Saved by LOVE: Survivor of Sexual Abuse

Many of us all across the globe are still mourning and grieving the devastating news of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park who took his own life last week. I grew up listening to music religiously. Music has and always will be a healing remedy for me. One of the many band’s that got me through the toughest times in my life was Linkin Park. I was in shock, denial, and disbelief of the tragic news. Reading more about his hurtful and painful past on how he was abused as a child and bullied when he was younger, that’s when I felt like a ton of bricks fell on top of my chest. I literally felt like I got kicked in the stomach. As I was reading more about him, I kept nodding my head in disbelief because I too could relate to the pain he had been suffering all these years. I wish I would’ve had just five minutes with him. To grieve with him, to pray with him, and to share all the shame, guilt, abandonment, hurt and darkness that he may have been feeling. Truth, I wish so desperately that I had the chance to talk to EVERY victim who has been scarred by sexual abuse before they’ve decided to take their own lives. I wept that night of Chester’s death carrying a lot of guilt over his passing. Then I started feeling more guilt for all those children and adults who have taken their own lives from being sexually abused. Victims try and cope with the pain and shame in alcohol and drugs. Some cut themselves. Some look for love and acceptance in all the wrong places. Unfortunately, victims feel the need to want to escape the lies, the scars, the hurts, shame and guilt by taking their own lives because of the pain that’s too much to endure. For many victims, sadly it’s too hard to cope with the damage that’s been done.

Over the past year, I’ve experienced what it’s like to be dragged through the depths of darkness. I’ve known what it’s like to have your spirit feel dead, numb and heavy. I also know what it’s like to carry so many fears with having different emotions and feelings hit you unexpectedly at any given moment. The emotions and feelings of being hurt, bruised, abandoned, shamed, ridiculed, lost, numb, heavy, dark and the list goes on… Have you ever been out to the beach and you had different waves hitting you? You wouldn’t know how big or how small the waves were tiding in. Some waves that maybe knock you off your feet? This is exactly how this last year for me went. I would get hit with different waves of emotion and at times it would feel like I was getting caught in a rip tide that kept pulling me further away from the shore. It was my past that had caught a hold of me and had anchored me into drowning into the deepest pits of darkness and hopelessnes. Here is my story. . .

SLOWLY STEPPING OUT FROM BLACKING OUT. . . Last summer, some of my forgotten childhood traumatic events fought their way back into my consciousness. For years I had blocked these events out of my mind and wanted to keep them buried. I struggled with many moments where I just wanted to go back to normal. To not grieve, nor fully heal from these events. My emotions were so screwed up. I’d go from feeling happy one moment, then within an instant I come to a moment of feeling sadness and sorrow. I would just want to cry out of nowhere, and at times would carry fear. I would think to myself that if I cried I’m not a strong enough person. I got so lost in forgetting who I was and where my identity lied. I was that joyful girl who found JOYS in every little thing. Somehow, I lost her. I had come to a spirit of fear from people, things and even germs. We had such a hot and humid summer last year that I hated walking into my own apartment where it would be moist and what I felt it to be filthy. If anything you should be able to walk inside your home feeling safe and having comfort. I was the total opposite. Any room I would sit in, walk in or even sleep in, I was so disgusted by. All the filth that I felt inside myself with what had happened to me in my past led me to feel dirty and ashamed. That same exact fear projected that filthy feeling outside to all my surroundings in my own home. It was all in my head that had been filled with trauma. Even if someone bumped into me or if someone looked at me the wrong way on the train or in the city, or even at work, I would have a quick urge just to go off on them. Somehow God was there intervening through each episode I was experiencing in having me keep my mouth shut and protecting me from not only making a fool of myself but from possibly getting hurt. Each time God was guiding me and leading me to keep pressing forward and helping me into letting those little things go.

