“I AM ME”

This is an article from Committedtofreedom.org I rarely repost something from someone, but this so slammed into me when I read it, I simply had to share! So much me is in it. Simply read and be impacted. God bless.

The Still Photograph
Part of our Short Story series during the holidays. We all need a break, and this month, we’ll be sending you short stories instead of articles. We hope they will inspire, encourage, and strengthen you. Let us know what you think.
Mrs. Periwinkle had cornered yet another member of the Community Ladies Guild to show off her daughter’s latest school pictures.
“Isn’t she adorable? Isn’t this just about the most precious picture you’ve ever seen?”
She never gave anyone time to respond to those questions, she simply moved on to another person, then another, loudly declaring the perfection of the photograph. Her daughter, Penelope, was a kindergartener when that particular picture was taken.
Mrs. Periwinkle loved it so much that she had it enlarged, then had several dozen copies of the photo developed. She glued some onto cardboard boxes, which she positioned throughout the house. One was set on the kitchen table at Penelope’s place. One on her pillow where she usually slept. One on the couch, one on the porch swing, and one in the passenger seat of the family car.
She also glued a flat wooden stir stick on the back of one so that she could carry it with her where ever she went. It was a kind of photograph puppet.  In social settings – such as parties or meetings – she included the picture puppet in conversations and soon, people spoke to the puppet, just like Mrs. Periwinkle did.
She even made one of the pictures into a mask and commanded that the little girl wear it at all times. Eventually, Penelope stopped speaking and became as silent as the still photos that surrounded her.
As children will do, the girl grew and changed, but the only “Penelope” her mother and friends saw was the kindergarten schoolgirl in the pictures mounted on boxes, a wooden stick, and a mask. Years came and went. The kindergarten photographs had become cracked, faded, and frayed. Nevertheless, Mrs. Periwinkle ignored the signs that time had passed or that changes were taking place.
One morning, Penelope – who was now a young woman – looked at her mask’s reflection in the bathroom mirror. For quite some time, she had noticed a growing irritation where the mask rubbed against her skin, but she ignored it. But this particular morning, the irritation had become very painful – unbearably painful, in fact. She squirmed her forehead, tightened her eyes and lips, scrunched her nose, and massaged her scalp, hoping to silence the inflammation, but nothing helped.
She became more animated in attempt to find some relief and without thinking, without hearing her mother’s instructions to keep the mask on, she ripped it off on an impulse. She howled with relief, as her face was flooded with air and light. For the first time in over a decade, Penelope wore no mask. No longer was she frozen in a time and space that was no more. She splashed her face with water and then dared to look in the mirror. What she saw took her breath away, because she saw – herself. Changed.
No longer a static being, she was vital and free from that still photo that masked years of growing and becoming. She ran into the kitchen and ripped the still photo from the box, then to her pillow and the couch, the porch swing and the passenger side of her mother’s car. She tore them all to pieces then put them in the trash can.
Somewhere in the yard, she could hear her mother chatting away with someone. Her voice grew louder as she came closer to the house. Closer. Closer. Penelope opened the front door for her mother, who was – at that moment – having a lively conversation with the picture puppet. Mrs. Periwinkle gasped, shocked to see a strange young woman standing in her foyer.
“What are you doing in my house? Who ARE you?” she demanded.
Penelope grabbed the picture puppet from her mother’s hand and tore it to pieces, letting them fall to the floor. She then leaned in close to her mother until their faces almost touched.
“I. Am. Me.”

NEVERLAND

neverland-neverland-8660870-800-548i is stuck in Neverland these days

a place where it feels safe to hide

safe from the big people

secure from problems to big

where one can fly away at whim

laugh and play with abandon

forget

Neverland

but  i know it is not real

rather a trap

a secret room in a game of hide and seek

me searching for me as i hides me

Neverland is more confusing than it is worthimages

pretending doesn’t make it real

i don’t have pixie dust to fly away from here

to lift me from this trappedness i feel

i scared to fly into the storm that separates

at the swirl of the feelings that sent me here

i find i can’t hide from them no more

i want to go home to me

imagesi want to be brave and tell them to people

leave behind this ghost town of what was

so i need a ride

i never had rides before that i knowed where there

i do now

so to stay is to live a lie

so goodbye Neverland

i am journeying home today

starting even if it takes me awhile

my fairy wings are the back of m guardian Angel

i can even lie there and rest while the storm rages

my angel fights my Captain Hooks for me

i just trust

and believe in my momma Mary and papa God

remember that they want me home

they never ever wanted me to leave

goodnight Neverland

the land i was never meant to live in

home is where i belong

home in Jesus is where i am going.    images

 

DAUGHTER OF THE DAY

 

But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.

