I want to write a book. If you go on Amazon and search for memoirs or stories about abused people overcoming their abuse and becoming not only survivors but also thrivers, you will find A LOT of books. Which is awesome and amazing and should be celebrated, because that is no easy thing. What you will also find in most of those books is horrific stories. You will find details that will make images in your head that you do not want to see. If you have ever experienced abuse, you know that you would not wish it on anyone. I understand that people want others to know what they have come from in order for you to see where they are now. But, that is not what I want my book to be about. I've been through years of therapy. I have hashed out and rehashed things to the point that I just do not want to even speak the words again. I do not want to glorify or profit or put energy to those words. What I DO want to do, is share how you yourself can change the way you think.
I grew up in a Christian home. I went to church whenever the door was unlocked and then sometimes we used our own key to get in. I went to church camp, I went on mission trips, and I even went to a Christian college. I reached out to leaders, friends, and I prayed. I prayed hard. I did all the things everyone was telling me to do. I cast my cares, I prayed, and I believed when people told me, "God never gives us more than we can handle (which is completely unbiblical). Still, I was hurt. Still, I suffered from depression, guilt, and shame. So much so that eventually, Christian brothers and sisters said, well, we all have our earthly burdens to carry. I thought there was something wrong with me that even though I was doing all of what I was supposed to, I still carried all of these horrible feelings and thoughts. I had therapists, psychologists and counselors, all from the Christian faith try to help me. We "divorced" my abusers and we cast out their spirits, and we left it to God to deal with them. But still, I hurt.
Then, I met a woman. She was patient and she walked a long side me while I faced these ugly feelings. Then, I met someone who introduced me to just one word,...gratitude. Gratitude. She said, if you want something good in your life, find one small speck of something you are grateful for and just be grateful for it. She said, even with every breath you just say thank you for this breath, that is gratitude and eventually you will find more to be grateful for. Then, I met a few others who said, sometimes, even if we don't FEEL grateful, we say we are until we actually are. I learned that sometimes feelings are deceptive because even if we don't FEEL grateful for our children when they say hurtful things to us, we really are grateful for them and we say thank you! Gratitude and kindness and compassion took over for feelings of hurt, depression, anger, shame and guilt. The chemical reactions were changing in my brain. I released all of those icky feelings when I found out that there were good things to focus on. Do they creep up sometimes? Sure they do. But learning how to turn them around has been so liberating!
Now, am I bashing Christianity? No. Because there is validity in anything that helps anyone make it in this life and makes life better for everyone. Just because I think differently about spirituality does not mean I think one works better over the other. In fact, I believe that would be arrogant and prideful for me to believe I have it all figured out or to tell you how to believe. My point in this whole thing is: I was tired of living a life as a victim; I was tired of focusing on all of the ugly in my life; I was tired of not taking responsibility for the things that were keeping me down or holding me back and I was tired of waiting for someone else to rescue me when I had the power within me all along (like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz ;) . I
Instead of focusing in on ugly, I learned to focus in on gratitude. Is it always easy to say, I'm grateful when my car breaks down and I can't get to my class or my iPhone breaks and I have no music for class or when I don't have extra money for this or that or whatever? No. It isn't always easy. But you know what, I got that car for free and it has been a blessing for me for 3 years, and someone blessed me and fixed it for me for free. And although my iPhone broke, someone gave me an android to use until I can get one. And although I don't have a lot of extra money sometimes, we have a home, and electricity and water, and warm beds, and food, and gas for our 2 cars and love and jobs we love and on and on and on. I may not be exactly where I want to be right now, but I am here and I am loved and I have love and we are happy and that is so freaking far from where I was even 5 years ago.
Anyway, if I ever get my thoughts collected, organized and all written down, that is what my book will be about. Thanks for reading. If you want to ever talk, I'm always ready and willing to listen or discuss.
Much love to all of you <3