June 24, 2017

Surviving Abuse – your stories

Scars Across Humanity posting 13

I am posting, with permission, two of the responses sent to me from readers of my page who have survived abuse. One,  in her 20s, wishes to remain anonymous; the other reflects as a mature priest and is happy to disclose her identity.  I hope they might encourage anyone who shares experiences – past or present – of violation.

ONE

My grandmother brought me up as my mother couldn’t ever really care for me – I just thought this was normal, that the oldest people in a family always looked after everyone else. I didn’t realize that my mother was a heroin addict until after she was dead. I loved my grandmother, and I know she loved me. She had to go into hospital for regular treatment and then I went into a temporary foster home, where the man was so nice to the social workers, but he was very nasty to us (there were other foster children). He would touch my body and I hated it. I never told my grandmother as I didn’t want to upset her. Because she was poorly a lot, I was also afraid the social workers might take me away from her if I complained. I think she fought to hang on to me. She died when I was 14 and it felt like the end of the world.  I ran away from the next foster home, and got into a lot of trouble. I suppose I was easy to spot as somebody who just wanted someone to love her. Boys took advantage of me, and I often ended up having sex. Looking back on it, I always said no, and tried to get out of the situation, but I still didn’t recognize that this was rape, or that I should report it to the police.

I had an abortion when I was 17, and cried for that baby for months afterwards. That baby needed me and I killed it.

I don’t want to talk about the next two years. Then a girl came for job experience to my works.  She was so friendly, and even though I was the lowest grade person there she chatted to me every day. I couldn’t believe it when she invited me to her house. And then again, a few days later.  The week she left, her family invited me to go with them to a Christian camping holiday. I went and saw a very different kind of life and very different kind of people. But it also churned something up inside me. It made me so angry about my life and my abuse. Anger took me over and I ended up shouting and screaming at these kind people instead of being grateful to them.  I don’t know why they persisted with me. But they did. After my friend went to college, I carried on going to their house. One day, her mother said they realized my life had been hard, and they wanted to help me find a very different future. She prayed out loud about it. I think I cried for hours. I don’t really know why. But when I finished crying, it all felt different.

I can’t explain it, but during those months with that family, I found that love was real and God is love. I think of God now as like my grandmother, but always there. He is like my friend’s mother, who didn’t give up on me.  I can talk and God listens. These great people were right about a different future. Things are very different. It’s not always easy, but I know I will never go back to the pain and heartache I once knew.

I would like to write a poem like the ones you posted, but I am still learning to express myself, and this is the best I can do.

Just tell people who read your book not to give up hope.

A friend

……………….

TWO

I share with you how traumatic events that I experienced during my teenage years crushed my spirit and damaged my soul. Years of sexual abuse by school teachers caused me to endure many, many wilderness years until I had my own Epiphany when in absolute desperation I cried out to God ‘ You take the reins, I have tried to live life my way and it hasn’t worked… make me well and I will do anything you ask’

Immediately I received a Divine Healing (not the first time I had experienced this) and over the next two years I became ‘A New Creation’….leading my dad to say to me….’I’ve got my daughter back…I lost my lovely girl 30 years ago’ During this time I learned to listen to God, to be open to the Holy Spirit and my soul was restored.

prayerI meet people who tell me how lucky I am to have faith and I remind them that faith is a free gift from God given to all but it is not always easy to receive. Hard hands find it hard….full hands find it hard…..for to receive the gift of faith we need open hands and an open heart.

For me faith was a growing awareness that there was a fleeting, flickering light in the depth of myself which I could not grasp. The fleeting light and sensation of something more were being hidden by years’ worth of emotions and abuse and I had to search hard behind these emotions until I made a startling discovery. When I learned to listen closely to myself I had to learn to accept myself. I discovered that I didn’t really like myself and I discovered that I was limited and unable to be or achieve all that I would like to have been and to be; I discovered a self that had not always been loved well and not always lived well. The old self was totally independent, didn’t need anyone else; it was a self that was unforgiving, a self that was jealous, possessive and controlling and incapable of allowing others to be truly free. (How do you know how to enable others to be free to be their God given selves if you have never been free to become the person God intended for you to be?) Part of the Christian journey is making this transition from old self to new self. …death of the old life and being born again…having to learn to shed the old ways…behaviour, attitudes and values. This conversion is a gradual process of turning towards God and of understanding ourselves.

My over-riding message is that with God nothing is impossible, Jesus is our personal saviour (the healer of our soul) and the Holy Spirit enables us to become that new creation, to become the person that God longs for us to be…the person God intended us to be, despite whatever happens to us along the way.

Revd Alison Wallbank

Comments

  1. It never goes
    The fear,
    Told untold
    it gets worse year on year
    The next case comes along;
    always somthing in common
    I relive a moment
    I shed a tear
    Sometimes i get confused.
    I work hard to get no where
    occassionally mocked
    Often in despair.
    I try to believe that someone cares
    If only God.
    God says run to me
    I often do.
    To find i want more
    But i cant’get there
    The obstacles come thick and fast
    Everyone i thought i could trust,
    Disappears, for nothing last,
    I turn to God
    He says follow me
    I see people suffering like me,
    I relive those moments
    Sometimes it last weeks
    I look in the mirror
    I wonder why?
    i close the door
    Then i cry.
    Eventually the tears all gone
    For now at least.
    till the next time
    It might only be an hour,
    but in that hour
    I do what i need to do
    Sometimes a little more,
    I pray again
    And some more
    Please dear God
    Open the door.
    Find me a place
    where i feel of use
    And for good measure
    free from abuse.
    Which ever way i feel that fear
    I pray for just one happy year
    Where all i see is your glory
    Just so that i can say
    Yes there is another way.
    A way that i can manage.
    You are valued and cared about
    And we need what you have to give
    Then i might just feel,
    the journey is worthwhile
    That i can give without fear
    in any way shape or form.
    Because Jesus is my Saviour
    My mentor and my friend
    I can trust him , to hold onto me
    Until the very end..

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