Now here’s a topic no one likes to talk about yet we are all full of it at some point in our journey.
The day after remembering “the big stuff” I went to school and remember walking the halls not being able to look anyone in the eye. People kept asking me if I were okay and I’d just shake my head yes with a tear in my eye. In a matter of 24 hours, I went from a vibrant, sweet, friendly girl to a shell of a person. I felt like everyone could see right through me. I felt like I now had a stamp on my forehead that said “sexually abused.” I felt like I was so dirty that I would never be clean again. I felt like who in the world would want to be my friend or have anything to do with what I had remembered. I felt disgusting and alone. That, my friends, is shame.
The question is… why is shame ours to bear? We didn’t commit a crime against humanity. We are the victims of that crime, but yet we carry the heavy burden of shame and its consequences. I can not remember how long it took me to be able to look another in the eye again or walk with my head up. The unworthiness covered me like a blanket no matter where I went or what I was doing.
So what do you do with the burden of shame? Well, run full stream into the war against it with the full armor of God on you. That is my only advice. Shame is an evil adversary. It messes with your head in a way that is quite unimaginable. It is a chisel breaking you piece by piece and a thief in the night that carries them away. Shame is the devil’s playground in your mind.
Unfortunately, depending on the closeness in the relationship with your abuser, the duration of the abuse, and if you had multiple abusers, the harder your battle with shame will be. For me, it was my father from about 3 until 14. The abuse was not the same over the span of years, but it was there in different forms. Because it was my dad and it lasted for years, I fall on the higher end of the spectrum when dealing with the trauma. Now I really haven’t won anything in my life, so how pleasant it is to win this luck of the draw… head-shaking, eye-rolling emoji missing from here.
I wish I had an easy remedy or solution… maybe a quick fix-it up my sleeve, but I don’t. I dealt with the shame for years. To be quite honest, I wish I could tell you what helped me and that there is a magic switch to turn it off. But the only thing I can think of is God and finding out that I am not alone in this war. 1 out of 4 girls are subject to some form of sexual abuse before they are 18 and when you meet one, it does something for your soul.
No one would ever wish this upon another human being, but I can tell you this: if you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, be open about your story. Talk about it. I am not saying you need to walk around with a poster or bring it up in every conversation. What I am saying is that in our quickly, crumbling society, there are opportunities to share your experience. You will be surprised how many “me too’s” you will hear. And truly that is all that needs to be said. That “me too” builds a bond instantaneously and there is power in numbers.
Your bravery to be open may help lift the head of the next victim and help her become a survivor. So let’s put shame to rest and take it out of our hearts and place it where it belongs: on the abuser… with a huge sign and a bright red bow.
God bless ❤
Awesome Shame Verses:
“I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.” – Psalm 25:2
“No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.” – Psalm 25:3
“Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.” – Psalm 25:20
Full Armor of God:
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Eph 6:10-18