Getting Lighter

Well, I am going to stop the blogs from the appendix of my book as per two major inputs I have received today.

My web-enhancer company says “get lighter.”  I emailed back and said “How do I get lighter on such a heavy topic?”  I have not heard back from them today.

Then, I had a great phone conversation with a pastor Dave.  He gave me some great input on how to improve the website and started me thinking about how to do do ‘lighter blogs.’

I also am thinking as I write this blog that I would like to hear from all of you.  What would be helpful to you if you are:

  • a survivor
  • a pastor
  • a relation to a survivor
  • a friend of a a survivor
  • any type of faith community leader
  • anyone who is reading this blog right now

I want to hear your stories.  You can give fake names.  Your email address is secure and will not be published.  I want to get questions from you and I will try to answer them. 

So, as Spring is right around the corner (next month) I am going to start a journey of getting a ‘spring’ to this blog.  After receiving the input from today, I can start to get the picture that too much tedious information is going out.  The blog has gotten bogged. 

I am trying to learn about the computer.  I am 59 years old so I did not grow up with them.  I am a therapist and like one-on-one with people, and a computer just feels alien to me.  I am getting better though.  I do online computer classes to keep learning. 

Also, I just want to say that if you are a survivor, you can learn and grow out of the bad that happened to you.  In my book I describe the “four R’s” to begin your journey.  In the future on this blog I will share some stories of survivors who are on their own Unintended Journey through the bad stuff.  I will also share sidebars from my book that can be helpful in various ways.

The Unintended Journey is not only good…..it is great…..just like God.

Comments

  1. I do not think one can “get lighter” when it comes to the facts of sexual abuse. Maybe the hard cold facts of sexual abuse, which you address so well on your web site/blog , is what many of our faith communities need as a wake up call to get educated and on board to help sexually abused victims in their healing process. This may also be the case for survivors, and friends and family of survivors who have not dealt with their pain and the many ramifications of sexual abuse.

    But, as you said The Unintended Journey is not only good…it is great…just like God. And I believe whole-heartily that it is in the healing process that we “get lighter”…and when God has faithfully brought us through this process and healed us is when we start living in the freedom that His resurrection power offers us. Now that is beyond getting lighter! I personally have experience this freedom and would like to share my healing testimony with you.

    My Healing Testimony…from victim to victor

    God is the “Great Physician”. His business is one of restoration!
    In Joel 2:25 it says that He can make up for the years the locust has eaten.
    He can take the junk allowed in our lives and recycle it for His glory.

    God has personal done this in my life. It is because of Jesus that I am sharing with you today and I give Him all glory and praise!

    I will start by giving you some background.

    Family Background:
    I am the second child of four siblings, born into a German family. I would describe my childhood family as shame based, closed family system, tradition ruled, workaholics, strict rules, control, critical, and unable to relate emotionally with me. My parents took great care of me physically and taught me how to do many things.

    Spiritual background:
    The concept of a loving, merciful God who I could have a personal relationship with was foreign to me. At age twelve I was confirmed in a Lutheran Church out of tradition.(Confirmation is a public rite of the church, for which students have spent time in instruction, designed to help them identify with the life and mission of the Christian Church. The Rite of Confirmation provides an opportunity for the individual Christian, relying on God’s promise given in Holy Baptism, to make a personal public profession of the faith and a lifelong pledge of faithfulness to Christ). But I never knew Him personally and my view of Him was a punishing God. I believed that I had to be perfect to come to Him. Church was a duty and when I was about 35 years old I stopped going. My career became my god. I was running away from my pain. On the outside it looked like I had the perfect life. I was an executive for a major corporation which afforded me many material luxuries—I traveled abroad, purchase most anything I wanted, but inside I was empty.

    Fast forward to 1991:
    A Christian friend, who was a barrel of fun, invited me to attend a Women’s retreat with her. So, I thought if she is going it will not be a boring event and I accepted her invitation. The theme was built on Psalms 139. I remember crying as I read these wonderful words for the first time. That day, God’s word, touched my heart as I got a taste of His love. At the close of the retreat we were ask to pray the last two verses; Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me to the way everlasting. I immediately started praying these verses and God was faithful in showing me what was in my heart. I still pray these verses and God is still faithful.

