Saturday, August 13, 2016

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These past couple of days have been fairly productive. To begin with, I went to my support group for survivor’s this Monday. It felt really good and I feel as though I am finally coming to open up to this wonderful group of people. I told them that I feel as though my anxiety and stress is prohibiting me from expressing myself with ease. I told them that I noticed this particularly getting worse as I have continued to delve into my personal healing. It may be stressful now. It may hurt now. But I know that in the long run, it will be completely worth the commitment and dedication, which I have put into my own healing for the past three years. One extremely encouraging thing that happened this Monday at group was that, after a while in this particular session, I volunteered to read out of the course book. I only read a couple of pages. But after reading, one of the coordinators asked me a question and I was able with ease to convey my thoughts to her verbally. It was uncanny. Strange that after I should read aloud from a book, I should feel more comfortable with my voice. I have just been silenced so much that I have stifled and repressed my own voice. I actually signed up for another workshop at the Gatehouse, which is an art therapy program that runs fifteen weeks! Very excited for that! It feels very empowering for me to tell my truth verbally. I went to my church’s Prayer night this last Tuesday. It was a wonderful and moving time. I got a chance to pray with a gentleman who hosts one of the church’s small groups. First I prayed with him and his wife. Then with him and another guy who was from Costa Rica. They were all very nice and kind. After a couple of beautiful worship songs, we were encouraged to spend a moment in silent confession with the Lord. These moments always, always make my heart melt. I went home with a reflecting and repentant heart that evening. Yesterday, I went downtown because my friend Maria called me. I wanted to meet with her because I am reading her book. I’m telling you, it’s not perfect but she’s a brilliant writer. And what I have read so far is very well written. After a while, she asked me if I’d ever thought of marriage. I told her the full extent of my story, including some of the abuse I endured. And I told her that the fears that I have go very deep on an instinctual level because of both the age at which the abuse took place as well as because of some other factors. It’s not that I just won’t try because of a little fear. I am very traumatized. We shouldn’t ever be afraid of telling the truth. I’m very confident that Christ can help me overcome these problems. In any case, I gave Maria one hundred and twenty dollars. I encouraged her to pursue her scripts and books because it seems absurd to me that someone with a skill like the one she has for writing and prose should be begging. I want people to know that I feel very vulnerable after talking about the more traumatic stuff that happened to me. I’m sorry for being defensive. I hope you can understand that I am not intentionally trying to be rude or touchy. It’s a reaction. Still I am accountable. And I am doing my best to act appropriately. There is one other very positive piece of news! I actually joined the gym (GoodLife) again this last Sunday. By tomorrow, I’ll have gone three times already this week. Stepping into the building was reminiscent for me. In 2013, I committed like every day, sometimes twice a day to extensive workouts for about eight months. It was much easier to get there then as I had a car. But I have not lost that dedication to myself. And I see this as an investment in myself, in my health and in my life. A positive choice that I am proud of making. Even still, from the New Year 2015, I have been working out about once a day but with weights in my room. With them, the exercises I can do are limited because of limitations in range of motion and stuff. It feels really empowering and grounding to work out my lower body again. I met a really nice woman who works at GoodLife on Sunday when I went in to sign up for the membership. She was really kind and encouraging. After my workout, I spoke to her again and we talked about childhood experiences and how adverse experiences affect children. I explained to her about my injury because I didn’t want the staff to worry when my body tremored. So I explained what happened and stuff. She was very understanding and asked a lot of questions. For me, it is really, really empowering to be making choices for myself, for what I want for my future. In my support group, something was said in response to one of the members saying she was confused. The coordinator suggested that she say that she’s curious as opposed to confused. Something clicked in me at that moment as I reflected on all of the missed opportunities and experiences. I’m trying to learn to adapt an attitude of curiosity as opposed to fear. Actually, today I called Air Miles to see how many I have. Because I want to take a spontaneous trip. It looks like I only have enough to take me inside the States and Canada. But I may book a ticket to Australia. The continent has really piqued my interest. Even if I have to spend a little more money. I just really don’t want to have regrets. I know I will have them, as most people will. But I want to say that I did everything I could to enjoy life with what I was given. I have not given up on love. I really want to go to Australia though. And I may buy a ticket very soon. Spontaneous! I want to play with a wombat. Haha. They’re like little pig dogs. They’re the cutest creatures that are only found there. There’s so much that is unique to the continent only. I want to say that I have done it. I have many fears about going to Australia. None of them are about snakes or crocodiles or spiders. The biggest fears I have of the continent are the sun, getting trapped in the outback and what may sound strange but driving differently. In Australia, which is a colony of beautiful England (another country I’d love to go to), they drive on the left of the road. I’m probably making a bigger deal of it than it deserves, which is why I want to challenge myself. I don’t have a lot of money either so this experience would really set me back. But wow, it would be so worth it! I saw a news meme on facebook that portrayed the story of a six month year old child who was raped and murdered by some guy in the States. Just seeing the picture of this article of a small one in a diaper brought me back to my own experiences and sent me into a vortex of a flashback. We live in a world where these things happen. Where people are suffering and hurting. Even babies. This world is not the end. There is absolutely hope. It is found in love. We’re all searching for the unconditional love that we need so vitally as human beings. The love that only can be found in Christ. Have compassion. There are reasons for everything we do. You need to know that it’s okay to be upset and to experience anger. And it’s okay to be sad and hurt. But you also need to know that regardless of how much it hurts now, things get better. To borrow a thought from the Apostle Paul, in childbirth, a mother is in excruciating pain. But after the baby comes, she forgets all about the pain that she was in and rejoices with jubilation with the fact that her child has been born. There is hope. Although the natural inclination of mankind is to disobey and flee from God, I think that these days, people want to believe in God. They’ve only been hurt too many times. I’ve seen personally how anger, hate and shame can translate to an attack on God because we are unable to express those feelings to whom they were caused by. God is absolutely watching. God absolutely cares. He cares about all of His children. I cannot stress to you enough the value of each human life on the face of the Earth. God loves you all. In you, He sees the little children, innocent and perfect, who you once all were. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:28). I will continue to persevere. I have bad days and good days. But the one thing that never changes is God’s great love for all of us in the work of Christ Jesus at the Cross. I am asking you to please forgive me for taking so long.

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