My Bombshell

14492546_1657479644564912_2340104461351773887_nBefore my records came, it was time to tell Ralph, my husband, something about me that he had never known. Which for him, I am sure was hard to imagine that there was anything about me that he didn’t know. After all, we met in first grade.

It was a porch conversation. I can’t even begin to relay how one feels when you are going to tell someone your biggest secret… one that may turn your world upside down. But I can tell you this: I was lucky. I was nervous and scared, but at the same time confident. Confident that my story was real and confident that I was sharing it with someone who would still love me, believe me, and would not judge me.

So here it goes: “I was molested by my dad.” I was molested by my dad. I’ve never said that out loud before. It sounded kind of weird, almost surreal coming out of my mouth, but I said it. Then came the backpedaling. “Well, it wasn’t that bad.”   “It was just small stuff.” “I’m uncomfortable around him, but it’s okay.” “But I think I’m missing something.” “I called for copies of my medical records from when I was in the hospital for that week when I was sixteen. Do you remember?” Then I gave Ralph a chance to speak. “Are you sure? Are you okay? Do whatever you need to do.” My response: “Okay.”

“Okay.” That was it. End of the conversation. I just laid what I thought was a bombshell, but that was it… “Okay”. I don’t think we ever talked about it again until eighteen years later. October 25th, 2009, a day that would change the course of my life forever.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:6-7

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Songs

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I am a big song person.  Songs connect me to a memory or a feeling in an instant.  They have helped heal me through this journey as well.  So I will also be posting songs that I listened to as I went through a certain stage of healing or that are just speaking to me.  Most songs will be Christian music.  I believe our spirit can call out to God as we sing.  Please feel free to listen and I pray that they give you healing and hope that they gave me….

PS… even if it sounds like a depressing song, it still gave me the help I needed at that moment. ENJOY!

“speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,”  –  Eph 5:19

Song: It is Well by Kristene DiMarco

Someone

It’s funny how words and actions can affect your whole life. Take me for instance. From the outside, I always looked like every teacher’s dream child… cute, nicely done, long-brown hair, green eyes, a pretty dress, always smiling, just a sweet little girl… “sweet”. I didn’t know it then put I’d grow to hate that word.

Who knew I’d be here writing this story… or even tell my story? It’s not an easy thing that we eventually have to do. It’s eats us up inside, bit by bit, moment by moment, but eventually it comes time to tell someone.

But who is someone? For each of us it is different. My first someone was my husband. We were high school sweethearts, who got married at twenty-one and bought my grandmother’s house in the neighborhood where we grew up. It was a nice start to life.

I remember sitting on our front porch on the same swing that had been there since I was a little girl. That swing held such fond memories… Memories of feeling safe and loved, swinging with my grandma during thunderstorms, listening to my grandpa tell me stories of how thunder is just the angels bowling. “There’s a strike!” he’d say. I loved his laugh and smile. I cherished those moments. Even then at the young age of seven, I cherished them. They had a way of making me feel special.

But this time, sitting on the swing, my memories and feelings were different. I’d been struggling with my thoughts and emotions for some time. Something was off. Something didn’t feel right. It was beginning to dawn on me that something about my childhood was not right. It was like puzzle pieces. One goes here. Another goes there. But they never fit together… at least not the way you would think. What were they? Why did I feel like I was missing so much? What was my gut trying to remind me of? So I did what any “normal” twenty-one year old would do. I called to get copies of my medical records.breaking-free.jpg

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1 (NIV)

 

So Thankful

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I just want to say how thankful I am that God has given me the courage and strength to share my story. This is truly something I never thought I’d do. I am so humbled to be used for His glory and honored to watched Him at work restoring lives. This blog has been in the making for over a year. I pray that it can help. ❤️

Song: Control by Tenth Avenue North

 “rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Col 2:7

Remembering the “Big Stuff”

 

As unfortunate as it is, my story is not unique.  I am the product of an abusive childhood.  My mother is bipolar and my dad… well, he is not well either.

I walked on eggshells my entire life when it came to my mom.  Her moods swung from high to low and could change on the drop of a dime.  Life with my mom was unpredictable at best.  I quickly learned that making her happy, staying out of the way, cleaning and trying to be perfect were the keys to my survival.  Although these things did not save me from the emotional and physical abuse, they did redirect the hurricane of emotions and anger that was my mother to pass by me on occasion.

My father, well, where do I start?  I’ve always viewed him as a weak man – a shell of a man, actually.  Mom ruled the roost and he said “yes dear.”  I think we all were in some sort of survival mode when it came to my mother.  But that is no excuse for what happened.  I became the surrogate wife to my father.  He came to me to fulfill the needs my mother could not, which led to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.

It’s funny.  I spent years in therapy trying to recover from and deal with my mother.  I knew some of the things that happened with my dad, but not all – I still don’t.  But none of that therapy prepared me for what my mind had kept hidden.

It’s amazing the power of the mind.  Its ability to go on autopilot when you need it; its ability to block out pain; its ability to shield you from the horror you aren’t able to comprehend.  That’s what it did for me.  But when that veil on the pain is lifted – WATCH OUT!

For me, the veil started to lift for some of my memories in 2009.  It was the night of my first nephew’s birth and the eve of my 39th birthday.  I went to sleep in blissful excitement of seeing my adorable nephew and woke to immense pain beyond description.  My mind had started to reveal the truth of my childhood – a truth I had always known but had guarded myself from.

Let’s rewind a bit… I had always known some of what I call “the small stuff” that happened to me.  And believe me, they were enough.  Enough to be uncomfortable around my father, enough to not let him be alone with my children, enough to watch his every move, enough to not want him in my personal space.  The problem for me for years was what would I do once my brothers started having children.  Would my “enough” be enough for them to protect their own children from my father?  How would I tell them?  How would they react?  Well, that night helped answer some of those questions. I remembered what I had always feared to know with 100% certainty.  My father had raped me.

On that beautiful October night, I went to bed ecstatic and woke in terror.  The horror of finally knowing what I always been afraid to remember was terrifying.  I now had a vivid memory of the extent of the sexual abuse that I endured at the hands of my father from the ages of about 4 to 9.  I screamed.  I cried.  I sobbed.  I shook.  I trembled.  I ached.  I groaned.  I mourned.  I laid in a ball on my bedroom floor.  I could not move.

I will never forget that night… the hours of agony.  That night changed my life.  It forever changed who I am; how I relate to the world; how I view myself; how I viewed God.  It helped bring about the end of my 18 year marriage and the perfect little world I created for my children.  It left me in a tail spin in a struggle to just get through each second of the day.  Each minute I was still alive was a win.

It’s amazing how raw it feels just putting this in writing for the world to see.  And the fact is that I have now shared my story more times than I can count, but I don’t think the emotions will ever fade when speaking of that night.  It forever changed me and the world I live in.

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” – Psalm 27:10

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The Journey Begins

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This blog is my story of sexual abuse, survival, and the healing power of God.  As I struggled to heal from remembering more about my abuse, I realized there are very limited resources, other than counseling, for those who have been sexually abuse. I needed to know I wasn’t alone and that I wasn’t crazy.  As I healed, I turned to my church,  There were help groups but none seemed to fit.  I spoke to my caring pastor and after years of discussion and planning, we formed a group called Survivors of Sexual Abuse or SOSA for short.  During this time I was told by numerous people that I should also share my story by starting a blog, so here we are.  Along with my story, I will post information about what we are discussing in SOSA and the hurdles I still face as my journey continues.  I hope my story and the SOSA discussions help you.

God bless ❤

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. — 2 Samuel 22:20 (NIV)

Song: God Help Me by Plumb