Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Story of Libby Exline, Installment 6 - Suicide or College...or...Murder?

We witnessed some of the most disgusting spiritualized sexual abuse in Installment 5 by Libby's own pastor, his wife, and an elder, no less.  It was horrid to read. Something that no child - at any age - should go through.  But that was not the end of Libby's story.  Not by a long shot.  She would continue trying to become the unattainable perfect being that she thought this church's god wanted her to be.

*****

Why by now my being hadn't just said enough! and imploded, I don't know.  I wanted to die, but that was another sin.  By my senior year, I was in full-on rebellion.  Or reacting normally to the circumstances in which I was raised, to put it another way.  I was going to hell.  I firmly believed this.  So I just didn't see the need to try any more.  I was still miserable, but at least now, I wasn't heaping abuse on my own self.

My twin brother and I were the graduating class of 1987.  I was the valedictorian, and as such, was awarded a scholarship to the church Bible college. Allegheny Wesleyan College in Salem, OH.  I guess I decided to give myself another shot.  Surely, being surrounded by holy people 24/7 would produce results.  Maybe when I got out of dad's house, I could do it. Away from the abuse. Away from mom, whom I didn't like very much any way. Besides the fact that I didn't like her, she'd been diagnosed 10 years prior with cancer.  Her fainting became the norm.  I couldn't sleep at night, waiting for the bang! that meant she had fainted again.  Then feeling the guilt for not praying with/for her.  So, I decided to go to AWC, and even got excited at the prospect.

That fall, I began my journey away from the insanity that had been my life up til this point.  I didn't know it yet, and indeed it would get a bit more insane before it got better. My first year was probably the worst.  I don't have a lot of specific recollections.  I barely recall myself during that year.  I do know that I did not acquire holiness through osmosis.  I still went to the altar every time there was an opportunity.  It still did not work.  I had other things on my heart, too.  It seemed that no one liked me.  I didn't have one good friend to talk to at all.  Oh, they were my friends when they needed things. I had a car, so people could be very friendly if they needed to go to town.

One thing about me is my sense of humor.  I have a wicked one.  I love to laugh, love seeing people laugh; there's just too little laughter in the world.  Somehow, my sense of humor lived through the stuff I barely survived, and it breaks my heart, but I turned the humor against myself.  People started counting on me for laughs, and did I deliver.  So many people told me of how I had made them laugh when that was just what they needed.  I cheered people up, and I got good at it. I was dying inside, but hiding it behind the humor.  I also gave good back rubs, so at one time or another, the entire girl's dorm had beat a path to my door.

When I needed to be cheered up, no one was there to make me laugh.  When my back ached, no one was there to rub it.  The things that I had been taught about myself were true: I was unlovable.  Spiritually, I'd given up.  I still desperately wanted to be good enough for god, but I had resigned myself to reality.  It just wasn't gonna happen.  Daily, I gave of myself to my fellow students, and nothing happened to fill myself back up.  I became depressed; that seems like too tame a word for what I was feeling.  A living death, that's what I was living.  I began thinking of suicide.  I just didn't have what it took to live through one more day.  These thoughts scared me back to the altar, because suicide was an unforgivable sin; the express train to hell.  I didn't talk to anyone about this.  Just told them I was having spiritual problems, and since I'd obviously been having them all semester, they weren't alarmed in the least. 

Finally, one night I delivered the comedic performance of a life time. This was on a Sunday after evening church service.  The dining hall was in the basement of the girl's dorm. People had gathered there for a late supper. I had them rolling.  And I was funny!  I was ON!!  And with every joke, with every burst of laughter, I died a little more inside.  Finally, everyone left, the lights were turned off, and we girls headed upstairs.  On the way, I grabbed a knife.

*****

Aaaand...you'll have to wait for Installment 7 to see what Libby does.

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