I lived life by the seat of my pants, with no particular sense of direction. Lived here for a while, then moved there. Landed a job, and then found a different one. I was as tough as I was sweet, if you stirred up the demons in me, and I took flack from no one.
I learned to out-cuss the best and the worst of them, back then, when I felt helpless or threatened. This reaction was particularly true when it had anything to do with God and religion, or if I felt vulnerable.
Apart from Jesus, apart from hope, we are all capable of evil. Every one of us. Those years I learned what I am capable of, and how much I need a Saviour.
While I openly displayed my anger towards religion, in the area of sexual abuse I had been silenced. When boundaries were crossed in subtle ways, I stood my ground, but when violated to any extreme, there was no aggression in me, just silent tears. On one occasion I had the courage to ask the man not to do what he was doing, but for the most part I internalized the rage, and accepted their guilt as my own.
I share my story, and this anger because I know I’m not alone. Maybe you feel trapped and have a dark story buried deep inside of you. Secrets that no one knows, except you and God. Lost. Wounded. Angry. I share this especially for you. Because there is freedom. We don’t have to be slaves to our pain or our circumstances. The answer that worked for me, will work for you too.
My tough exterior—cussing and flipping the birdie when threatened, never antagonistic but always prepared to throw a punch—was nothing more than a shell to protect a hurting child. A little girl, lost in the shadows of the past.
Every now and then, my inner being—the lost little girl inside—would break through. Alone at night, I stood at my bedroom window, looking at the stars, and wondered if God was real. And, if He was real, did He love me? Was He disappointed that He had created me, if He really did have a hand in it? Was He a good Daddy? Did He miss me? Want me? Did I matter to Him at all?
The story of the prodigal son, displayed by Ms. Harms on the felt board, back in grade three, told me that He was waiting and watching, ready to run and welcome me into His arms, if ever I turned my heart toward home. What if that was the real God…
Tears poured down my face. I wanted desperately to know truth, to know God… if He was real. All I wanted was to be loved by Him, to shake the torment of never knowing truth, the trauma and uncertainty….
Then the moment would pass, and I would again wear the mask, cover the pain, and turn to my ‘little gods’ of cussing, smoking and partying to get through. At least I could see them, feel them and get lost in their effect.
If I had known the truth, I would have seen that God offered the ‘real deal’ with no side effects. But I wasn’t ready. I had not come to the end of myself, to a place where I understood what it was I needed from Him, and that all He wanted from me was my heart.
Hard living would teach me that truth…. Eventually.
……To Be Continued…
© Trudy Metzger 2012
Go to first post in this series: http://trudymetzger.com/2012/05/22/spiritual-abuse-introduction/