons the next.  “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” followed by Satanic rituals.  I don’t get it.  Was it a smoke-screen? 

My life is like two seperate puzzles out of two different boxes.  One is idyllic, and the other is horrific.  I am trying to fit these two puzzles together into one, and they do not fit no matter how hard I try to drive the pieces together.  Am I two people?  How does this happen? 

Missionary to torturer….my mother’s magical switch.  I can’t make sense of anything.