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Wishing I was the Wind – Testimony

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Wishing I was the wind

Remember back in 1956 the song “The Wayward Wind?” I loved that song! Okay, so some of you weren’t even born at that time and I’m aging myself. But that’s okay.

I remember sitting on the school bus, alone on the leather seat, looking out the window, and feeling totally alone. The words of the song would play through my mind and oh how I wished I could be that wind. How I wished I could just blow across the land and not have to encounter the abuse at home. As the wind, I could go wherever I wanted. I could be strong, so strong I could blow over houses or gently tilt a flower low to the ground. As the wind I would have the power to move mountains or ripple a stream.

I wasn’t living next to railroad tracts, as depicted in the song. I wasn’t grieving the loss of a lost lover. I was grieving a lost childhood. I was grieving the lack of love from a dysfunctional family. “Raise a child in the ways it is to go” wasn’t even thought about. I was being taught all the wrong things about who I was and who I would be. I was taught guilt, shame, anger, frustration, and filled with emptiness. I was taught what I was worth – nothing!

Sadly many people’s perception of their self worth derives from many different circumstances, people, society, families, jobs, how many friends we have/don’t have, etc. For me, actions speak louder than words. Don’t tell me you love me while choking me or punching me. Someone’s actions can relay a message of worth. We all know “that look” from Mom, Dad, husband, or wife.

If we claim our worth by how much money we have/ don’t have, our position at work/ executive or janitor, our weight/ to fat or to skinny, race, beautiful or ugly, harsh words or negative actions, or status in life we are being deceived. Magazines and T.V. commercials all have a message that we’re not good enough.

I remember when I confronted my Dad about the years of abuse, I’ll never forget his words. “You were my tool.” I don’t think anything he could have ever said that could have hurt more. You see he was a diesel mechanic. He had hundreds of tools. All shapes, all sizes. All had a specific purpose. They were placed in a big bright red tool box, inanimate objects that he used and put aside until needed the next time. Their only value was deemed in what they could be used for. images[2]

“You were my tool.” Little did I know that perceived self worth was established way back in the early years of my childhood. In my case it was, “Your good for only one thing.”

It was when I became a child of God that I learned God saw me worth more than a ten dollar screw driver or a fifteen dollar pair of pliers. He saw me as more than a vessel for sex or a punching bag. I was so valuable, “more than silver or gold,” that He adopted me as His daughter! His Son died on the cross that I might have life more abundant, forgiveness of my sins, and that I could spend eternity with Him.

My Dad saw me as a tool, to be used and thrown to the side until needed at another time. God saw me as a precious child who needed a Father. imagesCA7OM3L4

I was received and valued by Christ “…with the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1Peter 1:19

Our worth does not come from others, positions, status, or world worth. Our worth is based upon what God created. If He didn’t think we were worth creating He would not have created us! He would not have come to earth as a man, Jesus, to save us from an eternity in hell. He would not seek us out as a lost sheep and carry us back into the fold to love and protect us.

If you had been the only human being on the face of the earth He still would have gone to the cross for you. That’s how valuable you are to Him!

Don’t sell yourself short of how valuable you are. Your alcoholic mother, drug buddies, abusive father, parent that abandoned you did not determine your worth! God and God alone is the only one who determines our value. God see’s you valuable enough to die for you and adopt you as His child. “For you are all sons (daughters) of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:26

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“And because you are sons, (daughters) God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Gal. 4:6-7

* note: I added (daughters) so no-one feels left out.

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Blessings to you.

 

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Jesus Paid It All

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Written by Charlotte Abanese

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You’ve got your ways

And I’ve got mine

You’re so consumed with your selfishness

You miss the chance of love devine

Forgiveness is a choice on this

You can live with your leechy baggage

Or be transformed by His sacrifice.

*

There was a price

Put on your life

The second you were born

But Jesus paid it all

Jesus paid it all

You were trapped and abused in sin

But Jesus paid the price

Jesus paid it all

For your healing, a new beginning,

for peace and security, 

and live with Him for eternity

You’re His creation, His beloved,

not easily replaced.

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You’re drowning in your own tears

You’ve been wasting away these years 

The light has been within your grasp

You never believed once this could last

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There was a price that was paid

for your life you waste away

and you pray with your own sorrows

always worrying about tomorrows

When peace is what He promised

because without it, we don’t know this

Forgive and live on

with His gentle healing balm I love

*

You ain’t easily replaced

You ain’t easily replaced

You’ve got worth in your soul

No matter anything at all

There is value in you

You’ve got Jesus in you too

Open your heart to Him again

Be healed and delivered from their sins.

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Blessings to you.

