Dear God. I told my therapist last week how I’m feeling ugly. He told me I have to stop expecting everyone to be like Jesus.

I suppose I have been, Lord. I haven’t accepted people in the way I’ve wanted them to accept and forgive people like me. The kindness I used to have has left me. It has gradually disappeared – probably the result of my anger about stigma. I thought the stigma was ugly and evil. And now I believe I’ve turned ugly and evil.

Where’s the love I used to feel towards people? Where’s the appreciation for support? Where’s the understanding I should have for others’ situation?

I’ve only felt like this for a short time, as memories and pain return. They often do, coming unbidden – replaying the horror of what happened to me. I’ve forgiven the abuse. Those memories are, for the most part, tucked away. But the repercussions keep plaguing me, leaving me a different person than I used to be. Too often an ugly person.

The injustice, the hunger for righteousness, the ever-returning pain, the shame – coming through no fault of my own.