Lent Day 3: Broken, Refined, Polished, Restored

Fr. Robert Barron’s Lent Reflection today compared humanity as diamonds covered in the muck of sin. This reminds me of a verse from Malachi 3:3

He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.

Life is never an easy road. There are times that break us, times that test us, and times that heal us.

Today, I will post about a time that broke me.

This post is gonna get personal, so bear with me. I posted something about this in my first blog entry, but tonight, I’m gonna tell you about what happened in detail.

WARNING: If you have any emotional triggers tied to emotional abuse or manipulative and toxic friendships, please skip  to the end of the post which will have a cute picture of where I ate lunch today.

Back when I was in college, I had a friend whom I will call Narcissus Vanitas or NV for short. NV was the complete opposite of me, but he (using “he” as a gender-neutral pronoun) was there for me during a time that I really needed a friend. During my last two years of college, NV became my best friend and I helped him out during his own hard times.

However, last year things took a dark turn. Without even noticing, NV became codependent. He called me a lot, but I just thought it was just because we were helping each other with our writing. My subconscious started noticing that things were off, though, because whenever I wrote poetry, I wrote about having to leave a friend or feeling like I was being stabbed in the back.

It turned out that my intuition was right. NV wanted me for himself in the worst way. His constant calls were a way of isolating me from my family. He wanted me to change my name and all of my e-mails and cut myself off from my friends. Things went too far on March 7th, 2013 when he told me that he wanted to take my innocence. I was caught in the illusion, but my family staged an intervention and took my phone away before things could get worse.

At first, I was seriously defensive of NV until my parents gave me some perspective about the situation. I called NV for the last time that night, trying my best to try and cut things off without making it seem like my parents were making me say what I needed to say. But in the end, silence was the best answer I had to give him.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through with cutting myself off from my now former best friend. But when I went to sleep that night, I dreamt of something. I saw myself at the cross, trying to hold onto it. Then NV appeared from out of nowhere and dragged me away from the cross. I kicked and screamed, telling him to let me go.

Ultimately, it was that dream that made me realize that my friend was leading me away from God, trying to hide it under the illusion of this whole “us against the world” complex that NV had.

At that point, I was broken. (Listen to Matt Maher’s “Empty and Beautiful” and you pretty much got how I felt during this time.) It took months for me to get myself together. I found new friends in places I never knew, found a strong support system through my family, and now, a year later, I can say that I have been restored.

As for what I wish I could’ve told NV, to quote my favorite character from Once Upon a Time…

YOU DON’T GET TO DECIDE WHAT I DO OR HOW I FEEL, I DO!

Also Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” because NV hates Taylor Swift. Yes, I’m immature.

Have a drink from In-N-Out, where I ate today. On me.

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