Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

Archive for May 2012

ImagePart I

                Close your eyes and imagine your childhood. What do you see?

For me, whenever I thought of my childhood, I didn’t have colorful images flooding my mind, only darkness. It was as if my childhood had been completely wiped clean. Accompanying this darkness was a brooding sense of dread. I was convinced there was something wrong with me. My brothers and sisters didn’t have a problem recalling certain events from our past, but I couldn’t.

What was in the shadows?

My adolescence, and early adulthood were a struggle. There were moments of happiness sprinkled through my life, but depression was a dark shadow that followed me everywhere. No matter what I did, I normally found myself underneath that black cloud. Happiness was lost in the reality of my existence—a momentary sidebar.

My father was in the Navy, so my family moved many times in my life. During my 8th grade year, we settled into a small town in Southern Illinois, where I still call home today. Quickly, I became the butt of everyone’s jokes. I was bullied mercilessly.

I became a Christian at the age of 14. By the time I turned 20 years of age, I had graduated from Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. I had big plans to be used by God for his glory. By the time I turned 21, my world began to fall apart. My parents divorced after 25 years of marriage, and I experienced my first major heartbreak. I was filled with anger because, as a Christian, I expected God to guide me into blessings and not heartache and sorrow.

I was angry.

Without a mentor to guide me, the anger took control and I walked away from the church and my relationship with the LORD.

During my absence from the body of Christ I became extremely promiscuous. I remember making a deliberate choice to use “Them” (lumping all men together) before they used me. My goal before I celebrated my birthday was to have 23 notches on my bedpost before I actually turned 23. I broke a few hearts, and I made sure I didn’t see the same man twice.

Until I moved to Alameda, California.

The one heart I stomped on belonged to Michael. I will never forget him. He put up with a lot from me. He held me while I cried over a lost love. He was tenderhearted. He was perfect. But, I was still angry and determined to use men for my own gratification. Michael loved me. I knew he did. I mattered to him. But, for some reason, I couldn’t love him.

Then I met the father of my children.

I met Tom at a local bar; the same bar I met Michael. I was immediately taken by Tom. He was tall and knowledgeable, and at 6’ 8”, my height—6’ 2”—was not an issue. He took me dancing. He wined and dined me. For the second time in my life, I felt like I mattered to someone. Within six months, I was pregnant.

We were married that year, in Louisiana, on April 12th, 1986.

The abuse began April 10th, two days before we were married. As soon as he began trying to control me, I shut down. I gave in. I obeyed.

My marriage was tumultuous—to put it mildly—from the beginning. When I delivered my children the momma bear in me showed up and I changed from the obedient one, to the crazed woman who now fought back.

That didn’t go over too well.

During my second pregnancy the verbal abuse turned physical. I learned how far I could push him before I began to fear for my safety, most of the time, I backed down. Before discovering I was pregnant with our third child I began wanting out of the marriage, but knew I couldn’t leave. I believed in biblical principles. I believed in was the sanctity of marriage. I knew God hated divorce and the bible only gave two reasons for it; Infidelity and, if the unbeliever wanted to leave. I felt stuck.

I suspected infidelity, I just didn’t have proof.

The last West Pac—a six month cruise in the West Pacific—Tom went on, provided me with proof of his infidelity. I felt God releasing me from the marriage, but inside, I still wasn’t strong enough to follow through. I sought counseling in hopes I would be encouraged to leave my abusive marriage. God had another plan.

“Tell me about your childhood.” The very first question the counselor asked.

I pondered on his question, but there was a mental block. “Normal, I guess.” was my first response. But, no sooner had those words passed through my lips, I knew they were wrong. “No, wait,” I blurted out, “that isn’t right.” All of a sudden, memories that were buried deep in my heart, regurgitated onto the canvas of my mind. “I was…m…” I tried to tell him. “I was mol…” I tried again. I lost control. Scenes of sexual abuse. Screams. Faces. Terror. Names. Pleas for God to save me. Unanswered prayers. I remembered. Finally, I was able to verbalize…“I was molested!” All I could do was sob.

Light exposed the shadows.

The counselor, as helpful as he had been, when he found out I was just a spouse of an enlisted man, informed me he really couldn’t help me. The counseling was there for military men and women, not their spouses, but he did encourage me to find help…he could refer me…

While I struggled to deal with the emotions of a failing marriage, I now had to deal with the reality of my abuse. My marriage was over. I had two small children and five months pregnant with our third. We left October 17, 1989.

Advertisements

Overcoming Sexual Abuse  inspires, empowers, educates & supports male and female survivors of sexual abuse. We hope you participate and share your stories, feelings, victories, defeats, insights, & hopes along the way to embracing your new life. If you know someone else who would benefit from joining us, invite them to come along.

Today’s blog post, “What we wish our parents understood about our sexual abuse”

was very well written and worth the time it takes to read through each heart-wrenching story.

Be sure to browse through other stories.

#YouAreNotAlone!

If you have never read Emerging From Broken, you need to do so.

On May 12 – 13, Darlene Ouimet CTACC, founder of Emerging from Broken, will host Freedom ROCKS, a global event aimed at letting go of past trauma. The following is an excerpt from “About Freedom ROCKS

“Coming through the emotional healing process was very often like squeezing through the eye of a needle. There were roller coaster weeks and seemingly endless days of walking for miles in the desert. There were times when I cried out ‘stop the world, I want to get off”  but there came the day I knew that I was never going to face the kind of confusion, depression or oppression that I had lived with for so long, ever again. I knew that I had “Emerged from Broken.”  I felt so “free” so grateful and so full of life. I started to use the expression “Freedom Rocks!” as a way to describe the joy I felt. Freedom from everything that had been weighing me down and holding me back was so new to me. It felt so fresh and invigorating; I felt so alive and freedom just “rocked” so when Lauralee shared her idea to throw a rock into a body of water with a key attached to symbolize “closing a door and throwing away the key” We started brainstorming about what to call this “event” and it seemed natural, even obvious, to name the rocks and the event ~ “Freedom ROCKS

Take a few minutes to check out this event! And then, GET INVOLVED!

About Darlene:

“After struggling my entire life with dissociative identity disorder, multiple personality, chronic depression, and the effects of child sexual abuse, I finally found the help that I needed and I began to emerge from broken. My life today is dramatically different than what it used to be. Living, really living, isn’t just getting from one day to the next coping with those issues. Living is fully embracing life and participating in it. It is about knowing who I really am and not being defined by my past or by any other person.

My journey has been both difficult and exciting, instilling in me an extreme passion for helping others live in freedom, without the shackles of fear and shame. Wherever we find ourselves in the recovery process, we have the hope of wholeness and a purpose filled life. Mine is a story of hope. Having come from the depths of despair to being thrilled at the prospect of a new day, this blog is about the process of healing, learning to face fear and walking forward in truth and joy. It is about thriving and flourishing in day to day life.”

ImageDarlene is a certified professional life coach, mental health advocate and inspirational speaker. she is happily married to the man she used to be unhappily married to and together they share three children, cows, pets and horses on the wide open spaces of Southern Alberta Canada.