God Saved my Life – Testimony

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Written by Laura – Angels by Grace Pub. – Nov. 1997

A hospital in Jekyl Island was having a yearly reunion for those of us that had once been patients there. It included workshops on our recovery and was supposed to be a time of growth and renewal. I attended this reunion with the feeling that I had come far in my healing from childhood abuse. I had high expectations and when everyone was enjoying the Saturday night dance I was, too.

At some point during the dance I decided I wanted to go for a walk along the beach. The room was stuffy and I needed some fresh air. One of the men offered to walk along with me and I agreed. That was the turning point of a week-end that started out wonderful. It ended as a nightmare that I wouldn’t soon forget. I was raped.

During the rape I could do nothing to stop this man. I begged and pleaded, but nothing I said or did stopped him. I started to pray that God would save my life. When it was obvious that I could not stop this man I gave up fighting him. My hands and feet had become numb from the struggle, I gave my destiny to God.

That rape, the horrible crime against me took place three years ago. For a long time I thought, Why me? I felt God had betrayed me that night, but now I know He didn’t. I’m here today, alive. Christ did answer my prayers that night.

When I was finally able to pray about it God shed new light on that horrible night. I learned that the man who raped me had let it be known that he was going to rape someone. Anyone who he could get alone. And I just happened to be the one.

Satan was on the side of my rapist. But I had God on my side! I was put in a storm and during the test I chose God. Does God hate me because He allowed this to happen to me? No! God loves me very much. He knew that someday I would be able to share my story of that night.

As with the abuse I suffered in childhood, God brought me through it, He’s healing me, and I’m able to share that pain to help others through their’s. God wants me to tell everyone about His love and compassion. How Satan tried to destroy me but Satan’s attempts has only made me stronger in my faith.

God isn’t the one who was testing me three years ago, it was Satan! I can almost hear him saying, “What’s going to break this person?”  Satan had a plan. But my Lord and Savior also had a plan. “He who is greater in me is greater than he who is in the world.” (1John 4:4)

I know now that there is nothing I can do to change that night except to forgive my rapist. And I’m working toward that forgiveness.

Over the past three years the Lord has been showing me that He is stronger than Satan. His power is greater and I was not and will not be destroyed because of this crime.  God has helped me to overcome the anger. He has shown me that there was nothing I could have done any differently that night. That I can stop blaming myself. It was a test that I went through and my faith in Christ brought me through.

But I wonder, how many tests must you go through before you understand that God loves you very much and wants you to see and feel His love. He wants you to know that it was not He who hurt you. Be it childhood abuse or rape.

The people who hurt us as children, the man who raped me made the choice, God or Satan. The people who hurt us chose Satan’s ways, not God’s. God does not hurt His children. Man does! Man is the one who makes the decision to do right or wrong.  God knows that. He also knew that I would grow from these hurts. That He would enable me to tell my story, and to understand that He was hurting with me.

I now know that when we are sad, Christ is sad with us. He wants us to have a happy life but with no storms there is no growth. We grow, learn, stretch when things aren’t all rosie. The trials are put there to help us. It is how we deal with those trials that cause us to grow. Do we choose to remain in the pain? Do we choose to ask God to help us through the pain?

I want to close with one thing God told me to pass on. God loves you no matter what has happened to you. No matter what you have done in your life or what has been done to you, He loves you just as you are.

He is waiting to help you through whatever area of healing you need. All you have to do is ask.

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elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

 

I’ve Been Set Free, But…

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So many years ago there was so much hurt and pain. The years of childhood were not happy ones and even though we go through many years of hard-core therapy to overcome those memories we can still be plagued by them.

How do we deal with the flashbacks, the times when we jerk straight up in bed awakened by a dream so real it feels like we’re reliving the event? Do we ignore what the Lord may be showing us through a dream? Do we assume it is a nightmare the devil is taunting us with? Do we wipe the sweat off our brow and finally go back to sleep ignoring it?

Several years have been spent reliving the traumatic events of an abusive childhood, the emotional attacks as well as the physical attacks. Child abuse leaves wounds to our hearts that seems to penetrate to the very cells of our bodies. God, with all His infinite wisdom, knows our past, our present, and our future.

He came that we may enjoy life. He came to give us the freedom to live an abundant life. Abundance does not mean just finances. It means freedom from pain and suffering.  It means that we do not have to live with memories of terror that leave us screaming, crying, and wanting to end it all. It means that He has given us a way to break the chains that bind us to our abuser/s.

Even after many years of therapy we will still remember the events that caused us so much pain. God does not give us amnesia so we never remember again. We can wallow in those memories and relive the pain, hold on to the anger that follows, let the bitterness turn our hearts to stone or we can sever the ties that bind us to them. If we do not sever those ties our abuser is still controlling us!

