Gentle Recovery

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

Archive for the ‘depression’ Category

Comfortable With Yourself

Posted by A Write to my Voice on May 8, 2009

“The worse loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.” Mark Twain

For too long I walked around feeling as if I weren’t attached to myself, almost as if I was outside my body walking beside it rather then actually being in it. Being separate and not a part of who I was, was a totally weird sensation. It’s almost like floating through the world; – not being grounded.

My body wasn’t safe. I felt like it betrayed me. It allowed all the abuse, – the beatings, the kidnap and the rape to happen. In my mind, just being seen and having a female body caused the violence. It was my enemy. I fought with myself, trying to force the fear and terror to go away – I fought against myself to be strong, but I was afraid, so afraid I couldn’t stand it. The fear forced me to pull more and more into myself and away from reality.

As a kid, I willed myself to disappear until I couldn’t feel anything. I lived in my head, in fantasies that took me to another place, a safe place. A place where no one could hurt me. But even that stopped working at some point. I needed to find something stronger, more effective that lifted me out of the pain and shame and fear. So I cut myself, ripped open my skin, injected my body full of dope and forced myself to throw up even if I ate one small bite of something. I told myself, I wasn’t allowed to exist. I had been told over and over I deserved nothing, I was garbage, worthless, ungrateful. I believed it. Words are so powerful. I lived on those words, falling deeper and deeper into a dark hole that became harder and harder to get out of.

And then, He touched me. He pulled me up and out of that pit of hell. In a hospital emergency room, where I lay under oxygen – the damage I had done to my body extensive – He touched me. He redeemed me. He breathed life into me. I felt it. I knew something supernatural had happened. It was powerful. So powerful I stopped using the drugs. Right from that moment. Fourteen years of shooting up, three and four times a day,- Gone – Over – because of His touch.

I don’t know why He chose to free me. Why me? I’m no more special than anyone else. I thought of friends who died, friends who took their own lives or accidentally overdosed, – why me? Why did He let me live? I don’t understand but I am determined now to to look back, as painful as it is, for one purpose, – to reach out and help someone else caught in their own cycle of torment. There is hope. There is freedom – For me, I found it in Him. When nothing else worked, He did. He touched me. He changed me. He turned the light of His love on. The darkness left. The fear went. Now I live with tremendous joy and gratitude.

Posted in child abuse, depression, fear, lonliness, mental health, self-esteem, violence | 2 Comments »

Real Strength

Posted by A Write to my Voice on March 28, 2009

“It is the support and care and love you give yourself that gives you the real strength to care for and love others.” Oprah Winfrey

I want to make a difference. I want to impact others in positive ways. I know it has to start with me. – Taking care of myself, honoring the life God blessed me with; embracing all of who I am; the good, the bad and the ugly. Accepting me just as I am. That is a tough thing to do some days. For years I berated myself for not being good enough. I did to myself what those who hurt me, did to me. I called myself names when I couldn’t do something. I hurt myself to try to stop being afraid or when I felt vulnerable and weak. I refused to eat and threw up when I did because I believed I had no right to exist. That’s what I was told. That’s what I accepted.

The cult of deception: – lies I believed. Lies that almost destroyed me. Lies that kept me in a cycle of pain. I lived my life based on those lies. The lies made me sick. I had persistent panic attacks. Simply walking down the street triggered them. My stomach hurt. I felt dizzy, lightheaded. My perceptions became distorted and my heart raced. I felt like I was losing control and was powerless to stop it. I obsessed about the fear of being seen. Being seen meant getting hurt – I spent a lifetime hiding.

But amazingly God touched me. Broke the curse of deception. Cut the cords of despair. Filled me with a joy that bubbled and overflowed. The self-destructive behaviours continued. My need to hide persisted, except now I felt I wasn’t alone in the dance anymore.

I started reading the Bible. I discovered its power of truth was able to dispel the darkness. I read and reread and learned I was made in His image. I found out I was the apple of His eye. I learned He wanted to set me free.

I moved with caution, but at least I moved. For every two steps forward I was thrown one back. I became frustrated, angry, overwhelmed. But I sensed His Spirit whispering encouragement, prodding me to keep taking a step, then another, and then another.

His touch empowered me. He poured His love into my broken spirit. Somehow His gentleness made a difference. There were days I was so consumed with self-hate that I raised my fist in the air and screamed at Him, daring Him to kill me. Amazingly, instead, He whispered words of peace. The presence of His love walked me through the lies and the pain – He taught me new ways to cope – running, nature, friends, His Word.

I want to partner with Him to help others find freedom. I live with tremendous gratitude.

Posted in christian, deception, depression, empower, God, healing, lies, life, Oprah, peace, recovery, spirit | 5 Comments »