Where do I begin… After my last blog (view here) women have reached out to me. They’ve told me pieces of their stories and poured out their hearts. It wasn’t something I expected, but I am thankful for their honesty. I’m thankful for their trust, and I hope I can continue to be a voice for people who may not be ready to speak out just yet.
These women are actually like me in many ways. Maybe they knew. Maybe they could sense the previous hurt there. A wound still healing. These women who messaged me had either lived in abusive situations and/or bought into the culture lie that casual sex brings not only pleasure but happiness too. Some have put their own value into pleasing other people–therefor neglecting, and even hurting, themselves in the process. While others were victimized and abused against their will, so that someone else could fill their selfish desires. Now they’ve been left picking up the pieces of their self-worth and dignity.
My heart aches for these women. I can empathize with victims of sexual abuse because I’ve been there myself. One day I may divulge the details, but I’m not there yet. Part of being sexually abused is a feeling of guilt. As if you were the perpetrator. You have shame, so you generally won’t/don’t speak out. This is why many abuse victims deal in quiet with their abuse. Parents and loved ones may not find out until much later. Sometimes too late. I want to tell you that if you are being abused by someone in your life PLEASE TELL SOMEONE. It isn’t your fault. It isn’t shameful. People need to know. Not only to help you, but to help others as well! An abusive person will most likely abuse others as well, especially in his/her own family. It only makes matters worse when nobody says anything, because then the abuser is able to continue in their ways. That being said this blog today is about my healing process. I want to concentrate on picking up the pieces and moving on.
“….Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles….”
I also want to focus on helping you. Sometimes in life there are circumstances that happen to us. Things that we cannot change. Things that we cannot control. What we do after the trauma, or experience, is then up to us. What we do next IS within our control! I want to encourage you not to despair. Not to let the actions of someone else bring you to the depths of despair. Instead I hope you rise up! YOU are worth more. Let me stop right here and say that if it were up to me alone the despair would probably have eaten me alive. I’ve had two such sexual abuse experiences in my life. I’m willing to talk some about one, but I’m not willing to open up one bit about the other. For those who know me you probably know the details. Some do, some don’t. I’ve told the people who need to know as hard as that was. We’ve been to the authorities. But let me just say that Christ brought me through! If you don’t know Jesus Christ; if you don’t know God let me talk to you. I just want to tell you my hope is in His promises. The Bible says in Isaiah 40: 31, “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” The focus in your heart should not be on your past, or what has happened to you, but on the HOPE you have. This hope can be found in Christ. The world may let you down; people may abuse you or take advantage of you, but Christ will not leave you. He gives me hope because this world is so dark. It is easy to despair…. but don’t. You have the power to make this choice for yourself and your future. Choose HOPE!
Once you have hope for the future it is time to rebuild yourself. Learn from your experience and move “onwards and upwards” as the saying goes. There are a few things I have noticed about myself that seem to be consistent with other abuse victims. I want to briefly touch on these five things and hopefully empower you to rise above despair.
- Self worth issues
- People pleaser/double minded
- Trouble saying “no” in fear of letting others down
- Fear of rejection or failure
- Not forgiving yourself
Self worth issues
There is something you need to know. You are beautiful! I don’t know you, and I don’t know your religious background, but I’m going to speak truth to you right now. I hope it speaks to your soul. I don’t know you, but God does. You were created by a creator, God, and the Bible says you were made in His image (Genesis 1:27). Did you hear that? YOU were made in the image of God!
Psalm 139:14 says “you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” This isn’t simply speaking to your physical appearance, but who YOU are. You have a soul and that is “you.” Your value is not in your physical appearance. It is your heart and your actions. The way you carry yourself, the way you help others, and how you show love.
Stop looking for affirmation based on your physical appearance and start letting your inward beauty shine. Learn how to love others and you will be loved in return!
Pleasing people isn’t inherently wrong, but it can be when you do it to your own detriment. Or when you become double minded. You tell one person one thing and another person another thing just to “please” them or be in agreement. You are afraid to argue, or to stand for something, so you say whatever the person wants to hear. Let me just tell you there is NO way you can please everyone. You will always offend someone because you won’t always agree with everyone! At the end of the day you should please God and Yourself! Are you satisfied with you?
This is such a hard lesson for me to learn. I cannot say that I’ve mastered this one bit, but it’s a lifelong battle I am sure of it. If you are worn down, depressed, and just burnt out, because you keep saying “yes” to people, then learn how to say “no!”
Trouble Saying No
I can be the most wishy-washy person in this area. I don’t like telling people “no” or “I just can’t.” I want to do it all. This is actually a lot of women, not just those who’ve been abused. But learning to say “no” is very important for your happiness and sanity! When you say “no” with authority people will respect your answer. They may not like the answer but, unless they are abusive, they’ll accept it. When you use, “maybe” or ” I might” it leaves the door wide open for people to keep pushing for an answer. This will leave you feeling anxious and nervous. This is the exact opposite of what you wanted for yourself.
Saying “no” to people also proves their allegiances to you as a person. Do they come to you because they are lazy and know you’ll do it for them? Do they simply take advantage of you? Or do they truly value and respect you? Are they willing to take “no” for an answer? If so they respect you and value your time. They value you. If not, get them out of your life because they do not value nor respect you!
Fear of Rejection
You certainly can’t be rejected if you never try, but you also can’t succeed if you never try! If you don’t try you won’t know the joys of success. My advice here is “do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Ultimately we can’t please everyone. We will be rejected on occasion, or maybe even a lot, but these stories of rejection often turn into great success stories for those who keep moving forward, pushing themselves to be great, and dreaming bigger! Do everything for God, and to the best of your ability, and you can not go wrong. Use rejection to push harder, keep moving forward, and set big goals!
Not Forgiving Yourself
Learn to forgive yourself! If you were the victim of abuse IT IS NOT AND WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. So let go of the shame and the guilt that you feel. Tell someone if you have not already! Please do this not only for yourself but for others as well!!! Also, know that you are not alone. Psalm 34:18 says, “(the) Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” So learn to rely on Him and know that you aren’t alone! If it was your choices, your decisions, and you still have regret then please just forgive yourself! Don’t define yourself by the past. God will forgive you. 1 John 1:9 says, “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If God can forgive you then why can’t you forgive yourself? Have faith that you’ve been cleansed and you have a clean slate through Christ!
Have HOPE! Believe in yourself! Put your worth not in your past mistakes, or abuse, but in your ability through Christ. You are beautiful and you are worth it!
“I Can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
***If you do not know this God I speak of, or how I can have hope and joy after abuse, please message me today. I want to talk to you and encourage you. I want to tell you about my Savior. Even if you don’t feel like reaching out right now check out the “Who is God” portion of my site to read more: Who is God . “I Pray to God” is a great one if you would like to know about who He is.