I’ve asked myself this question as a result of several events that have taken place this week and set me off on a “pondering journey.” That’s what I call the times when I just have to mentally and emotionally “walk” in the direction they lead to see where it takes me. It is during these journeys that I contemplate how I was touched, positively or negatively, by things said, actions taken, and then go deep within to discover why they impacted me as they did. What can I learn in this lesson to become a better “me”?
It is no secret. I was a victim of molestation for many years as a little girl. Hot on the heels of that travesty coming to an end was a long-term abusive marriage that culminated in domestic violence. I stumbled and struggled along for most of my adult life as a full blown victim. I mean, I carried the victim mentality and wore it like a badge. You see, for some reason which I truly cannot understand, I held onto being a victim because that was how I identified myself. Until and unless you have been there, it is almost impossible to comprehend the mentality of someone who has been victimized, whether sexually, emotionally, verbally or through domestic violence. You reach a point where you consider that you are no more valuable than the rags kept underneath the kitchen sink for wiping up stains or cleaning the dirt off the floor. In your mind, you become quite like those cloths – merely something to accumulate stains and dirt. Abuse is a filthy thing. It tarnishes your psyche, your very soul, and try as you might, you begin to wonder if there is anything or anyone who can help cleanse it away.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but I reached a point that I knew I could not continue living as a victim consumed with my past abuse. It would surely come out the victor. Through many years of counseling, writing, sharing and learning, the healing finally came. . . not all at once, but usually just a speck at a time. Each speck attached to the previous one, and before I knew it, I felt whole. I felt healed. My realization is this – as for me, personally, somewhere along the line I acquired healing. But, the journey continues. Every day I live is another day I experience more self-realization, more awareness, more enlightenment and more empowerment. And I am determined that I will not waste one single day. I made it through that tunnel of darkness and realized the light I was walking toward was not a freight train coming to destroy me. No, rather, it was the Light. At the end of that tunnel I was handed a bright torch and given the option to carry it to others. How can I not be responsible with this light, to carry it to others who are trapped in the same dismal darkness where I thought I’d surely waste away?
I was a victim. By the grace of God I am a survivor, and with His help, I will spend the remainder of my life working to advocate on behalf of others who are struggling to survive, helping them find their own light to brighten the path to empowerment, restored hope and faith for a life well worth living – a fellow traveler, with a hand extended.
- Does God Want Me to Stay in an Abusive Marriage? (cshennecy.wordpress.com)