I didn’t want to go to Mass today, not at all. I woke full of flashback invaded dreams, remembered. I so wanted to curl in upon myself, drown in going away. Away from remembering, away from life. Stay in bed and pity my past me. To go where the victory of Christ is partaken of? Nope.
I wanted to be done, this journey seems never-ending at times. I will have my footing, then, wham, bam, I am down again. Down of heart and weary of mind. The final count to feel welcome. 1…2…3 she’s out!
Yep, that’s just how this morning was.
I was so lost in the feelings, the overwhelming emotions my child me suffered that my adult me wanted to throw in the towel.
I dreamt of the using and taking, the abuse rained down on me… thing is that wasn’t what was tearing at me when I woke. In my dream I was sitting alone, after, so forlorn. I was crying, not because of what was done to me, rather, because I couldn’t seem to dress myself. My clothes were inside out, a jumble at my feet and it felt as though I simply couldn’t do it. I cried that no one was there after, that I was so alone not only in the abuse but further abused as those that could and should have, didn’t as well.
Rather turned a blind eye, a deaf ear and an indifferent heart.
So, I had me a good cry to the Lord and begged Him to help me care in the now. He did, I still didn’t feel it, but He reminded me that I needed to go. I imagine my Guardian Angels wings whooshing as they propelled me forth. I certainly didn’t go in my own power.
Mass. The remembering and celebrating of the greatest sacrificial gift, ever. Mass. Where my Christ endured for me the very thing that I feel this day, betrayal. Mass. He to suffer again and again what was then for me in the now, flashbacks. Mass.
One of the hardest yet most helpful things for me as I heal has been to revisit the abuse and see my God there. Find how He was with me, yield the whole truth of then to Him that He be with me now as He was then.
This is what I was really wanting to hide from today, I wanted to give up and not do my part of the work in my healing. Imagine if my Lord had given up? Had called forth all of Heaven to save Him from the cross? He could have, yet He yielded, “Not my will, but thine be done.” He uttered to His Father.
So, there I was at Mass. A quivering, emotional mess, kneeling and crying, oh, so tired.
Then the homily was shared. Father to talk of how much we have to be thankful for. The beauty of life and creation ours to see, hear, experience.
It hit me then, all along I was heard, I was seen, someone was far from indifferent.
God my Father, Mary my Mother and Christ my Brother and Savior not only were then with me but are now.
I am home, now is safe, I have oh, so much to be grateful for.
For I am no longer then.
So much assailed me yesterday. So many emotions found me. I was upon the sea of them, floundering unto drowning, lost.
There was no life boat, nothing to cling to that I could see. How could I ground myself if beneath me was simply more tears, if the sadness was drowning me, if the anger stirred up the storm even more and I was all alone in the vastness of it?
I was drowning I was sure. For each time I opened my mouth to call for help it seemed naught but more of the emotions rained down to be swallowed til they were swallowing me.
I wanted to simply let go and sink. To stop fighting and just be done. I didn’t care of the depth was dark and lonely, to let go would end it I was sure. I could journey elsewhere and forget, even if elsewhere required drowning, so be it I thought.
Yet, I couldn’t. Not the real me deep down inside, the part of me that knew my God was in this storm. To believe He is in control of all my life means the storms as well.
I turned my face to the Heavens as the circumstances of this storms creating pelted me, the lightning flashes of the anger I felt seemed to be striking me as I was tasting the salt of the tears I was drowning in. I let them come. I accepted the anger as mine to sit with. I acknowledged that I had a right to be so, while asking the Lord to cleanse me of it.
Then I realized that the sadness was being fed of the anger. That they were the stirring of this storms wind and buffeting. I though I will drown from within so I must let it all out.
I cried, again and again as my body curled in upon itself and wept with me.
I was adrift and alone.
I was lost and weary.
I wanted to stay this way and wait for a hand to reach for me, for someone to come and see me and be with me, I wanted a person to know.
In my wanting of this I was really doubting God was enough. I was saying I know you are in my storms, Lord but I need more that just you.
How human of me.
God wasn’t having any of it.
He pursued me, all the while, He does that.
Finally, from the depths of my despair I looked up.
Finally, I cried within, “Save me Abba.”
He scooped me up, pulled me close and sat with me. The storm raged still, but seemed less pelting for He overshadowed the brunt of it. In His embrace I found it was ok to cry. It was safe to feel the sadness and that the anger wasn’t worth the energy it pulled from me.
Now I am beyond this storm, and I am ok.
Alive and still me, weary but safe.
It isn’t the end of the world, the sadness is real but the rainbow is already spreading across the sky. Tomorrow is real and beckons, one that God already has in His hand.
So sadness and anger, all of the emotions of life are safe.
As long as I stay and walk hand in hand with my Master.
I am the rainbow these days The color and beauty of my emotions vibrating They spill upwards for all are fading Flashbacks of feelings separate from the happenings No more do the dragon monsters of then wrestle caged within me They have been slayed Replacing the darkness with the brilliant light of present I live in the light Breathe its sharpness in to cut out the then I exist from inside out spewing forth life I’m among the living now No battle scars as they burst out of me They do not matter for they are not who I am They are not my reflection No. My me is a rainbow of truth now My me is light and love and now My me is gloriously free I am me I am alive I am color and light and love I am a rainbow flowing free
In the daytime there are stars in the heavens, but they only shine at night.
And the deeper that I go into the darkness the more I see their radiant light.
So let me learn that my losses are my gain;
to be broken is to heal;
that the valley’s where Your power is revealed.
-Bob Kauflin, “In the Valley”
I have been on a journey of late, one of finding me some more. It has been hard and long, arduous. I feel the stretching of it still, like aches in my emotional muscles. A good ache even while it throbs.
