Some of you know that I have been using homeopathy for the past year to help heal my body. It is hard to explain how it works, I just know it does. Throughout the process old physical symptoms, emotions and even events that are held in the body or remembered by your cells (there is a lot of info on cellular memory that you can find online) come to the surface. This gives your body an opportunity to heal itself, and it has worked wonders for me. Several months ago I started using a more intense level of the remedy I have been taking for the past year. In a short period of time my physical symptoms increased greatly and I started having memories that had been buried deep inside. Since I do not have many childhood memories at all, it was quite surprising to suddenly be remembering being sexually abused several times by my uncle's stepson when I was around six years old. For many years I knew I did not have good feelings when I thought about this boy, who was 12 at the time, but I did not know why. About a year ago I began to sense that I had been abused by him, but there were no clear memories. Then a few months ago I began having flashbacks of the abuse.The reasons that these memories have been buried for nearly 58 years are some of the same reasons that I am speaking out about it now to a world beyond my own family.
At the time of the abuse, I was told by this boy not to tell anyone, or else I would be hurt even worse. Even though I was threatened, I eventually did tell my mother and was told by her to never talk about it again. She was very upset and as a small child I took this to mean it was my fault.. I remember feeling ashamed, embarrassed, and afraid. Evidently I buried it deep inside. Talking with my homeopathic doctor and of course Joel, who has done extensive counseling over the years, has helped me as I work through this and also understand my mom's typical response for her generation~ "Don't talk about it!" I believe the abuse ended when we moved from there or after I told my mom. I am not sure, but thankfully it did end.
I am speaking out about this now because I was told not to so long ago. I did not feel I had a voice and I did not feel listened to. That carried over into adulthood, and those feelings and others have shaped portions of my whole life. Feeling unsafe has always been at the top of that list! Taking back my power, letting go of the "lie" I believed about myself, and using my voice to hopefully help others is also going to help me on my own healing journey. It takes a lot of energy to keep something so significant buried for so many years. I believe healing our inner wounds is very helpful for giving our body what it needs to heal. We are more than just our body~ we are spirit, soul and body interconnected. I have also prayed about putting something so personal out into the world, and I believe God has given me encouragement to do so.
This past month I have been having pretty intense flashbacks, which has been very challenging at times. These events can be triggered for many different reasons. In many ways this is a blessing because it seems the body is ready to heal from this after so many years! I have turned to the Lord in prayer over and over and He has supplied my needs, bringing healing as I acknowledge and work through the physical and emotional reactions to the memories.
I like to watch Rick Warrens church service live on Sundays, and when the recent memories first began to surface, his sermon for that week just "happened" to be about abuse! (Thank you Lord for supplying what I needed) He named several steps to help break free from the affects of abuse and number 1 was~ DON"T keep it a secret. This was not very easy for me. When I shared it with some members of my family, I would shake and sweat profusely, but I knew that getting it out in the open was giving me back my power. Rick Warren also spoke of naming the abuse, which I have done. Step 3 was, "Don't minimize it!" I had been unknowingly doing that and my doctor told me the same thing. She named it for what it was and said, it was horrible, it caused you great pain, and it affected your whole life. I needed to hear and accept that. There were other steps too, including doing what you can to begin the healing process and letting God settle the score.
I am also sharing my personal story in case there are others who are in need of healing. With 1 out of very 4 women going through some form of abuse, I am sure I am not alone. I pray if you have not found help, you will have the strength to take back your own life and be set free from the damage this does. God wants to heal you. I am standing on the promise given to me in a scripture God brought to my attention at just the right time.
"I will give you back your health and heal your wounds, says the Lord."
Jeremiah 30: 17
Let me speak briefly to how my mom handled this~ Truly, as best she knew how at the time. The boy who molested me? I agree with what Rick Warren says, "Hurt people..........hurt people." An excuse? No way. Without going into detail, he knew it was wrong and he knew what he was doing. It may be difficult to forget now that it has surfaced, but forgiveness will help me to heal and I am working on that. The fears and anxiety that have saturated parts of my life? That is just not working for me anymore! And that little six year old girl? She did nothing wrong. She was not to blame. And "she" is healing by speaking out now and breaking the silence. She now has a voice.. I have a voice. You have a voice.
"Don't panic. I am with you. There is no need to fear. I am with you.0
I'll give you strength. I will help you.
I'll hold you steady, keeping a firm grip on you.
Some might ask, where is God when bad things happen to people? Recently I listened to a story of a woman who had shared about a horrible event in her life. She should have died, but she lived! She said God took care of her. Her dad asked her, "Where was God when you were raped and shot three times! Her reply? "He was with me, holding my hand." I cannot imagine what she endured, but her trust in God has sustained her. In all the things that have happened throughout my life, I have felt the same way, but today I speak of the abuse. God was with me holding my hand. When I hurt He hurt. When you are hurting He is with you too, holding your hand and weeping with you.
As I said at the beginning, some of you may wonder why I would share something so personal. I do so as a way of helping others, and as a way of healing myself. I am determined to overcome this. And for me that means being open and honest, and making it my story to tell.
"You are a product of your past, but you are not a prisoner of it."
I am changing the ending of this part of my life story by shifting the power back to me and focusing on my future. With God's guidance I am healing one day at a time. Courage? Yes, I have courage. And if I have courage, we ALL have courage to be overcomers in whatever threatens to take away our best life.
"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord,
plans for good and not for evil,
plans to give you a future and a hope."