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Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

ImageI don’t check up on this blog much anymore, but I felt led to do so and share where I currently am on my healing journey. The entire time I was writing the Blooming Lotus blog, I was active in Bible studies, particularly those written by Beth Moore, who is a Christian speaker and author who is also a child abuse survivor. Nobody who knows who she is thinks of her with the label of “child abuse survivor,” though, and that is what I am seeking in my own life – to discover who I am outside of the label of “child abuse survivor.”

Two of her Bible studies have greatly impacted where I am now: Breaking Free and Believing God. In March 2013, I was in another bad place and questioned whether I would ever be free of my past. Where was this peace and satisfaction that Beth Moore said were mine as God’s child? I set aside a full day for prayer, worship, and crying out to God, and my life has not been the same since.

For the first time in my life, I experience joy. Yes, JOY! I didn’t know that was possible for me, but it is and has been for months now. In May, I realized that the undercurrent of wanting to die was finally gone – GONE! I now know what it is like to live my life JOYFUL and without an underlying death wish. I never dreamed this was possible!

This wonderful period of joy has lasted for SIX MONTHS, even while various challenges slammed me in my day-to-day life. No matter what life threw at me, I was “standing on solid ground,” knowing that God is always – ALWAYS – in control and protecting me. Nothing that my abusers broke in me is too broken for God to heal. NOTHING!

Last month, God put heavily on my heart that it is time to heal my marriage. God had already been softening both my heart and hub’s for a number of months and even moved hub into a life decision to stop complaining and be content. I was not involved in this decision of his, and he has not complained in almost two months. This season has been challenging for me because part of healing my marriage involves healing my feelings about sex and undoing all of the lies woven into my head – that “pleasure” and pain are intertwined and that marital sex is trying to say “I love you” with the same physical action as rape.

For the last month, I have been integrating my most wounded parts, and that has been difficult. However, this time around, I know where my solid ground is, and I feel like I can reach out and touch God because He is so close to me as I heal my most wounded parts of myself. In the midst of healing the pain, I know in the very depths of my heart and soul that I am fully and completely loved. I don’t know what I will look like after this process is completed, but I am resting on the promise that God wants this part of me healed. Once this is healed, I will have fully reclaimed all of the parts of myself that my abusers took from me. I am living Isaiah 61. I have been restored!

I was always very careful not to weave too much “God talk” into this blog because I did not want to trigger anyone with religious triggers. However, I cannot blog any longer with God hiding in the background. GOD IS MY HEALER AND RESTORER!! Behold, He makes all things new! And He is making me new. After all of the trauma, pain, rage, and grief, I have been made new! If God can not only heal but RENEW me, He can do it for you, too! Don’t let ANYONE tell you that you are a lost cause. The Maker of Heaven and earth has the power to fully free you from your bondage if you will let Him.

Photo credit: Microsoft

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Blooming Lotus (c) Faith AllenHi, all.

I am still super busy with my job and such, but I do have a holiday break coming, so I decided to participate over at Lori’s Song while I temporarily have a little more time so I can offer support to child abuse survivors over the holidays. Overall, I am doing well. This time of year is always hard for me, but it is less hard than in prior years, and I am celebrating the progress. I hope all of you are doing well.

Photo credit: Faith Allen

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I hope you have had a chance to visit the child abuse healing forums at Lori’s Song. The site just launched on Friday, so it will take a while for the forums to get busy as child abuse survivors who are looking to heal join the site. The site has quite a few child abuse healing forums, including a section for learning how to thrive. I like that the forums are set up to meet the needs of those who have moved through the early stages of healing and are transitioning into thriving. Of course, plenty of support is available in the child abuse healing forums for those of you who are in the throes of the early stages of healing.

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Everyone,

I have previously shared that I have been helping launch a charity for child abuse survivors. The site went live today.

I encourage you to check out this exciting new resource for child abuse survivors. It would be a great place to move this community for those of you who would like to stay in regular contact.

Let me know what you think of the site! :0)

~ Faith

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Today has been a really cool day! I started a new Bible Study written by Beth Moore that is entitled Breaking Free. If that sounds familiar, it’s because I did it a couple of years ago and shared some of the concepts that were helpful to me.

Here’s the cool part – During her orientation video, Beth Moore talks about healing for the “brokenhearted.” That is a term that always resonated deeply with me. If one word captures how I viewed myself for most of my life, it was brokenhearted. I had the realization that I am no longer brokenhearted. What a HUGE, HUGE realization!

