Posts Tagged ‘brokenness’

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Questions…most likely without answers

August 21, 2009

OK…I’m a survivor. I have been through worse…so why am I so freaking out because of people coming over to help tomorrow???? I am fighting tears and want to just shake.  Why do I care what others think? Why do I feel so dang vulnerable? Why do I have to be so freaking out??? People are being nice…and I am afraid. I am embarrassed at how we have had to live. The place is a mess. A mining camp one guy described it as. I think he was being nice. I have no control over what others do. We have all been feeling so overwhelmed…overwhelmed to the point of almost giving up with trying to make this place look decent. We have a tiny living space…no real storage that is conveniently accessible. Everything is in bins scattered everywhere outside. Well…actually…a lot of it is bins. There are also things out of bins. So, people are coming to help so that a house of some kind can be built. They are helping and I am freaking. Arggggg!!!!

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Here I Sit

August 8, 2009

I woke up this morning dreaming of my father. He was objecting to my name change and saying something about my not having the right to change it. The details are fuzzy. I can’t remember what I was dreaming before that…but I think it, too, was either about him or about both of my parents. But I’m really not sure.

I would be willing to bet that this is being stirred up somewhat by that movie I watched recently.  I shared some of how the movie impacted me in the previous post Searching For Angela Shelton. It really got me thinking about my own father and I think that contributed to the dreams.

One of the things that struck me in the movie was how well her father lied. They always seem to be able to lie so smoothly. I remember that Angela asked her father if he had blocked it out. Of course, if he had…how would he know? But I really get the question, though.

When I met with my parents and my lay counselor to talk about the incest part of my abuse, I remember my mother ageeing that something had definitely happened…if only they knew who it was. My father said that he did not remember doing any of those things.  Man…even now it is SO hard to write about this. It is as if my mind wants to run anywhere but there. And I want to cry…or shut down…or something.

He did not remember doing any of those things. I remember the words hit me at the time. I did not say anything about it…but I asked the counselor afterward. She wondered if I had caught that. We talked about how a falsely accused father would react…or at least how we think he would. There would be shock…of course. I did not see any then…nor do I remember hearing any in his voice after he got my initial letter…the one that led to the meeting.

There would be concern. Why was I thinking these things? What I got was accusations against my counselor. She must have suggested the abuse. She pointed out to him that I had memories BEFORE I came to her. I went to her because of the memories I had. I did not take any psychotropic drugs and I was not hypnotized. In short order, the memories were pretty much spontaneous during a prayer session I had with a pastor. That prayer session had nothing to do with memories.

In the weeks that ensued, my father collected everything he could find on the so called False Memory Syndrome. Since I did not regain my memories through any non-spontaneous ways, his next assumption was that they had come from the pit of hell. Satan, himself, had obviously planted them in an effort to tear our famly apart. What a laugh…seeing as how my family was not close anyway. My sister was in hiding…literally, although they knew where she was. Sadly, she ran away to another cult family…but that is another story.

I did bring up a current (then) way that he was violating my boundaries. He actually admitted to it and my mother was floored. He admitted that he knew I was uncomfortable, so she asked him why he did not stop. He said that I was old enough to say something. She pointed out that my actions were saying something. She actually got angry that he had ignored my actions, refusing to stop unless I verbally said something. Her anger diffused rather quickly, though. For at least a few moments I had her actually defending me…sort of.

Verbally asking him to stop…what a joke! I was programmed to silence. Never speak. Never open up. Never share. Never reveal to anyone else but do reveal all to the parents.  I was programmed to tell them everything they wanted to know, while never revealing anything to anyone else. He knew I could never say “no” to him…on anything. He took advantage of me…even as an adult.

When Angela whispered “you lie” to her father while sitting next to him…I remember thinking how brave she was to say that to him. I also remember his words.  They were something along the lines of “Now I’m only going to say this once more…and then I am not going to say it again…I didn’t do it.” It was as if the finality of his “not going to say it again” was supposed to somehow make it official that he was innocent of these crimes. Bah!