ANGER, NUMBNESS, AND FEAR. . . I had SO much anger raging inside me. I was on edge. I was hurting and completely shattered. There were moments when I wanted to be attacked so that I could fight back with so much rage and anger that I was carrying inside. On a fall day of last year, there was construction going on next door. I was running late for a doctor’s appointment. As I walked outside and stopped at the edge of the sidewalk, I noticed this young guy next door who walked really fast down the driveway to the end of the construction work truck so he could gawk at me with a soda in hand. I was yelling at him to stop staring at me as I had my focus out on the street waiting for cars to pass so I could cross. I’m not going to lie, I wanted to run up to him and attack him since he didn’t want to listen. In that moment I was so ashamed and so bruised. I couldn’t control this urgency of anger raging through my vains. I was so mad at this guy who just kept staring at me and who wouldn’t stop. I didn’t like being looked at as a piece of meat for his pleasure. So instead of completely going off on the guy like I originally wanted to, I verbally attacked my husband on the phone. As soon as I parked my car at the Doctor’s office, I called my husband crying and yelling at him telling him that he should’ve been there for me and he should’ve been protecting me from that guy that had been making me feel so uncomfortable. We know it wasn’t my husband’s fault. How would he know that would happen to me? For moments in time, I had fear and anger against men, including my husband and my father. I couldn’t control it. I would have sleepless nights. Then there were those nights where I would remember such graphic and vivid nightmares of being attacked by men. I would also have those nightmares of me attacking random men with so much violence and rage. Then there came those moments of numbness. This one week I had one homeless guy grab my arm to go get him food. Then the next week a different homeless guy got directly into my face where our noses were nearly touching and yelled at me to give him money. Instead of protecting myself and going off on both of them, out of fear I froze and had nothing but feelings of numbness trickle through my body. I was defenseless and powerless. At those points, they could’ve done whatever else they wanted to me, and I probably wouldn’t have felt anything. There were moments where I would cry and I wouldn’t know it until a tear fell on my keyboard or on my hand. I like to be near water where it’s peaceful, calming and inspiring. Being near water during this time in my life, I felt nothing but dead weight. That’s how numb I was. However my moods, feelings, and emotions would drastically change throughout each and every day. I didn’t know what mood or what emotion would be coming up next. I was in a deep state of depression.

DEPRESSION, GUILT AND SHAME. . .  For the first few months when I got home from work I would fuel my depression by watching Law & Order SVU episodes. My husband would tell me this wasn’t healthy until I pleaded with him that this was the only way for me to escape my darkest fears. To release my hurts and wounds in knowing that I wasn’t alone. With what had happened to me, this show was very relatable to my feelings and emotions. I even fought with not getting help professionally at first because even our own human nature self just wants to handle all the pain and have it all heal on our own timing. I had these days of wanting to fight all these heavy burdens and traumatic events that hit the surface on my own. Although at the beginning I kept making excuses for myself that this mental state that I was in will pass. I was wrong. If I can be bold and frank here, coming from my own experience of healing, you can’t heal fully if you just kick your trials under the rug and pretend they’re not there like I did. I tried fighting all this on my own and tried to find my fulfillment through binge eating and even exercising hard core in the beginning. I needed quick escapes to feel and to wake up this dead soul that was weighing me down. I shut myself off completely from the world. I isolated myself from people including my own husband at first. I didn’t want to go to church because I had the fear of socializing with other people. If one person in church had asked how I was. I would be too ashamed to look into their eyes knowing that I was carrying a lot of shame and guilt inside. I was afraid that they would see right through me. On the weekends I would shield my eyes from sunlight with a pillow because I just felt so much shame. I would take two to three naps a day and wish I would never have to wake up to open my eyes. I was afraid that the light would unveil my darkness, and my deepest secrets. I didn’t deserve light, nor did I want to face my own pain. Darkness was my comfort.

