Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘#soulhurt

Courtesy of The Kelly File

Courtesy of The Kelly File

Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard, two of the victim sisters of Josh Duggar, broke their silence on The Kelly File Friday night. I watched, intently, to see how they spoke about their abuse, and how they reacted to personal questions regarding said abuse. And, do you know what I saw?

Grace.

Forgiveness.

Mercy.

I saw tears, too, but not where I expected them.

I expected the girls to break down when they were asked about what their brother did. I expected them to react like I did — like so many of us do when we recount our abuse — with tears, anger, and yes, some bitterness that Josh Duggar stole something precious from them — their innocence.

But, they didn’t.

Their body language was relaxed. They looked at ease through most of the interview. They smiled, laughed, and comfortably spoke about what took place in their home. It wasn’t until the subject of the media was brought up that, at least, Jill’s body language changed. She stiffened up and began to cry as she gave her personal feelings about the release of their sealed report. Jill recalled calling her husband on that day, over two weeks ago, when In Touch Magazine posted the police report for all the world to see.

“We’re victims,” Jill Duggar Dillard exclaimed. “How can they do that to us?”

Jill continued to fight back her emotions as she explained how they felt they were being re-victimized “a thousand times worse” than the original offense. She, and sister Jessa, both said multiple times, “We had already dealt with it, we moved on. Josh confessed to us, we forgave him; we moved on.”

So, why can’t America let it go?

Is it because we are disgusted with this kind of “sin”? As well we should be. As one who has endured years of childhood sexual abuse, I can say first hand that molestation is disgusting. It is vile. It is reprehensible. Repulsive. Repugnant. Vicious. Nasty. Shocking. Appalling. And, yes, contemptible. A lot of the posts I have seen over the past few weeks express those very words. Some would like nothing better than to take Josh Duggar out behind the woodshed and execute him. We have no problem understanding, or accepting, the words that express our disgust of Josh’s actions. We applaud those words. We exhort those words. But, there is another word we’ve heard that makes us just as mad as Josh Duggars actions against his sisters and baby sitter. A word that infuriates us and enrages us, and causes us to strike out in shock and disbelief that such a word could even be muttered over such a reprobate .

Forgiven.

WHAT? Forgiven? How could anyone forgive what he has done? He’s a pig. A worm. He doesn’t deserve to live. I’ve seen the words written all over the internet, newspaper sites, blog posts, Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds… they’ve all basically said the same thing. “Josh Duggar is a vile human being, and therefore must be punished in a manner that is acceptable to us.”

But, we don’t get to make that call, do we?

Josh didn’t molest us, he molested his sisters and baby sitter, and they are the only ones who get to determine whether or not he is forgiven. Period. And they chose to forgive him.

Deal with it, America.

I was very impressed by Jill and Jessa. They have given us a peek into something holy. A humble, beautiful example of Agape Love. True love that covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8). Along with a heart of love, they have given us a clear example of what true forgiveness looks like. A perfect example of how our LORD, Jesus Christ, treats every one of us who repent and turn from our sin to follow him.

The Duggar girls aren’t angry. The don’t exhibit signs of bitterness. They aren’t bashing their brother. Instead, their words toward him are seasoned with grace and mercy. They have said they have dealt with it, they have forgiven him, and they have moved on.

I believe them.

Is it possible, the reason we are so outraged is because we just expect the Duggar girls to feel the same way we do over our own abuses (or how we feel over a family member/friend who was abused)? And, because they don’t we think there must be something wrong with them?

I mean, who does that?

Victims forgive.

Why?

Because forgiveness doesn’t release the offender from the responsibility of his or her actions, rather, it releases the victim from the prison of emotional upheaval and life altering issues caused by the offenders actions.

The Duggar girls understand this.

They don’t need our help. No matter how much we think our two cents (even this blog post) is spot on, they don’t need our help. They’ve got it covered. And, they don’t need the internet counseling sessions. Their family dealt with Josh’s abuse. DCFS cleared the parents, and even complimented them on how they handled the situation. And, certainly, the girls don’t need our criticism for their right to forgive their brother.

These girls have suffered twice now.

It’s time to allow them the dignity to live their own lives with their own convictions.

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I was 28 years old with two children, ages one and two, and five months pregnant with my third when I met with a counselor. I needed courage to leave my abusive husband and thought I could find some there.

Counselor: “Tell me about your childhood.”
Me: (Thinking what does my childhood have to do with anything?) “Well, it was a childhood. You know… normal.”
Counselor: “It was happy??
Me: “I don’t know. It was… norm… (a dam of memories breaks open in my mind)… wait, no, that’s not right.”
Counselor: “What isn’t right”?
Me: “My childhood. It wasn’t normal. I was mo… (there is a flood of emotions rising to the surface)… I was mol… (I am having trouble saying the word. My throat is closing off my words. Tears are choking me). I was molested”!

As that realization tumbled to the forefront of my mind, I felt as though my life shattered into a million tiny pieces. Each shard stabbing me with it’s truth. As the details began spilling out, my soul felt like it was being ripped apart. The pain was excruciating. Unbearable.

I don’t know how long I cried, but when I calmed down he asked…

Counselor: “How have you handled all of that”?

The truth is, most of us don’t know how to “handle” what we’ve been through. We’ve turned to food, sex, drugs, alcohol, self harm — other avenues to dull the pain. We don’t want to feel that kind of pain so we stuff it further and further down by any other thing that makes us feel better.

