Are you going through grief from past abuse?
I feel for you.
I really do.
April 15, 2013
The cycle of grief has started again and I’m frustrated. I so want all this to be gone so I can move on. I want to stop thinking about [abuser]. I want to stop asking all these unanswerable questions. I want it all to stop. I want to say, “it’s done” and be done. But it’s not. I keep going back into the cycle of grief. I just want to run away from people. Not so much my family (as they are very supportive) but others. They want so much! I have so little right now!! I wish this would go away. It’s been months of this and I just want to move on.
As a result of these constant questions that won’t go away (why did it take so long to understand these last memories? Could there have been something someone could have/should have done before now? Was I just in denial all these years or was it too much and God preserved them for when I was strong enough? …etc) I have decided to list all the ways God showed such enormous grace to me. My life could have been MUCH worse. I have heard horrific stories – in person, in print – of people who have suffered far worse than I did. God kept me. From day one He kept me. He has always been with me. I know it well and I need to remind myself of these things today. I need something good to focus on for a change.
- Though imperfect, my parents were praying people and come from long lines of praying people. Despite their mistakes I know I was prayed for. I was also raised in church and had an understanding of God from an early age. I think my adoration of Jesus at 3 and 4 yo was a huge protection to me. Because of the family I was born into, I was kept from so many influences that could have destroyed me at an early age. Despite my introduction to a lot of things over the time of my abuse, I had a strong enough foundation from my family, church and their teaching that I did not go as far into all these things as I could have.
- The abuse, while traumatic and long-reaching, could have been worse. I know that. I’ve heard enough, read enough to know it could have been much worse.
- God set a limit to the abuse. It started and it stopped. It did not go on for my whole life. The effects lasted years. The bondage was set, but the actual abusive acts ended. I’m grateful for that. I’ve heard such horrific stories that grieve me. What people do to other people is unbelievable.
- God was with me. He showed me where He was in every situation. The Holy Spirit was wrapped around me and kept me from remembering the traumatic details of the sadistic/ritual acts of abuse. God was with me in the midst of it and He never left me – ever. That I know for sure. In all the memories of abuse, He has shown me exactly where He was and how He protected me from harsher abuse, how He thwarted the abuser’s intent to do more damage, and how He was with me through all my life – even situations that were not of an abusive nature but were hurtful. He has even shown me where He was in those moments. Emmanuel – always.
- The Lord kept a tight guard on me. I see that now. Even as a child – could have been much worse. Even though there are years I can’t remember, I was prayed for and provided for in a caring Christian community (our church). I thank God for my preschool Sunday School teachers. They showed me those flannel-graph stories of Jesus that captured me and were my “safe” place for many years. Through school – God provided teachers who “took” to me and watched out for me. I have some good memories and experiences of elementary school. Even some in Middle School. 8th grade was such a grace! That year I came to life. Even for a short time. God bless that teacher. Wish I could remember her name.
- My childhood church was my rock. I thank God for those who loved me there. So many who prayed for me, taught me – Sunday School teachers, youth pastor and I’m sure many more I didn’t even realize were there for me. People mom and dad tell me continued to pray for me – some who have already passed into Heaven now. Huge provision from God!
- Through the rebellious high school years – could have done a lot more damage then but He kept me – from myself but also from physical harm.
- Through the college years – spared my life, literally. I was so out of control I didn’t care if I died. I wanted to die. Too chicken to outright kill myself, I tried other ways. God preserved me. Knowing what I know now I’m amazed I am alive.
- Through the military years – He was SO with me there. The couple from that one church in Biloxi. I still thank God for them and pray for them. I imagine they didn’t quite know what to do with me but their kindness and generosity spoke so much more than any words they could have said. He kept me from getting lost in escaping again. He kept me from getting lost in depression again. He brought me through.
- Through the years back home – the beginning of the deeper healing. Sweetness and fresh air for the first time. Coming out of death into life.
- Through the difficult years of marriage – drew me closer to Him. Not sure what God intended though I like to think He wanted healing and help for us both. Despite the hardness, He showed Himself greatly to me and grew me up in the gospel again – as if for the first time.
- Thank God for the church there and the pastors and amazing good people; I learned to trust people there.
- Through parenting – He kept me, corrected me, guided me and protected the kids even when I was sure I had ruined them. Hardest thing I’ve ever done and yet God used parenting to teach me about His love toward me. I am so grateful He preserved my kids despite me.
- Through the cancer – I can’t even describe how close He was. Unbelievable. His Presence, His provision – even through having to leave my wonderful church family. People who took me up and encouraged me. The unbelievable amount of prayer and the people who prayed for me!!!! I have a small suitcase full of all the cards and letters I got during that time. People I didn’t even know. The prayer quilt from people I didn’t even know. It was a healing and humbling time.
- Through healing from the first memories of abuse – unbelievable. He walked me through – painstakingly through – the depths of my soul – the scariest place. He healed deep, deep places. I am forever grateful.
- Through the divorce and my anger toward Him – He led me, kept me from spiraling off into craziness, received me back when I finally repented and restored me. He restored me back to Himself! I did not deserve that.
- Through remarriage – I struggle to share how He used my husband to speak His love into me. It was so scary and intense and sweet. I have never experienced anything like it. I am so grateful.
And now, this. Those foggy memories that I couldn’t make sense of…
revelations – theologically challenging revelations.
Realizations – mind boggling realizations.
Grief so deep I think I might be lost.
Answers that relieve and wreck me all at the same time.
Just as many questions as answers.
And then it starts all over again.
When will it end? I know His grace.
I know His sweetness.
I know His mercy.
I know His goodness.
I know His providence.
I know His protection.
I know His defense.
I know He is with me…
and I thought I was at the end of all the grief.
I just want peace, the all-encompassing peace that allows me to let. it. ALL. go. I just want it to stop bowling me over. I want to stop crying out of nowhere. I want memories and the deep pain to stop hitting me.
Grief sucks. 😦