God and Sexual Assault

Ways We Cope

What do you turn to?

I asked you all to share ideas with me because I hit a kind of road block lately. I only got one response. It’s okay, I understand completely not wanting to put yourself out there so no worries.

So, in thinking and praying about what to further write about I landed on the things we turn to. No matter when you endured sexual trauma or for how long, there were probably times when you wanted to do anything to avoid the memories.

I remember 14 years ago when they first started coming at me. I was adamant the physical problems I was having had nothing to do with my emotions or depression. “I AM NOT CRAZY!” I told the doctor.

It was a couple of years later at a counselor I finally sought out, that it came down to admitting what had happened to me. In the following years. more and more memories returned. To this day I have new memories coming up. I don’t deny them anymore, but I do still avoid them sometimes. They can be overwhelming when they come.

Over the years I have turned to many things to ease the pain. Things that were harmful to me. Here are a few:

I used to cut myself to ease the emotional pain. If I was physically bleeding and hurting then the memory went away. (For a few minutes…but not long.) I turned to this off and on for about 10 years before I was able to not harm myself. I also found that holding a piece of ice helps and isn’t harmful to my body.

I also turned to medication. Partly because the doctors I sought out told me that was the answer. It wasn’t and it actually made me more unstable and caused me to lose my memory of several years. I take depression medication, but nothing else as it clouds my mind.

The most deadly thing I turned to was suicide. I attempted to kill myself four times and was actually suicidal many years before that off and on.

One that I still do today and have to be mindful of it overeating. Like today, there was a fresh loaf of bread and I love to warm it up and add butter! One piece, then two, then three…chocolate and ice cream are culprits of this as well. Today, I was avoiding a new memory. I am getting ready to write about it in my journal so it has no more power.

None of these are the answer. None of them took away the pain, or helped me heal. They actually put me further from healing. What have you turned to in order to keep the memories away?

As we consider the things we turn to let’s look to the One that is always here for us. Loves us and wants us to heal. Who never wanted harm to come our way in the first place, but evil will persist in this world, so there will be pain.

Father God,

Thank you for loving me. Continue to show me Your love so I can completely understand it. I am sorry for turning to things that are not healthy. I do want to get better, but sometimes the memories are overwhelming and I just want them to go away.  I know you are working out healing in my life through the professionals You have provided to help me on this journey. Remind me when I reach for an unhealthy “solution” to stop and think of the consequences. Continue to guide me in healing.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

© 2020 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

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