In Matthew 18:21,22 Peter came to the Lord and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  When we have those dreams, when we suddenly find an event that caused us so much pain come throbbing through our brain, or words that the abuser growled in our ear, isn’t that much like the sin is being perpetrated again? It feels like it.

But what did Jesus tell Peter? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” This is what breaks the ties that the devil is using to keep us bound! Every time a mental image comes of the abusive act say out loud, “I forgive (name the person) for (say what he/she did to you) in Jesus name. Satan hates forgiveness! You are naming the event that has been brought to mind.

In the case of an abuser’s hateful words being replayed, we do not have to tolerate the devil harassing us with hurtful statements from the past! When the devil starts spouting how horrible I am or how I’m nothing I say the 4 words that Michael said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9)

The Lord forgives us and says He will not forgive us our sin if we do not forgive others theirs. Saying a prayer of forgiveness for something horrendous that was done to us does not cover all time! It isn’t like a one size fits all. We are to forgive over and over and over again if that is what is needed, and many times that is exactly what is needed!

Every dream, every memory, every mental picture, comes from either the Lord, to show us something important that He wants to bring to our attention or heal, the devil to taunt us and keep us in pain, or ourselves because we haven’t healed. Regardless of who, what, or where the memory comes from if we announce out loud “I forgive….” we benefit! The abusers hateful words being slammed into our memory you can bet comes from the devil. Rebuke him in Jesus name!

I’ve done this many, many times and it stops the enemy in his tracks! The Lord does not taunt us with painful memories! In my experience, if it is the Lord, He has done it through dreams, not nightmares, but dreams that will leave me wondering what He is trying to show me. Occasionally it will be a mental picture. I do not ignore either. I told the Lord one time after forgiving my abuser for what he did that came to mind, “I don’t feel that in my heart.” I learned that we speak it out and in time it will enter and come from our heart.

We are not only set free from the deep wounds to our soul and spirit from an abusive childhood or an abusive relationship but we are given a tool to use against the memories that on occasion jump up unexpectantly. We have been healed and no longer have to live in emotional torment. That does not mean we will never have to revisit some of those events but a revisit does not mean living it! You have been set free or you are being set free. Walk in that freedom!

“Whom the Lord sets free is free indeed.” Jn. 8:36

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Blessings to you.

 

Some Common Symptoms of Sexual Abuse

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Linda Melrose, Ph.D. Sexual Abuse – May 1991 – Angels by Grace Publication – July 1997

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

INTRUSIVE SYMPTOMS: Nightmares, Flashbacks, Obsessive thoughts, Intrusive thoughts.

AVOIDANCE SYMPTOMS: Dissociation, Avoidance of situations that remind survivor of the abuse, amnesia.

AUTONOMOMIC SYMPTOMS: Muscle tension, headaches, hyperactivity, bladder infections, vaginal infections, sore throats.

AFFECTIVE SYMPTOMS: Depression, rage, anxiety, numbness.

SELF DESTRUCTIVE SYMPTOMS: Drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorder, compulsive behaviors, self mutilation, suicide attempts.

SOME COMMON EFFECTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE : WAYS OF COPING

Lack of effect                                    Flashbacks

Loss of time                                      Suicide attempts

Headaches                                        Depression

Panic attacks                                    Sleep disorders

Fear of sex                                        Nightmares

Bladder Infections                          Poor body image

Vaginal infections                           Low self-esteem

Eating difficulties                            Dissociation

Sexual acting out                             Overly controlling

Compulsive exercising                   Chaotic lifestyle

Impulsive spending                         Minimizing or denying abuse

Alcohol or drug abuse                     Unclear memories

Gambling or shoplifting                 Impaired concentration

Self-mutilation                                 light-headedness

Fear of intimacy                               Irrational guilt

Lack to trust                                      Hyperalertness

Intensification                                Anxiety disorders

Negative self-evaluation                Mood swings

Helplessness                                    Hopelessness

Drama                                                Idealization

Disturbed relatedness                    Withdrawal

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Blessings to you.

The Little Ones

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Written by Renee – Angels by Grace Pub. – May 1997

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Born into an unfamiliar world

starting out as a delicate pearl

These are the little ones.

*

Tender sprouts of care

knowing love is fondly there,

these are the little ones.

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Suddenly there’s change

something is happening that’s strange

to these, the little ones.

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Such sheer terror

to have been done in error

to these the little ones.

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Living in constant fear

not knowing what is near

 to harm these, the little ones.

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Tender sprouts of care

are no longer there

for these, the little ones.