    It’s now 1995:
    I am in my third year of having a personal relationship with Jesus.

    I am in the third year of my second marriage and I was a BIG mess, my heart was filled with hate, bitterness, control and anger. I knew I needed help.

    On January 3, 1995 I started working with a wonderful Christian therapist, Sherrill Neilson. We worked together for 14 months—the most intense months of my life. God got my attention through my anger…that is what brought me to therapy. He also showed me that behind my anger was fear and behind the fear was deep, deep pain from being sexually abused.

    I believe that God uses the suffering and pain in our lives to get our attention and draw us closer to Him. In the Problem of Pain C. S. Lewis writes, “God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks to us in our conscience, but SHOUTS to us in our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

    Experts in the field of sexual abuse say that there are over a dozen types of rapes. I experienced three of these evil acts of Satan. As I share my story, I invite you to observe the two forces at work. Satan, the ruler of the earth, trying his best to keep me in the dark and my dear Heavenly Father who was inviting and pursuing me with open arms to come up out of the dark into His Light.

    Incest: I was about 8 or 9 and my perpetrator was three years older. After each violation I remember crying my self to sleep, hoping no one would hear me. I felt dirty, bad, broken, so along and so scared. He threatened me, and said he would really hurt me if I told my parents or any one. I believed him. I told no one.

    This deep held secret was locked in my subconscious mind for 40 years. I was watching a television documentary about incest when this memory came back to me. I knew this is what happened to me and was shaken by this truth. I did not know what to do with it and I made light of it in my mind.

    Date Rape: I was sixteen. It was the summer before my senior year of high school. I remember begging my perpetrator not to do this and saying NO and he did not listen. I was thrown down and raped. I was devastated. I was in shock. It was the most terrifying experience. How could someone who I thought cared about me do such a thing? I felt dirty like fifty rages, lower then low, deep betrayal, guilt and shame. I was nothing! I do not think it even crossed my mind to tell anyone, for sure not my parents. I remember getting up the next morning and going to church. I desperately wanted this to go away… I felt frozen. I ask for forgiveness and I took communion. But, deep down, I did not believe someone so sinful, could be worthy of forgiveness. I knew it was sin to have sex before marriage, you see I blamed my self for this happening. This was the worst summer of my life. I was in depression. I was so sure I was pregnant, although I was not—but, I though it was punishment for what I had done. This saying of my parents haunted me, “You make your bed, and you lay in it”. I coped with this the only way I knew how; I buried it.

    This deep dark secret was revealed to me when I was 49, watching a television documentary on date rape. I recognized that is what happened to me so many years ago. Again, I really did not know what to do with this knowledge.

    Stranger Rape: I was32 years old, on a special assignment for my company working and living in New York.

    The memory of this rape came to me 23 years later when I was reading over some materials that my therapist has given us in my group meeting. (For three months, besides my regular therapy session, I attended a group meeting with 5 other sexually abused women).

    From my journal 9-4-95: Pain, anger and hate still pronounce my days…tonight God revealed more truth…a memory of a rape when I was in New York flooded over me. The deep, deep, deep pain and darkness of this horrific sexual violence and how it scared my life came whaling out of me. The sound of this cry was like none I had ever heard. I cried for over an hour and now I have a terrible stomach ache and pain in my left shoulder. God showed me that I am afraid of everything—fear is my prison! Deliver me Lord. You have promised to be my Shepherd and that I will not want…I am claiming this. Thank you for opening another floodgate. I know you will see me through this.

    I did not want to go back to this pain again, although I knew there was more. I remember feeling physical beat up the next day, like I had been in an accident. I was stiff and my body ached with pain. I was a basket case…could not concentrate and carrying on daily task was very difficult. (My therapist helped me understand that I was suffering from shock and that my mind did not remember the rape but my body did).

    Back to more truth God gave me about this rape. From my journal: My rapist held a knife to my throat, demoralized me with words-very evil! I did not want to believe this. I feared for my life. He was a very angry man and his personality totally changed to a very evil man. I tried to pull away and he pinned me down, his face on mine, knife on my throat, and he would whisper in the most evil way imaginable these words—“don’t make me hurt you”; “you don’t want to make me angry”. I thought I could talk him out of it, I know I tried. I went to work the next day and pretended nothing had happened…once again I buried the truth. Inside I was dying. I told no one.

