When I wrote this post, I was in an extremely dark mood. I want to emphasize that I do not feel abandoned by family and friends, but the abandoned feelings are only directed at God. In a way, I guess I understand the Deists of the Enlightenment. They believe that God was the creator, and then left us alone. The problem that I have with that is that Christ came and died for our salvation. Even Jesus had doubts of abandonment. In the cross (Matthew 27:6), Jesus said ” Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which translates to “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Maybe Christinity is only a salvation religion. Maybe we are to live a good life in hopes of being welcomed home to God in heaven, and God doesn’t protect us here on earth. Maybe there is no power to prayer, except when we ask forgiveness. This post was what I was feeling last night when I wrote this, but I think it’s important to put those thoughts into words. Maybe someone can help me through this grief. I’m not sure that God is there to do so.

Honestly, I have no inspiration for a Sunday post. I feel abandoned. I have friends who check on me, and they try to comfort me. I’ve been told that my strong faith will bring me through this period of sorrow, but at the moment I feel like God has abandoned me. It seemed like he made my life as bleak as possible when I lost my job, all the money worries I’ve had, the chronic headaches, and a myriad of other problems. Through all those my friend that I lost had been like the voice of God. He’d always encouraged me. He allowed me to fully be my true self. He knew me better than anyone on this earth ever has. With him and God, I felt like things would turn around and things would be better. I had hope and I thought I’d been rewarded for my faith when I did find what was the perfect job for me.

Suddenly it seemed like I had been rewarded for my faith. My headaches were gone. I was happier than I have ever been in life. I had a job that was an absolute dream. I had friends who loved me, one in particular who I loved back so very much. I looked forward to waking up each morning. Then on my thirty-eighth birthday my world came crashing down. I found out that my friend had died in an automobile accident. I’ve tried to come to terms with the loss. Friends have done their best to comfort me. I have tried to appear happy again, but I can’t. I can’t because my faith can’t bring him back to me. God ripped him away. My headaches have returned. My depression is worse than it has ever been. I am constantly on the verge of tears. I feel as if the happiness I’d experienced when I moved was mere false hope. I honestly feel abandoned by God. The hope and happiness that had filled my heart are gone. I hate feeling this way, but no matter how hard I try, no matter what inspirational words I read, no matter how much I study the Bible for answers, and no matter how much I beg God for some relief, the sorrow won’t lessen. I don’t doubt that God exists, I know he does, but it’s my faith in Him being a part of my life that is what’s in doubt.

When I moved to Vermont, one of the things that I’d feared, really my only fear, had been how I’d be able to handle driving in winter conditions. I thought it was inevitable that eventually I’d have a wreck. If I did and didn’t survive it, then the world would continue. It wouldn’t be a great loss. My mother could stop fearing that someone would find out that she had a gay son. My father would have the one child left that he’d always loved the most anyway. I’ve always been a disappointment in his eyes. My friends had their boyfriends, husbands, and wives to love them. They would survive. I have no one who is that close,,and I fear that I never will again. Yes, I have friends, and they would mourn, but they have someone to comfort them. The one person who I had, the one person who loved me unconditionally, the one person who accepted me just they way I am, had a boyfriend that he loved and could comfort him. Yet, when my best friend died, I am alone and a long way from home.

Yesterday, I was awoken by the pain of one of my cluster headaches. This is something that hasn’t happened in nearly a year. I’ve had headaches, but none have caused me to wake up from the pain. I got up, took some medicine and was able to fall back to sleep. I woke up a few hours later and felt much better, so I decided to go do the shopping that I desperately needed to do. For the most part, my shopping day was successful (I found some great winter boots), even if I never did find the 6 inch springform pan that I was looking for. As I was driving home, it was snowing, not bad and not enough to really make conditions terrible for driving, but it made me think about what I’d originally thought about being in a car accident. This might not make sense, but I always figured if anybody in my life would die in a car accident it would be me. Never did I imagine that it would be my best friend who would die. Nor did I ever imagine that he would end up back in the hands of the parents he was abandoned by. I couldn’t believe it when I found out that his parents refused to let any of the people who’d become his family, when they declared that he was no longer a part of theirs, to attend a funeral for him.

