Today I am a thriving survivor of my abuse. While I will always be a victim of abuse, today I no longer live as a victim. Instead I live the life of a victor. My abuse stopped over forty years ago, yet for thirty-eight years I abused myself worse than my perpetrators ever abused me. For thirty-eight plus or minus years, I played the victim card and I played it well. I used it to manipulate people, places and things to get my way in many circumstances. I used the victim card to get my way at whatever cost.
On a daily basis, I would plot my stepfather’s assassination. I hated both him and my mother for what they had done to me. I would constantly assassinate both of their characters. I believed he should have been castrated, thrown into the general population of a prison with the most of the ruthless and savage killers where he would be taken care of by those who had nothing to loose. I wanted to see both my stepfather and mother to burn in the deepest and darkest depths of hell, which I am quite certain they were already living in. However, all of that is different today.
I can fully understand all the hateful post and things that are said about perpetrators of abuse, rather it’s emotional, spiritual, physical or sexual. However it plays absolutely no role in our healing process. In fact, it keeps us stuck and causes us all sorts of emotional issues, which in turn according to recent studies leads to physical problems. Personally, I dealt with stomach issues for years and it was only remedied once I worked through my emotional issues. I have not had any stomach issues now for twelve plus years.
The reality is, I had every right to feel the way I felt, after all my childlike spirit, character and childhood had been assassinated and stolen from me. Who wouldn’t be upset and angry? So, I can relate to all of those that post hateful memes and stories about their abusers. I used to be like that myself, however it served me no good.
I can also relate to those that have hatred and distain towards God, after all it was his fault, right? If He was the loving God He proclaims to be He would have stopped the abuse, correct? How could such a loving, kind, caring and compassionate God that others proclaim exist let this happen to me, to us? It must be, “I’m being punished for some wrong doing in my life and this is what I deserve.” After all I asked for it in some way or another, right? At least that is what others have told me/you over the years. Remember this, God is a loving God and gives man free will. It is man that hurt you, not God!
These beliefs created so much hate, anger, resentment and rage in me over a thirty-eight-year period of time. While I have been very successful in my life, successful in the way of money and materialistic items, my rage and hate eventually drove a wedge between myself, my family, and my business associates. I had already lost myself in a sea of addictions and self-pity, now I was about to loose everything. I had to do something, I no longer wanted to live this way, I no longer wanted to carry the hate, anger, bitterness and unforgiveness. It was all literally stripping my sanity and humility away from me.
I know how hard recovery is, it is the hardest thing I have ever done. I also know that I am a miracle and many people never reach the level of recovery I have obtained. So then how did I do it? What steps did I take?
The first step I took was to surrender to the fact that had a problem. Then and only then was I able to move forward.
Next, I surrounded myself with people who truly had my best interest at heart. I never heard the three death words for survivors – Forgive, Forget, and Move On! Instead I was met with loving arms and open minds that allowed me to talk about my feelings and what happened to me without judgment.
Then I had to get clean. By clean I mean I had to quit drinking and drugging as this only kept me stuck wallowing in my past. I had to learn new tools that I could utilize when I felt triggered. For years the only thing I believed would work was drugs and alcohol. For you it might be over eating, gambling, pornography or shopping. The problem with these is that the problem still exists when the binge is over, and in many cases the problem becomes worse. So, what was I to do? What can you do? Back to the first step, surrender.
There are several steps that one must take, but there are two that are absolutely essential. The first of which is surrendering and turning your life over to God. Okay, I can hear you saying I am out of my mind. One question for you. You have tried everything else and nothing else has worked, given you that deep sense of peace and serenity, that deep sense of self. What do you have to loose? For me it was the only viable choice and the one that saved me from further despair. Believe me when I say it wasn’t easy, but in the long run turning to God is what saved my life.
I said the there are two things that were absolutely essential. The second is becoming willing to and eventually forgiving your perpetrator. Forgiveness is so important to me that I dedicated a whole chapter in my book to it. In it I talk about what forgiveness is what forgiveness is not. Listen, my abuse had stopped some thirty-eight-years prior to me getting recovery. I was the one keeping it alive in my head, giving my perpetrators free rent and reign over my life. The reality was that I was now the one doing my abusing. My perpetrators had been far removed from my life. It was when I was finally able to forgive my perpetrators that I was free from their bondage. I finally knew what it was like to have the weight of the world off of my shoulders. I discovered what it was like to experience true peace, serenity, and happiness.
Had I assassinated my stepfather, as I used to plot, what good really would have come out of it? I have a family that loves and needs me, all of me. Had I carried out my fantasy I would have ended up no better than I was. In fact I would have been worse off. I would be locked in a physical prison away from my family and living in a mental prison of hell. Nothing good would have become of it. If your perpetrator, their perpetrator was to be murdered or tortured in prison what good would it really do for you?
How about we start focusing on what’s important, our own recovery. It takes twice the energy to be caught in the negative cycle of revenge. If you were to put just half of that energy into your recovery, you would become much happier, sleep better, and be a better human being to engage in life with. It’s not an easy path by any means. In fact, it is the road much less traveled and at times you will feel all alone, but you are not. I am with you in spirit and God is with you and carrying you, you just have to lean into Him and believe.
I have a proposition for you. I’m going to pray that you get the healing that I God has given me and continues to give me. Will you in turn pray that your perpetrator gets the healing that you want? I promise you if you do this for thirty days your life will change for the better.
For more on the healing process that is available to all of us get my book Healing The Wounded Child Within – available on Amazon
For my Life Coaching services visit www.changeyourlifestory.com