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.

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it feels as somewhere I have never been,

that now I am.

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

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

TAKING STOCK

Written this morning on a napkin…

I sit here this morning, out to breakfast                    11070977_990828250929349_7567588735029231278_n

alone

simply me hanging with me

finding my quiet inner me

as I soothe my turmoil of late

my roiling, tumultuous emotions

they that have me scattered from the pelting

so unceasing

11128614_993698090642365_411266879013325727_nI sit here to look over self

for the storm has passed

I survey the carnage of me

taking stock

breathing deeply

sighing softly

my body is battered

the visible wreckage

of tear tossing sleepless nights

confused

not understanding

11008446_829482233791938_4964202580412060068_nyet

my soul,

oh my soul!

Is so awakened

The Son having risen in anew places

Flooding me at the cresting of the horizons found

A new Sonrise within me

Today I may be tired

Today may even be long

but…

Today will be today           11078153_10153249167625350_1720952233797550992_n

Nothing more

I will be ok

Because Abba was already

In Today

Yesterday

He has taken stock

And made it all alright

“A SOFT PLACE TO FALL”

stock-photo-40886840-ladder-into-hole-in-heaven-with-puzzle-pieces-falling

I spent part of my morning just now scrolling through the link to a church I used to attend, one I left under duress. I thought that I would like to visit there, just show up out of the blue.

No reason, just because.

Or, so, I thought.

But, Abba, is showing me there was reason.

Wrong reason.

No, it’s not wrong to want to see old friends, to visit and remember, as long as it’s for the right reasons.

Mine isn’t.

No, I want a soft place to fall toady.

I am ashamed to think that I would sacrifice my Communion time with my Lord, in my Home He has me in here, for this. For arms of old and love gone by rather to be desired more than Mass, more than the gift that the Eucharist is to me.

But, I do.

I want to belong in the way that I have belonged for long. Old connections, remember this and how about when we did that, kind of way.

A soft place to fall, this is the way a blogger describes her home for taking in unwanted, abused children. That the battle still rages for them but bringing them into their home gives them a soft place to fall.

Abuse never gives a soft landing, healing doesn’t much either most of the time.

I fall on face, flat and hard so often

Did lots this last few weeks.

I feel bruised and beaten, weary and worn, I won’t lie.

I am tired

I want to go home

I want daddy to make it all alright and momma to hold me

I want to fall and give up standing

I want to yield

Point fingers at those in the past, “You left me, after promising to help me.”

Thing is, that is all the pain talking, the loneliness seeping out and the past feeding now

So, I won’t visit these friends today, that would just be a band-aid

Instead, I will heed my best Friends call,

“Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matt 11: 28-30 MSG

My Jesus call.

I will come to Him, fall into His gift of the Eucharist, of His life for mine.

I will see Him upon the cross and know, He too desired, then and there, to go Home to Heaven

To fall into the arms of the angels right off that cross rather than bear it,

He didn’t yield and neither shall I, because of Him.

Momma Mary, she took Him off that cross so lovingly, gently and full of sorrow for all He endured.

She will hold me too, today, if I just ask and let her.

So, I will visit my friends, sometime, but when I can with a right heart.

Simply as friends.

Now, I must go and sit awhile with my Papa, God, that my heart be right when I go to Mass soon.

Home there, to Him, His presence and keeping, His arms sufficient, my present home the one He is building.

I am home, always, everywhere, with my God.

I fall into Him alone.

In His mercy and grace He always to catch me.

“Greater is He who is in you (me) than he (Satan’s tool, false belonging) who is in the world.” I John 4:4 KJV

LOVES ME, LOVES ME NOT, LOVES ME

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Love, what a conundrum…

Least it used to be, not as much these days.

Abba is maturing me to understanding love.

The what is and what isn’t of it, from the me part of giving it to the receiving end.

It is so much more than I fathomed even while it is far lesss than I perceived.

It isn’t about touch or words really, not how I thought it was

I don’t have to hear it to know it exists, it is greater than words

Finding it in touch does happen but isn’t the wearwithal for experiencing it

No it is more complex than that, found in the breadth of friendships and the existence of life

I am seeing that nature surrounds me of it, sunrise beckons me with it even as moonlight lulls me to sleep wrapped in it

Love is everywhere, in everything

All inclusive, for love is God and God is love

I was taught that love was a two-pronged fork, one to give wrong the other to deny

I sure came out twisted from this

I so positive that if someone isn’t giving me all of the attention I want, then they don’t love me

If I was starving for love, I would desire touch of any kind, hurt me even, because that was all I had known as a child.

Use or neglect, love being the term spoken when used of a father

Unknown to me safe and secure love, from a touch withheld of a mother.

love wasn’t what I lived, i was told so, but it wasn’t true

I like this love definition I am finding

It is comforting to know I am cared for in more than touch

I am valued for my mind, my emotions and my input

I am someone worth loving in the right way, loved by deed and action, cared for in providing, wanted around

Love is really all of these

Touch to stem from the relationship in a godly way

A kind look, a smile aimed at you, a question of, “How are you?”

Thinking of you and how can I help, that’s love too.

