How To Overcome The Enemy

The following is a true story sent to me by a long ago former client.  It is used with her consent and I have changed her name.

Hi, my name is ‘Suzie’, and I am a grateful child of God.

When I was eight, my grandma died, and I no longer had any kind, loving adults in my life, this left me heartbroken and vulnerable. My mom was so depressed that she ended up in a mental institution for three months. I have little memory of this time, except that my parents were cheating on each other, fighting a lot and almost divorced. I never felt loved, safe or secure as a child. Both of my parents were physically, emotionally and sexually abusive. My mom who abused drugs and alcohol, used to yell, scream profanities at me, drag me by my hair, throw things at me, violently, shove bars of soap in my mouth, slap me in the face, put me down verbally, and tease me relentlessly. Still, I loved my mom and thought she was a wonderful mother to my siblings and me
My step dad, used to hit me out of anger. When I was a teen, he smacked me in the face so hard that he gave me a fat, bloody lip and a bruised eye. Even when he wasn’t physically abusing me, he worked and traveled a lot and never treated me very well. My parents had pornographic magazines all over the house, which they left out for us to see and look at. I grew up thinking that all of this abusive behavior was normal.

For about a year or so during my childhood, my mom began attending a church and took  my little brother and me with her. This was the time I was saved. I loved the church, the people, the Bible, and especially my new relationship with Jesus. I gave my life to him and even got baptized. This was by far the best year of my childhood. My mom, without ever explaining to me why, soon left the church, and we never went back or talked about God again. I soon forgot all about Him.
When I was around twelve or thirteen years old, I was fondled by my dad’s best friend, and when I told my parents, neither one believed me. They kept hanging out with him, and even made us kids join him for dinner at his house one time. I felt like I wasn’t worth protecting. No one cared for me. I felt like I was nothing.
By the time I was in 8th grade I was headed for trouble. At one point, it had gotten so bad that I had a seizure while using meth. I had gotten so desperate for love and attention that I became obsessed with seeking it from boys. At sixteen, I had my first abortion. This was due to the coercion of my mother. I wanted to keep my baby, but she made it sound impossible for me to survive as a mother and lied by telling me that my baby was just a blob, a mere clump of cells.  My mom and step-dad divorced when I was fifteen or sixteen. One good thing that came out of the divorce was that my step-dad got me into counseling…the beginning of my healing journey. The counselor kept trying to get me to see that my mom was verbally abusive, but I was in such denial that it took a whole year for me to even begin to notice it.
I was kicked out of high school around my eighteenth birthday. I began working full-time at a dental clinic while I continued to drink, smoke and use drugs. I went from boyfriend to boyfriend and had another abortion at nineteen. I didn’t even give it a thought the second time. Nor did I the third time when I took the morning after pill and may or my not have killed another baby of mine.
A stranger raped me at a frat party when I was 19. It was absolutely horrifying. But I was so used to being used and abused that I didn’t even consider reporting it. That belief was ingrained in my mind: I was worthless. I did tell my mom, but as with my childhood molestation, she did not believe me. When I turned twenty-three, I met my husband, Tony. One thing I really liked about Tony was that he didn’t have any addictions! He wasn’t a big drinker, he didn’t use drugs regularly, and he didn’t smoke cigarettes, or hit me like my other boyfriends had. I was so happy that I had found such a man. I thought that because I had been in counseling on-and-off for seven years that I was healthy, and had been healed of my past. Boy, was I wrong. We needed our Savior, Jesus Christ; we just didn’t know it yet. But He was already at work! Tony and I got married as non-Christians and never had any premarital counseling. Not recommended. We had so much baggage and we didn’t even know it.
I got pregnant with our first daughter, Amanda, right when we got back from our honeymoon. I was determined to be a great mom and to never do anything to hurt my children. I was going to “break the generational chain”, and I was ready to do whatever it took. But the secular counseling was not enough. I needed more… But what?
I rededicated my life to Christ.  I had another baby, Austin, two years and ten months after Amanda was born. Around this time, I ended up going to see a really good Christian counselor, who, although I didn’t know it at the time, she was a rape survivor. Because of this, she was able to help me tremendously. I began to learn a lot about what the bible says and how to apply it to my life. I still had so much pain from my past that I had just bottled up. My counselor helped me to get out of denial about my mother’s abusiveness and how much it affected my behavior and relationships. She also taught me that the Bible is infallible, that I had sins that I needed forgiveness for, and that God loved me. I had so much self-hatred that this truth took a while for me to truly grasp. I also needed to express the pain I had inside from the past sins committed against me and forgive those who had abused me. I would need to do all of this before I could move forward and be free.
Together, we uncovered a lot of lies that I had believed about God, others, and myself and replaced those lies with God’s truth. I went to this same counselor every single week, having double sessions, for two and a half years. Because I had PTSD (and anxiety and depression, not bipolar), she used a type of therapy called EMDR. It did wonders to speed up the healing process.

I soon discovered that my husband was a sex addict. I was devastated and chose to trust in the Lord completely.  I also had a big horrible secret that I was hiding from my husband and children. I had a couple of affairs with my ex-boyfriend from high school. I had repented of this and sought counseling for it, but never confessed to my husband until his secret came to light. I immediately began to pray, read my bible and sought out wise counseling. We took vows: “For better or for worse”, and in spite of the “worse” we were in the midst of, we decided that divorce was not an option, even though there were times that I wanted out. I didn’t want my children to suffer from a broken home like I had. A friend of mine had gone to CR (Celebrate Recovery) for sex addiction and suggested that Tony and I try it. We took her advice and have been attending regularly since August 2009. At first, I was very angry about going. I remember telling my husband that “I [didn’t] want to be in recovery again”, and that “[I’d] done years of recovery already”. I would tell him “It [was his] turn”, and that I had “healed all my wounds in counseling”. I always introduced myself as Suzie, and things like “it was my husbands fault that I am here.”  After a few months, however, I started to look forward to coming. I began to see that God had more for me to learn, and that He was going to use CR to teach me.

I have grown so much. Even though I had already curbed my addictions, and forgiven everyone who hurt me in the past, working the 12 steps at CR helped show me my God given gifts and talents, and that I was free to try new things, and if I failed, that I could try again.  My favorite step is 12, because giving back is a way to allow God to make beauty out of ashes. (Redemption)

We are all on our own, unique and beautiful journey.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! It was powerful and your story will help many others on their journey.

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