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They grow up to put

the past behind

but only grow up to find

they are still, the little ones.

*

But Jesus is there

to keep them in His care

these, the little ones.

*

He won’t allow any harm

to hurt any more His charm

these, His little ones.

~~~~~

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Blessings to you.

What is Healing?

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It is atrocious what some have had done to them by those we love and are supposed to love us as Christ loves us. The stories are many and some are so horrid that they cannot be told. This is a fallen world and it is only by the Grace of God that any us that have experienced those childhood horrors have survived.

As children we were the victims of unspeakable evil but as adults we are left with the issues of guilt and shame. (along with many other issues) Guilt because we were blamed. “If you hadn’t done….” “If you had listened to me….” “I’m doing this because I love you” “I’m doing this for your own good.” “It’s our secret.” “You told! Now look what happened!” The blame comes in many forms.

I ask you this question – how is a child to defend herself/himself? We are taught that the adults are right. We are taught to obey regardless of what is being done. And yet a small child is blamed for all the evil that is being perpetrated upon his or her small body, mind, and soul. How could we defend ourselves? When we asked and was ignored, what is a child to do? When we are forced to keep silent, through threats, what can a child do?

The shame comes from what has been instilled by God in every human being; right and wrong. There is a deep sense within us that says what is being done to us at this early age is wrong! Yet we are told “we like it” or we are once again blamed is some other fashion. The perpetrator ALWAYS blames and places the guilt upon the victim! If at some point our minds are screaming to stop, go away, stop hurting me, and our body responds with pleasure we immediately feel great shame. That shame can turn to hating the body that God created. Then we feel even more shame because we could not control what God gave us. It’s a vicious cycle and can create all sorts of emotional problems.

There are many issues that we adults must overcome in order to be all that God created us to be. Unforgiveness is a big one. We want revenge! We want to hate the one/s who did this to us. We hate what they did! We want them to suffer just like we did! And yes, at times we want them to PAY!

So how do we heal from all that was done physically, emotionally, psychologically, sexually, and spiritually? How do we overcome our hatred and anger? How do we forgive when the atrocities have left such deep bleeding wounds in our heart, mind, and soul? How do we heal and what is healing?

Let me use an example here. A small dog has been beaten to an inch within its life. It has been starved, locked outside in the heat and the cold with no food or water. It has been used as a battering ram by some evil person.  Someone who devalues what God created. Someone comes along and sees the dog and rescues it. The dog is fed, watered, nurtured and loved back to life. It now looks healthy and happy. It’s filled with love and joy for the one who rescued it. But raise a fist in anger and it will shrink. It hasn’t forgotten the past.

That’s what abuse does to us. Evil entered our bedrooms (or wherever the abuse took place) and someone who devalued what God created broke us down and used us for their own sick purposes. Christ, our Rescuer, comes along and if we let Him He will nurture us and restore us but we have to trust Him. The little dog trusted his rescuer and became healthy and happy. We have to trust our Rescuer! We have to seek Him for our healing. We cannot do it alone. Like the little dog we have no hope of overcoming the abuse until our Rescuer lifts us up in His arms and says, “I love you and I’m here to help you.”

Healing is being the broken, beaten down, no hope, filled with anger and hatred and an unforgiving person to becoming the person that is not knocked to their knees with the pain of the past. Healing is confronting the issues from the past head on and not pushing them aside and walking through life like a zombie! Healing is becoming the person that can hold her head up and testify to having been abused without shame and guilt! Healing is being able to tell the world, “I was sexually abused and the Lord God Almighty brought me through it. He helped me to survive what was done to me, and I can stand here and tell you that I am NOT ASHAMED!”

It takes guts! It takes counseling! It takes fortitude to face the pain of the past! It takes perseverance! It takes a lot of prayer! It takes replacing the lies with God’s truth! It takes Christ shining His big “flashlight” within us and exposing the deep wounds! It takes learning who we are in Christ and rebuking the lies of being less than!  It takes tears of cleansing! It takes time! It takes being able to forgive! And above all – it takes walking hand in hand with Christ our Savior the full length of the path to recovering and overcoming what was done to us. It takes trusting Him for our healing!

Healing does not mean we suddenly have amnesia and the past is forgotten. We may still feel sadness or anger on occasion. What was done to us was not fair and we didn’t deserve it. We may on occasion grieve our lost childhood for a moment and we may reflect on our past but –  Healing means we are no longer crippled by our past.

Healing means that you will be able to stand tall and feel clean and whole and loved.

Take heart,” daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you” Matthew 9:22

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Feel free to e-mail me any confidential questions or comments at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

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Blessings to you.