Crushed – Introduction



“You have no idea how I feel!” she yelled, “You have no idea what my life has been like!”  She was absolutely right.  Sort of.  My friend had been raised in squalor and abuse by her undereducated mother and her string of husbands, all of dubious character.  When my friend introduced me to her sister, well technically her half-sister, since all her siblings were fathered by different men, she said, “This is my sister, her father was murdered, but my father wasn’t the one who killed him.”  I had forgotten that my friend’s father had been imprisoned for murder.  He wasn’t a part of her life and she didn’t talk about him.  My friend had met missionaries in her youth, changed her life, and pulled herself out of the gutter to become one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever known.  She currently teaches at a university and is a sought after motivational speaker.  

Her husband, on the other hand, grew up in a middle class home that, while not perfect, was nothing like what she had endured growing up.  

On this particular day, early in their marriage, the ghosts of miseries past were haunting my friend and she was emotionally distraught.  Her well meaning husband made the insulting and inexcusable mistake of uttering the words, “I understand how you feel.”

Rather than being repulsed by her vehement rebuff, he continued earnestly, “Have you ever felt lonely?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“So have I,” he said.  “Have you ever felt rejected?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“So have I,” he said.  “Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“So have I,” he said.  “Have you ever felt unworthy of being loved?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“So have I,” and he continued listing emotion after emotion until she softened and realized that although they had had vastly different experiences and although he couldn’t understand what she’d been through, he might be able to understand how she felt, because he had felt that way too.  It opened her eyes and her heart and allowed her husband to be a help and support to her.

Likewise, although my life experiences will be vastly different from yours, we may be alike in many ways.  If you have ever felt lonely, unloved, humiliated, ashamed, anxious, depressed, worried, abandoned, betrayed, forlorn, lost, insecure, vulnerable, nervous, helpless, hopeless, discouraged, rejected, sad, angry, afraid, jealous, overwhelmed, confused, frustrated, taken for granted, insecure, unsupported, unworthy or worthless then we have something in common.  

This book is a chronicle of my journey from anxiety, depression, and brokenness back to wholeness and happiness, but it isn’t about me, it’s about all of us who are broken and crushed.  If the process works for one, it should work for all since we’re dealing with the same issues.  Although I had no hope and felt doomed to a life consisting of merely existing and enduring, I’m pleased to say that I was wrong, and it’s one of those times when being wrong is a really good thing.  

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