Well, this certainly looks different. 🙂
Soooo, I’ve been trying to write this post since Wednesday morning, but it has been a challenge. Hopefully I’m in a place where I can finish it, otherwise, I suppose it won’t matter since you won’t ever see it. 😉
Over the summer, Randy asked Spock and me to help him in his 11:11 Sunday school class. Spock and I had been looking for somewhere to serve since we had that hour free. About a month after that I decided to sign up to help with AWANA. I told Randy and he said, “You like to teach kids?” I started to explain that I didn’t really, maybe my own kids, but then I remembered that I did. I used to like to teach kids. I used to love working with them. Back before Zelena twisted my life so that the only thing I could do was try to find ways to make him happy and began to take everything away from me, even my identity.
And now, that sort of thing is happening too much. The memories, things I’ve known, but have either forgotten or have never been able to fit into a spot click together now and, well, overwhelming doesn’t describe it. Recovering, it turns out, is like a tsunami.
First, there’s the horrible earthquake, whatever your trauma is, it can be an instant, like a serious car crash, or it can be prolonged, like 45 years of abuse. When it’s over, you immediately think that you’ve lived through the worst of it. But the worst is still to come. And the thing is, with PTSD, the waves don’t get smaller as time goes by, they get bigger. Each time you live through one, you think it’s the worst, but the next wave is greater.
And that is what my life has become, a series of tidal waves of memories that make me wonder how on earth I’m still even standing. I’d add ‘and functioning’ but I’m not really doing that right now.
As I was considering what to write on this post and even how to make it through the next round of waves, a few words from a song started playing in my head. Now, if you haven’t figured out from my blog that I think in song, well, there, I think in song. I think in stories, in illustrations. I process everything through poetry and hymn. This was the first part of myself that came back to me as I began to realize the extent of Zelena’s self-worship and his hatred and contempt for me and the kids. It’s the part that kept me alive.
The song is by Jason Gray.
I have been very fortunate to find myself, while I’m in the midst of this, to be in a church that teaches that God Loves. Not all churches do (but that’s a blog post for another time). But sometimes when the waves are unrelenting, it is difficult to remember. It’s easy to lose sight of God’s Word and His Promises when we are under the water of trauma or shame…and there is a lot of shame that comes from being abused.
A lot of this has to do with my identity. My entire life my identity has been in the abuse. The abuse has always been who I am. That, of course, is exactly what an abuser wants. This keeps their victim under control and in submission.
But the True Gospel (as opposed to the one the religious abusers preached to me) teaches us something else. The True Gospel is that we are to only find out identity in Christ. That’s it. Who I am in Christ is all that matters. It’s no wonder that, after I was saved, the lies and abuse became worse until Zelena’s true colors (yes, that’s an OUAT joke) showed.
So, that’s where I am right now. I am trying to regain my identity. I’m trying to discover who I am to be in Christ. I do not know where this will lead me. But I do know that God Loves me even though the abusers continue to try to drag me down. And I know that He will restore me to who I am supposed to be. What that looks like remains to be seen.