Posts Tagged ‘safety’

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After the “Visit”…

June 2, 2015

OK. So, my father came and left. I am still processing this visit.  It went “OK”. I am “OK”. It was a little bit awkward…naturally. I was very focused on my son’s graduation and making sure all was well with that. There is much I could write, but I am still processing and thinking about it.

I still don’t think he is dangerous at this point. But he is also still amnesic…or at least claims to be. I don’t think he would intentionally do something, but that does not mean he might not “unintentionally”. Those who are familiar with the layering that happens in SRA will understand what I am talking about.

Right now, I am concerned that he might think everything is “hunky dory”…which could lead to his thinking about moving up here. I do NOT want that…for him to move any closer. Yet, I do submit myself to my heavenly Abba’s will and trust that He will do/allow what is best. He is watching over me and protecting me. Anything He allows, He will cause me to grow through it and benefit from it.

I know…that is something that is hard to comprehend. I mean…really? So being accessed and raped after we moved here was used for my good? Yeah, in a way it was. Not that the event itself was good. But He protected me…in that instance…from worse things. And I did learn from it. It was a hard lesson, though, and I no longer will even consider meeting with a therapist who specializes with RA survivors. And no one else “gets it”. So, I just do occasional phone calls with my former T and I continue to trust my Abba.

I like this picture I did some time ago.

https://asurvivorshealingart.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/4010-safety-1-1-of-3-april-21-2011/

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Forgiving the Unforgivable…Is it Possible? Is it Wise? Is it Safe?

April 10, 2015

There is so much confusion over what forgiveness is and what it is not.

It is NOT forgetting.

It is NOT pretending nothing ever happened.

It is NOT trusting again.

Depending upon the offense and the people involved, it can be possible to rebuild trust (or even build it for the first time). It can also be possible to gain a relationship where the healing goes deeply enough and extensively enough that it really is as if nothing happened. And it can be possible that after time passes, the offense does slip away from at least conscious memory. Yes, those things can be a part of forgiveness, but they do not have to happen in order to forgive. In fact, in many cases it can be downright dangerous for those things to happen.

One of the very best explanations of forgiveness on a human level that I have seen is in the video done by Dr. Stephen Marmer for Prager University. You can find it here:

If you are interested in the transcript, it can be found here:  Marmer on Forgiveness.

Many years ago, I understood that there are two levels of forgiveness, both of which are in the bible. So, yes, this does fit in with biblical forgiveness…another very misunderstood concept. If you have questions about that, please don’t hesitate to contact me, either in the comments or via the contact form, and I will do my best to answer them. For those who are interested, I did run this by a pastor who thought Dr. Marmer was a pastor until he saw that he is a psychiatrist.

Dr. Marmer takes one of my two levels of forgiveness and divides it again into two, making three total levels. I totally agree with him.

I cannot recommend this video enough and I hope it blesses you.

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Thinking back…

August 14, 2012

In between preparing for another year of home schooling and a potential huge change in our living situation, I have been thinking about why I was so triggered the other day. I think I know why.

There are some who interpret scripture in such a way as to say that an abused wife must stay with her husband…that is is G-d’s will for her to do so! The scriptures they use to “justify” this position are not really saying that at all.

It is really frustrating when people take English translations and make dogmas out of them not realizing that there is no precise translation from one language to another. Word for word is impossible and, sometimes, even thought for thought is a real challenge. You have to take so many things into consideration. The author. The audience. The culture. The language. The idioms. The style of writing. The style of expression. How the author likely meant it and how it would have been understood by the reader/listener.

What is even harder is when I run into someone who is unwilling to even hear about these things. They simply want it to say what they want it to say. The idea that they might be wrong is simply not acceptable to them. They do not want their “world” to be shaken. And I can understand that…I truly can. I have had some major paradigm shifts in my own understanding of G-d and the scriptures. And there was a time when my self-confidence, my self-image, was very dependent upon my being “correct”. But sooner or later we need to mature and grow and heal so that we can truly say, “Show me the Truth, L-rd. Show me the Truth!”…even when it is something that is uncomfortable…something I do not like or really want to see.

While these people are annoying, that is not what was so triggering. It was the idea that an abused wife should stay with her husband…that she has no real recourse. That makes the woman (and, potentially, her children) trapped in a situation that will only perpetuate the abuse on to the next generation if it is not stopped. It also has to potential to damage the children’s relationship with, and understanding of, G-d.