Genuine love

I like that simply being in someones presence suffices

The freedom it gives me to love back in the same way

To love right

To stem from giving rather than getting

That’s Abba love

That’s my Jesus love just like He gave me

Momma Mary, Papa Joseph and all of heaven-sent love

I couldn’t love my God more, I know how much He loves me

I feel it even though He isn’t visible to me,

I find it sitting in His presence, listening to His words, resting in His peace

He is love

Thus I have had love all along

Thank you to all of you who have loved me through this healing, still are too10429477_908958922458625_7337555781405599027_n

Loved me in my need and want, my give me and hold me, given the lost child within what was missed

In the end it has been your love of Christ that has healed me

His love lived out that His love show me this truth

I, Tammy Anne of God, am loved

with an everlasting love

beyond form

in existence.

“My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.”

1 John 4:10 The Message

RIP, TEAR, SLASH

 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:32King (KJV)

I had someone who is oh so special to me say something to me that I did not like.

I was so hurt by it, couldn’t believe they would think that of me, accuse me of the very opposite of all I felt I had spent my life doing.

I cried to find that I then became angry at them, “How dare they!” I thought.

I so tied up over this one question.

It was ripping me apart. Shredding my self-control as it slashed through my heart.

I just knew ti was eating me from the inside out. Consuming me as it stole my peace, causing me to question my heart, my perception of me, all I have done my whole life.

I wanted to call them back and dum my feelings on them, rant and rave in defense of myself. I wished I was there to shake them good and look them in the eye and say, “What? You don’t know anything! You weren’t there when I was strong and did it all, you didn’t see how much I sacrificed, I did this, I survived that, I sacrificed, I and I and I.”

This is where Papa stopped me. He woke me to hearing myself, noticing all the I’s rattling through my rant.

So I cried it out, poured it forth before the throne instead, while asking, pleading and imploring Abba to tear down my defenses and slash the I from my perspective.

One thing about Abba, He always hears, listens and delivers.

Ripped apart my defenses and let me bare.

Didn’t like this raw view o my heart then.

No, I, most certainly didn’t.

But staying there wasn’t why He woke me to it, isn’t what He wants me to focus on.

Christ went to Calvary to “stare all o sin in the face, held up to tear down. I needed to allow God to do the same with me, for me, in me to all my sin.

Eyes off of self.

I then understood.

I was applying this comment to me in relation to others. I wanted to point my finger, turn these words away from me so I didn’t really need to consider myself in relation to them.

It is oh so easy to look at another’s sins rather than ones own.

God showed me so much because of this

This person is growing in their walk and service with the Lord, so it was a very good call to have them ask me it. They are young and should have done so differently but God will mold them in understanding that.

Just because I fulfilled this very responsibility in the past doesn’t mean I am not failing in it now, so it was right of them to call my attention to it, to help me be aware of this responsibility.

I sat with this feeling, is what I did. Sat with it and ripped it apart, tore it down to its basics and slashed it apart from my heart.

I looked at it with perspective and thankfulness despite how my emotions reacted to it

It was just a statement,

The power o it to lie within me,

Or lack of the power

It is only words, ones that can only break me if I allow them to.

I won’t

Because Abba doesn’t want me to.

He would rather I turn them over to Him

So, I did

Such a load lifted.

He will tell me what I need to glean from them

if anything.

My job is simply to be thankful that this person cared enough to be honest and share truth

Truth isn’t always easy, but it is truth

and…

“Truth sets us free.”

THIEVING

                                                                                                                           But he said to me,                                                                                                                                                                                                       “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”                                                                                                                                                      Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,                                                                                                                                                                                     so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

images

This morning I woke up feeling lost and alone. Trickles to slowly track their way out of the corners of my eyes and pool in stains upon my pillow.

I don’t panic anymore, when I wake up with feelings, they are what they are but I am only what I allow them to make of me.

I laid here awhile with Abba, just letting the trickle flow, no more hiding allowed, holding in only creates pressure til I blow.

I am tired of blowing up.

dAbba is showing me how these trickles are release, how they can flow from me, collected of Him and become this stream of healing waters. He shows me how I can lie within them and rest, not worry about their source as He purifies them. The frozen icecaps of emotions denied, bound up and locked away melting to be these crystal clear waters of now.

Now

This is where He has me, showing me and teaching me that I am His now girl.

The tears and running still now as I say this, for He is showing me this morning that I have been a thief.

Thieving to survive much like a child on the streets of Calcutta does

Mine to be an emotional thieving

You see I can be with folks in all the wrong ways, past ones.

I want family and I can pretend others is mine

I crave touch and I can watch someone getting a hug and draw from that to satisfy wishing it was mine

I steal smiles sent others way and pretend they passed me by on the way to them

I thieve to survive emotionally

In the end robbing myself

I have so much love in my life from not only my God, but people too

I am no longer hidden away or cast out

I am inside

So I must choose

I must break the bonds of these old habits of survival or they will rob me of now as then did so long ago

It is so hard to let go, to say I am me here I am and what you can give is sufficient

I am oh so childish in wanting so much more, all of people

Help me Abba to make You my all that I turn to you

For hugs and holding, a whisper to my heart, the twinkle of an eye upon me

I don’t want to live off of stealing anymore

Open my eyes and heart to the treasures surrounding me that are already mine

Take my eyes off of wants

Purge me of my selfish give mes

My childish perspective of need

Hold me tight

Teach me right

I yield, to You, this day…. my sin of thieving.