I also love the way he repeatedly says things like “may heaven strike me…or take me now” or things along those lines. Yeah, right…like that is ever likely to happen. I mean…come on…how safe of a statement. You would have an awful lot of people getting struck if it worked that way. Nothing like a safe swearing of innocence.

I have wondered many times if my father truly does not remember. Even if he doesn’t…even if he has blocked it out somehow…there is enough other stuff about him that scares me…which makes me wonder…why on earth have I initiated email contact with my parents? Well…I have my reasons for that and it is the subject for some other post at some other time.

Way to go, Angela. Our stories are different…yet, they are not. Incest is a part of ritual abuse. Sadly, there is a whole lot of other stuff beyond the incest. But bravery…well, it comes in all shapes and sizes. I will celebrate wherever I can find it. I know the source of my bravery is Yahweh…plain and simple. I could not do life without having that heart connection with my Creator…just could not do it.

Bravery. I think you, Angela Shelton, are very brave…along with all the other Angela Sheltons you met. So many brave women. What a celebration of bravery that movie is.  How comforting it is to see other women pushing through…and finding victory and peace…and truth!

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Searching for Angela Shelton

August 2, 2009

I watched this amazing movie last night. It is something I have been wanting to do, but have only now been able to. My DIL sent me the link to watch it online. You can either watch it there: Snag Films Searching for Angela Shelton, or you can watch it here (if the player is working).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

What can I say about this film? It intrigued me from the moment I heard of it, especially the part about how the majority of Angela Shelton’s in this country have been raped, molested or beaten. It makes me curious about all the women with my name. I wonder what I would find if I were able to do something similar.

Although it was sad to hear what some of these women have been through, it was awesome to see and hear how many of them rose above it all. What strength. What character. These women are survivors and I am honored to have gotten to see a bit of who they are.

I think that the one scene that was probably the most powerful for me was about an hour into the movie…when Angela confronts her father face to face…on Father’s Day. Sitting there and hearing his denials reminded me of my own father. Even the little bits of admissions she did get from him were more than I got from my father.

I, too, had written my father, but I was not strong enough to give him much…in writing or face to face. I don’t really know how much detail she confronted him with, but even just the bit I see in the movie is more than I was able to tell my father.

I so relate to her feelings afterward. She shared how, listening to his denials, made her want to think that it was all not true. Oh, gosh…been there, done that. For me, I think it was even harder because I had dissociated away all the memories. What was coming to the surface was buried so deeply that it made it even harder to believe when it did come back up to the surface. That made me want to question it all the more. But I knew. I knew it was true. The underlying feeling had been there since as far back as high school. The symptoms went back even farther. Oh, I knew. But telling him was a different thing.

Another factor for me was the fact that I was cult abused. There were things done to purposely bury it all. My mind was fractured incidentally and intentionally. I am still partially amnesic. I still feel the effects of the abuse…although I am so much stronger than I used to be. I am free, so far as I can tell, from my father’s control. Yet, it is difficult to imagine myself ever doing with my father what she did with hers. So…am I really free?

After she confronts him, she has an emotionally violent reaction. I so get that. I find myself fighting my own tears as she is weeping. She expresses such anger…and heart break. And everything inside me is resonating with her. She even seems to express disbelief (?) at the fact that she sat there with him. I know that, when I saw the picture of them standing together with his arm around her shoulder, I wanted to shake inside. That was so symbolic to me…and it was not a good symbolism…at least not for me.

It is a powerful movie…very cathartic…very worth watching. It is a hard watch…maybe even harder if you are a survivor. Yet, in midst of the difficulties of watching it…I saw such stories of hope and strength. I saw how Angela really seemed to make a difference in the lives of the other Angela Sheltons.

I know that I am not done with this movie. I think I will be watching again. There is so much in her reactions to the visit with her father…so much that I connect with. No…I am not done with this movie…not yet.

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Identity and Courage

July 23, 2009

I am sitting here thinking…about identity. At what point is identity important? When your name has been stolen and defamed…is it better to let go of that name and reinvent yourself? Or is it better to reclaim your name and just say “to heck” with those who opt to believe lies.

That is what I have been faced with. Do I hide my name? Or do I reclaim my name? It is something I have given a LOT of thought to…for quite awhile.

