From Tracie: -5AM From Angel

Sunday, May 16, 2010

-5AM From Angel

As an overcomer of sexual abuse from my youth, I can speak on the truth for an eternity. From babyhood we are given labels, almost from the moment we emerge from the womb crying and scared the label applying begins. Fussy, easy feeder, healthy appetite, chubby cheeks, bright eyed, sleepy head the list could go on for eternity. Technically we are born having a natural response to fear. The very thing used to determine the health of a newborn includes the natural startle reflex. As an infant we automatically curl up in a ball to protect ourselves from unexpected stimuli. Odd isn't it that at the moment we most require protection and the closeness of another body, we are thrust into the exact opposite situation.
As we grow and change our fears and labels grow with us. Many have been added to or altered now. Instead of leaving the ones of infancy behind we add more to the growing list. Our need for love soon grows to include acceptance, acceptance picks up approval along the way. We spread our wings and test new waters, but only if the presence of our parents or trusted adults are nearby. School begins and we fear being different, the we fear being the same as everyone else around us.
When abuse steps into the picture frame fears morph and revolve into seemingly overwhelming obstacles. We fear the abuser as much as we fear being without them. Oftentimes the very mentor we trusted breaking that trust in their acts of abuse and betrayal. Leaving us confused and abandoned with no one to hear our cries, or seemingly no one noticing the continual change in a once loving child. We find ourselves planning and scheming ways to escape and adult dreams of life long before we should have to. When we should most be living the life of a child we are forced into positions and places of adulthood we should never experience. Every new person is met with the fear of rejection as heavily as the fear of their acceptance does. What will they require for their love? In the teenage angst that is youth we are dealt with more weighty issues then the right clothes or shoes.
Sexual abuse adds it's own little twists and turns to the agenda of our lives. We dress down to not be desirable for our abuser. Hoping beyond hope we get ugly enough to be left alone. Yet yearning to be pretty and attractive to others, those who would appreciate the beauty without any requirements to be expected in that beauty.
If it begins in our tween years , we fear our bodies responses to what our heart and mind scream are wrong. We fear never getting out as much as we fear the actual escape. We gain, we lose, we alter appearances and behavior patterns in the hopes of being left alone by our perpetrator of abuse; yet in the same manner fearful that our rejection of the unwanted attention will also steer away the typical youthful desire to be loved by another.
We fear what we know as our normal as much as we fear the attainment of everyone else's normal. We feel as though we are marked, but not necessarily chosen, desired yet also abandoned, liked but never truly lovable without some standard being raised to gain it. The mind begins to replace the horror with disengagement as a self defense, we then get the label of detached. We close our eyes and envision a place anywhere but there. But once we are free we are still bound. We have been taught through fear and intimidation our worth and the thing we fear now becomes the thing we often run to. We allow ourselves to be abused repeatedly by various partners in the attempt to change the fears associated with the act. Promiscuity is not a reaction but an addiction, it is the only normal we know. Except now we say WE set the rules of engagement but we never truly do. For in the whisper of a word or the touch of a hand we can be sent spiraling back into the past and become disconnected once more, seeing not our chosen mate but the abuser once more. Even in our freedom they find us. Fear of being rejected and alone keeps us from completely walking away. Giving away pieces of ourselves to anyone who seems interested .
Good men may come along, but once again our fear keeps us from trusting too deep or falling too far. Our labels and fears seem to constantly grow, reminding us of who we are and our worth and where it lies. Our label firmly implanted from our youth seems to be a warning beacon to all who would dare come too near. Though the abuser is gone their abuse remains. Sometimes instead of sex we choose drugs or alcohol, sometimes a dab of all of the above. We drink and drug to quiet the memories, we sleep around to regain some sense of control in our lives. We attempt to break the bonds of control that linger within our minds if nowhere else. I can honestly say my addiction was sex and sex alone. That in and of itself I now know was God.
Eventually we hear the gospel. The word of freedom spoken over our lives, awakening the spirit man within us, trying to break the chains that hold us so tightly we can ofttimes feel our heartbeat in our throat from their choking grasp. But the word alone cannot free us from our lifetime of labels and fears. The presentation of God as our Abba Father sometimes deals a tougher obstacle then the act of sleeping with someone does. We know what the other person expects, God is a little iffy. Often our paternal reference point is sorely lacking. The love we have grown accustomed to often leads us to repent and backslide repeatedly. Not because we want to , but simply because the normal is safer then the freedom God seemingly offers. Our fear of true freedom and acceptance without a price tag outweighs the burden of the abuse and it's memories and life altering grasp. Our few futile attempts at escape have left us feeling even more broken when our goals and expectations were not realized. Failure has become our normal. So often we dance between the doors of salvation, fearful of the judgmental-ism that is the church of today. A new set of rules of engagement are applied. Wear this, do that , say this go here. We pretend to have it all together, we smile in the appropriate places, all while certain that those around us can see how truly dirty and unworthy we truly are. Their discovery of our sins leading to our removal from the place we need to be the most. We long for the relationship with God that other members seem to have, we place them on pedestals for their assumed righteous spiritualism., blindly looking at the behavior of the other sheep instead of the shepherd. That to soon falls before our eyes. Either our facade being exposed or theirs falling away and we are left as disillusioned and lost as we were before. Being rudely reminded once again that people can't be trusted.
We find ourselves seeking God for ourselves, crying out for an encounter of this agape love that we have read about but never experienced. But fear of rejection holds us back from truly letting go. What if we hand it to Him and he hands it back? What if he turns his back? What if we do all the word says and lay it at the foot of the cross only to discover that there isn't enough blood of Christ to cover us??
But when all the doors close, all the lights fade and we are caught in that moment of time when the Savior comes to us, in our darkest hour. When our wounds are exposed, our labels are showing and our sins seem to cover us from head to toe, we lay broken and weeping upon the cold floor of fear and captivity with no where else to go, no one else to call on. Our spirit man rises up and cries out to it's Abba Father. The giver of life, the restorer of the broken, the releaser of the captive. He cradles us gently, smoothing our hair, wiping our tears and speaking to our spirit. Calling us into the place of truth and acceptance that seemingly was unattainable anywhere else. Like Gomer rescued from the slave table by Hosea He restores my soul. He wipes the blood from my open wounds, removes the labels that have controlled my life. In an instant of time when all else has failed God overcomes. He whispers the word of life into my soul, reminds me of His plan for my life and stands in front of me as I rise from my place of destruction. He wipes the dirt from my face, and covers me with his robes. HE brushes my hair from my face and takes my hand and leads me into the secret place of the Most high. Showing me the glory of His love for me and the truth of who I am.
I have found that total acceptance is not always easy. Fear has a way of having long term affects that rear their ugly head when I least expect it, in the places where I suspect their arrival least. But I have found the blood of Christ covers all. The blood restores my spirit and lightens my mind. It removes the chains and loosens the grip of fear from my life. If I only trust. Faith is not our problem, trust is. The desire to trust that which is presented as a man, the thing which has failed us most. It takes much learning and starting over, wiping the dust of failure from our knees as we get up like a child learning to walk. Until we finally come to the place of perfect peace. When we know that we know we are anointed and chosen. When our true gifts are revealed from beneath the grime and grit of life as we knew it. Then and only then can true freedom be achieved. When we learn to trust in Daddy despite the failure of the daddy's who came before. To know that I am simply because HE IS...

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