Very early in my childhood several things became apparent to me. The first was that secrets were the way that my family functioned and the second was that I had to protect myself because the world around me would not do so.
Because of the secrecy that existed in my family, there were traumas that I experienced that I didn’t tell anyone about for eighteen years. I don’t know if I was instructed not to tell my parents, but I knew that I shouldn’t. The nature of this trauma led me to falsely believe that I was responsible for what had happened, and because I didn’t talk about it to anyone, I carried the weight of that with me into my adulthood.
My mother, who loved me so much, spent most of my life altered by drugs and alcohol. She was a strong and charismatic woman; people loved her and relied on her in ways that I could not. I felt my voice was unheard, drowned out by her stupor or inability to cope. When I was a teenager, I realized that she would only talk about and only heard what she what she wanted. Desperate to be heard, isolated by secrets and lies, I would write her letters hoping that she would hear me and save me, only to have my words ignored. I knew then that I had only myself to survive, no one could truly protect me.
When I was very young I discovered that I could escape the pain and chaos by spending hours on end outside creating my own world in which I was the conqueror, the hero, the champion of the weak or immersing myself completely in books. In the safety of this disconnected bubble, my very own dream world, I was invincible.
Even into adulthood, my dreams were of me the indomitable warrior princess, knocking down my foes with strength and wisdom. I have lived through times in my life where I never felt safe, mentally or physically. My faith in people, men especially, had become fragile and polluted. Today, however, I am safe. There is no abuse, exploitation, no oppression. I am truly safe. So there is no need for me to cling to this illusion of me as the dragon slayer… its not really my job anyway. There is no enemy that I can defeat on my own. As I look back on the dreams of battles fought, it was the same fight ever time. Me fighting the same demons, over and over and over again. For my entire life. An unending battle. Because I had been fighting the evil since my childhood, before I knew God, it never occurred to me that I could simply hand the sword over to God.
God has never abandoned or abused me or exploited me. He has never taken anything away from me that I need to have. Perhaps it is time to hang up my sword and superhero cape, and allow God to fight this battle for me. I truly cannot be my own savior. And God can be my invincible army… who would dare stand up against that??
Laying down the sword, my survival skill, that has served me my whole life is a sacrifice. From the hands of a tiny child who had no savior to an adult who was lucky she found one. My, ME, was the only one I could ever count on. I clung to myself for my very survival. Except now, with no real battle at hand, I can see that it, ME, isn’t working for… well, me. I am tired of saving myself. I am tired of battling the shadows of my past. In the quiet places, I see with full clarity, it is time to set aside my childhood hero, the ME of my own mythology.
It is time to embrace the God of my salvation, the invincible army that can fight my demons more effectively and thoroughly that I ever dreamed I could.
16I heard and my [whole inner self] trembled; my lips quivered at the sound. Rottenness enters into my bones and under me [down to my feet]; I tremble. I will wait quietly for the day of trouble and distress when there shall come up against [my] people him who is about to invade and oppress them.
17Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,
18Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!<sup class="xref" value="(E)” style=”font-size: 0.65em; line-height: 0.5em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: text-top; “>
19The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!
November 18, 2011 at 1:07 am
Beautiful post and such a good reminder. Though I'm sad you had to walk through what you did.
January 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm
I just now read this and I can so relate to the struggles you went through. I myself held a secret that I did not tell anyone and felt that I couldn't trust anyone to protect me through my childhood and adulthood. It took a long time for me too to realize that I didn't have to fight the battle with my demons God would do that and squish them flat for once and for all!
Bless you and love you my sister. Yay GOD!