1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 (MSG)

ddec1873af74721f9d8b2c7c1b45a250Daughter of the Day, I heard this phrase at church last week. It struck me then and has been with me since.

Daughter of the Day.

It made me feel secure at first. Safe. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to Abba, God that I am safe now from the darkness of the abuse. That I need not fear the descent of night anymore or the darkness of memories.

Daughter of the Day, His day, light and love mine, here and now.

As the week passed I felt it even more. An awakening is happening. I am as one emerging from a cocoon, from Darkness into Light, from Night into Day.

All of me is awakening to this truth, to being alive, Night always meant death to me, of body, feelings and my existence. Day would often bring a continuance of those horrors so I was trapped in night. Living in darkness of the truth of even my.

No more.

As a Daughter of the Day I feel me. I am finding how amazing life is and discovering myself.

It started with washing my hands. I to be enthralled with the feel them, the emerging of the bubbles while rubbing them together. The water so crisply cold or warm. I splashed it on my face and marveled at the wonder of being clean, feeling clean, wanting to be so and knowing I can.

Sounds ridiculous to many of you, and that’s ok, it is only for those who never have had that the understanding exists. I am thankful there aren’t more that havent.

Now?

my body is awakening. I am finding a deep love of music to the point that I dance with it, hang on the words and smile. Hunger finds me that I cannot ignore it and full follows with a realization that I can eat whenever I want so its ok to stop when my body says enough. The way emotions flow from head to toe, waking up to feeling my body. Knowing when I am tired and need rest. Not judging myself harshly or pushing to hard. Even understanding that my mind to has it’s limits.

I am a Daughter of the Day. His Day, My life His.

Tammy of God, awakening to all that living is.

 

CORE REACTOR

thI realized something today about me.

It began with getting dressed this morning. As the weather changes and I find myself aware of the cold as part of my healing I want to dress warmer. Perhaps some long sleeves or maybe even a sweater, I will think. I have some, ones that have caught my eye because they are purple, some because they feel so soft and I imagine how comforting it would feel against me. I get them, but wearing them, that’s a whole nother story.

You see, I panic. Become all frantic and paranoid. Just have to rip them off or I can’t breathe. Then I stand there lost, fighting for control. striving to ground myself to here and now. For to be warm is just one of the many things I was denied for a period of my childhood, that now I struggle to accept. I can know I am cold while convincing my body I am not. Safer to not need and such.

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Or so it can seem. But I am healing enough that I know when I am perceiving wrong sometimes, knowing needs to lead to changing. So, today, I spent time with Abba asking Him to help me understand this panic and apprehension. To understand that I may overcome.

He opened my heart to the truth of these feelings. Helped me to fathom that they are being fed of something. One doesn’t just panic unless they are panicking about something. I wondered, why am I apprehensive.?

What is the core reactor issue.

Then I knew. It is fear. Plain and simple. Fear.

This surprised me, I thought I had this fear thing under control. I mean, I don’t run away and hide like I used to. I share with people instead of keeping things bottled up. I trust my Lord, I feel safe in my home, safe in the life God has given me. “How can this be fear,” I thought.

But Abba always bring me to truth, so I needed to stop asking how and denying the fear. I need to turn to my Jesus and give the fear to Him.

I know this won’t be easy, I know I will need help and will have to push myself. Time to thank the Lord for my body and the way He created it, hear and feel what it is telling me. Treat it with love and respect. Dress it warm, even wear shoes more.

Allow my Abba to change my core, to one that learns to love me as my fear is yielded to Him.

His Peace the only kind of core reaction I desire.

REIMAGINE YOU AS YOU!

I don’t often reshare, but this has so much truth that I am. Praying it blesses you as much as it did me.

