My Therapy Homework...

During my last Therapy session (last Tuesday see my post here, scroll down to Thursday, 5/23/19, 7:23 PM), My therapist wants me to re-visit the abuses and the other things I mentioned in the 13-page list of items (All contained within My Therapy Journal post, starting 4/10/2019), in my mind (and via journalling/MS Posts) but I need to have my new "tool" (quoted in #7, below) with me (again, holding Jesus' hand = being more vulnerable to "feel") and notate how to see the events through His (Jesus') eyes. I will do so, and will post the results here in the "Spirituality and Survivors" Section. (when I get to the newest CSA stuff, I will post my Journalling in the Members-Only "Spirituality and Survivors" Section)

Replies (in purple & bold) meaning what I feel God/Jesus is speaking to me through that experience/memory/discovery.

This is my first section (took about an hour), I will add to this section as I go through more.

1) The TREMORS

Funny, as I mention the PTSD and the "black hole" to my T, I could feel small TREMORS on my left arm (it happened twice!)! Was that real?!? Like my body was reacting to just the thought of uncovering more stuff! (eyes tearing up again)

Despite what your body memories tell you, I will keep you safe. I will shine my Healing light into the dark areas.

2) my overactive Cowper's Gland

I am going to be healing ALL of you, even there. All of those body memories that haunt you and tempt you, I will bring my healing there.

3) PTSD Article - https://theconversation.com/complex-trauma-how-abuse-and-neglect-can-have-life-long-effects-32329 (responses below)

4) quote from article: "For this reason, people who have experienced complex trauma may display symptoms including poor concentration, poor attention and poor decision-making and judgement. They may also appear highly reactive and respond to threat even if it is not present. Their behaviour may be aggressive in response, or they may take flight or simply freeze."

I want to heal your heart, your mind, every part of your inner man that was wounded from the complex trauma when you were young. You will know without a shadow of doubt that I am there, ALWAYS, and you do not need to fear! Part of the healing will be removing those fears and doubts from your mind and your heart. The constant, underlying fear, distrust, and terror will disappear. I will bring you peace that passes all understanding. The deep fear will be replaced with boldness and strength.

5) another quote - same article: "If someone presents to a mental health setting for help and is accurately diagnosed as having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the treatment options are pretty clear. But if that person has experienced complex trauma and the assessment does not recognise this, then simply treating for ADHD may well not be effective. The person’s ability to comply with treatment or medication may be limited, and other important characteristics such as associated developmental and mental health concerns may be present but overlooked." [I was given ADHD medication for my supposed Adult ADD, but I do not know if it actually made me more attentive - it was SPEED and helped me GET THINGS DONE and get HYPER but didn't actually help the attention. perhaps I did NOT have ADD after all!!!]

Part of the healing will be to quiet the voices inside. The ones that are always on alert, always fearful, causing distraction. They will learn once and for all that I am the Lord God Almighty.

6) another quote - same article: "It is not surprising that children who have experienced complex trauma often grow up in families that have difficulties. These may be families that are emotionally volatile because they’re struggling with poverty, or where parents have substance use or mental health concerns. Or mum and dad may be poorly equipped to parent as a result of their own experiences as children."

Another part of the healing is to restore and heal the broken parts of your relationships with your wife and children. Bringing healing where there is hurt.

7) Easter Saturday Service

April 19 - Good Friday - Sadness Post

April 20 - Easter Saturday....

Let me tell you about tonight. We have four Easter services two on Saturday night and two on Sunday morning, so we have enough room for everyone. We do the same thing at Christmas. I was there by myself for the first service. My wife was not feeling well and stayed at home. I volunteer in kids church on most weeks. About a month ago, a little boy was new and I introduced myself to him. And we got to talking. Cute little boy. Ever since then, he treats me like his buddy. Always comes up to me and says hi with a great big smile. Today's service was special. Since it is Easter, they have the kids come in with the adults for worship. So the little boy was there. It was also a baptism service. The boy's father was getting baptized. He gave me his smile like always. During worship, I started to realize, the boy is only 3 years old. The same age I was when my father abused me.

I started to feel the overwhelming sadness again seeing this boy, because he looked a lot like me at that age. Seeing how tiny he was, and what a horrible thing it would be for someone my size now, to do something so horrific to a little boy that size. The feeling was overwhelming.

However, I could feel the presence of Jesus. It was as if he was sitting there right next to me in the empty seat next to where I was sitting. He held my hand while I was going through the sadness. Helping me through it, letting me know everything would be okay. And I pretended to hold his hand through the rest of the service. At the end of our service we always have altar calls and we have Pastor on one side and Deacon on another who are there for prayers if anyone needs it. I was able to go up to the Deacon and ask for prayer. I told him "just pray!" So he did, just a blanket prayer, well I enveloped him. And started to sob deep deep tears from the bottom of my soul. Lasted at least five minutes. Almost feel sorry for the Deacon. He is rather short, and I am rather large. But he did well. I did not need to explain, but he knew I was in pain. I was eventually able to compose myself and take communion and get back to my seat. And Jesus was with me the entire time.

Yes, I was there. I have never left you. I will continue to be there with you as you go through these painful memories and the sometimes-painful Healing Journey. Providing comfort, guiding you through it. Embracing you through the healing tears.

8) my continued "exploits" with the United Methodist Church

April 15, 2019

As I have shared here before, at the age of 20 (but looked about 16 - late bloomer) I was Sexually Assaulted by a Methodist minister. This was back in the mid-1980s.