By the time I got back home, not only was my headache back with a vengeance, but I was intensely depressed. As my head pounded and I dreaded the idea of a new cycle of cluster headaches beginning as they have for the past several weeks, I thought about how I felt abandoned by God. Last Sunday’s I talked about my anger and doubt. I am still angry. I am so angry that God would let such awful things happen in this world. The ironic thing is, my friend used to say he didn’t quite understand God, and that if he really existed, how could he let the terrible things that happen in this world happen? My friend had many awful things happen to him personally, and he couldn’t understand why God had allowed it to happen and why God did not protect him. I’d always consoled him and said that God loved him and some things weren’t God’s fault because humans are given free will. Humans are to blame for these tragedies. To be honest I’d never known how to answe those questions. It bothered me that I couldn’t, and I couldn’t find the answers. Now I find myself with the same doubt.

I spoke with his boyfriend after my friend’s death. He talked about how I’d helped my friend with his faith. He had struggled with it a lot, but ultimately he said that God must love him because God had brought me into his life. My friend had never told me that. I always felt a connection to my friend that we were destined to know one another, and apparently he thought I was a gift to him from God. Now I wonder, if he was a gift in my life as I’d believed he was (and apparently he felt I was God’s gift to him), then why did God take back his gift. Why had He only allowed me to have him for a short time? Why didn’t God let me say goodbye? I just don’t understand why, and I don’t understand how God has seemingly left me. I want to understand. I’ve searched for answers but they all ring hollow to me. I feel like I’ve been abandoned.

For the friends who are still in my life who are reading this, please don’t think this lessens my love for you or that I don’t greatly value your friendship and all the love and support you have given me. The thing is that the relationship that I had with my late friend transcended mere friendship and love. It was a connection that went to my very soul. All I can say is that as much as I love and appreciate my friends, I feel like I lost part of my soul. How do you get back your soul? He and his boyfriend had been perfect together. There love was so strong from the very beginning, but he was my soul mate. It was a love that transcended romance. He was more like a brother to me (and even that doesn’t describe the connection well enough), and I always felt that our souls were connected. I’m certain, I know the moment he died, because that night when he would have still been on his way home, I became violently ill and began vomiting. My head began to hurt worse than anything I’d experienced in a long time, and I had a sudden feeling of dread. That dread built throughout the following twenty-four hours or so before I got the news of his death. I have not felt whole since, and I haven’t felt the presence of God since that moment either. I’ve only felt abandonment.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

3 responses to “Abandoned

  • jacki perrette

    This is the length and depth and breadth of your depression. It sounds very dark, but I see glimmers of the good things that remain and are currently held at bay. I hope the light they cast will gradually grow and push the darkness of depression back into a smaller, more manageable shadow.

    I remember something and it was so long ago I’m not sure if I read it or if I actually heard someone say it. (I strongly believe I heard it in a therapeutic group meeting.) A nun said something like, “There have been times I’ve been so upset about something – so angry – that God and I don’t talk.”

    The thought that someone who has given her life to God could come to such a place, amazed me. I had never considered that ‘not talking to God ‘ would be an option. I always clung to the idea that God’s plan was perfect and that all things would work together for good even if I couldn’t understand how at the moment. That got me through a lot.

    But now I’m agnostic and I think things happen for no reason at all; they just happen. There’s no one for me to be angry with. I may hate some things that happen, but they are random, not done to me for a reason. While not being able to believe in God was scary at first, it did take away the feeling that the bad things were purposely done to me for some incomprehensible reason – or they were done to me because of my “sinfulness” or my lack of perfection or to make me stronger or to test me or to arrange the elements of my life so that some future fabulous thing could happen to me. My lack of faith has made me better able to accept my life circumstances even when I don’t like them.

    I never try to persuade anyone to my point of view – and this is the first time I’ve actually verbalized these thoughts. I think each person’s spirituality is their own. But it is a different perspective and perhaps one not so personally hurtful.

    As ever, positive thoughts for you.

    • closetprofessor

      I had talked to another friend this morning who had read this post. In the email to her, I said that I felt abandoned because it had always seemed that God had helped through other periods of grief, but He doesn’t seem to be helping me here. I’ve talked to him numerous times about this but He hasn’t spoken back. Maybe he has though the love and compassion of my friends but my relationship with God had always been so personal and right now, I don’t feel his presence.

      • jacki perrette

        Perhaps His presence is eclipsed at the moment by the depth of your grief and by virtue of the loss of your best coping resource. But you are a survivor. You may never have lost your best friend before and it may well be the greatest loss you’ll ever know, but you have suffered losses in the past and made it through. Even though you fight the very idea of this loss, eventually, in time, you will learn to live with it – and it will fade into the background. I hope that will be sooner rather than later. ❤

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