Reimagine You as YOU!
To be subjected to sexual trauma and abuse distorts how you think about yourself. If you had these experiences when you were growing up, you came to conclusions about your value. If a predator or a passive bystander didn’t value you, your boundaries, or your humanity, it’s pretty easy for you to believe that you have no value or personal rights. If you had these experiences after you became an adult, where you once might have felt empowered and able to take care of yourself, you now know that you weren’t as strong or empowered as you needed to be.
These experiences shape – or re-shape – how we think about ourselves. We hear it from survivors all the time: “I feel as if part of me died.” The actions of predators and the inactions of passive bystanders twist in your mind and heart until you begin to see yourself as they saw you. You begin to value yourself as they valued you. Their warped disregard for you and your well-being often translates into a kind of personal derailment of the life you should have been able to live.
The tricky part of recovery is to be able to pull apart the tentacles of lies that have attached themselves to your soul. It is to untangle the deception and free yourself from its grip.
Think about how the actions of the predators and passive bystanders communicated their view of your worth. Now, ask yourself if you believe THEIR value system. If you can see it for what it is – that you have accepted THEIR twisted reality – then you can insist on redefining yourself in ways that are true to your value and personal rights.
Here’s a fact: they were wrong. Not only in what they did – their actions – but in how they devalued you. They were wrong. They were wrong, wrong, wrong! Got it?
So, take their definitions of you and dump them in the garbage where they belong. Take the time to think about yourself, untethered from their warped ideas. Reclaim you. Reimagine YOU, not as they saw you, but as you see – or want to see YOU.  And remember: “Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life”
(Golda Meir).
Written by Sallie Culbreth and Anne Quinn
©2015 Committed to Freedom / STAARR – Sexual Trauma and Abuse Recovery Resources

WAS, WASN’T/IS, ISN’T

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[ (2)I stand before a mirror these days, many mirrors

For within I am but a House of Mirrors

To look within one is to see another

Stretching back to was and wasn’t, as far as my inner eye can see

Each mirror seems magical

In a curious sort of way

 

.For though they are now

They show me then

To stare into one is to glimpse a was

While living an is

I have fallen down the Rabbit Hole

Where up is down, down is up

Then and Now having collided

It is so easy to keep my eyes downcast

To hide

;This I am good at

To hide was safe, then

To touch wasn’t

Reaching out was fearsome

Withdrawing secure

My mirrors show me all of this

Hiding is not safe, now

For it will end all that has begun

jSo, I lift my head

Open my eyes

To see

What is

What isn’t

To shatter the lies

With the truth

thI am not alone

So I can smile in all my then fear

I am surrounded of Heaven

Mama Mary beside me now

Holding my hand reassuringly

All of Heaven here

 

thFor many of my mirrors reflect my Momma of then

I was to not touch her

Never to look her in the eye

To want attention meant harm

“See me Momma,”

The unuttered cry of my child’s heart

thI look rather upon Momma Mary

She smiles back

This is safe

So I reach out

Hesitantly, unsure

I touch ever so lightly

To find no rebuke in doing so

My touch welcome

I accepted

thThe  mirror cracks

Was and Wasn’t shattered

As Is and Isn’t remain

I have many such mirrors

Within my house of me

Yet, mirrors is all they are

Easily vanquished

 

thPieces to lie at my feet

The colors of now

Reflected in them

A rainbow

Of love within

 

th

 

 

Upside down

Turning right side up

 

 

 

I AM BLESSED

2I am weighted down

full of the abuse gone by,

the memories invade me

a stream of visits,

a turnstile of arriving,

never-ceasing

past remembering of that

which sank me lower to lower                            5

my bed to carry my frame…

imprinted upon it.

for I was no form

rather a mold.

shaped to serve their sinful choices.

there was no me there,

only survival

I was strong for I had to be to survive…

imgresI was indifferent in an attempt to convince myself that it didn’t matter.

I was anger and sorrow intertwined,

filled up of others sin

that I…

boiled over…

with wrath at the injustice.

I screamed out, in all the wrong ways.

for I was not heard, not seen, a no one to them.

an object to be forced down,

every part of me ground up.

