Please note this may trigger some people as it discusses sexual trauma.
A childhood of dysfunction can easily lead you into a relationship that you think is "normal," especially when you don't know that what you were living with was dysfunctional. That's what happened to me when I chose to move in with my ex (I'm not naming names in this blog, sorry).
My ex was abusive in a variety of ways - emotionally, verbally, and sexually. Unfortunately, I would let him get away with it at the time because I felt as though I had no choice (PLEASE remember, there's always a choice). Time after time I was forced to give him oral sex. I vividly remember being put on my knees in front of him or on the bottom of the bed so he could lay there. He'd take my head and shove me down to the point I'd gag. All the while he'd tell me how horrible I was at making him feel pleasure. If I managed to get him off he'd then make me swallow it and tell him how good it tasted - mean while I was throwing up in the bathroom afterwards.
This was my first experience with sex and it was a horrible one. I now know why God commands us to save sex for marriage - it really does bond you to a person, to the point I don't feel like I could ever have a healthy sexual relationship due to my fear. Don't get me wrong, sometimes my ex would give me sexual pleasure but I feel like somehow he felt guilty and there were also times when he'd make me "earn" it. This was the epitomy of an unhealthy relationship. Sometimes I wonder if this really even was assault. I know he made me feel like crap but I gave my consent to do it. I let him get away with it repeatedly for 5 or 6 years.
The guise of "love" was way too much here. It doesn't help that I was brought up in a dysfunctional family. Surprisingly, I'm not mad at God for what happened, but I'm mad that even though I was brought up in the church and knew the truth I decided to run right into the arms of my abuser. I didn't listen and feel like I willingly participated.
This trauma has effected me in many ways:
- Physically: Doctors say that my endocrine system has shut down - my adrenals are fatigued, my thyroid is hypo, and I "have" diabetes T2. They also say that I have POTS. Of course, being addicted to benzos for a while certainly didn't help any of this.
- Socially: I've distanced myself from everyone. I honestly have no social life.
- Emotionally: Now that I've decided to unpack what I'm going through, I'm on an emotional roller coaster. I experience everything from anger to crying. I have flashbacks and struggle with dissociation.
- Psychologically: Therapists say I have PTSD. I say I'm in the process of becoming who God wants me to be, though that's a process that takes time and commitment (yet another thing that I fear).
- Spiritually: I'm still wrestling with trust issues. I don't feel like I can trust anyone, not even God. However, I do know that I've made some good decisions throughout the past 2 years in which I've been saved and these were made with God so I should be able to trust my relationship with Him. It's not there yet, but it'll get there because I see the truth and the truth says "You can/will trust Him."
I now know the truth: I'm the daughter of a King, which makes me royalty. Do I always believe this? No. Sometimes I have to keep repeating this truth to myself until I listen.
I'm choosing to move forward. I'm choosing to make good decisions, ones that I ultimately will come to trust because they're what God wants from me and if there's anyone in this world who wants what's best for me, it's God. Why else would He have created me? For this reason alone I'm choosing to open up and receive His healing as I work on developing a much closer relationship with Him.
I do believe that God is in the business of deliverance. This means different things. Sometimes God will just instantaneously deliver you from an "illness" (whether mental or physical). At other times God will hold your hand and walk you through a process that ultimately results in deliverance. For me it's a process. I believe that this is because He's teaching me how to help others. Would I prefer "instant" healing? Definitely, but at the same time I realize that God is leading and guiding me and together we can and will do this, together we will get rid of my pain and help me stand strong in Him.