Now, I am not arrogant enough to declare myself “healed” or “done” with healing. I think that healing takes place at deeper and deeper levels as we grow. I also believe that I am blessed to be in a season of emotional rest. If history is a good predictor of the future, that season is likely to end as Halloween approaches, but for now, I have been in a wonderful place of rest and appreciating the fruits of my labors. I just want to enjoy it while it lasts!

I also noticed another area of growth today. My sister called me from the road as she is driving up to take care of momster. She hasn’t been keeping me in the loop, but she wanted me to know that she needed to travel to tend to some medical issues that momster is dealing with, and this information was relevant because she and I are working together on a project professionally, and she needs to send an email to the group explaining why she cannot be as active for the next few days. She didn’t want the first time I heard about this to be in that email.

My first reaction to this news was feeling badly for my sister – not guilty for me not helping out but just sad that my sister, who is working and going to college while parenting two children as a single mother, is having to take care of yet one more person. My second reaction was that I take no pleasure in knowing that momster is in pain. I didn’t think that her pain was the result of karma or whatever. I felt badly for her that she is in pain while, at the same time, had no compulsion to get involved.

I am aware of the many ways that I have changed as I have healed, but I don’t often have days like today where I am really aware of how much growing I have done. It’s a great feeling!

Photo credit: Microsoft

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I have been mulling over the goal or point of healing from child abuse. In my early months of healing, my goal was to stop being in pain. I was having flashbacks every night and felt like I was losing my mind. My goal was to “get over this” and stop being in pain.

I am no longer in ongoing pain. Yes, I go through periods of processing pain, but I also have periods in which I feel peaceful and am not in emotional pain. Does that mean I am “done?” I don’t think so.

After a few years of healing, my goal of healing from child abuse became more about exploring the person I was becoming. My actions and reactions were different from what they used to be. Instead of being the world’s doormat, I could be a b@#$% when needed, and as time went on, I even learned to embrace this facet of myself. I learned new ways to interact with the people in my life and the world around me. I wound up growing distant in some friendships and developing healthier friendships with different people.

I have heard different theories over the years about what the “end game” to healing from child abuse is. Some people tell me that I need to process and process until there is nothing left to process. Others tell me that the ego is never “finished” and will keep spewing up stuff to process until I learn how to live in a different level of consciousness through tools such as yoga and meditation. My therapist told me that I will always have trauma issues and triggers bubble up, but I will process them faster and faster as they become speed bumps rather than brick walls. My church tells me that through my faith, I can be miraculously healed from all of the trauma and lived the rest of my life renewed.

At the moment, I am toying with my own theory that I have not heard others mention. I wonder if perhaps the goal is not to heal from the child abuse but, instead, to grow. Processing trauma was part of my growth – and a central focus for a while because I needed to work through X, Y, and Z to continue growing. Now that I am on the other side of regular flashbacks, etc., perhaps I don’t need to think about “healing from child abuse” but, instead, simply focus on growing into the person I am becoming. As I encounter trauma issues that need processing because they are interfering with my growth, I’ll process them, but I also don’t need to go looking for traumas to uncover and process, either.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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Listening to Your Body

Listening to my body is such a new and exciting experience for me that I will probably keep returning to this topic as I explore it. Many of my lifelong struggles could have been simplified immensely if I had simply been able to listen to my body. All that I needed to know was right here in front of me, but I was unable to connect with my body for so long because of the disconnection after the child abuse.

As an example, I have been drinking water like crazy over the past few days but did not know why – I just could not get enough water in my body. It finally hit me this morning – I have been recovering from feeling “brain fried,” and readers have advised me repeatedly to drink lots of water whenever I am processing trauma. I have no idea why drinking water is relevant, but I drank much more water yesterday and felt much better.

Another example is my body weight. I battled an eating disorder (binge and compulsive overeating) for most of my life, and my weight has stayed 25-30 lbs over my ideal body weight for decades. I tried just about every diet imaginable, but nothing ever seemed to work.

I am listening to my body about what, when, and how much to eat, and my weight keeps dropping. I stepped on the scale this morning, and my weight was the lowest it has been since the mid-1990’s. The ironic part is that I feel like I eat all the time!

My body does not want three large meals a day. Instead, it wants five smaller meals, and one of those meals (my afternoon snack) can even be junk food (but not chocolate) as long as the others are healthy. My body does not want more than about 300 calories in a sitting, so my total caloric intake is probably half of what it used to be, but I feel like I am eating all the time and getting to eat what I want because what I want is now aligned with what my body needs. This is such a foreign concept to me!

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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