I wanted to write a blog post today that is a little bit more personal instead of a self-help entry like I have been doing a bit more of.
I wanted to talk about abuse. Sexual abuse. Emotional abuse. Physical abuse- any type of abuse. I want to talk about this because so many of us have experienced it whether that be from our family, friends, peers, bosses, in our romantic relationships, etc. As many of us know (but I feel a need to reiterate anyway), abuse is painful while it is happening of course, but what often times seems to be the case is, the abuse is more painful once it is all said and done and you are left feeling emotionally, mentally and spiritually wounded- emptied and weak. This right here is exactly what I want to talk about…
I remember my abuse still to this day- fortunately the memories have seemed to fade over the years, but what still seems to linger within are these issues and voids ultimately stemming from the abuse. I have noted to myself the things in which I still struggle with to this day, to name a few; resentment towards my abuser(s), fear of abandonment, difficulty developing healthy relationships, trusting others whom care about me, feelings of worthlessness, and I could probably list a few others but I will save you from reading me air out my dirty laundry ;).
I can’t help but wonder… how is it that we can deeply be affected from traumatic and abusive situations for life? How is it that we allow an hour, a year or a decade plus years of abuse affect the way we carry out the rest of the 40+ years we live (generally speaking)? What is keeping us bonded?… I know. I know exactly what keeps abuse survivors bonded because I myself have been working to be delivered from the chains of my past… what keeps us bonded is the painful memories that we keep replaying over and over again in our minds, the resentment, the fear of the abuse happening repeating itself, the feeling of shame and guilt- that it was all our fault or we deserved it and last, feelings of worthlessness due to believing the lie that it was our fault. It is interesting because as I write this, I also feel like another feeling I experience(d) is grief. I feel as if I personally (maybe you can relate) grieve my parents who were mentally, emotionally and sexually abusive. I grieve them because I still long to have a relationship with them but by having a relationship with them right now, it hurts me. There have been times even where I felt as if they were dead to me as it was a means to numb myself from the pain I felt from not having my parents there for me in the ways I wish for them to be.
So, let’s think of some possible solutions to this circular, seemingly endless cycle of pain because if you think about it… the sooner we are willing to heal and be delivered from the bondages of our past, the sooner we can walk in freedom.
First thing I can think of that I too have to remind myself of is that the abuse I / we endured was NOT our fault. We are not held responsible for the wrongs of others. Most likely you have been told that you were abused because you did this or that but the fact of the matter is, there is never an excuse for someone to hurt you in such evil ways. The next thing I can think of is that the abuse has nothing to deal with you but everything to deal with the evil and sin in the abuser. Remember that the next time you start feeling ashamed or guilty when reflecting back on the abuse.
Forgiveness. Forgiveness is a tough one because in our human minds, we think, “why should I forgive someone who took so much away from me?” The answer to that is, because why allow them to take any more from you?
I heard a saying in AA (alcoholics anonymous)… resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the person who hurt you to die. Isn’t that beautiful? Think about it… when you are so consumed with anger, resentment and fear how are you supposed to live in peace and freedom? You can’t. Do you actually believe that the person who hurts you cares about how hurt you are anyways? I mean some people who have a good heart or who have turned from their evil ways might but when we are talking about people whom carry abusive tendencies habitually, a smaller percentage of people care about their actions than those who don’t. Quit expecting an apology. Quit expecting for them to change. Walk away and walk on forward! You have a life to fulfill and you might as well do it in peace.
Here’s to healing!
What is keeping you bonded to your past? What is you action plan to move forward and walk in freedom?