I hated their faces full of leering and wanting and taking always

quote-on-blessings-by-henry-ward-beecherI went to my can…

with joy.

telling myself that if I curl up tight,

I can make-believe I am be within a womb

I can pretend tomorrow will be new’

that I am in the womb and will be reborn.

but, it never worked

I was still trash to her,                             C.S.-LewisQuote-Blessings

and his toy.

each day a horror I lived

so I became anger at night

indifference by day

i survived, I did

but now I am weighted with the memories

seeing me,

seeing them.

they are like lead drowning me in my slumber,

crashing into my dreams…

waking me.

johnodonohue526270that I must pull myself from this lostness…

this fog…

find me.

then I can be full of truth instead.

I resist the urge to go to where peace is,

to curl up outside, safe…

to be waken in love and gentleness,

to be found this time,

wanted and soothed.

I am going now, instead, to sit and be in Heaven awhile

imgresMomma Mary is smiling at me,

she knows and is whispering, “Come.”

she will wrap herself around my nakedness

Abba will stand guard.

I can go home now…

to them

home.

993335_10151800900311718_1870234837_n

it feels as somewhere I have never been,

that now I am.

and oh, how, precious beyond precious, it is.

MISTAKE OR LESSON?

imgresWhen feelings find me, new ones that I have hidden from to survive, they get under my skin. An emotional “itch” that can so easily turn into more. It feels like it is festering and growing, fed off of fear, as I internally revisit the incident. The end result to be loss of peace as panic attack mode rises.

I don’t like this me.

This morning was/is one of these me kind of days.

I knew I had a meeting that held the potential to make me feel little, all wrapped in fear, the wrong if I do or if I don’t kind.

I rose early, fasting and praying to Abba, that His bravery would be mine. Reminding myself that I am not then, I don’t have to be fearful and that, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 (KJV) 

5I prayed that I would love this person, stay objective to what was shared and remember I am loved with the greatest of loves of my Lord.

It worked, no fear, for Abba always keeps His promises, just gotta remember to claim them. He helped me remember.

Thing is, I forgot other feelings. As soon as I felt that I was being misjudged, my words twisted and thrown back at me, I got defensive. Angry too, now that I think about it. I wanted to point my finger at this person and say, “Look in the mirror, how about the way you talk to me?”

But that is not the point, it isn’t what matters, in the end.

No, I must answer for me, not others. I need to work on where I am at fault. That won’t happen if I don’t open my heart to truth.

So, here I am, writing it out to stem the panic. To see with Spiritual eyes rather than human. Eyes on me, not others.              3

Judge not that ye be not judged.

I entered this meeting full of judging, attitude wise. So sure of my perfection, not open.

I want to cry just now, I am not liking me, I am ashamed and saddened at my attitude, that my heart, my Abba heart was so un-Christlike.

Can’t stay here though, no, gotta pick myself back up and move on.

Thinking I will let Jesus carry me awhile. I am sad. It is ok to need His help, He wants to help me.

2I learned my lesson today.

That is what I am thankful for.

“I am sorry, Abba, forgive me. Help me to do better.”

Amen

Best thing is, He already has, trick being to forgive myself. That can be hard for abuse survivors, especially childhood ones. Hard but not impossible.

So, instead of beating myself up I will praise the Lord for this opportunity to learn and grow. I will find the joy in having moved forward in my healing, one small step at a time is still a step in the right direction.

I choose joy and peace, even as the storm rages.

I choose Jesus.

A SHOE KIND OF DAY

“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long.”  Ephesians 6:15-18a (MSG)

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Anyone who knows me is well aware of my “shoe issue.” I smile as I type this. Smile because I know many of you are doing just that, thinking, “What shoes?”

Now I am chuckling a bit.

Shoes, they aren’t really my thing. I am more likely to be without than with when it comes to them. Oh, I have lots of them, tucked away in a magnificent antique box that I found, perfect with all its cubbies. Thing is, my shoes spend more time there than on my feet.

I do love some of them, how they are comfortable, I don’t buy them if they aren’t! No high heels for this girl!

I just don’t wear them at times.

How could I revel in the walking through the rain puddles if I did? Feel the texture of the earth beneath my feet? I feel so much with my feet!

Yet, I am learning that there are times for shoelessness and times for wearing them.

After all, going barefoot in the snow, as I have often, isn’t good for my health. Caring for my feet requires shodding them in the heat, guarding them from harm.

So,  shoeless kind of days are less.

Today, Abba, woke me to this about wearing shoes.

