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When I was little I wouldn’t eat for days at a time if I knew my friend was having a party. That way, I could stuff my face at my friend’s house and the kids wouldn’t think anything was wrong.
They wouldn’t know I was secretly starving myself to death.
This is what it’s like to have a mental illness. To pretend you’re okay, when you’re not. To wish to be normal, when you’re secretly hurting — and hating — yourself.
Only the insides of your walls know you’re not okay. Only your family knows you scream at your parents and slam the door, weeping, your sisters huddling by their beds praying you won’t commit suicide and your brother buying you coffee mugs that say “I Love You Beary Much” and then, when you don’t want the mug, drawing pictures of you as a wrecking ball slamming into the wall that is his family.
I wrote a post recently encouraging Christians to be less mean — especially online. It was called “When Did Christians Become So Mean?”
It seems to me we’ve lost some of our civility when it comes to what we post on social media. We are quick to blast a company that we feel has wronged us. We criticize people — right on their Facebook page. We load the comments of a blog post with crushing blows.
I am a Star Trek fan. One of the most interesting characters is a ruthless inter-galactic conqueror called The Borg. These part human, part machine creatures all possess the same brain. They are part of a collective consciousness, all thinking the same thing at the same time. Their coordinated killing power makes them unstoppable. Their threat to the next planet is always the same line — “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.” And from the body parts of conquered people, they make more Borg.
The Babylonians were the Borg of Old Testament days, taking the best and brightest of conquered people and assimilating them into Babylonian culture. The message was simple. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. It was a brain drain on the defeated culture and a shot in the arm for the conquering culture. And the assumption was that the gods of the victors had given them the victory. Babylon was god-rich with divinities like Bel-Marduk, Nebo, Tiamat, and others. The exiles, the best-and-brightest people of God, were constantly reminded of the superior gods of Babylon.