challenge

What has been the biggest challenge in your life so far?

I don’t have an answer to this question.  Or, I have so many answers to this question that there’s no one thing I can pinpoint as being the biggest challenge I’ve faced to-date. 

I walked the streets of Prague alone for a week, unable to speak the language, suffering from depression and feeling unwanted as a future SiL struggled with her own demons.  I travelled three hundred miles to escape my childhood, throwing myself into student life and loving every minute.  I survived a four year abusive relationship, and still struggle to come to terms with the fact that I loved him.  I longed to be loved by a father who deserted me; it took me a long time to realise I could love him without having to actually like him.  I understand now that I am my father’s daughter.  I listened to The Big Brother sobbing and I took his pain as my own, but I had nobody to take mine away from me and ease my burden.  I  was kind and let people take photographs of me on my wedding day.  Sometimes I talk on the phone, to strangers.  As a twelve year old I cried in church (often) and told God he was a bastard; I’m still unsure as to where I stand on that score.  I cuddle my Blokey and pretend to be fine but inside my belly is gurgling with a mixture of fear and hope and hate and worry …

But my Biggest Challenge (so important it deserves capitals) is yet to make an appearance.  My Biggest Challenge is the one that will never be challenged.  It hides in my head and it eats away at me.  Chomp Chomp Chomp.  It bubbles away under the surface, both there and yet not quite there.  I could scream at it, plead with it perhaps, beg it to come to the forefront of my mind.  But I don’t actually want that Challenge.  I like keeping it at arms length because challenging it to become my Biggest Challenge will challenge my family and friends to reconsider their roles in my life, and their memories, and their own existence.

Cryptic?  I can be.  And doesn’t it make it all the more exciting?

please God, challenge me xxx Elsabeth

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