I only posted two times on this blog last year and thinking about it makes me panic a little. This used to be the place where I joined with my community of survivors and seekers. It was my sanity check, my sanctuary and the place where I felt validated and heard.
But when I sit down to write, I feel paralyzed. Times have changed since I last wrote on a regular basis. Social media feels so much bigger as does the pressure to be an “influencer”. I’m struggling with how to balance transparency with healthy boundaries in a world where being “real” means choosing the most flattering filter. I’m not judging. I’ve had thoughts of shutting down my blog but if I ever write a book I’m going to need a place to self-promote. To be clear, I have not written one word of that book.
I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a new blog, completely anonymous so that I could be free to say whatever I want. What would that look like? Maybe something like this…
Hi. My name is Karen and this is my first blog post. I’m a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and there was a time when I drank too much. 5 years ago, I ended a 3 year period of sobriety that saved my life. It gave me the clarity to work on the abuse I suffered and while I haven’t been sober the last 5 years, I want you to know that this is a safe place. I don’t romanticize drinking and recovery is really important to me.
So is God. I have this thing for Jesus that I can’t shake even though I sometimes feel embarrassed to call myself a Christian. I make a lot of assumptions about what people think when they hear that label. Do they think I hate gays and immigrants? Do they think I voted for Trump? Are people who voted for Trump offended by that? You should also probably know that I care too much about what people think.
I also curse.
I have trust issues. Especially with God. Somewhere along the way I came to believe bullshit about God. Some of that bullshit came from childhood like when I thought I wasn’t allowed to believe in God because I wasn’t Catholic. Some of it came from eager-to-save Christians who told me that I was going to go to hell if I didn’t see God the way they did. Most of it, though, came from a feeling of unworthiness deep inside myself and an inability to trust anyone, especially the Creator of the Universe who is way too hard to figure out.
I became a code breaker. If I thought the right thoughts, prayed the right prayers, felt the right feelings and supported the right causes I could break the Code of God. If I successfully broke the code I would be skinny, my children wouldn’t meet some horrible fate and I could pay my mortgage. What a control freak, to believe that I could control God.
But when your experiences as a child lead you to believe that you’re responsible for your parents divorce or why your parents are addicted or why they can’t pay their bills or why that man touched you under your clothes you start to develop a false sense of power and control. A child who has been traumatized navigates carefully through a world that doesn’t follow logical rules but she craves structure and stability so she makes shit up. She fills in the gaps of her knowledge so that things make sense. And, she thinks that she is far more responsible for and in control of situations than is humanly possible.
Understanding that, it makes perfect sense that I believe in God but don’t necessarily trust God. My childhood wired me to not trust and to find it hard to surrender, especially when surrendering feels like powerlessness. But I don’t have to succumb to the way I’m wired. What worked for me as a child doesn’t work for me now. I have different tools, better tools. It’s like watching the 1973 movie The Exorcist. The special effects were cutting edge back then but aren’t so believable now. Actually, it still scares the crap out of me.
I have a cat with trust issues. We adopted her as a 9 week old kitten and she immediately gravitated toward our kids. Eventually, she bonded with my daughter and threw the rest of us to the curb. It was two years before she would sit on the couch next to me and let me pet her. Two years. And, she still acts like she hates it. I find that all I can do is meet her where she is. If she just wants to sit near me, I let her sit. If she wants to stare at me with possibly evil intention, I let her stare. I love her even when she mistrusts me and even when I can tell she wants to scratch my eyes out.
I am God’s skittish, paranoid, mistrusting cat. When I find myself sinking back into code breaking mode, I pray, God, meet me where I am. Meet me in my fear, my doubt and my hopelessness. Meet me in my imperfection. Meet me here even though I’m trying to manipulate you so that I get what I want. Meet me here where I feel undeserving and where I don’t know how to let you love me. Meet me where I feel alone and please don’t give up on me.
So, anyway, welcome to my blog. I hope we become great friends.
18 responses to “Meet Me Where I Am”
Sending lots of love. Love seeing your beautiful words and your beautiful eyes.
