Pool of Bethesda

I just want to share this. I’m applying this to me only. If it helps other then great; but it is by no means meant to shame anyone…

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, [a]Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, [c]waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked


He came to me. “Do you want to be made well!”

I reply, “I don’t think I can, you see I was. Sexually abused by my stepfather; I have same sex attraction, gender dysphasia, had homosexual relationships, keep seeking men, don’t like my therapist, can’t find support…”

Him, “I didn’t really ask you to fix all that first.”

“Rise, carry you life and live…”
 

Bornfree

Registrant
I just want to share this. I’m applying this to me only. If it helps other then great; but it is by no means meant to shame anyone…



He came to me. “Do you want to be made well!”

I reply, “I don’t think I can, you see I was. Sexually abused by my stepfather; I have same sex attraction, gender dysphasia, had homosexual relationships, keep seeking men, don’t like my therapist, can’t find support…”

Him, “I didn’t really ask you to fix all that first.”

“Rise, carry you life and live…”
There are many times I don't want to live this life anymore, and sometimes I often think that if I "kill" this body off, then I can come back free again and live the life I should have! It won't work that way though.
 
There are many times I don't want to live this life anymore, and sometimes I often think that if I "kill" this body off, then I can come back free again and live the life I should have! It won't work that way though.
I know exactly what you mean…
 

CarbonTiger

Registrant
You have no idea how many times that specific thing has crossed my mind @Bornfree @Pollux

Then because my brain lives off of duality the opposite must be true. I am being punished on earth for living a past life wrong. Whether or not this is a second chance, I remember always saying as a child, mostly to myself--I wish I was never born.

This world is full of chaos and disorder and it has grown to much for me to handle. Sometimes, I cry so hard my brain hurts because I just want God to take me away, take away this "gift" I was given. I don't want it, I don't recall asking for it."

This is obviously the little child in me being upset and not understanding what happened, what is happening & what is going to happen. Ughhhhhh.

:(:(:(
 
This is obviously the little child in me being upset and not understanding what happened, what is happening & what is going to happen.
The number of times I’ve been in that spot….. uncountable!
Sort of also resembles my last T appt a few days ago. Only, that was clearly an adult, at his wits end, who has had enough of the confusion and wants an explanation.

Thank you @Pollux for posting this. It’s a good reminder that we do not earn grace. True kindness is also not earned. In general, it’s hard for us (at least me) to accept something good that appears gratuitous. Why? Because it just doesn’t happen. Not without strings attached. And in the rare instances where strings really aren’t attached, I feel like some arrogant narcissistic ass. It’s hard to convince myself that there’s nothing to be guilty over.

Specific to the post though, it’s hard to comprehend that we don’t need to do something first to receive Jesus’ attention and love.
 
I just want to share this. I’m applying this to me only. If it helps other then great; but it is by no means meant to shame anyone…



He came to me. “Do you want to be made well!”

I reply, “I don’t think I can, you see I was. Sexually abused by my stepfather; I have same sex attraction, gender dysphasia, had homosexual relationships, keep seeking men, don’t like my therapist, can’t find support…

Him, “I didn’t really ask you to fix all that first.”

“Rise, carry you life and live…”
@Pollux,

Several years back, I determined that I felt "stuck." That is, stuck in the perpetual, recurring consequences of CSA in my life. Just the constant repeating of thought patterns and acting out - without signs of real change. I would be in church, thinking about this, and had pretty much determined with respect to change, "I don't think I can...." And I had honestly decided that I would likely go to my grave in the same, unchanged state, regardless how many years in the future it is. That is not a very faith-filled, believing attitude. Because at the same time, I really did believe God could heal all of this crap in an instant - like at the pool of Bethesda. But that it just wasn't for me.

Then, almost a year and a half ago, something (the holy spirit, I'm pretty sure), stirred in me. And I found myself taking actions that I never had before. I started to engage with people here. I wrote my story out for the first time. And after a couple months, even though I was fearful, I decided it was time to see a therapist again - but so I could deal with the root issues driving things. And that's what I did. It's now been a year, and I no longer believe I'll go to the grave in the same state I was in for so many years. Healing is happening and is possible. I am so glad that god can give us the grace to move forward, even in the midst of our unbelief. He has not provided a pool of Bethesda "instant" healing, but that's not always the path to healing that he uses. More often than not, it's a longer and much more relational path - like the one we are on.
 
