Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just Push the Button

It's been a while. I honestly don't know what I'm going to write as I begin typing, I just feel the need to do it. Over the past couple of years this blog has been a source of an immense amount of love and encouragement for me. Maybe a little heartache too. Some of the things I've written here are hard for me to go back and read. Some of the comments that were made (and deleted) are hard for me to think about. Even some of the positive things that were written can be difficult to read.

So much about my life is different now from when I first began this blog. So much about my life hasn't changed in the least. I continue to heal. Or to try to heal, I guess. That's probably all I can do at this point. I've changed careers. I've changed work communities. I've lost a lot of friends and quite a bit of respect. I still feel the heartache and hurt every day of what happened. I feel the heartache and hurt every day of the mistakes I've made over the last year. In many ways, I learned what its like to create victims and feel remorse for it. Not victims of sexual abuse, but victims of misplaced trust. There are things we can't take back. Words and actions that can't be erased. I've never really been able to figure out how to forgive David, and now I get to add to that figuring out how to forgive myself.

The question I most often ask of myself is "where has God been in all of this?" At what point do I catch a break? At what point does life quit pissing all over me? And what God allows this to happen? I used to find inspiration from people of great faith. Now I find jealousy for those people. I want what they have. I remember what it was like to have that. I had blind faith...the faith of a child...wrapped up. In the bank. But the second my eyes were opened by hurt I lost every ounce of faith I'd ever been able to muster and I haven't gotten it back since.

This is the first blog post I've written where I've been nervous about hitting the "publish" button. At this point, many of you know who I am. While I haven't posted my name on here, I've never really tried to hide who I was. I've also never really gone this deep into the warped inner workings of my mind. I guess the bottom line is that I'm not writing this for people to thing good things about me. I'm not writing it for anyone's approval or encouragement or prayers. I'm writing it because the process of not just putting my thoughts on paper, but of putting them out there for other victims to read and be able to identify with is therapeutic for me. And as few things as I've found to be therapeutic for me, I guess I should probably hold onto the ones I have.


Anonymous said...

I started reading your blog from just this past 29th when a Google search for the Storyteller's quote to Ink--which I was using to cheer up a friend--brought me here. At first, it was hard for me to read.

It brings up a lot of difficult things to think about. But I felt like I owed it to you, and to myself, to read your story. A stranger passing by, and I had to listen.

I'm glad I did. I'm going to always have you in my prayers (God or no, we're human, and we all care for each other, and think of those we care for in deep hopes).

Thank you, and the suffering to read it is more than worth it if it means easing your burden even the slightest. I have much respect for you, good sir.

Michael M

Anonymous said...

Hey, friend. It's been a while since I've checked on your blog, and I'm glad I decided to do so today. I was thinking about DP today, I don't know why, but I often do.

In your post you wrote about not being able to figure out how to forgive David. Well, you may already know this, but you don't have to forgive him. You don't. Forgiveness should be about whether it helps you in your recovery. I know some people think a person who has been wronged has to forgive in order to move on, but I don't think they do. I still haven't forgiven the predator who victimized me 35 years ago, but I also don't allow him to have free rent in my head anymore. He took so much from me, and I'll be damned if I let him take the rest of my life as well.

As you noted, forgiving yourself is the larger difficulty of the two. I struggled with that for decades, and still have moments where I can feel that one closing in on me again - self doubts speak clearly in my mind, ridiculing me: "How could you have let him do that to you?" I can't remember if I told you this in a past comment or not, but it bears repeating again, even if I have - a good friend (and fellow sexual abuse survivor) told me about a therapy session he had one time where the therapist asked my friend why he didn't just use the secret door to escape from the molestation. Puzzled, my friend looked at the therapist and said "Secret door? I didn't know anything about any secret door." And that's the salient point - as children and teens we were too immature to understand that there were means of escaping the situations we found ourselves in. We couldn't fathom that this was anything but the reality that we just had to accept. I had no idea that I could have somehow brought down that house of cards. So please don't beat yourself up on that point, because you and so many others didn't know about the "secret door".

You asked some very pointed questions about God. I had very similar questions as well. How could the God that I learned about in Sunday school allow me to be forcibly raped over a years time and then expect me to still understand that He loves me? How?? In my recovery, coming to peace with God over this has been the most difficult aspect of it all. But I did, and I love God and still at times don't understand how he can love a man like me. But I'm thankful beyond measure that He does.

I'm glad you're still seeking answers, and hope that you see the wisdom in yourself for that. I pray good things for you, because you do truly deserve them.

A friend,

Anonymous said...

I haven't checked this in a while and I'm glad that I did. People mistake forgiveness as being something to free the wrongdoer, like it's a favor to that person. In all reality, forgiveness is to free the wronged. With forgiveness, you'll begin to break free of the bitterness, anger and resentment. Is it a cure all? Of course not- It's a process. You may have to forgive and re-forgive. I spent each day over the past 7 years dwelling on Nick. That record player in my head kept going, reliving, and "what if-ing" about things that could happen. Each car ride to work, each car ride home he was in my head. I realized I was torturing myself.
I made the decision to confront and forgive him. I've had to re-forgive several times, when I realize I'm trying to "take back my grudge." Honestly, I don't want it. I don't want what he did to keep ruling over me. Why should I give him that kind of power - again? He doesn’t get to do that – I won’t allow it! I realized I couldn't live the rest of my life with him still in my life. That's what it really was - I was living with him still in my life. Could I have done that without my faith? Honestly, no. I've had to build/rebuild my relationship with God over several years. Several years of slowly chipping away at who I'd become - hardened, selfish, spiteful, vengeful, defensive, angry, attention-seeking and just mean. Little by little this person is crumbling away. I know this would not have happened without God coming in to my life. I would not be able to have done any of this on my own. As for why these things happen... I'm not sure. Did God send these things to happen to me? No, of course not. But He is turning something amazing out of it. I can't be selfish and think I'll get something GREAT from this, but MAYBE I can help someone who's been through something similar. I honestly don't know, but it's like you said - blind faith. Your life is YOUR life, that’s YOUR territory. Even if they are painful experiences, those are a part of your life that you lived – so don’t let the enemy stand on it and remind you of it and use it against you. I've learned to ask God to sanctify my past, to make something amazing from it.
At some point I had to learn to forgive myself in all of this, too. Did forgiving Nick make everything okay, or not so bad? No. My forgiveness to him was about me and only me. I think after 7 years of him being in my head, I can be selfish and say I forgave him for me! I realized just the other day that I haven’t obsessed over it like I had just weeks earlier. Honestly, that’s so bizarre to me.
God can work amazing things in you, if you let Him. He's always with you, you just don't see it right now. I made the mistake of thinking that I would get a "reason" for why he did what Nick did what he did to me. In that, I was giving myself false hope to think that someone who is truly a monster would break down in tears, beg for my forgiveness and thank me for forgiving him because he carried this burden all these years. He "couldn't remember" it actually. That's reminded me that this was about me. And that I wasn't going to get a reason... a reason is to justify an action. You can justify sexual abuse, or any abuse for that matter. I was let down because I thought I'd get a "reason," but looking back I am thankful he didn't have a feeble attempt to justify that horrific period in my life.
You're allowed to be selfish about this, you're SO allowed that. But you are not allowed the thoughts to think that you're in this alone. You're not at all. The Lord is with you, he always has been. You won't break, I promise. Just have faith. You've gone this far and it’s truly amazing. You're a strong man. Just start chipping away.

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