Children tend to view G-d in the same way they view their fathers, which is not surprising given that G-d presents Himself as a “Father”, even though G-d actually has no gender or has even both. We are made in His image…male and female. When children are abused in the home it tends to cloud their image of G-d. When they are abused in the church, or by church people, or in the “name of G-d” (which is a lie, for G-d does not approve of abuse), children tend to get confused about the nature and character of G-d…and understandably so.

I had scriptures used against me by my abusers. My father quoted the commandment to honor my parents to me…while either not understanding what “honor” really means…or understanding and simply being manipulating. I was even an adult at the time! Oh, I have been accused of breaking a few commandments. I have had spirituality used against me by church leaders. And I have had spirituality used in very healing ways.

But back to being triggered. I think it was the idea of the woman being trapped…no way out…no recourse…no support. Now way to turn…no where to run. When someone tells me that, it is very difficult to not view that person as either an abuser currently, or a non-abuser who would turn a deaf ear and blind eye, or a potential future abuser. You see, this kind of belief gives the husband a kind of power that I do not believe G-d ever intended in His word. And we know what a lot of power can do to some people. I shudder to think of it.

I believe that the triggering is a form of emotional flashback. I was thrown back, in essence, to the time when I felt trapped…whether as a child or an adult…to a time when I felt helpless and hopeless. Thankfully, that is no longer my life, but I sure can get triggered and thrown back into that emotional state.

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Life Is Good…

August 4, 2012

Life is good…I cannot complain. I am growing spiritually and some mighty big changes might be around the corner. Right now I am pretty tired and is late, but I just wanted to check in. I talking to my former therapist once a month. That feels good. It isn’t really therapy. In fact, I don’t know that it ever really has been. She was always an amazing, understanding support to me. It is nice to just be able to check in with her. I do still miss being able to see her. It always felt more like visiting with a mentor than it did seeing a therapist.

Life is good…I am slowly getting into a bit of a routine even though hubby works a really odd schedule that is practically no schedule at all. I pretty much get up around the same time every day…regardless of when I go to bed. That is a step in the right direction. Every once in a while I oversleep, but I think I am just catching up on my sleep from the nights when I don’t quite get enough.

Life is good…I am loved by my husband and children. I am loved by the L-rd G-d of Heaven and earth. I know who I am…even if I am still a bit amnesic. The amnesia does not really bother me. I know who I am. I know enough about what I have been through that the rest does not matter. I do admit that it still feels kind of weird not remembering living with my sister. But what I do remember does not encourage me to want to remember any more.

Life is good…my body seems to be healing. (I will claim that it is.) I am at peace with my G-d, with myself and with my fellow-man. Although there are some who have issue with me…I am OK with that. I am OK with seeing things differently. I am OK with agreeing to disagree. For me, disagreeing does not mean being disagreeable. It just means being different.

Life is good…my world may be changing in a big way again…soon. Although I am not a huge fan of change, there are changes that are very good. If this one happens…it will be very good.

Life is good…I feel my creativity is sparking up again. I like that. It is fun. I am being challenged in some areas and I am holding my own. That feels good. I am doing OK. Yay!

Life is good…I feel SAFE! I hope you do, too.

I hope that life is good for you, too.

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Entering Into a Period of Reflection

June 16, 2012

I am taking time this next week to reflect on my life and on what I am supposed to do with my time and energy…such as it is. I have been feeling overwhelmed and too busy. I need a break…a rest…and I am taking one. With one third of my family gone, I am using the time alone to just spend time with G-d…to seek His wisdom and guidance. I hope to start doing more writing, but I am not really sure, yet, where writing will fit. I know it will be there…just not sure where…yet.

I have a phone appointment with my old therapist this week. I really miss her and am going to ask how much it would cost to do a once a month call. I really feel that I need to have SOMEONE I can talk to about the realities of my life…someone who will understand and who knows me.

My life has been going through some major shifts in understanding…especially in the realm of spirituality. I still worship the Creator as is revealed in the Bible, but my understanding is way deeper. Some might call me a heretic, but there a lot of others like me out there.

Meredith wrote recently about pushing through life. That really struck a chord with me because that is the way I have been feeling for a long time. I am tired of pushing through. I need to find out what the Creator wants me to do…not what I want to do or what others want me to do. I know that my greatest fulfillment will come in doing what I am called to do.