WANTING TO NUMB THE PAIN AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS. . . I had my head down physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally carrying so much fear inside. I wanted to feel in control by dealing with all this hurt and pain on my own. I kept telling myself over and over again and again that this all will pass. My natural being wanted to at times numb the pain that I was having by escaping it briefly through a bottle of the hardest liquor by mapping out how I could walk to the closest liquor store in a short amount of time. The nights when my husband was out getting us snacks and drinks in our little village. I would be trying to time it and plan it out in my head of how I was going to get home before him. At times I just needed and wanted a quick release when the pain would be too much for me to bear. I never got to that liquor. For brief moments this other dark and empty thought would cross my mind occasionally. In a split second of picturing myself jumping in front of a train so I could escape this heaviness of this darkness and pain. I would close my eyes tightly as tears would be flooding down my face while I would feel helpless, alone and trapped. Yet, there was God shielding me with HIS LOVE, light and divine power that saved me by overcoming those moments of darkness every time those empty thoughts would come across my mind. HIS LOVE for me was not only shielding me, but was erasing away those thoughts each time they would come. HE would be showing me images of my husband, my parents and my brother. How can I leave my husband behind and leave him all alone when he’s been my emotional support? I would also envision my brother just sobbing for me. Who would be there for him when he was going through a trial or feeling discouraged? I love so much being that crutch and big sister for him and protecting him. Then my mom who had just lost a loved one. How could I do that to her? Then my dad, I didn’t want him to lose his baby girl. I couldn’t do that to my husband and family knowing that would be the easy way out to get rid of my pain. In those darkest moments, I felt so desperate in wanting to just die and go to heaven to be with Jesus so I wouldn’t be going through all this hurt, and damage of feeling so much self-shame and guilt here on this earth. I would plead with God to just take me home to heaven. Through blurred lines, I was starting to see who I would leave behind and it was my FAITH that was still clinging onto HOPE by a single thread. It is my Faith in Jesus Christ that was keeping me alive and that was shining HOPE into every hurting and broken vessel in my heart. Eventually through the challenging days of the first few months of fighting these heavy moments of darkness, I was beginning to see the light.

LIFTING MYSELF UP TO FACE THE SPIRITS OF DARKNESS. . . Slowly but surely, I began to open up my past wounds, bruises and hurts that were affecting me and draining me emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually by turning them ALL over to God which led me to open up to my closest friends and immediate family and to seek professional help. I didn’t want to be closed in anymore or feel stuck. I didn’t want the shadows of darkness hovering over me anymore that would keep me in this shell of despair and lonelinss. I wanted to now fight and break through all this darkness that was surrounding me and holding me down. I was ready to face the truth and reality regardless if it meant unlocking my past all over again and knowing I have to face it head on. Through my moments of openness of letting GOD into each and every hurt and wound that I had been carrying. I was then feeling an overwhelming release of JOY, PEACE and God’s deep unconditional LOVE for me. Burdens were beginning to be lifted. It was then that HE was revealing to me a divine revelation of why I was still here on this earth and that through this heavy and darkest trial of my life, it was HE who was at work in me. HE was kneading me back to LIFE. Like how the potter kneads the clay. HE was molding me and shaping me back together in place. However, I had to fully surrender everything to HIM. EVERY wound. EVERY hurt. EVERY scar I wanted to hold onto because I was afraid to let go and to trust in God. I carried a lot of self-blame growing up. They say desperate times call for desperate measures. I became SO desperate to come to the feet of Jesus and release it ALL over to HIM. I allowed HIM to take full control by letting HIM in so that HE could go implement HIS beautiful master plan into my life.

