I’ve had the honor of being part of an amazing group at our church called Celebrate Recovery. It’s a Christ centered study for anyone with hurts, habits and hangups. And I don’t know about you but, I’ve had my fair share of hurts, habits and hangups. I’ve suffered ruthless emotional trauma over the years, some things worse than others.
I’ve become stronger because I’ve had to overcome going through sexual abuse as a child, losing my babies and my husband of 18 years–10 years ago this month. I’ve also suffered with horrific medical issues pretty much my whole life, I try not to let it get to me but, sometimes it’s very hard. I do my best to keep my head up, but mostly I work VERY hard to stay focused on my faith. Being raised by a God fearing, strong Christian Grandmother has a lot to do with my faith being so strong and fearless.
This is the first time that I write about being sexually abused, I’ve told VERY few people, they had to be very close to me & I had to know that I could trust them infinitely. Something like this is not an easy topic to talk about, it can be quite risky if the person you confide in exposes your most private confession. I don’t know exactly when this happened to me because I blocked it from my memory, by the amazing grace of God. As a teenager, young adult I would have these revolting flashbacks, not knowing what was going on in my head or why I was seeing these tawdry images. One day I read a story of a young girl having issues with her brother coming in her room at night. She spoke to her parents about it, they didn’t seem to think it was that serious. This young girl started putting her dresser against the door at night & somehow her arrogant brother still managed to get into her room. She was startled when she woke one night and he was sitting on her. (NO my brother did not abuse me, he would NEVER do that) As I read this, I started having more flashbacks, longer flashbacks of what happened to me as a child. I had never, ever spoken to anyone about this. This time I had to, I didn’t know how to deal with what I was discovering. I confided to one of my sister in laws about it. I remember leaning up against the wall in shock so to speak, telling her about it. I cried, I felt dirty, I felt violated, hurt, angry, ashamed….How could this have happened to me? How did he get away with this? Why didn’t I tell anyone as a child? I had so many emotions going through my head…. I later found out that the abuse was more than likely the reason that I was never able to have children. That infuriated me, this person has children and grandchildren….. I don’t!!!!
I suffered severe depression after losing my first baby to the point I would lay there and want to take a bottle of nerve pills to end the pain. The love that I have for my family and my God is the only reason I didn’t do it, knowing the devastation it would cause I just couldn’t do it. I made a doctor’s appointment to get something for depression, this was not an easy choice… but, it was the right choice. When I went in to the doctor’s office I felt drawn to a pamphlet on PTSD…. I answered yes to 6 out of 7 questions. When I walked in the back, the doctor asked me why I was crying…. I replied, this is what I do. I took an antidepressant for a few months and was fine for years.
The second baby I lost early on in the pregnancy. This was a shock because everything seemed to be going fine, went in for a checkup and ultrasound…. found out I had miscarried. I was at the doctor’s office alone, but I had my little niece (godchild) with me–she was about 2. I started screaming for someone to call my husband, they called him but, he had to wait for someone to pick him up & bring him to meet me because I had the car & he had our nephew (godchild) with him. I was sent to the hospital for a procedure to be done immediately. This loss was easier, yet harder if that makes any sense… we did not have a service for this baby. I knew without a doubt I would not be able to handle burying another baby…. I regretted it, but I hold on to the fact that I will meet my babies one day in that paradise that God has promised us.
My husband had medical issues pretty much all his life just like I did. He too tried to live life to the fullest, not letting his illness bring him down. When he was diagnosed with cancer it took my breath! NOOOOO not the C word! This was tough, watching him take those treatments and how they affected him, making him tired…worrying about every little detail. He ended up with a brain hemorrhage when they went to give him his first treatment… this changed him. He was such a gentle man, loving and kind…. after the brain hemorrhage he yelled at me constantly. I had to understand that it was not him, it was the illness. When he was in ICU at the end of his life, God prepared me for what was coming. My mom & I would read scriptures from the bible and sing hymns when we visited him. One day in the Chapel, I stood up raising my hands thanking God that my husband was still with us, though his numbers were dim. I saw a vision— it was like the words “I will hide you in a secret place, in my pavilion” one of the scriptures that we would read, was right before my eyes in the thin air… I saw him lying in a place, much like the depictions of Jesus’ tomb with a big cement door and 2 guards standing outside and God said… He’s not coming out till I’m ready. I was excited, thinking he was going to wake up. Sadly, he passed that night to be with Jesus. He was suffering, bleeding internally…. I took one look at him and told him to go home, go be with our babies. God prepared me for this journey…..
This group has helped me to cope with the loss of my second baby, I grieved the first loss but, I repressed the feelings of loss for the second one. It hit me really hard this year, for one of the classes I could not even speak until the very end. I cried through the entire class, no one questioned me or made me feel uncomfortable or pressured. Through the teachings I learned how to share my baggage– hurts, habits & hangups. Sharing, talking about these issues really helps. I know I have some feelings pushed so far inside trying to hide the pain, but from time to time they still come up hitting me like a ton of bricks but, I’m slowly pulling these emotions out to deal with them one by one.
You learn how to prioritize your life, how to focus on the positive, how to accept the things that life throws at you, even the bad stuff. I’m not saying it’s easy, but through this group setting you realize you’re not alone, other’s suffer from hurts, habits and hangups just like you. You learn how to trust one another and draw strength from one another and from almighty God. For without God none of this would be possible.