To some extent, I have allowed the fear that others  would run from me temper how much of myself I reveal. It is difficult not to feel very vulnerable.

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When “Funny” Isn’t So Funny

May 23, 2009

There is a “funny” that goes around called “The Psychiatric Hotline”. It goes like this:

Hello! Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline!If you are Obsessive-Compulsive, press 1 17 times…..hmmm better make that 26………ok just press 1 repeatedly.If you are Codependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.

If you have Multiple Personalities, press 3, 4, 5, and 6.

If you are Paranoid, we know who you are. Stay on the line so we can trace your call.

If you are Delusional, press 7, and your call will be transferred to the Mother Ship.

If you are Schizophrenic, listen carefully, and a small voice will tell you which number to press.

If you are Dyslexic, press 96969696969696.

If you have a Nervous Disorder, please fidget with the Pound Button until a representative comes on the line.

If you have Amnesia, press 8 and state your name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number, and your mother’s and grandmother’s maiden names.

If you have short-term Memory Loss, please try your call again later.

If you have Low Self-Esteem, just hang up. None of our representatives would talk to someone like you!

Now, I have read this many times in the past. Yet, for some reason, today when I read it I found myself becoming rather emotional. I am not sure exactly why. Perhaps, it is that last line. It really seems to sum up the underlying attitude portrayed in all of the ones above it. How many people really want to talk to someone who struggles mentally or emotionally. I mean…really! How many?

I know that I have had my own struggles with feeling overwhelmed by other people’s issues. I admit that. I think that, for me, a lot of it had to do with the fact that I was barely keeping my own sanity…if at all. I just did not have much left for anyone else.

I also think that there was a certain amount of fear. I was afraid of what I did not understand. That included being afraid for my own sanity, which I held in question for so many years of my life…even as a young person in my parent’s home.  I used to be filled with SO much fear…over LOTs of things. It is next to impossible to reach out to others from a position of fear. If I cannot understand and help myself…how can I help you?

As I have grown over the years…as I have conquered and banished a lot of my fear…I have found it getting easier to reach out to others. There is a real blessing when I am able to touch, and be touched by, those who struggle with the same things I struggle with. There are still those whose experiences and needs are too great for me to be able to handle. Yet, even with those, I can offer a kind word…or a hug…if the opportunity presents itself.

I have looked at what I need because I think others probably need similar things. Underneath all the issues…we are all human beings…people who have been damaged by the things of life that have happened to us. Some of us were born with issues…some of us were “given” issues by the sins of others…some of us have hurt ourselves. Yet, we are PEOPLE! We are NOT our issues!

I don’t need to be understood as much as I simply need to be accepted. Don’t get me wrong. Understanding would be NICE, but acceptance goes a long way, too! Acceptance, for me, also means being included. I don’t have to be included in everything a person does…or in every part of a person’s life. That is unrealistic…even for two “nonstruggling” people. But when you exclude someone from everything…or from all the key events in your life…that is not acceptance. Everyone needs to be accepted by SOMEONE. Acceptance does not keep people always on the fringes of things. Nor does genuine love.

I don’t need to be fixed…I need to be encouraged. Yahweh (God in the Bible) is the BEST “fixer” and He is taking care of that…one day at a time…one step at a time. I am where He knows I need to be. I can accept that. Can others? Can you?

I don’t need to be told how to live…or have verses quoted at me. I need to be walked alongside of.  There are times when I really need someone to take my hand and tell me that it will be OK…that “I” will be OK. I need to be reminded that Yahweh is in control…not as some pat answer that your duty requires you to tell me…but as a gentle loving reminder because you truly know it yourself from your own experience with Him. If YOUR walk with Him is not real and deep, then how can you help me with mine?

I don’t need to be thought of as “wierd”. I need to be thought of as someone who has fought many battles and who refuses to quit fighting. I need someone to “pass the ammunition”…not keep me from it…or judge me for not being able to reach it myself.

I need to be loved. Not pitied. Not superficially cared about. Pity and superficial acceptance are not real genuine love. Real genuine love seeks to help me better myself. Seeks to help me walk through whatever it is that I am walking through. Looks for and shares resources. Love is when you share the gifts Yahweh has blessed you with…with others…including me. Love is sticking around when the going gets tough…or when my struggles make me not the easiest person to be with. Love is when I cannot meet your needs, but you choose to hang out with me anyway.