REFLECTION OF PURPOSE THROUGH GRACE. . .  I had this other deep intimate moment with God. Last summer, it was a cloudy gray morning just how my mind had been feeling at the moment. I was on the train heading into the city for work, when all of a sudden I just started crying as I was having a beautiful and such raw moment with God. God was speaking to me. HE was flooding my heart and thoughts with snapshots of people, and children all across this world just weeping from the same traumatic events that I had experienced in my own life. What God was showing me was that I have HOPE in HIM. When here are all these broken and hurting people and children who are suffering the same pain that I have from all across the globe. Sadly, so many of these people and children don’t have the hope that I do. There my heart went from a weight of depression to the weight of COMPASSION. That moment with God right then and there was SO intense. There my heart in this waking moment was centering back to Christ weeping so uncontrollably that I had to bury my face in my hands and hold some of my emotions back so as to not make a scene on the train. I was praying to God that if my story could help just one person, it would all be worth it in the end. That is where I had an overwhelming moment of pure freedom, liberty and peace of crying out to God and saying,“LORD LET YOUR WILL AND YOUR PLAN BE DONE IN MY LIFE!” Let me rejoice. Let me weep. Let me hurt. Let me endure all the pain I need to. Let me suffer for your glory that sustains TRUTH and LIFE! Give me all these emotions to have and to feel so that I too can empathize with these hurting people who are broken and who feel so much shame and guilt. Who have gone through what I’ve gone through. Let my sacrifice be your light into this dark and hurting world. Use me to share HOPE. There was God breathing life and peace into my open wounds as I was petitioning my LOVE and understanding to HIM. If HE conquered death, HE can surely give me the strength that I needed to conquer these traumatic events that left me damaged internally for years. I was beginning to open my heart and soul by releasing my past over to God in knowing what HIS calling was on my life. Through God’s bright light of LOVE and deliverance, I was beginning to understand what healing and grieving fully meant by coming to the throne of GRACE. It hurts me that there is so much sin and darkness in this world and the fact that innocent people have to suffer from it. When I wanted to overcome each emotion on my own during my depression, I had to be quick to remind myself to release it and give it ALL to God. During my bad days I would be reminded to cling onto God even more. Healing and grieving I know can be so painful, but yet I was beginning to see the purpose of it all through the eyes of Christ knowing that HE died and paid the price for my own life. Through HIM I can find healing through grieving. HE was beaten, shamed, ridiculed, humiliated and tortured, that was the price HE paid for you and I. HIS own selfless sacrifice on that old rugged cross that HE was nailed to is why I am here today and is why you’re here reading this now. Jesus knew exactly what I was feeling all along. HE knew what I had been going through because HE too experienced and went through each emotion and feeling like I did. But yet through all this torture, suffering and beatings HE went through, HE showed forgiveness amongst his abusers. That is the PERFECT ultimate example of GRACE! HIS LOVE is what saved me from ending my own life and giving into darkness. Jesus even knows what you’re going through today or what you may have been holding onto for so long at this given moment. I know what it’s like to feel afraid. I know what it’s like to carry so much shame and guilt for a long time. From my own personal experience, know YOU have the strength to fight through it. To let go and to LET GOD into every wound, hurt and fear that you’re carrying today. Although, I may not know exactly what your battles are or what you’re struggling with but I surely know who has gone through what you’re going through right now. That tugging on your heart that you may be feeling right now, that’s Jesus knocking on your heart’s door and wanting to enter in. You could either answer it, or keep it closed and continue to live in fear and carry the weight on your own OR you can allow someone else to carry the weight for you. Truth, only God the divine healer himself can SET YOU FREE  from everything that you’re going through right now. As Jeremy Camp sings, “HE knows every hurt and every sting, HE has walked the suffering.” You just have to not only release it but learn how to receive HIS LOVE. I did, and guess what? So can YOU!

