Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Story of Liz Franklin, Installment 6 - Suicide or College...or...Murder?

We witnessed some of the most disgusting spiritualized sexual abuse in Installment 5 by Liz'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 Liz'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 Liz does.

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