Peace from Within
Recently, I had to confront my past with the sexual abuse from my biological father to bring complete healing. Some may say this was foolish, but for me I knew I had to deal with it in this manner. My mom was kind enough to mail me all the court documents and papers from counselors, etc. Even a few copies of letters from the man himself. I always knew what happened but didn't KNOW. Reading the facts about what happened to me was painful, which is an understatement. The fact a father could do these things to his children is sickening and way beyond me. But it happens more than people want to admit. I would say that 3 out of 10 people at LEAST have been through sexual abuse. There is no excuse for it, and the path to complete healing evades most of the victims.
In my journey, I forgave when I was about 21. But that didn't mean I didn't have nightmares still or flashbacks or weird anxieties I couldn't explain. It didn't mean that I could completely forget, which I don't think will ever happen. I have gone through times where I am extremely angry at God and people in general. I used to be a very angry person. Deep down was this little girl screaming and crying for the love that should have been given by a father, but something I didn't get.
This past year those same fears and dreams started slowly creeping back into my life. I was reading the book The Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B Allender and I just knew I had to get those papers and know exactly what happened instead of living this guessing game of what I knew in my subconscious.
Now the fact that I was abused until I was about 2 would make people wonder how I could remember anything whatsoever about what happened. People who have never been through this sort of abuse don't realize that it taints a person's soul. It takes from us what was never meant to be stolen. It made me feel dirty, like a used rag that could just be tossed in the garbage. It gave me severe depression as a small child and young adult. I am afraid of large groups of people and get sort of panic attacks in certain situations. The after affects are real and they all stem from the abuse by the hands of this man.
Confronting it was the best thing I could do. I was able to grieve that grief that comes from deep within. Those sobs were for my childhood gone, my peace taken and my purity destroyed. I was able to let go. These last few weeks since I have read it have been a roller coaster. Some days I just cry for no reason, but deep down there is that reason. But slowly and surely it is getting better and my peace is being restored. Without God this would be an impossible journey, but he has been there every step of the way. Through my anger, hate, sadness, grief, God reaches out and says, "I am here." Through little whispers and through other people. In fact, the day after I read the paperwork, I got a card in the mail from Pastor Irene from church. Now she had no idea the situation. But the card said to remember my purpose. Talk about timing.
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18
I am writing this to give hope to those who have had to travel the same, if not worse path. I have always considered myself lucky that I had a mom who put a stop to it. The man sat in prison for 2 years, signed over his parental rights and then when I was 13 he committed suicide. I haven't had to deal with the man being alive and haunting me in real life. He is gone and I am safe.
I know so many have much worse stories and my heart breaks for you. There is healing and there is a God who cares deeply for you and wants to heal your broken heart. I highly recommend the book The Wounded Heart as it has helped me immensely. There is even a workbook that comes with it. Also, the people at Focus on the Family are more than willing to help in any way. There hotline number is: 1-800-232-6459 and the hours are 6am to 8pm Mountain Time.
I pray every day for those who have lived this nightmare or are living it at this moment. God bless you all.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, presents your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7