Haunted by the past….it’s what victims of child abuse will, to some degree, be for the rest of their lives – regardless of all the years of counseling they may been through. However, counseling does help and is important. Our haunting may be in the form of difficulty making decisions because our emotional development was robbed of us during those crucial childhood years. It may be in the form of trying to please everyone, because you spent your entire childhood trying to please your abuser so that you could keep the peace in the household. These two actually may even go hand in hand..you can’t make a decision, because there is not one decision that keeps absolutely EVERYONE happy, including yourself. I have found this..
If you try to be everything to everybody, you end up not being anything to anybody…including YOURSELF!
Another haunting…INTIMACY. For some, like myself, you may not perceive it to be an issue until you are married. You see, when you are told to never have sex with anyone or your abuser ( in this case my dad) will know… you are too scared to even consider it. But, when you finally do settle into dating and you are “sneaking around”…it’s a game that’s risky and it’s fun. BUT…when you get married and you are faced with always having to have sex, then it’s no longer a game and it’s no longer fun. It becomes a dread. Like it was everyday that you were alone at home with your dad. Because you knew EXACTLY what would happen and just how long it would last…usually one or two hours.
So, time goes on and you work through all of that. Then, you are hit with this~ the police get called on one of your nine year old son’s baseball teammate’s dad at the ballgame this weekend because he was beating the child in the parking lot…to the point of knocking him down and bruising him on the face and neck from hitting and grabbing him. Then yelling at him to get up while the child is screaming “Please Stop Daddy! Please Stop!”. The police officer blows it off and doesn’t even interview the person who called it in. The parents on the team make comments like ” Well his wife said nothing like this has ever happened before”, or they say things like…”well he (the kid) definitely needs to be disciplined” or “he could use a good spanking”. Then I, speaking from personal experience, say something to the effect “I doubt this is a first time since it was done right out in broad daylight”. And someone says to me “you don’t know that”. And it’s true. I DON’T KNOW THAT! What I do know is this..I was physically, sexually, and mentally abused. My dad would have NEVER done it in public and he is the most violent person I have ever known. Most abusers do not do it in public! Whether it was the first time or not, I don’t know. I hope for the child’s sake that it was and that some intervention will be made. I think I was most upset at the blasé attitude that most of the people who know the dad on our ball team had…except for the individual who witnessed it and told the story with tears in her eyes. And by the way, her three year old witnessed it too! This blasé attitude is why child abuse occurs at the staggering rate at which it does. No one wants to get involved. Meanwhile, our children suffer. This brought back so many memories. It brought me to such a dark place this weekend. In my mind, I was already the judge and the jury, robbing me of the full joy of my child’s weekend ball tournament.
STILL HAUNTED. BETTER. BUT, STILL HAUNTED. Does that ever go away? I don’t know. What I do know is this. Through God, there is Hope and Healing. In Philippians 3:12-14 Paul talks about being more Christ like and forsaking anything that may distract us from being effective Christians. He says “…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. If we keep our hope in Christ we can learn to let go…whether it be of guilt, shame, anger, or un-forgiveness. This weekend, I allowed the enemy to distract me. I was angry. I was vocal about things that I would have otherwise let go (unrelated to the incident). Instead, I should have trusted in God that He was taking care of it. What I didn’t tell you was this. That same lady who reported it said she never misses her son’s ballgames but for some reason had decided to stay back at the hotel for the first game and arrived in the parking lot just in time to see it and call authorities. She said she believes it was God’s doings. God was handling it all alone. He already had a plan in place. My prayer is that IT TRULY WAS THE FIRST TIME as his wife said and there will be intervention before the family is destroyed. Only God knows. HE IS IN CONTROL…not me and not you. STILL HAUNTED, STILL HEALING.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5, NIV)
Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the past. We have scars. But scars are OK. Let them be the stepping stones by which God is preparing us for our purpose. Don’t be a prisoner. Let it go. Let’s turn the page and start a new chapter…TOGETHER.