Gentle Recovery

Hope and Inspiration for Overcoming the Damaging Effects of Child Abuse and Rape

Archive for the ‘abuse’ Category

Telling the Truth

Posted by A Write to my Voice on April 15, 2009

“We know the truth, not only by the reason, but by the heart.” Blasie Pascal

For years, I refused to tell the truth of what happened, even to myself. For some reason, I was afraid to admit it, to believe it took place. My body knew though. The shame and fear lived inside me. It made me sick. It made me want to hurt myself, throw up, hide. And my body hurt in weird ways. I walked around feeling like puking all the time. My head itched from a rash that refused to go away and I had terrible migraines that forced me to spend even more time alone in darkness.

Truth – how could I not know or admit the awfulness of what took place? I minimized, I said it wasn’t so bad. I said the abusers were only doing the best they could, that they didn’t mean to do what they did. But I couldn’t look anyone in their eyes. I knew if they saw into mine, they would see how bad and awful I was. They would hate me and be disgusted, so I hid. The shame tormented me. For years I tried to dance around it. I pretended what happened didn’t really take place or it wasn’t that bad.

Then someone told me the rapist’s son killed himself. I learned of the brutality of what was done to him. It reminded me of what had been done to me, how I fought to get away from him with no one to help me. I survived. That boy didn’t. And something in me knew I needed to tell. No one protected that boy. No one helped him. My sister returned from overseas. She called me everyday telling me the abuse was horrific that we suffered as children.

It felt like God was giving my head a good shake. When I was a child being beaten and bullied, I lived in a make believe world. I told myself if I were good, very good, my parents would stop hurting me. I told myself if I helped them, they would love me. I tried really hard to be what they wanted, to give them whatever they needed. I became really good at reading them, focusing all my attention on being there for them. The problem, – in doing that, I cut myself off from me. I became lost and it took years to find my way back.

Every time they punched or slapped me, threw something at me that left my body in pain and with big black bruises, every verbal assault that told me how bad, stupid and wrong I was, every fist in my face forcing me to eat even while I threw up,-in my child’s mind, I believed they were good people. It was me. I was bad, wrong, undeserving. I defended them, stood up for them if anyone said bad things against them.

God waited until I could talk. He waited until I was strong enough. He waited until He knew I would tell. Last year, when that boy committed suicide and I knew no one had helped him, I promised God I would tell the truth. If telling what I went through can help someone so they don’t have to live years lost in darkness, – then I want to do that.

At first telling the truth hurt. I felt like I was falling apart. I retreated into the woods. I spent most of my time running through the forest, hiding in its safety. There God comforted me. He told me its ok now to tell the truth. It’s ok to admit what happened. I felt His presence. I heard the gentle whisper of His love. I came home after running and wrote. I struggling in writing. I didn’t want to say everything. God nudged me. I saw that boy in my mind taking his life. I wrote the truth.

Funny thing about speaking the truth. My body felt better. The migraines have gone. That rash on my head, isn’t there anymore. I feel lighter, better, freer. Someone once said, if we don’t scream, our bodies will. Someone else said, “and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Advertisements

Posted in abuse, child abuse, faith, God, shame, truth | 14 Comments »

Taking A Stand

Posted by A Write to my Voice on April 1, 2009

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controvery.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Taking a stand and speaking out when we see or hear an injustice being done takes courage. It’s not easy to get involved, to have our voice – it’s so much easier to walk away; to kid ourselves into believing we didn’t see, we didn’t hear, we didn’t really know…….

Whether it’s standing up for the rights of a child to be free from harm, or a nation to be free from unjust rule, or a cause that we know we cannot look away from – taking a stand tells the world we will not be silent, we will not allow wrong to be be perpertrated – whatever the cost to ourselves.

I have struggled recently with family members who knew my sister and I were being abused. They said they didn’t know how bad it was, but they admitted they were terrified or our father and that many times they pulled our mother off us when she was beating us so badly. And finally they said, “we didn’t want to interfere in someone else’s family problems.” So they walked away and left. Left us to fend for ourselves against adults who bullied and terrorized us.

Then they said we should have asked for help. They blamed us. They said we didn’t reach out. It’s hard for me to understand their reasoning. We were children who had no voice. They said I was quiet, that I never talked, never spoke. I had no words. No voice. How could I have asked for help?

To protect myself, I tried to disappear, first in my head, then through drugs, throwing up and cutting myself. I willed myself to not be present. Once, while at the park, it started raining. I ran to the store to look for my sister. She wasn’t there. I ran back to the park. Everyone had left. Alone in the rain, thunder and lightening, I ran home. As soon as I got in the house, my mother attacked me – punching, kicking and slapping me. She put her hands around my throat and two of my aunts grabbed her and pulled her off. I slipped away and made it to the bathroom, locking the door. I dropped to the floor, soaking wet. Her screams filtered through the door. I closed my eyes and forced myself to pull away in my mind until I couldn’t hear her anymore.

I became lost. I never talked. Teachers told me I was the saddest child they had ever seen. But nobody did anything. Nobody helped.

When God wrapped His gentleness around me, poured out His love – I knew I needed to be a voice for those who had no voice. I couldn’t do what my relatives had done, look the other way and walk away from anyone experiencing any form of injustice or cruelty.

I went back to school. Got my degree. For all the drugs I did, the many times my head was bashed against the wall, for all the times I was called stupid, retarded, garbage, an idiot, I somehow managed to get on the Dean’s Honor List.

God empowered me. He gave me my life back, then my voice. I will never keep silent again. I will stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. I will not turn away. I will be a voice for the vulnerable, the weak and those unable to stand up for themselves. I want to make a difference, regardless of the cost to myself. With Him in my corner, I will not be silent anymore.

Posted in abuse, Christianity, courage, faith, free, God, injustice, rape, silent, speak, voice | 4 Comments »

In the Eye of Deception

Posted by A Write to my Voice on March 14, 2009

Soon to be Pubished: Book – In the Eye of Deception


No one knows what goes on behind closed doors. Raised in a middle-class family, from the outside everything looked good, but inside our home, I lived in fear and terror from the volatile rages of my father, and from the constant criticisms and name calling of my mother. As a young girl, I learned to hide and to feel ashamed of who I was. I came to believe I had no right to exist. Turning to self-destructive coping behaviours; a fourteen year drug addiction, an eating disorder and self-mutilation, I sought to punish myself for just being alive. In my late teens, I was pulled into a cult where I was confined for six months and raped.

This is a story of coming to faith in God but continuing to live less than a victorious Christian. It is a story about becoming whole through facing the pain of child abuse, confinement and rape and learning to trust God to provide freedom from the crippling effects of shame and fear.

This book is one of hope and faith. The message is clear, – no darkness is so black, no valley so deep, God cannot redeem it for His glory.

Posted in abuse, addictions, christian, courage, faith, God, healing, recovery | Leave a Comment »