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Grieving the Finality of What Will Never Be…

March 9, 2012

I found out yesterday that my mother passed away on December 24, 2010. Yep…that is 1 year, 2 months and 14 days, plus or minus. And he is already remarried…I have NO idea for how long.

We permitted our son to call my mother…it’s a long story. When he asked about his grandmother, my father told him that she had died two years ago on a date my son did not remember. I got the actual date by calling the coroner’s office. They were able to confirm the date of her death and the cause…melanoma. I was told that she had been in hospice care, which was why her death was reported to them. It is a law in that state to report all deaths of people in hospice care.

Over the years I have grieved for what was and grieved for what wasn’t. And now, I need to grieve for what for sure will never be. There will never be reconciliation. Never be recognition. Never be an apology or forgiveness extended. Never be so many things.

I have a lot to think about…and a lot to feel. It can be difficult not to second-guess myself, but there are things I need to face in order to settle things in my own mind and heart. I was told she was dying, but not that she was in hospice care or that it was imminent. My father just kept playing games and, I believe, actually kept us apart…especially given what she said in the one time I did talk to her…a call that was interrupted by my father.

Things are a bit complicated and I am having to sort them all out. I need to own whatever is mine and refuse to take on whatever is not. I will not try to pick up another’s guilt. It is simply not mine to carry. Nor is it for me to run from my responsibilities. I went into this with eyes wide open. I knew the risks. I took the chance. Now it is over. Now I will process from a different place…on the other side of her death.

It is sad when someone lies so much that even when they tell the truth it is not the whole story and you don’t really know what you can believe. There are so many what ifs that I could run through. And taking a look is not a bad idea…but living there is. I must face what I must face and trust my heavenly Abba to walk me through to the other side. He has never let me down.

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Communicating With Father…

August 1, 2011

Well…the last time I had written my father, I forwarded it as a document to my hubby. He sent it on to my father…with a message of his own. Here it is:
(My father),

As far as I am concerned, (me) does not need to communicate with you. You have done nothing a loving father would do and have shown over the years you really do not care for her by your attitude toward her. A normal father would be concerned with what she remembered but would realize whether it happened from your point of view or not, it is still real to her. They would be willing to work through things, instead of attacking like you have done. You have always reacted as someone who knows they are guilty would react. You are more interested in protecting yourself rather than actually trying to get to the bottom of things.

Having said that, I am not the one who will stand in the way of a daughter who has shown the desire to break through and love you  both any way. I am not the one who has to put up with the garbage that you spout. She will.

Attached is a letter she wrote to you answering your comments. I would not have bothered. Even though she knows how I feel she still wants to try. (THAT SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING.)
As far as I am concerned, if you don’t want to try to seriously break down the barriers from your end, then don’t bother even responding to her letter.

Go, hubby!

At the time, I had a little bit of reluctance to have him send that. However, nothing was getting through…nothing was changing. I figured he might as well tell it like it is.

My father actually wrote back…almost TWO WHOLE MONTHS LATER!! This is one reason nothing much happens between them and I. It takes months…literally…between emails.

This is what he wrote:

Subject: prayer

I have prayed about this; and prayed some more.

The end result of all my prayer is one word; “listen”.

Okay, I am listening.

Dad

I thought about it, but waited to respond. I had just listened to a teaching that hubby thought I would like, but it turned out to be the wrong one. This one was on honoring your parents…which is fine. However, the guy (according to my hubby) does not seem to recognize the inside damage done when there is sexual abuse. Kudos to hubby again!

I finally wrote back to my father. Hubby had suggest simply writing: “I love you and mom. Can we start from there?” Well…I did not write exactly that. I needed some time to think about it. This is what I wrote:

Dad,

If you are really listening, then listen to this:

I
choose
to
love
you
and
Mom.

I don’t have to. I choose to…in spite of everything.

Is that not a place from which we can start to build SOMEthing? Can we not talk about some of the positive/neutral things that happened in our family…try to find some common ground upon which to relate to one another?

This is not easy for me. In fact, it is downright hard. Yet, I am willing to try.

I cannot help what I remember. In spite of those memories, I am willing to at least try to connect with you both.

Do I expect anything from it? Not really. The last time he said he was listening, he gave me a list of things HE wanted to hear…mostly details about what he “supposedly” had done…places, actions, when, where. I cannot and will not do that. The cost is too high in this situation. I am taking care of myself and I just do not trust him.

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