But let me start at the beginning.

Yesterday I interacted with someone who put me on edge. The type of individual who raised a red flag for me as a sexual abuse survivor. He made me very uncomfortable as we rode the elevator, I found myself putting objects between us and guarding my answers to his questions.

Protecting myself, that’s what I was doing.                           1

Wearing my shoes.

Big Girl shoes.

Safe Girl shoes.

I wore these shoes with confidence.

I felt grounded in my present.

No more barefoot used and tossed away.

No

This is the pair of shoes I found myself wearing yesterday…

Fearless ones.

Beautiful to look upon as they were embellished in Christ like  gemstones

Yet, well made that they not give.

I wasn’t afraid.

That’s big for me. I have had a lot of opportunities to fear these last few months, and I have found myself on the side of that fear way to often.

I have coward and shrunk back, cringed and claimed false blame…

Yesterday was a no more kind of day…

A shoe one.

I am allowed to guard my self,

God-has-you-in-the-palm-of-his-handI am secure in Christ and that means a world of difference, all the difference,

Yet, only if I shod myself in this truth,

I do.

 

With gratitude, in awe, and in praise.

Oh, I shall still enjoy strolling barefoot from time to time, splashing through the puddles..

Smiling as I do so, handsfinal2

For these feet were made for walking and that’s just what they do!

Only, now they go with truth and love,

Now they walk with God.

Gotta go, it’s raining!

ALIGNING STRENGTHS

even_though_you_may-48445

“Put your back into it!”

“Foot Forward, be ready!”

Watching your footwork, blocking, parring and rolling along with slipping and fp,550x550,black,off_white,box20,s,transparent.u1countering are all moves studied by boxers.

Moves that help them discover their weaknesses and find their strengths.

Defensive moves to offensive.

Fascinating stuff to read that God is using to teach me too.

I woke this morning with something someone said to me once rolling around in my thoughts, “I need you to align your strengths with the Lord, too, not just your suffering”

ernestholmes172213

I truly had no idea what this meant, read and reread it so many times, asking God  to show me.   walterscott125574

He has and is..    481cdf777bd8ffd630aefcc9217ea3fa

Today He gave me this vision…

“My Guardian Angel, Angels actually, for I am surrounded of them. How they fight for me. I see them now, in battle, defensive with swift swords and eyes ablaze. They never falling back in fear or doubting the victory will be theirs. The stand tall and true, backs straight and shields ready. Fear does not control them, they know they have the advantage, the power from on high.

baberuth130004Thing is, I see myself as well, and it isn’t a pleasant picture. I am in the center of my defenders, cowering. Down on my knees, head hid as I peek out. I am not viewing my wall of defense as that, rather I shiver, looking for a break to happen. I expect them to fail, am sure that I will be breached.

“You are wrong!”, my Heavenly Warriors shout at me with a mere look.

I cock my head and ponder this, looking down upon me. I see this armor of God I am clad in. It has seemed so heavy that I was unaware of what this new weight was. Not the pain and abuse gone by, as I thought, but my new me clothed to fight. I simply haven’t been putting my back into it, I have been choosing to hide.

“Do it!” the clanging of their swords command.

1653914_269562013201699_1601577636_nUttering a plea, to my Commander and Lord Jesus Christ, for strength, I rise, slowly yet steadily to my full height. I am taller than I  can fathom, the mighty coursing of my blood sounds in my ears with each sure and steady beat of my heart.  It was I, my fear, that was the breach. Victory is what is happening around me. How I long to taste it as well, put an end to fear and doubt, being used and discarded.

My Lord nods at me as He motions to the fray.

A smile plays around the corners of my mouth as I nod back.

I am ready, I have strengths that are more than my weaknesses and an army to fill the gaps as needed. This battle was fought and won. upon Calvary, the blood shed for me then ensures my path onward, upward and forward.

There is no going back unless I choose so.

I don’t, not anymore.      11156330_10206732244927905_6496600385865498193_n

I kneel, one last time, here amid my Angels. I kneel in surrender and humbleness before my Lord. I bend knee to He who is worthy and gratitude. I kneel with strength and assuredness as He helps me rise and says, “Go forth, Tammy Anne of God, you are mine, freed to win.”

whole-armor-of-god