I am a survivor of childhood physical and sexual abuse, which occurred almost every day and night of my youth. I was extremely traumatized and struggled through my early years. Two things helped me survive; I went into a black cloud emotionally, when my body was being assaulted – it helped me to be safe and to endure the abuse. I also dis-associated from the horror of the abuse. I split into a day child, who went to school and had friends and went berry picking in the summer and a night child, who held the secrets and the pain.
Growing up in a home of violence, I learned to be violent. My siblings and I were beaten and we learned to beat on each other, hitting, kicking and pulling each other’s hair. The vilest of the sexual abuse for me was that I acted out what was being done to me, upon my brother. The cycle of victimization was insidious and devastating. At the time it happened, I did not know the emotional and physical consequences of what I had experienced. I had absolutely no concept of the pain I was causing my younger brother. My focus was survival.
As a young adult, I was extremely confused – about relationships, healthy boundaries, and sexuality. I did not have any social skills, nor did I have even basic personal cleanliness habits. A wonderful young man loved me and accepted me. We married and began our family, but the memories and emotional devastation of my youth affected my life. I did not have any parenting skills and was hitting my children and was concerned by my own behavior. I was also intensely depressed and most of the time could only eat and watch TV.
I sought counseling and for 12 years, I was in individual therapy, group therapy, and struggled to process the extreme level of pain I stuffed down to a hard pit in my stomach. In my 30’s I began to grow in my faith in Christ Jesus and found the Bible to be like a healing balm to my shattered emotions. I would soak in the verses that described the love of God.
I’ve forgiven those who hurt me and have been forgiven of the pain I’ve caused. The worst of my pain has been transformed to be the very place that I am able to offer hope and healing to others who also have suffered. I am now 56 years old and am an inspirational speaker, as well as an author. My life purpose has been revealed clearly to me; Flame of Healing has become a resource for healing for people in four countries. It is my absolute joy to offer the hope and healing that I have found in Christ Jesus. I understand the deep level of pain involved in victimization; my compassion grows every day for those who suffer.