OPEN WOUNDS BEING MENDED. . . Growing up I made excuses in order to convince myself that these past traumatic events were normal or my fault. When old wounds resurfaced or new trials come your way, you CAN’T move forward with peace in your life. You can’t just put bandages over wounds and expect them to heal over time like I did. Those wounds need to be open so that they can be mended. You have to face your worst and MOST darkest fears and hardest trials head on. If you don’t, you’ll continue to be locked in a spirit of fear and wrapped in the bondage of darkness like I was. You will continue to fill those voids of pain and brokenness with something else or someone else. Perfect example, I was coming back from a dream come true bucket list event. I was invited to New York Fashion Week by a friend on a fall Thursday night. It was one of the BEST and MOST JOYFUL day’s of my life. Especially during my time of healing. I was learning how to live moment-by-moment. During the cab ride through the city to Grand Central. I kept telling myself to just simply enJOY this moment knowing it was a dream fulfilled by God bringing a special lady and new friend into my life. Even though I was smiling as I was looking out the window during my cab ride passing through the New York city and seeing the skyscrapers light up the night sky, I still felt a sense of numbness. I remember walking home from the train station late into the evening and I ended up tripping over an uneven sidewalk and had a pretty nasty fall. I scraped the bottom of my chin, which prevented me from not falling face down. I also cut my knee open pretty bad that left a massive wound on my right knee cap. The first few seconds from that fall I felt so numb that eventually led to pain and burning. I was hurting and cried in anger and shame. I never felt so alone that night on the sidewalk near my home. I limped back home and tried to not cry too loud as to not make a scene for my neighbors. The moment I got to my door step I completely broke down. I didn’t want to make an effort to dig for my house key in my purse. So I called my husband to have him come and unlock the door for me. He asked me what happened and why I was crying. I just kept responding back to him to please come and unlock the door. He came rushing to open the door for me. He saw my bleeding wound on my knee. He didn’t hesitate to pick me up and had asked me in shock and surprise what had happened. I just kept crying as he was carrying me to bathroom to get me cleaned up. As he was cleaning me up I noticed pain in my right finger. I looked down and saw half my nail was coming off and blood was oozing out. Then I wept even more. I tried explaining what had happened to me to my husband. He couldn’t understand a word I was saying at first because I was sobbing in pain. That was the first moment during my trial where I got so mad at God. I remember thinking you gave me such an AMAZING day of healing and celebration. Why would such a perfect day end so badly? I was angry and in so much pain internally and now physically. However I was beginning to realize that there was a lesson behind my fall. That following Saturday I had to get patches taped all over my back for allergy tests. I was now living in pain and discomfort for three days. My back was so tight and itchy. What was even worse was that my back had a very bad reaction to the tape. I broke out in bad blisters all over my back that I wanted to scratch off entirely because of the intense pain. I was wounded. Within those days of cleaning my wound on my knee, I had an epiphany and another raw moment with God. It takes time for wounds to heal. It also takes time to aid a wound so it can heal properly. As much as I want to rush the healing from my internal and external wounds, I can’t. Just like I’m taking the time to aid my outside wounds. I need to take the time to go to God to also have HIM heal my inner wounds. As much as I wanted to keep my bandage on over my knee to cover up my wound and to get up and say I’m healed and I’m good to go. Instead God was saying to sit and wait during my time of healing. I was SO bummed that I missed the Jeremy Camp concert that weekend due to my knee injury and the patches that were taped on my back. However, I was tired of being angry and feeling sorry for myself. I had to put my pride aside and would be going to God daily through scripture, prayer and Jeremy Camp’s music. I needed to speak LIFE into my thoughts every day. Life is full of unexpected surprises good and bad. However through each one, I need to learn how to roll with the punches and walk in LOVE and obedience to God. I may have had a temporary limp in my walk which meant I had to use more muscles pushing through EVERY step. I may have had a bad fall mentally, physically and spiritually, but when I allow God to have full control every day of my life, HE is the one that keeps me up and that carries me to keep me pressing forward. That wound on my knee cap left a scar. Now every time I look down on that scar, it will remind me of the scars that Jesus suffered for me. This scar on my knee reminds me to not rush healing on an open wound physically, emotionally, internally, and physically. This scar also brings me back to that LOVE lesson and moment with Jesus. I now have a LOVE mark that reminds me to seek after HIS own heart. It’s a beautiful scar that exemplifies healing and reflection of HIS LOVE for me and MY LOVE for HIM. I smile with SO much JOY and PRIDE every time I look down and glance at it. I’ve always been a sentimental girl, so I’m happy to have and carry a LOVE mark for LIFE! A scar that leaves a mark of SACRIFICIAL LOVE. Jesus and I have scars of LOVE for one another. Who knew one scar can say so much? When we try and do things on our own, we eventually fall. However, we can allow Jesus to pick us up and keep us up. Point to all this, we can’t rush time and we can’t rush our healing process and put a bandage over everything because we will NOT fully heal. GOD HEALS. HE RESTORES. HE RENEWS. It’s so vital for me to put my FAITH and TRUST in HIM every day of my life. These trials that I have overcome has given me more strength than I ever knew I had. A firmer and more solid foundation in God and HIS promises. A deeper understanding of trusting in Christ when at times it doesn’t make any sense. I could ask God why did all this have to happen to me? OR I can accept it and move forward towards healing, forgiving and sharing my HOPE with others. My Faith I know may not make sense to a lot of people, but it’s what has kept me alive and is what has continued to help me in moving forward. He’s lead me to extending GRACE to other’s and has shown me the beauty through the ugly. Knowing what it means to LOVE and be LOVED. By being SO lost and consumed in the depths of God’s unconditional LOVE that embraced every fragile and aching bone in my body. I no longer wanted to feel so worthless, used, dirty and ashamed. Through it all, it’s evident that God breathed LIFE into my open wounds and is who is continuing to heal my heart. I am here today to open up and to share with you that I am NO longer ashamed about these traumatic events from my past and from what I experienced. Even though I am still a work in progress. I have been set free from a lot in having a free spirit of feeling redeemed and finding victory through the spirits of darkness that had been weighing me down. God was not just my knight in shining armor, but HE was also my LIGHT in shining armor that helped me to get through the lies that had been tying me down. Here is this HERO with HIS nail scarred hands and feet that was carrying me through the darkness. Through my own suffering, God was showing me and was revealing new realms of HIS sanctification of HIS LOVE for ME. It’s HIS LOVE that kept me moving forward moment by moment, day by day. Emotion after emotion. One feeling after another. HIS LOVE was the only thing that was keeping my head above water and continuing to carry me forward into seeing my brokenness that through HIM I would find WHOLENESS and PURPOSE. 

