*Note: This is one of the many private responses I have received based on previous posts about sexual abuse.
(Feel free to share this, although I’m not sure that it will help anyone as I’m only just beginning my journey.)
Hi, Ev. I’m a blog reader and always enjoy your writing. Thank you for courageously taking on this subject. I know it’s not easy or comfortable but your compassion and understanding make you such a wonderful person to do this. You’re a safe place on the Internet and in this community. I believe God is using you specifically in this way to bring forth truth and healing. Thank you. Sincerely.
I grew up in the church and as an older teenager, become wary of men. I eventually married and could never quite shake “men can’t control themselves and can’t be trusted”, something my husband has struggled to help me overcome. My trust issues have affected our marriage and my ability to forgive him for human mistakes. I wish that wasn’t the case.
As an adult, when working with a massage therapist, I was deeply triggered and suddenly, my body began to experience something that was so traumatizing, I immediately disconnected. I had no thoughts or memories, only the feeling of intense fear as I fought. I curled up in a ball and sobbed, the therapist covered me with a blanket and let me work through that moment in peace. (My body would relive bits and pieces of it in the months afterwards.)
The days following, I couldn’t be around males and it took me a long time to allow my husband to even hug me. I have had several psychologists prior to that incident ask me if I’ve been abused but I have virtually no memories of it. Very little memories of my childhood, actually. I know these are all signs and while I’ve felt triggered on occasions and know my triggers and articles/shows/topics to avoid, I’ve had no desire to know or empathy towards anything relating to what might have happened to me as a girl.
I know it sounds strange but it’s just not real to me. I don’t feel anything towards her/me/it. I’ve only ever told my husband and one other person about these things.
For some reason, I’m not ready yet to face whatever did or didn’t happen. And sadly, for this reason and others relating to other incidents, I’ve felt the need to distance myself from my home church tribe. While I enjoy the new found feeling of freedom in Christ, I miss the church and people deeply at times… so ingrained in my identity.
I have nothing but love for ‘my people’ and struggle to find a sense of belonging in this vast other space. I find it difficult that I can’t retain closeness with my church friends (as not being in a tight-knit community any longer leaves you out of a lot of things) but ultimately, I can’t raise children in a place where I don’t know what or who is safe. Where there’s still some things that are hushed, where transparency can’t happen overnight because it’s so extraordinarily wounding and painful, where it’s still sometimes easier to talk about my neighbor than my own issues. And mostly, where I might be sitting next to a person that took away a piece of my soul but never confessed to it to help me heal my own cycles of self-destruction and disconnect. I can’t do that to the next generation, to my own children. Not on my watch. My heart will never fully leave but physically, we have to move on. There’s no other way forward.
Maybe with this decision and space, I’ll someday feel safe enough to heal and tear down these walls. One step at a time, I will own any past that exists. If it is what my body relived, please pray that I make it through.
If you would like to share any experiences or thoughts publicly, you can leave a regular blog comment down below, or post on my Facebook link. If you would like to submit an anonymous story, you may do so at this link.
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