Is there anyone out there like that? I know there are…but oh how rare they can be. There are some people I have met online who I believe are like that and I would like to believe that I would be the same way back. It can be easier to “love” someone online…to love from afar, but what about in person? There are some online friends whom I have met in person that I KNOW would be that for me if I lived close to them. We are “family”. It would be nice to have some “family” close by, though.

That brings me to the subject of congregations. We are, spiritually speaking, “family”. However, do we act like it? When people call the “church” hotline…what kinds of responses do they get? When the kinds of people listed in this little “funny” above call a “church” that says that they follow Yeshua (Jesus)…do they get responses that are similar to the ones above?

Oh, I know, they will probably NEVER hear those exact words…or course not! If they do, I suggest they run as far away as they can from those people! However, are the responses they DO get really just the same thing…only worded a bit more softly?

Where are the stretcher bearers in the body of Yeshua?

Where are the wise, LOVING, biblical counselors?

Where are the disciplers? The mentors?

Where, oh people of Yeshua, are YOU when it comes to helping people like US??? I fear that you have gone into hiding in your places of perceived safety where you can try to pretend that people like us do not exist. Or, if we do…we are someone ELSE’s “problem”. Of course, that is part of the problem…you don’t see us as PEOPLE, you see us as PROBLEMS!

Yahweh did not call the government to help us out…He called YOU…and ME…and everyone of His true children! We are to help one another. I help others as I am able to help. It may not be much…but I try. I try to comfort others with the comfort with which I have been comforted.

My number one source of comfort is Yahweh…Abba (Father), Yeshua (Jesus) and Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). Sadly, with a few exceptions, my comfort is primarily just from Yahweh. Yes, there have been a precious few who have actually been there for me in my offline life…but it has been a very few. I hold them in my heart forever.

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Abuse in Churches

May 4, 2009

I read a really good article today on how to teach leaders in churches to avoid abusiveness in congregational relationships. Margaret Jones did a guest interview at the blog of futurist guy. He asked some really good questions and I really liked Dr. Jones’ answers.

Dealing with abuse in congregations is not easy. Dealing with abuse that comes from the leaders is even tougher. It is really important to put things in place  to help prevent it from happening in the first place. Leaders need to be taught how to avoid being abusive and how to recognize those tendencies in themselves and others.

Dr. Jones makes a really good point that we are all at some point in time a victim, a bully and a bystander. I don’t know if that is true for everyone…but I would think that the huge majority of us, if we were able to be totally honest, could say that we fit all three categories at one time or another. That can be a very hard thing to face.

I hope that all groups, regardless of what kind they are, will take a look at what they are doing…both as a group and as individuals within a group. This world does not need abuse. It is tough enough to live. Life comes with enough challenges without having to deal with abuse on top of everything else.

In spite of all the healing I have gone through, I am still left broken. I still have to struggle with some things. I hate that. I don’t wish it on anyone…not even on my worst enemy. I have never wished ill on others. I have been angry and wished they could understand what they were putting me through…but I have never wished them to have to suffer, too. At least, not in so far as my amnesic mind remembers. My heart is just not wired that way…perhaps because of all that I went through…I don’t know. It is not that I have never hurt anyone…or acted in hurtful ways. I have…out of anger and frustration. But hurting someone just to hurt them…I don’t remember ever doing that.

I wish I had not been abused. I wish that my parents could have modeled for me what it meant to be a good parent so that I could have been a better mom to my own children. I am grateful that I gave them better than I got…still, I wish it could have been more. I wish I could have done better. That is where I have to trust that Yahweh’s perfect love covers a multitude of sins…including my own failings toward my children.

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Thinking About the Day

March 23, 2009

Every day is a gift…but do I see it that way? It is something that I think I need to pay attention to. I am not my own. I have been bought (in a beautiful and wonderful way) at a very steep price by Yeshua/Jesus. That opened the door for me to be adopted as one of Yahweh/God’s children. What an awesome thought!