The other part of the truth is, this: We can’t heal unless we allow the reality of abuse, and the pain, to rise to the surface. To be validated. To be known. To be released.

No matter how painful it is, facing our past needs to be done in order to heal. Mine pounced on me while looking for an ounce of courage. I’m glad it did because today, the pain is no more.

What God has done for me, he WILL do for you!

Many nights, throughout my life, were filled with deep sorrow, hours of shed tears, and my mouth open in silent screams. I didn’t know how to verbalize what I felt inside. Dead. Betrayed. Hurt. Shattered. Alone. Desperate. Needy. Just tears and silent screams. I don’t remember saying too much, except, “Oh, God.” But, God still heard me, and understood. It was during this time I wrote the following:

Whispers in the Dark
The darkest, quietness of night
In stillness as you lay;
The only sound or rhythm heard
Are words your mouth can’t say.

The tears that burn your sleepy eyes
A fist in anger clenched;
The cry that asks “Why me, Oh Lord?”
The soul, in anguish drenched.

And though it can’t be verbalized
Into a single word;
A whisper’s heard with every beat
Your heart is being heard.

God hears you, Beloved. Even though you think he has ignored you. Even when you think he doesn’t care. But wait, if you listen long enough, you can hear it. In the stillest, quietness of night, the heart will whisper the tale of its journey to its Creator. And, there in the darkness…God is whispering back.

Excerpt from, “Whispers From My Heart – Emotional and Spiritual Healing from Childhood Sexual Assault.

Some quotes from others that have moved me in my soul.

“… A scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.” ― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.”
― Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

“Some people see scars, and it is wounding they remember. To me they are proof of the fact that there is healing.” ― Linda Hogan

“Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to even know they’re alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of. ” ― Rachel Naomi Remen

“The pain of an injury is over in seconds. Everything that comes after is the pain of getting well.” He gave her a heartfelt look, full of apology. “I’d forgotten that you see. Coming back to life … It hurts.” ― Tessa Dare, Twice Tempted by a Rogue

“Listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it, but also the father who wipes away the tears.” ― Criss Jami

“The wound you refuse to dress is one that will never heal. You gush lifeblood and never even know why. It will make you weak at a critical moment when you need to be strong.” ― Karen Marie Moning, Iced

“Remember that grief is a necessary pain. It’s your only way to heal. To starve it will destroy you.”~The Grimoire” ― S.M. Boyce, Lichgates: Book One of the Grimoire Saga

“Our task shouldn’t be punishing the villains in our lives, but enlarging the God who heals us from all wounds.” ― Mary DeMuth, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus

The darkest, quietness of night

In stillness as you lay;

The only sound or rhythm heard

Are words your mouth can’t say.

 

The tears that burn your sleepy eyes

A fist, in anger clenched;

The cry that asks “Why me, Oh Lord?”

The soul, in anguish drenched.

 

 And though it can’t be verbalized

Into a single word;

A whisper’s heard with every beat

Your heart is being heard.

The 1980’s  brought childhood sexual assault to the forefront of every American’s mind, as daytime talk shows paraded survivors onto the screens of our television sets. Their stories tugged on our heartstrings as the psychologists informed us how survivors were being empowered to overcome the trauma of the past.

As the Church became more aware, it certainly did acknowledge the reality of sexual abuse and the need to do something about it, but it remained oblivious to the deep-seated emotional and spiritual issues victims of abuse live with. In an attempt to address healing for the abused, the church initially met the challenge with prayerful consideration and a determination to make a difference. Unfortunately, those who meant to provide hope to survivors found themselves without wisdom or understanding of the continued emotional and spiritual upheaval.

As a result, the church began to recite the same mantra chanted by others, “It’s in the past; get over it.”

For decades, the church taught when someone commits their life to Jesus Christ, they are automatically relieved of all of the spiritual, mental, or emotional struggles associated with their past. Yet, the truth is, regardless of their commitment to Jesus Christ, many women struggle with the inability to overcome the past. This failure becomes the life altering issue that is swept beneath the facade of a smile.

For far too long, women have tried to get over what has happened to them. At church they keep their smile ready to show they are okay. These women spend years searching for help through books, television programs, counseling sessions, and step-by-step programs that promise freedom from the past, only to become disillusioned by the lack of progress they make. They are disheartened by God’s supposed lack of interest in their wellbeing. And, they are disappointed by the lack of understanding they receive from well-meaning friends and family.

                Statistics show that one in every three girls will be sexually molested by the time she reaches 18 years of age (For men, it is one in every six).

 Given the current population of the United States, the numbers are staggering to think about the actual hearts and souls represented by those numbers. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of little girls grow up to be women whose hearts are disillusioned with life, and disappointed with God. These women stumble in the dark, trying to find some sense of belonging and purpose in life. They wait for the question of their heart to be answered. They long to find the rest their hearts so desperately seek.  Unfortunately, instead of answers and rest, each woman learns how to exist within a prison of emotional upheaval and pain, and spiritual confusion.

And, they carry on with their lives like nothing is wrong. 

But wait, if you will listen long enough, you can hear it. In the stillest, quietness of night, the heart whispers the tale of its journey to its Creator. And, there in the darkness, God is whispering back.