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Thank you Lisa! xxoo
I really appreciate your honesty. Your a gifted writer. I’m still on the journey of healing from severe childhood sexual abuse. I don’t say “severe” as in what happened to me was worse than someone else. I think all and any kind of abuse is devastating. I’m almost 53 and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get where I am right now. Where am I right now? Not exactly sure. I will say that about a week ago I stopped drinking alcohol. I have a long term relationship with it. I understand wanting to numb the pain. I also have trust issues with God. I’m grateful He’s long suffering. A week ago I fell to the floor crying, no sobbing uncontrollably over everything in my dysfunctional life. All the broken dreams, relationships, and oh the agony of my failures as a mother! I cried, my son! My son! Oh how I’ve failed him. I’ve already grieved over my eldest child a daughter who is twelve years older than my youngest son. And the realization of knowing deep down I wasn’t a better mother to him. I thought I was but I was only different. A different father and circumstances. A new beginning or so I thought. Eventually I was able to pull myself up off the floor. After a week of not drinking alcohol my body is trying to get used to not having it in my system. Right now I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other. Not really sure what the future holds. Will I never drink again? I really don’t know. This is just where I am right now. Wow….that felt good. Thank you Karen for your sincere honesty and a place where I felt safe to let go of some of my burdens. I hope you will keep writing.🥀
The guilt we put ourselves through as parents…Do you know what comes to mind? When we know better, we do better. The mistakes I made with my kids when they were younger are different than the mistakes I make now, but I still make mistakes. It wasn’t always easy to forgive my own parents but one thing that made it possible was their willingness to learn and grow. That’s probably the most important thing we can do for ourselves and our kids.
One of the hardest things about dealing with childhood abuse and trauma is that it takes many shapes over time. We’re never “cured”. We’re never “over it”. I go through long periods where I feel strong and solid and then I’ll get hit out of the blue with something that triggers me all over again. I used to feel like I was backtracking but now I see these triggers as an opportunity to ask what no longer serves me. What used to work and now doesn’t? What do I need to let go of and what do I need to bring closer? I don’t know what you’ll ultimately decide about drinking but sobriety is like eating well or working out. No one ever regrets it.
I’m reading an interesting book that applies the 12-steps to trauma recovery. It does it in a very gentle way and it really helped me get clarity around my trust issues. It’s called Trauma and Transformation: a 12-Step Guide and it’s on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/TRAUMA-TRANSFORMATION-Rivka-Edery-LMSW/dp/1482785099. The Kindle version is inexpensive and it might be worth checking out.
Tinamarie, I’m sending you prayers and a big hug from afar. You are not alone.
Thank you so much for the book recommendation and the prayers.🙏
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Welcome back. I feel you. I hear you. I actually kept an anonymous blog for about three years when I was deep into healing a lifetime of pain. It’s still out there. And then I’d evolved so much that I started a new, only slightly less anonymous blog. I guess what I’m saying is, do what feels right for you, not because you’ve been told you need a bazillion followers on social media in order to get a book published. One that isn’t written yet. Just write. So great to read your words again.
Thank you! I love that advice and I’m going to take it. ❤️
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This is beautiful. You have grit and honesty and your vulnerability feels tangible. We are in the same tribe. I will re-post this on the Say It, Survivor Facebook page.
Also, I have several blogs (MaryMorphosis.com and LivingLovelier.com) and have not taken pen to paper for a year on either of them. Sometimes life, feelings, stuff gets in the way and acts as an obstacle to our creativity. Keep up your inspiring work. Frequency does not matter.
Thank you Mary! I appreciate that. I’ve definitely been in a season of silence (writing-wise) but I feel the need to pick it up again in some form. The voices of survivors are so important and we never know when our story is exactly what someone else needs to hear. ❤
i am from England . people never see the every day effects of say Anxiety or Abuse .i have both
these .i was abused as a child .,i have m.e .migraines long list health issues .i think most people
are very Snotty Nosed with there views/judgements.my story of abuse is in a Authors book .i do a
Yes, abuse touches every part of our lives and that’s hard to get some people to understand. Thank you for stopping by!
You express yourself amazingly, I love to read what you write. I’d like to get to know you better.
Ah, thank you! We are probably a lot alike. xxoo
I want you to know that I’ve read this three times, and I keep coming back to find something new and resonating with each read. I agree – it’s so easy to feel paralyzed in a space where we want to be authentic and vulnerable without sharing too much or letting down appropriate boundaries. (I haven’t written much either).
Your words – perfect. You met me where I am at, and have always appreciated that about you. I hope you’ll continue to post and write – even if it’s only two times/year. Xoxoxo
That may be all you get, lol! I’m coming back into a place where writing feels important again even if blogging doesn’t. We’ll see. Thank you for still being here!! ❤ Love you!
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Love you, too ❤️
Love you so much! I’m coming back to read and comment again – wanted you to know that I will forever read every word you write ❤️
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Thank you!!! Love you too!