I was with you even then. I was sad, disappointed, and angry at what this "Man of God" did to you and to others. It caused so much pain in your heart and mind. I am so proud of you for standing your ground that day when you summoned the strength to tell him to stop and ask him to leave. I couldn't be more proud of you!

I was on a thread in the MS Members-only section where a member spoke about sharing his story of previous abuse with the current leadership of his former denomination. I was inspired by this. So, last Wednesday (April 10, 2019), I responded to his thread (over several posts)....

I am so proud of you for finding the inspiration to undo some of the pain the "Man of God" caused not only you, but to do many others. You are allowing the leadership of this denomination to take responsibility for the actions of one of its leaders. Actions that were often ignored.

I am proud of you for standing up for victims, seeking not revenge, but an avenue towards healing for all the victims left in his destructive wake of abuse.

The rest of this UMC post is listed here

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I will continue this post later. Let me know what you think. Personally, I found it very helpful, with lots of tearful responses when going through this exercise.
 
I've read, re-read, pondered and prayed.
There's something that I'd like to say, but just don't really have the words. That can actually be dangerous because in those moments I tend to ramble a lot! This is beautiful work and at the same time, very very hard work. It's deep, and hence why so hard.

For believers and the non-believers alike, there is often a dismissal concerning these types of responses. For the person himself receiving these answers, there can be a danger to say that it is from God, when really it's just personal insight, or worse: self-praise.

Is it possible to have received such answers from God? Absolutely.

Many times I find myself cautioning my words, not just on here, so as not to provide a reason for someone to disregard my thoughts on a topic. As a man of God, that's not so good. But I am a man of God. And I do believe you Kal.

Being a man of God, I can say that things go easier and better when we give God control. It's a very delicate thing though. Especially for CSA survivors, and even more for CSA survivors at the hands of would-be clerics. It's actually a rather difficult thing to do. How do you know that you're not going to get abused again?? To prevent that, obviously (so goes the theory) I need to remain in control; me, and no one else.

Through our abuse, regardless of who the perpetrator was, God was there with us. We were just kids. He was there! He was there on the side of us, holding our hand. Weeping with us. No doubt the question always arises: why didn't he stop this heinous act? There is only one short answer to that which no one likes: it's just not what he does. God works in much subtler ways. It's hard to come to terms with that, and many just cannot. But that doesn't mean that God wasn't there. There's a much longer explanation to that which is much more convincing.

As a man of God, I know that healing is only going to come from God. Yes there are other factors involved. Yes it still means that I have to do work, and hard work. Is it fair? I don't think that's the right question. It's hard to trust in Him when I'm here hurting decades later. It's hard to trust Him when it's senseless that I hurt for something that happened so long ago (as if I'm an old man...lol). It's hard to trust in Him when there's just so much that I don't understand.

I've had all the questions too. Yes, I'm a man of God, a man of the cloth. I've had those questions. Sometimes I have them now in the deep pain that I have. The deep pain to where I know he is there with me, but the pain is still there, and there is no one to comfort me. It is quite reminiscent of the 13th Station of Cross when the Holy Mother receives the body of her beloved Son our Lord. But like for her, God is here with me and with us, to provide comfort. That doesn't mean that human comfort is not needed or should not be wanted. We are, after all, human.

I'm full of questions too. But I know that many of them, even most of them, won't get answered. I trust that God is there, giving grace and strength to carry on another day. The grand scheme is in his hands, not mine. And when I trust in that, things go better. And healing will come. It takes time. It takes time for us to be in a place to receive the comfort that it will happen.

I'm happy for you Kal! You've gotten that far on your journey!!

God bless!
 
Thank you David. I realize it is my own perceptions of what God is "most likely" saying to me in those moments, within those truths. It is simply an exercise. Yes, it is difficult, yes it is very helpful.

Thanks, as always for your kind words and support.
 
Homework part 2

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9) 5/1/19 - IM chat with my aunt (co-victim of my perp-father)

I just had a nice Facebook PM convo with my aunt (my perp-father's sister and fellow victim). We started talking about things and I realized it was time to tell her what had happened. She had no idea. She shared she also did not remember her abuse with him until she was in her 30s. We had a good talk. She was very sad the abuse happened to me. She shared other details about family stuff I hadn't known.

I wish all family talks were that easy.

There was so much love and compassion for each other. I was proud of you both for sharing from your hearts and being open with each other.

10a) Depressed day on 5/6/19 after discussing tremors during CR Step Study (5/5/19)

I was with mourning with you, knowing what you were about to uncover. Knowing it would cause pain, but knowing that it needed to come out, into the light, so that healing could begin in this hidden, wounded place.

10b) Journaling....

4/26/19

So, I also want to discuss with my T about First Grade - have a huge memory gap for almost that entire year - I call it my "black hole". I always remember NOT remembering first grade. Few memories escape. I have clear and positive memories of Kindergarten and Second Grade, but First Grade I remember almost nothing. I feel another traumatic event must have happened during this time.

I am jotting notes about what I *do* remember so I can share them with my therapist. Let me know what you think (Always value some MS perspective on things)

1) first day for First Grade, we have a bathroom break. we were lined up to go to the restrooms. I saw boys standing up to pee on these weird white things attached to the wall. I had never seen these before! I had no idea how to use 1. I ended up using a regular commode. I now know, of course they were urinals. Apparently my perp-father never bothered to take me to a men's room!!

I know you were very scared and confused when entered that restroom. I am sorry you had no male role models who took the time with you to share such things with you. I was there, giving comfort and strength to encourage you to continue on, despite the confusion and fear and sadness.
 
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