GRIEVING PROCESS. . . Over these months I know how it is and what it means to heal, and to grieve. Grieving I’ve come to know is part of healing. From my healing process during my trial last year and to my recent news of my early miscarriage, I have learned how to grieve. Cry when I need to and not holding it in. Binge watch TV when I needed to and even binge eating when I needed to but only for a little amount of time. I can go on and on about how I grieved. Point being, grieving is part of the healing process. NO one can tell ANYONE how to grieve properly. I’ve learned no one can take that away from me. Now if it comes to a point to where you’re harming yourself or other’s during your grieving, that’s a whole other issue that we can discuss at a later time. Every one of us grieves differently and truthfully that’s okay. I got to be honest, during these trials, I didn’t go to God at first. Because the pain, guilt, heaviness and numbness was too heavy for me to let go and to trust in God. I was too shattered and broken to move forward. But then there came those moments of having that release to fight against every spirit of darkness that was helping me to break free into continuing to keep pressing forward. Even through those most feeble moments, I may have felt blind and so heavy with a massive weight of darkness suppressing me. I kept crawling even limping my way through darkness to get to the light. However, the truth resonates solely that it was Jesus who was fighting for me and who was carrying me through darkness to HIS LIGHT. Again in Jeremy Camp’s lyrics, sings “YOU’RE MY DEFENDER. YOU FIGHT FOR ME. I WILL REMEMBER. YOU’RE ALL I NEED. YOU ARE MY HEALER. MY REMEDY. AGAINST THE POWER OF THE UNKNOWN. I WILL NOT STAND ALONE. ‘CAUSE YOU’RE MY DEFENDER.” There is SO much HOPE and validity to this song. I’ve had it on repeat every day while preparing this blog piece. My point, l’ve been hit by every different wave of emotion and have found God’s faithfulness through it all. HE DOESN’T forsake us. HE NEVER leaves us. It took me a while to comprehend that. HE is here to defend us. HE is here to fight for us. We’re NOT alone. We just have to learn how to trust in HIM by giving HIM full control of our lives regardless of how empty, numb, heavy and shameful we may feel. HE will pull us through like HE did with me. For me to understand that it was okay for me to cry when I was hurting or feeling broken, heavy, ashamed and angry. I fought against crying, but unfortunately it hindered me from not healing fully. Music has always been my source of motivation and inspiration. At times during these trying trials I had a lot of days at the very beginning of not wanting to listen to music knowing that it convicts me and draws me closer to God. I was trying to find comfort on my own but no matter what I did, it all seemed to lead me back to HIM. Eventually, I came to a point where I opened my heart to want to heal through the power of music. Through drenching my mind, heart and soul back into music and calling out to God and even singing out to HIM, this was helping to ignite HOPE and HEALING into my soul. I’ve come to understand that music gives me the strength and HOPE that I need to face EVERY trial that comes my way. Music also helps me to understand the depths of God’s LOVE for me. It inspires me and encourages me. It helps to keep my head up. However, there is something about Jeremy Camp’s music that just knows how to break down every wall that I may have and is what draws me even closer to Jesus. HIS music has ALWAYS known how to minister to my aching heart. However when I started listening to music again, his music was the last choice for my listening tunes. There came a time when I knew I wanted and needed more divine healing so I finally played his music. When I did, I wept uncontrollably and called out to God during my times of hurt, despair, and pain. I was emptying myself to God when he would be FILLING me with HIS deep unconditional LOVE. My soul was coming back to LIFE. My spirit embraced the fullness of God’s HOPE and TRUTH. My aching heart was being released back into the JOY of FREEDOM and FULLNESS of GOD. I’ve come to find that music is good medicine of comfort and healing for myself. I’m thankful God can use people to minister to the brokenhearted through music. I like to say that, “Music Saves”, but it’s God who uses people through music that can help to save people’s soul’s. That’s another beautiful and genuine way of looking at music from my point of view. Music is my way to have my heart connect back with God. Think of lyrics like LOVE letters piercing into a hurting heart. Music tells me that I’m not alone. Music helps to soothe and to bring peace and comfort. That’s exactly how God’s LOVE is. When we realize this and when we open up our wounded hearts fully to God that is when HE enters in to bring us all that, comfort, understanding, peace, and healing from all this pain, hurt and filth that has been inflicted in us. Abuse can do a lot of damage mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s a step-by-step process that we CAN’T rush. We just got to continue to move forward in HOPE. I’m not saying that it’s easy, however it’s been fruitful, unwavering and so worth pushing through my boundaries and having God tear down my walls of self-destruction and pain. God created us to be fighters. To fight the good fight of FAITH in our lives. To fight through spirits of darkness when they come against us. HE gives us the strength that is incomprehensible and unimaginable. “No weapons formed against me CANNOT prevail.”~Isaiah 54:17