Oh, how it does so! So many emotions have been awaken these last weeks. Those that have tripped me up and some that I never knew existed. To much feeling so oft, so much I was left floundering in them , too many I told a friend.
“Yes, she said.”
Can we sit with that a while? She said, “Yes.” to me.
“Yes,” you have feelings. “Yes,” they are a lot. “Yes,” you are allowed to feel. “yes,” and it’s ok.
To me, Tammy.
It was like a get out of jail free card.
In abuse feelings aren’t recognized except as an opportunity to turn them again us. Our abusers to make fun as they taunt us. To laugh and heap on more abuse if we show our true feelings. Hence we learn to bottle them up, hide how we feel and even lie to ourselves.
But, she said, “Yes.”
This a key that gave me so much. Bolstered me to say to myself, “Yes!” as well.
“Yes,” I feel this, “Yes,” these feelings are mine, “Yes,” I can accept them, process them and grow from this. I can be me unto more, rather than less.
Best part? She didn’t leave me hanging, wondering, “Ok, so they are mine and too much, but now what?”
I never was taught how to feel, to soothe myself or face the avalanche of them. My abuse taught me to cringe from me, run and hide, never ever to face them. I didn’t have a gentle touch or soothing tone, no looks of love or open arms… how was I to learn what all love shows when no love was there?
No fault of mine, just truth.
Now, I know. I am finding the stars in the night that are showing the way to the light of day.
This friend shared with me one of the biggest and brightest stars gifted to us of God, the truth of our being free to choose to give the emotion to God. To turn to my loving Abba, Daddy, and say, “Here, Papa, I am feeling too much. Please hold this awhile and help me be ready to take it back when you have readied me. Soothe me, Lord, and prepare me. Strengthen me by Your example and be my strength then.”
He always does.
He is my present that He be my past, fill in the voids and blanks.
I able to live in my today for He is here, my past faced for He was there, my future safe for He is already there as well.
Past, present, future…
all mine to live.
*Psalms 19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome
for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The day breaking sun an athlete
racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.
I remember when I doubted myself, when I thought there is no way the abuse happened to me. Perhaps I remember wrong or the feelings are causing me to over react. It couldn’t have been all that bad, I am still here after all. I would say to my first counselor, “Why do you believe me?”
Looking back I realize now how much I was living my past. My reactions to things that others took as normal were always so on edge or set me to panicking. I had triggers everywhere it seemed. One doesn’t get that way without reason.
So, i would face those triggers once i recognized them, head on. I would slowly build my ability to do things i couldn’t by pushing myself. Wear a scarf around my next totally loose til eventually I could tie it, finally have it close to my neck. Wear it for it’s purpose without thinking and feeling and remembering the abuse.
Long road this is, still fighting the battle is some areas. Healing is that way, a process, one that may never be done this side of eternity. Such is the molding and healing of our Lord, all good, all to His glory, all in His perfect timing.
The last few days I have been finding myself on a new path of healing. My mind being opened to perceiving things differently, with more of a focus on the truth of my past.
I often feel, yes, I lived it. I don’t doubt that anymore but I think I am unaware at times what I lived. The true depth of it, the truth of my existence, the substance of it.
You see, some one has made a few comments that have given me pause. Mentioned how I how much I have suffered, used the word brutal to describe my childhood.
When they said this it got me to thinking, wondering what does that word actually mean, especially in relation to me. I didn’t like what I found.
I looked at each of these words and thought, “Does this fit, Lord?” He to prompt me to say this out loud, “My childhood was savage, my childhood was cruel and vicious, etc.”
I said them, all the way through, crying. Gentle tears of accepting the truth that it was. I asked Papa why I needed to admit this to myself? Why can’t I just say it was hard and uncomfortable?
He answered me, as He always does.
It’s simple really, not the process, but the reason. How can I say I have given all my pain and suffering to my Lord if I don’t claim it to yield it.? I can’t. Just as the path to Calvary is seen in all it’s pain and suffering that we truly understand so must my abuse be for me.
So I have been sitting with the emotions these words awake. Sitting with god and yielding them to Him. In the process I am finding my gratitude to Him is swelling as well. His powerful touch of healing on me and in my life even greater than I fathomed.
My childhood was brutal,
Yet, so was my Lord’s crucifixtion..
look at How God uses that!
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.”
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
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
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
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
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
the land i was never meant to live in
home is where i belong
I wonder that today about folks around me. I wonder, “Do they know how much they have touched my heart?” Do they know that some of the simplest acts they extend to me reach to the depth of my heart and soul?
I think they don’t.
How could they unless they understand the horror of my childhood?
To understand is to have lived it and I am thankful they haven’t.
Yet they know some, and in that knowing they show and give me so much. Often unknown to them.
So it was today.
A hug, a kiss upon my cheek and an, “I love you,” that, totally took me by surprise. Stopped me in my tracks as I looked in wonder at him.
You see, my earthly father is dying soon. I have been confounded by this, confused in how I feel. Sad at times, for what should have been as a daughter, while empty at others because of what was that shouldn’t have been. Mostly I simply accept that he is passing as all humanity does and I pray that God grant him mercy.
Then today, someone who is a Father to my friend, treated me with the dignity a father should a daughter.
I am proud of myself that I don’t feel all like I am his daughter, that was a struggle for me in the past. The overwhelming desire to claim someone for my Father and Mother.
No, this is different.
I feel as though I can’t say this right, I do know, I feel it right.
It is as though it is an it’s alright your daddy is leaving, others here and now, your family of God, we have you.
We will keep you
We will love you
And we will give it all with Christ like love
And as love is meant to be