Shadow Of Victory

Thursday, 5 March 2009

March 5th Knuckles .!!

My knuckles are well and truly tightened and whitened and here I go....

The word ABUSE has a very powerful and emotive effect on most people in todays culture. Going back 4-5 decades I am not even sure it was a word and I certainly hadnt thought about the events and circumstances of my young life as being "abusive".We hear the phrases...emotional abuse...physical abuse...sexual abuse newspapers ,on television, in films and magazines and in the many books being written about it.
We also use and hear phrases such as "victims of abuse" and "survivors of abuse" and I can honestly say that I never think of myself as a victim nor a survivor...I am just who I am ...yes I have been shaped by events and still live with some of the consequences but I have been given a new identity through faith in Christ and no matter what happened to me I am no longer defined by the past.

Abuse is explained in the dictionary as ....bad effect..bad purpose..maltreat...incorrect or improper use ..unjust or corrupt practice. I dont think any of these explanations can even begin to define or explain the "meaning "of abuse.There are also so many levels of abuse and for myself...I had convinced myself that what had happened to me so many times over the years wasnt abuse and yet I know now without any doubt that it most definitely was. Okay I may never have been raped...I may never have been beaten physically with a belt...I may never have been locked in a cupboard with no food....I may never have been burned by cigarette ends and all the other awful events described in so many books but whatever is done to a child that is unjust or corrupt is still ABUSE. My aim isnt to focus on the abuse but to share how the consequences can be far longer lasting and more damaging than the actual event itself

Perhaps if someone asked 50 people who had known abuse in their lives to give a definition of how it had affected their lives..I am sure there would be so many different responses but I believe there would also be some very important similarities. I would hesitate to put words into other peoples mouths but I would suspect that there would be words and phrases like the following....

Losing control of life
Fear of exposure
Feeling of being lost and alone
Guilt....blaming myself
Lack of trust
Inability to love
Fear of dark
Fear of intimacy
Suicidal feelings

And many more.. the self harming /anorexia/addictions that can find their roots in childhood abuse, coping mechanisms that people can adopt to take the pain away. This blog isnt going to be a manual or a prescriptive list of this hugely involved topic is hopefully going to be a light into the darkness that can and does permeate into our souls when abuse happens.

One of the main reasons I have for never really thinking I was abused was an event which happened when I was about 8 years old...I have said I wouldnt be going into details so please dont panic..I only share this to explain the rationale behind my thinking. I had a very good friend who had both a mum and a dad living with her..I loved spending time with her family as I didnt have a dad living with me and not only that but her mum didnt work and was around after school with custard do-nuts....this was in the days when kids came home from school on their own to empty heading to this family after school was heaven to me...As time went on I would have sleepovers and they were just the best thing !!! Lovely dinner with puddings and sometimes a board game...I loved her...and her mum and her dad..I felt a little bit like an adopted sister . When it was time for bed my friends dad would "tuck us in" and inappropriate touch would happen...I didnt have any idea of what dads could or couldnt do so assumed this was a normal part of a bedtime routine.
Once I asked my friend about it and she just laughed and said he does it all the what else could I think other than ..okay ..thats what dads do..!!!

You can see how lies build upon lies and how I began to believe that this was acceptable, thus ensuring that all the events that happened in my childhood were all part of ordinary life. Add to this the fact that I moved homes so many times and attended so many different schools and never really got any chance to build relationships and in answer to the question that a Christian friend asked me a few years ago.."why didnt you tell anyone?" The answer is quite simple...WHO WOULD I HAVE TOLD??...My parents were already dysfunctional.....there was no adult that I trusted and I had begun to believe a lie that this was what life was like in families.!! Abuse thrives in the dark...the isolation....the fear....the lies....

But I know that Christ came to seek and save the lost...those in dark places...those who live with fear...and pain and hurt and rejection....Christ came to give hope to those without bring freedom to release us all from show us that we can trust Him....I know that My Redeemer Lives and no matter how dark my childhood was ...once His light began to shine it was only a matter of time before I opened up the wounds and asked Him to bring healing. His love is the only antidote to the abusive chains that can hold us captive.

I am well and truly on the hang on with me and we will see where we go....only dont ever expect me to try this again..!!!

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