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Posts Tagged ‘life after child abuse’

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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I had my last regular session with my therapist last week. We both agreed that I have processed all that I need to process from my hellish summer, and I can always schedule another therapy session as needed.

At my last session, we talked about my adaptability in comparison to my husband’s inflexibility. I said I found it ironic because I am the one who grew up in an abusive environment while he did not. (His upbringing was dysfunctional but not abusive. His parents loved him, and he knew that they did.) I would expect that someone who grew up in abuse to be less flexible and more distrustful of the outside world.

My therapist said that the opposite actually tends to be true. Because I was surrounded by abuse, I had to look outside of myself and my surroundings to engage in life. My pain drove me to therapy and to reaching out toward others. This resulted in me learning that there is life outside of my pain.

Contrast this with my husband, who grew up in a loving but dysfunctional bubble. He learned that safety was found by staying in the bubble, which moved him toward being inflexible in his life. He needs the bubble to stay intact, and any change threatens the bubble.

I find it ironic that experiencing much more childhood pain through abuse has actually served me better in living my life in adulthood. Another therapist says that the most emotionally wounded are often the most successful and healthy in life because their pain drives them to seek therapy. Through therapy, they learn how to live life in a healthier manner. My therapist points out that we learn to live life, not just exist.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have worked far too hard to settle for merely existing. Just having food on the table and the absence of abuse in my life is not enough for me. I want to make a difference in the world. I want the fact that I exist to matter. I want the world to be a better place because I am in it. I want meaning and purpose in my life.

Additionally, I want to experience life. I want to know what it feels like to walk along the beach in Hawaii. I want to visit different places and see how people live in other parts of the world. I want to feel … to experience … to **be** …

I also want to heal as much pain as I can. I know I cannot take away another person’s pain, but I can walk alongside him and show him a way out. I can listen and truly “hear” as another person unburdens herself. I can make a sick person’s day a little less hard by dropping off lunch or groceries. I can babysit a single mother’s child so she can have a much-deserved break.

Existence is not enough. I want to live!

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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I think I have shared before that I am starting a new job. This is a part-time teaching job that I am excited about. The job is part teaching and part coaching, encouraging students to believe in themselves to be successful as they face the next milestone to their dream job.

The training for the job is very intensive, and then preparing to teach the class is even more so. I need to learn and prepare a 330-page curriculum to do the job well. I know from teaching experience that the first pass is always the most difficult and time-consuming. Once you learn the curriculum, then you can teach it with your eyes closed. However, the start-up involves an enormous investment of time and energy to get prepared to teach the class.

This has been my focus for the past couple of months. I have been putting in 4-6 hours a day on top of my already busy schedule to prepare myself to teach this class. This has not left me much time or energy to focus on healing from child abuse, which, in many ways, has been a blessing. Even though I am not sitting around chilling out and relaxing (not sure how to do that!), this has been another way for me to get a reprieve from all of the work involved in healing from child abuse. Right now, I simply don’t have the time to focus on that.

I am writing this blog entry from the beach, where I went for a walk alongside the beach. This is something that I love to do, combining exercise with thinking about the meaning of life, etc., as I look out over the waves. For once, I was not melancholy as I did this. My therapist used to point out that going to the beach was a very healing experience for me. He noticed that I always had great leaps in healing following a trip to the beach. That did not happen this time, but I mean that in a good way.

As I walked along the beach, I thought about how my life right now is not revolving around healing from child abuse, and it is such a relief to be in this place. I know this is just a season for me, and that season will end. I know I have more healing work to do in the future. However, for right now, in this moment, it is nice for my life not to revolve around healing from child abuse for once.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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