THROUGH GRIEVING THERE IS HEALING. . . Reflecting back on when I was growing up. I could see that the abuse tainted and crushed my self-esteem. It’s also shown me why I was such an emotional person growing up. Why I was so easily offended. So many moments of my life where I’ve felt alone and trapped all started to make sense the more I was facing my traumatic events by seeking professional help and talking about it. My insecurities were coming to light. The lost years of my life was unraveling to the devastating truths of why I was such a broken child and that shattered girl that carried so much guilt, shame, hurt and abandonment all these years. The more and more I was facing my events of abuse from over the years, the more I was learning about myself and had to come to accept the fact that I was a victim. I also learned to that during these trials at the beginning, all I wanted to do was just stay in my shell and wanted to isolate myself from people. I carried fear of what would people think or what would people say if they found out about me and my past. My family and a few of my closest friends that knew about me would reach out to me over the summer here and there. At first I would easily close myself off from them because I was feeling overwhelmed of having to get back to them. I would also have friends who would want to hang out. I would have those moments of excitement to hang out with them at first. Then the day before or even hours that would lead up to hanging out with a girlfriend of mine, I would make up an excuse to bail out on them because of the feelings of anger and shame that would be daunting me. Now, I look forward to hearing from my friends and have become more open. At the beginning of having my moments of crying nearly every day at work, and hoping people wouldn’t come up and talk to me. I would again retreat into my shell to close myself off and hide from them. Who knew that God would eventually be blessing me in leading me to opening up my heart to my closest friends and family about this and to new people which have ALL helped me in my healing process. New relationships were being born, old ones were becoming stronger and more intimate. I’ve come to find that there is nothing wrong with being an emotional person and having a tender heart for others. Perfect example, through time and healing, I remember seeing a homeless man on my way to work and all I wanted to do in that moment was reach out to him by getting him something warm to eat and drink. I no longer wanted to live in fear of being around homeless people. Just like victims, they deserve LOVE like everyone else. I no longer fear men and have found courage to stand up for myself when needed. Especially being in New York City, I have to be cautious of who I stick up to of course. Also, from the beginning of my marriage I have been struggling with sexual intimacy with my husband. However my past is what has alerted us both of why it was hard for me to experience deep sexual intimacy with him. I’m continuing to give that to Jesus. I still struggle with anger from time-to-time that can easily trigger, but I’ve come a long way and have progressed tremendously. Instead of becoming that infamous Latina Hulk, I now have my anger resonate into feelings and thoughts that I give to God. I don’t like to act on my emotions because I know words can hurt. I’d rather have a LOVING tongue than hurtful one. I’m also learning how to give my anger over to God. The things I once took interest in I had put my guard up against and built a wall during the beginning of this trial. I had fear of opening my heart up to people and sharing such deep, personal things. This is by far the hardest yet most liberating blog piece that I’ve ever written come to date. HANDS DOWN! I have to come to understand and know that this is NO longer about me anymore, it’s about THEM. God’s LOVE is what saved me and guess what? HIS LOVE can save and touch the lives of victims too. I’m no longer ashamed of my past and no longer live in guilt. I’m ready to press forward freely and willingly to share my story that can resonate into the broken and shattered hearts of other victims. From this trial, all I want to do is to write and tell the whole world that JESUS LIVES & IS MY REDEEMER. HE has carried me and delivered me from the darkest pit of what had felt like death and has carried me and has placed me to the tree of LIFE. HE has brought me through the deepest waters and has restored my soul. I’ve become relentless and have overcome a lot of fears, and I mean A LOT of fears that I once had. I’m more fearless today than ever before. In spite of what happened to me, I know with EVERY bone of my body that I have a PURPOSE. I have MEANING. I’ve been SET-FREE!

