If you read my post “Major Setback” you will understand this post quite clearly. I had a bad day on Saturday because I was very worried about the fact I had sold four copies of my book “Scar Wars Forged In Fright” to four of my elder women friends at church Wednesday night.
“Scar Wars Forged In Fright” is about how I lived with, dealt with, and recovered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The causes of the PTSD are also in the book in vivid detail. I was afraid I might offend the ladies in some way and that old monster “shame” rose up inside me. I realized they would be reading in vivid detail the shameful things that had happened to me as a child. I also talk in the book about learning I had nothing to be ashamed about, but as I described it before shame is a monster.
All my life I remembered being ashamed. Not having the proper clothes or shoes to go to school, not having enough money for lunch, I had buck teeth and I sucked my thumb until the age of twelve and wet the bed until I was thirteen. All the while I was being physically, mentally and sexually abused.
I healed from that trauma in my mid-twenties and although a bubble of grief rises from the causes of PTSD every now and then I have always been able to use the tools and techniques I garnered through therapy to incinerate those thoughts and feelings before they ever bothered me.
But these were the elder women of the church. How might they perceive me after reading the horrors of my life?
On Friday right after therapy, that uneducated person I was before therapy for PTSD just happened to come out. and thrust me in a very dangerous position. Thankfully for me God is truly my protector and I came out unharmed but still feeling awful that the old behavior had returned. I knew it was just a defense mechanism trying to equalize my life again after the great upset, but I was so saddened that I had returned to an old behavior for comfort instead of going to God.
When I thought about going to God it was Saturday afternoon. And I asked His forgiveness for putting myself in that situation and then I poured out my heart to Him and told him how I did not even want to go to my church Sunday because of the thoughts others might have of me and who had told who what about what they might have learned from the book. I asked God why hadn’t any of the ladies contacted me and said some comforting words or to say they understood me better now.
I wanted someone to call and give me the confidence to walk back into the loving arms of my Church Family. Then after being in prayer most of the day my cell phone rang and it was one of the ladies who had bought the book. She told me that she also had gone through a period of abuse in her life and because of the era she grew up in, it was completely silenced.
She said when she read my book and it was very empowering for her to read and what a strong person I was. She could not believe the strength I had not only to travel all over the world having this disorder but to finally make it to a place where I found healing. She said the book was beautiful in that it showed we can overcome any adversity and turn out to be kind and gentle and have a heart for others that went through this or were going through this now. She told me no one in her life ever knew except her parents, she had never shared her own story with anyone, but she knew she could share her story with me because she felt I would understand.
I was greatly honored. God had just literally laid in my lap the proof of what reading the book could do for other people. I felt justified in writing the book and that I had nothing to be ashamed of and never did. Her sweet voice on the phone created a unique bond between us and now I have a friend in her closer than with anyone else in the church.. God had used that book that he poured through me four years ago to help a friend heal from a trauma that happened over 60 years ago.
Sunday, I went to church not even thinking about the book. I just got up Sunday morning put on an outfit grabbed my bible and the pen and pad of paper I use to take notes with and marched right down front and sat with the Preacher’s wife as usual. We had a wonderful sermon to listen to, it just happened to be how we need to be real and help others with our genuine selves.
On Friday after therapy, I felt so far away from God I could not even feel him inside me, just this numbness. But Saturday afternoon I told myself all you have to do is open your heart back up to God and he will heal this hurt, this damaged part of you and He did in the simplicity of a phone call.
Call someone today and thank them for the help they have given you in your life. Maybe that is exactly what they need to hear at this very minute to give them the strength and courage to go on.