    How did sexual abuse affect me and my life?

    Here are some of the ways:

    It affected the choices I made, my perceptions, my thoughts and beliefs.
    It robbed me of most of my childhood
    It created fear in every part of my being
    It eroded and warped my perception of God and men
    I never felt “good enough”
    I believed God hated me and wanted to punish me
    I felt totally along
    Hindered me from knowing Jesus, serving Him, and becoming who God created me to be
    Taught me at a young age that I could not trust any one
    It shaped a hard, cold, critical heart
    It blocked my peace, joy and love

    In the book, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, her father is having a conversation with her; he said, “Corrie”, do you know what hurts so much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. That is what had happened to me. My pain from sexual abuse along with Satan’s lies, that I believed, had blocked out the love of God. But, Satan is no match for God. 1 John 4: 6 says; You, dear children are from God and I have overcome them, because the one in you is greater then the one in the world.

    Many times in my therapy sessions God would reveal His truth and great love for me by giving me visuals and Bible verves. One verse was, Jer. 29: 11. For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Where am I now?
    After therapy God provide exactly what I needed to continue my healing journey through Christian women’s groups, workshops, books, and journaling. Women’s bible study has been the greatest catalyst for my growth IN Christ, as well as a Godly women mentor.

    As I am writing this today, I am awed once again by Almighty God. He is The Great Physician and He has healed me. I am free of the pain, lies, anger, fear and hatred that once ruled my heart.
    I am a different woman today. He has changed me from the inside out. My heart is filled with compassion and love most of the time. I have forgiven my perpetrators and parents. Peace and joy fill most of my days.

    Rom. 8:28 says……. That in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. This is exactly what God is doing. He is taking what the devil meant for evil in my life and is using it for His good. He has given me a deep love for women, especially those who have been abused and I am passionate about working with them as a life coach, mentor and leader in my churches recovery program.

    Do I still struggle in these areas today? Sometimes. but less and less. I am a work in progress, as His word says in Phil. 1: 6, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

    Here is what I know for sure today!

    I know that I am worthy, not because of anything I have done, but because of what Jesus has done for me.
    I am His beloved daughter.
    He is faithful!
    His love for me is beyond my understanding.
    I know that He will never leave me of forsake me.
    I am never along.
    I know He is the lover of my soul and my friend forever.
    HE IS MY EVERYTHING!

    Jesus heals—He changes lives. He healed me—He can heal YOU! He changed my life–He can change your life.

    If you are reading this today with a secret in your heart that you have not shared with anyone, not even yourself or Jesus; or if the Holy Sprit has just revealed a memory to you of deep pain from any abuse (physical, spiritual, verbal, sexual), from broken relationships, from you childhood, or any thing else that has been stored in your subconscious…then I say Praise the Lord. Because the good news is that NOW you can bring it into His Light and be healed. Open up to God–confess the anger, fear, or whatever feelings you have that are not of God and talked to Him about this. After this you may wish to share it with a Godly women you trust, ask for prayer, or maybe God will lead you to seek professional help, as He did me.

    Nothing is healed in the dark because darkness is the devils playground.

    Bring it to Jesus –He Is The Light! 1 John 1:5 says exactly this–that God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. Verse 7 says: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His son, purifies us from sin.

    Bring it to Jesus…He is waiting with open arms…Come into His Light and let His Love Heal YOU!

  2. Bob Nielsen says:

    Cory, thanks for your courage, and willingness to tell your story… that’s really redeeming the silence and breaking the rules of keeping this a secret. I hope many more will feel courage to do that same.

  3. Cory is an amazingly courageous woman. She worked very hard and faced the truth with it’s connected pain with such bravery. In my quiet time this morning the Lord showed me that His sword of truth does not cause pain, but cuts through to reveal pain that sin/evil causes. Sexual Violence always causes pain.

    Cory very clearly writes about the different types of rape she experienced. Stranger rape is actually the least common. It is usually a family member or Aquaintance rape.

    Our minds, created of course by God, are the most amazing things. Her mind repressed her memory of stranger rape so effectively. When she realized she had pain and anger that was controlling her instead of her trying to control it, she went for help. This help is my hope for all survivors. Having it buried inside is emotional and spiritual cancer.

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