@Pollux,

Several years back, I determined that I felt "stuck." That is, stuck in the perpetual, recurring consequences of CSA in my life. Just the constant repeating of thought patterns and acting out - without signs of real change. I would be in church, thinking about this, and had pretty much determined with respect to change, "I don't think I can...." And I had honestly decided that I would likely go to my grave in the same, unchanged state, regardless how many years in the future it is. That is not a very faith-filled, believing attitude. Because at the same time, I really did believe God could heal all of this crap in an instant - like at the pool of Bethesda. But that it just wasn't for me.

Then, almost a year and a half ago, something (the holy spirit, I'm pretty sure), stirred in me. And I found myself taking actions that I never had before. I started to engage with people here. I wrote my story out for the first time. And after a couple months, even though I was fearful, I decided it was time to see a therapist again - but so I could deal with the root issues driving things. And that's what I did. It's now been a year, and I no longer believe I'll go to the grave in the same state I was in for so many years. Healing is happening and is possible. I am so glad that god can give us the grace to move forward, even in the midst of our unbelief. He has not provided a pool of Bethesda "instant" healing, but that's not always the path to healing that he uses. More often than not, it's a longer and much more relational path - like the one we are on.
Your experience sounds like my own. TBH I think it's pretty much a lost cause. I am just in limbo. What do I want for the rest of my life; nothing. I don't really care. I've been to churches, recovery groups, Christian recovery groups, paid tons to therapists, bought tons of books. It's all a scam to get survivors to part with hard earned money. Getting us to fork over some cash on the promise that relief is coming. Therapist says, "You need to buy this book and read it, come to see me once a week, you should pay $1800 to go on this recovery weekend." Whatever.
 
Your experience sounds like my own. TBH I think it's pretty much a lost cause. I am just in limbo. What do I want for the rest of my life; nothing. I don't really care. I've been to churches, recovery groups, Christian recovery groups, paid tons to therapists, bought tons of books. It's all a scam to get survivors to part with hard earned money. Getting us to fork over some cash on the promise that relief is coming. Therapist says, "You need to buy this book and read it, come to see me once a week, you should pay $1800 to go on this recovery weekend." Whatever.
@Pollux,

So... I don't think it's a scam but I understand your deep frustration. I do think that most church counselors and groups use a CBT approach to things, which can help you if you have thoughts & behaviors that are either about to or are currently blowing up your life. Cognitive & behavioral change can help with those things. But to enact real, lasting change - it requires a lot more than CBT. The church doesn't embrace looking back and dwelling introspectively, unfortunately. Because for CSA survivors it is a necessary part of our healing.

One thing that my T and I have talked a lot about is anger. She finally told me that in my previous counseling (Christian therapists), she fears we skipped over anger processing and went straight to forgiveness & reconciliation. It was so relieving to me to have her affirm what I felt all along. Because so much of my previous therapy seemed to totally dismiss the past, the pain, the loss, the grief, and yes - the anger too. And it told me my job was to do all the things - right then - that we are taught: take things to God, forgive, move forward, etc. And hey, I am an amazingly adaptive person. My T says I am an emotional over-regulator vs. having emotional dis-regulation. So I was able to take all that in and move forward but at the same time - all those things put in me because of my CSA still had their grip on me. It's only as I've worked with my current T and done proper trauma therapy that those things have lost their power. That said... the irony now is that what is missing from me is the stuff I was doing before to deal with the behavioral aspect of things.

Getting better / healing is not a matter of either / or when it comes to these approaches to addressing our CSA. It has to be both. We have to release ourselves from the power of CSA by visiting our past, while also being determined to start acting and thinking differently in the present.

Last, I will tell you what you already know: all of this is unfair. It isn't our fault we have to deal with and manage all this. And we want someone else to fix all this for us, as hard as it actually is to do. But no one is going to fix us. We have to own and be engaged in our healing - but it can be in our way, and on our terms. If the church isn't working for you - look outside of it. That doesn't mean we have to throw the church away, but we have to put it in a different place in our lives. It's easy to get despondent and cynical about it all - but you and I both know that won't help us in the slightest either. So press on, my friend. Look for someone who really knows CSA and trauma therapy and don't stop looking until you find them. Keep going to church and keep your relationship with god. Don't give up the fight. Don't let the bastards who did this to you win. Instead, come out stronger on the other side than they could ever hope to be!
 
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