I published a podcast similar to this topic a while ago: here. But this is something that can come up at times for me still to this day. The desire to be fully healed according to my standards of healing so I don’t have to feel embarrassed that I’m still not over “it”.
Have you ever struggled with something that you were ashamed of? It could be something that you used to do to cope whether that was behavioral or physical or something that happened to you in the past – an outside factor. I’ve had loads of tiny traumas happen over the last 35 years and honestly life isn’t easy so I’m sure there are more obstacles to overcome.
But for me healing from s3xual @buse has been one of the hardest things to live with because there is a desire to 1. get back to who you felt you were before you were “damaged” or 2. simply to just not be affected by it anymore. I’ve honestly been on both sides of the equation. But the second point can be especially difficult if you are surrounded by religious people that act like you are the exception to the rule if you haven’t found redemption from it. So much of Christianity can be about the miracle happening and joy in every circumstance.
As someone who can tend to be hard on myself without any help at all – I had to learn how to be kind to myself all over again when this happened. I was used to proving myself, pushing myself as hard as I could, feeling like I couldn’t call out of work, or I had to make sure I wasn’t making mistakes to feel like I was doing enough at all times. And the reality is when you are diagnosed with PTSD there are actual parts of your brain and your body that are deeply and significantly affected – that you can’t push your way through.
Perhaps you’ve seen videos on Instagram or TikTok of well known pastors or Christians acting like church hurt, or self care, or mental health issues aren’t real. That we are a weak generation who doesn’t know how to suck it up and push through. That we are people who only want the easy route. That we are too educated or too independent – especially as women. And as ridiculous as that feels to type and read out loud – you forget how much you may have already internalized this narrative even if part of you simultaneously knows it’s ridiculous.
Maybe you’re reading this and you still feel like you’re not doing enough. That those pastors or influencers online have a point. That your pain isn’t that bad. That you should be over it. You are a Christian and you should be able to handle it and have faith in whatever you are facing.
I hope that my journey so far can be of some comfort to you wherever you are.
Some of my story has been shared – thinly veiled in posts or reels in the past. I never knew what I should share or what would be appropriate to share given that I had reported what happened. Would things backfire on me? Would any of my feelings be used against me in any way. You live in both actual fear and hypervigilant fear. So in some ways, this post is sharing the most detail I’ve ever shared because it’s time for me to let some of it out. To be able to process hard things in writing – regardless of if anyone reads it – has always been therapeutic for me.
After the @buse I was frustrated for at least, 2 years straight with how I was healing. For starters I couldn’t believe it had happened. I felt I had played it safe, sometimes too safe to avoid making mistakes. I hadn’t ever really rebelled. I felt I was doing “right” by God and the world. I was street smart. And obviously even at the time I knew none of that matters because this kind of stuff happens so often – too often. But I was mad because I felt I played by the rules as best I could and here I was. It still happened to me. And everything I thought I knew about humanity and God exploded.
Often the phrase I come across in the healing space is that my survival story will help other people navigate theirs which in a way is nice to read. But as I approach my 6th year of healing, in some ways I don’t feel like I can inspire anyone who has been through what I have. I guess you believe in the future you, and have hope when you start, but it can be hard to accept that you’re not where you thought you’d be or other people would promise you would be. I’m not exactly writing books and leading conferences on the subject, right?
Rather than ruminate on that and obsess, I’ve learned in small ways to let go a little bit more every day. I can’t heal any faster. I can’t make the happy ending come sooner. But what I can do is be honest in the journey and hope that’s enough.