I’M A SURVIVOR of sexual molestation and verbal abuse. I was sexually molested when I was just little girl by a family member. I was taken advantage of when I was seventeen by a twenty-two year old when we were on ecstacy. I was bullied in high school. At nineteen, I was again sexually molested by an old man. I was also in an unhealthy relationship with someone who was into drugs. He had punched and kicked things near me and around me and had thrown things at me. I was also called every name in the book. As a victim all these years growing up I thought I deserved all what happened to me and that it was normal. I carried feelings of being worthless, ashamed, guilty, rejected, unloved and just feeling like a piece of waste. You start feeding into those lies and start believing them. But that’s the thing, those are ALL lies. As a victim from being molested, abused, bullied and taken advantage of, all I wanted was to be LOVED for the person that I was. I have discovered that the GREATEST LOVE ever known is through CHRIST! Through my brokenness, I’ve come to find WHOLENESS through HIS outpouring of unconditional LOVE. These traumatic events will NO longer take control of me or my emotions. I have nothing but forgiveness for these men, for others, and for myself. I’m NO longer a slave to darkness. I’m NO longer a victim to abuse. I’M A SURVIVOR! God has lead me and has given me A VOICE to no longer stay in silence about my past that by HIS help and strength I have OVERCOME. As HE leads me, I want to continue to share my story with other victims. To let them know that they’re not alone. To have nothing but an open heart and arms to others who have and who are victims of sexual and verbal abuse. To let them know that they too have a voice. PLEASE know from the bottom of my restored heart, I’m here for you. I know what you’re going through. No matter how deep your pain is or how wounded you are, LET’S TALK! If you can’t talk to me, then talk to someone because that’s where your healing starts and begins. This is what will allow you to move forward. Don’t do this on your own. Don’t be ashamed. If no one has told you yet, YOU ARE CHERISHED! YOU HAVE A PURPOSE! YOU ARE WORTHY! YOU ARE LOVED! THERE IS HOPE!

National Suicide Prevention LIFEline~1-800-273-8255

Child Abuse Hotline~1-800-4-A-Child

National Sexual Assault Child Abuse Hotline~1-800-656-4673

8/26/16 Journal Entry Piece:”HIS breath of LIFE brings me wholeness and purpose. In spite of what happened to me in my past. God is going to use me to help in showing more empathy and compassion for people. I hope and pray God will continue to break my heart for what breaks HIS.”. . .


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