Letters from the Fire11:
“Freedom from Emotional Abuse”
I could never understand why I was always intrigued and mesmerized by stories of betrayal, and by prisoners who defied those in authority and refused to be broken (despite brutal abuse and torture). I had assumed it had something to do with my upbringing, but I was taken aback as God began putting pieces together from my past. I learned that I had been emotionally abused by my narcissistic father, in ways that were so intense his skill at it rivaled those used by brainwashers in prison camps. I had lived most of my life with what can best be described as “brain fog.” It left me vulnerable to abusive and controlling people and often rendered me defenseless. As I began learning about what had happened to me puzzling things I remembered and wondered about most of my life started to make more sense, and the fog began to lift. Research into brainwashing and abuse showed me that the brainwasher/abuser pinpoints his efforts on getting the victim to distrust herself so she breaks down to the point where she loses her identity and accepts whatever propaganda the brainwasher/abuser programs into her. I realized that the father I had adored as a child had been merciless and cruel to me, leaving me emotionally crippled in many ways. Suddenly my gut feeling as a child – that I was treated more like a rat in an experiment – made so much sense. As I grappled with all this memories and feelings came back to me like unearthed ancient bones. Troubling dreams exposed my inner struggle to exist in the midst of emotional starvation and torture. I started finding pieces of myself I had discarded for the sake of survival. Even the shame of going through nearly 10 abusive jobs one after the other suddenly made sense as well - I was able to do the one thing at work that I could not do with my father – escape.
It is here that I would like to address those of you who are on a journey of healing with God. As you have already likely found out, this journey is not for the faint hearted. For me there were many times where I came very close to giving up and resigning myself to life as an emotional cripple. But God wouldn’t allow it. You see when we lose the will to keep going, God remains committed to our complete healing. Yes, I did ask the big “why me?” question. God responded by telling me that he was hurt first before I was because he was covering me with his own body. Yet, I have to say that having come this far on my journey, the issue of getting a satisfying enough answer to my question doesn’t matter as much as it used to. The reason being, I can now finally see how God has taken something so horrible and ugly and turned it inside out into something beautiful and wonderful. As I recently told one of my clients, I can help you now because of what I’ve been through. Yes I bear scars, and yes I still limp. But as Matthew West said in one of his songs . . . “Love sees them differently, love sees perfection. A beautiful display of healing. On the way tonight. . .” So keep going. Don’t stop. You are a testimony in the making.