So what does that really mean, especially to me as a survivor? It means that I have a real parent…a real Abba/Father…who loves me like my earthly father never could. He will never abuse me like my earthly father did.

Yahweh is spirit, neither male nor female. Since humans are created in His image, He obviously contains all that makes up both male and female. Therefore, He can represent to me both father and mother. A friend of mine once said that he sees the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) as being that part of Yahweh that represents the more female aspects. The Ruach is a comforter and a teacher. I don’t know that we can really separate it out like that; but I do see that, if we are created in His image, then He must contain aspects of both male and female. As a married couple, we come the closest to representing His image on earth…I am thinking. Of course, I am not Yahweh, so I can only speculate as I study His word for truth.

The awesome thing about His being both Abba/Father  and Ima/Mother is that I was abused by both parents. So, He can be both of my parents in their place. I like that. It is very comforting.

I know that there are some who are uncomfortable with Yahweh representing Himself as “He” and “Father”…as male. I don’t have a problem with that. When you look at what the men are called to be…and so often fail miserably at…it is actually comforting. Men and women have different roles…neither above or below the other…simply different.

While both parents are called to protect their children…obviously…most men are bigger and stronger than most females. By and large, they are “hardwired” differently, too. Obviously, there will be exceptions, but most women (when they are not wounded and shamed out of the role) do tend to be nurturers and comforters and healers. Most men (when not wounded and shamed out of the role) do tend to be protectors and providers.

Now, I know this will cause a lot of uproar in those who are not understanding what I am saying…in those who may read into what I am writing here. I am not saying this is ironclad. I am simply looking at life and making observations…observations about what I see and about what I read in Yahweh’s book.

Men and women were created to work side by side with each other. Then…they blew it…big time! They disobeyed the One who created them and sin and all sorts of evils came into the world. Humankind was “cursed” as a result. I really don’t think that Yahweh was cursing them. I think that He was telling what they would be cursed with as a natural consequence of their own actions. It is very interesting what it says.

First you have the serpent, who gets them to question what Yahweh really said to them and who twists Yahweh’s words around. Then you get the woman who falls for it (being deceived, it later says). After that you get the guy, who it appears was standing there all along and did nothing to stop it from happening, who blows it eyes wide open. That is why later, it says that the sin and evil came into the world through his action…not through hers. She was deceived. He openly rebelled.

Part of the “curse” is that she will long for her husband and he will rule over her. Look at the world today. I see evidences of this happening all over the place. The marriages that work the best are the ones who follow Yahweh’s rules regarding it. She respects him as leader and he always seeks her counsel as a helpmate. They work together…neither one despising the other, but rather they respect one another in love. They recognize that each has different gifts and abilities and they work together to be united…as Yahweh is united.

One thing I really like is that the Hebrew word for helpmate, with only a very few exceptions, is used elsewhere in reference to the Lord Yahweh Himself. I would say that puts us ladies up there with some pretty impressive company when it comes to being a helper! Being a helpmate is not an insult…as so many seem to think…it is an honor! It was our position before sin and evil came into the world! Yahweh thinks we are pretty special!

So, what does all that have to do with “the day”? I am so glad you asked! I have been given this day. I am still alive. I am still functioning. So, what am I going to do with it? Am I going to walk in my Yahweh given role of honor? Or am I going to shirk it? Am I going to be seeking what He has for me to do this day? Or am I going to focus on my own thing?

Being a woman who lives in a fallen and sinful world, I know that I can be prone to being selfish and wanting to do my own thing…forgetting the One who brought me into a state of adoption into being one of Yahweh’s own children. I must focus my heart and all of my being on my calling…on my position as that child of the Most High Yahweh/God! I have responsibilities, as well as privileges.

I have the privilege of running in to my Abba’s throne room and sitting on His lap and being loved by Him. I also have the responsibility of any princess/daughter of a King…to fulfill my role of doing the work of His kingdom. What is that work? Well, it is all spelled out in His book…in His love letter to all of us…the Bible. Just make sure you get a real translation…a good translation…and not a watered down, modified paraphrase disquised as a translation. Read the real deal! It can change your life forever…for the better!

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