Why Me?

why-meNow this is the ultimate question for survivors of abuse?  A question for which we will never have an answer.  A question that haunts us.  A question that lingers in the air right above our heads… always in reach.  A question that we just have to find a peace with.

I have yet to meet the survivor that knows the answer to this question for herself.  And I have yet to meet the survivor who hasn’t struggled with this question.  I am not even sure that I can tell you my answer that finally gave me some peace.

I know I was a replacement wife for my dad since my mom is bipolar.  I know that my dad had a decent life growing up.  I’ve been told by my uncle that my dad was odd even when he was young… always a loner. But none of that answers the question of what would bring my dad to do such a thing and why me.

To be honest, I am not sure where my peace comes from… other than to say it is a blessing from God.  I don’t know when the switch flipped.  I don’t know what brought it about. I could help so many if I had those answers. But what I can say is pray.  Believe that God will bring you peace.  Ask for the strength to let it go.  It can and will happen.  I am proof and I thank God for that every day.

Song: “Fly” by Maddie and Tae

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:7

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Why Don’t I Trust My Own Judgement?

woman-prayingAs a survivor, I now find myself in another situation in which I should have listened to my inter-voice and didn’t. I’m not sure why I keep putting myself in this situation.  I think I have changed and moved forward, but unfortunately when it comes to this, I haven’t.  So I am sitting here, staring at my computer screen, wondering what to write, and I keep asking myself “why don’t I trust my own judgement?”

Naturally, I googled and it is starting to make a little sense… at least for me.  Remember this blog is from the perspective of someone who was abused by her father from about 3 to 10ish.  I had a couple of years reprieve from around 10 to 14 for several reasons, but when I started changing physically, my father of course had to check that out. I remember it so clearly.  He actually had the nerve to come back in my room and apologize, because he didn’t want me to think he was perverted! LOL!  Sorry Dad, that ship sailed a long time ago!

So, why don’t I trust myself?  Why don’t I listen to that small voice in my head?  I think it goes back to the lies that so many of us carry around… “it wasn’t that bad.” OR this oldie but goodie, “am I exaggerating?” Those are my internal questions that pop up on a semi-regular basis.  I have spent so many years down-playing or questioning my abuse that I now doubt myself.

None of us want to accept the fact that our parents are monsters, who preyed on innocent children.  We look for answers or reasons as to why this happened.  We make excuses.  We overlook so many things.

One of my earliest memories, which I have shared before, was when I was four and getting a bath.  My brother, who was two, and I were in the tub and my parents were discussing who would wash whom.  I remember sitting there hoping my mom would pick me, but my dad said he would.  My heart sank. As I sat there in the tub, in pain, burning, I watched my brother, who was splashing away in the water, being two, smiling, and laughing.  I looked at my mom, who was talking to my brother and dad, and she was smiling.

Trust-pixMy gut told me that this had to be wrong and it didn’t feel right. I was so confused.  Why were my mom and brother happy?  Why didn’t they notice my pain?  Why didn’t they care about my pain? This was the beginning of me not trusting myself.  Surely if what was happening to me was bad and it was right in front of them, they would notice, right?

And there it begins, I must have been wrong.  It must not be that bad.  I must be exaggerating this pain. Now here we are 43 years later and I still don’t listen to my small voice.  Hopefully, this current experience will cure me of my self-doubt.  I pray that my eyes are finally open, but I guess only time will tell.

Song: “Need You Now” by Plumb

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

 

When the Night is Closing in

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 8.40.07 PM.pngIf you are like most survivors, your heart just dropped into your stomach when you read the title of today’s blog.  Nighttime is HORRIBLE! For a lot of us, closing our eyes and going to sleep just means flashbacks, night-terrors, and waking up in a cold sweat.  There is nothing refreshing about it and you would give your right arm if it would just stop rolling around every 18 hours or so.

For me, the feeling was overwhelming. I stayed up until all hours doing school work for my job as a teacher, I went back to school for my master’s, so I had that to do, I cleaned, I googled, anything to put off going to sleep.  When I finally did lie down to sleep, I was in immense panic.  I had taken my anxiety medicine, but I still laid there thinking that dying would be less painful.  All I can remember is the panic… the “I’m going to die” panic.  Too be honest, I’m not sure how I got through a lot of nights.

But in the light of brutal honesty, I will share this with you.  There were many nights that I had my youngest daughter sleep with me.  Not one of my greatest mother-of-the-year moments, seeing that she was in middle school… but it’s the truth.  She was my security blanket.  She was my “I can’t harm myself with my child next to me” savior. She was the reminder that I had a reason to live.  She was my face to look at to take the ugly thoughts away.  She was the reason I could finally close my eyes and get some sleep.  It sounds pitiful, I know. But she helped.  I thank God she was there, but I prayed to God that I didn’t screw her up.

One of the scariest things for me was when she went to college. Her presence under my roof at night became those things I needed after the first couple of years.  The knowing she was there and wouldn’t think I was a creeper if I went in her room, sat on the edge of her bed, and stared at her for a few minutes to calm my brain and remind myself what I had to live for in order to find the courage to go to bed.  She was my thing… that sounds absolutely awful… my thing, but she was the thing I needed to remind myself to fight.

But in all reality, at the point, it was a crutch. I didn’t need my daughter under my roof to help me fight my panic.  (By-the-way, panic is a terrible word.  It does NO justice to the absolutely, horrifying feeling that you are going to die.)  What I needed to fight my panic was Jesus. Jesus is the ONLY answer.  He is the ONLY answer to ongoing healing, wellness, and peace.

bible2-620x520So I challenge you, if you suffer from “I hate the night-itis,” get yourself some Jesus! Now here is what I mean by that. You need a Jesus arsenal.  I’m talking get cozy in your bed and whip out some Jesus! Devotionals, books, musics, the Bible, the Bible app, a podcast, anything to do with Jesus.  And as you lie there cozy in your bed, start reading or listening to whatever it is you choose.  As you drift off to la-la land, have your thoughts on Him… the One who saves and He WILL protect your mind.

So go… what are you waiting for?  Get your Jesus arsenal going and see what happens.  You’re going to be okay ❤

Song: You’re Gonna Be Ok – Brian & Jenn Johnson    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS SONG!

My go-to verses throughout my healing:

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:7

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Phil 4:8

Let God’s word be your nightlight:

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:105

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