In this piece, my guest blogger talks about how she is healing through anger. Anger is a valid emotion, as Jesus was angry when He turned over the tables in the temple. Anger is secondary to fear and/or sadness. In this piece, you can see her fear, clearly. Also, you can feel her sadness. Please pray for this young girl as you think of it.
I Am So Angry With You
I know I have said it a million times, but I am so angry with you. If I were in the business of hating people, you would be first on my list. The thought of you makes my blood pressure skyrocket. Why couldn’t you be a normal stepfather? Seriously, why did you have to abuse me? Why me? I was a child. What kind of man likes children?
I wish my mom would have never met you. Honestly, I wish I did not blame myself for what you did. I know I was young, and I know it was not my fault. It’s yours. You are the one who abused me not the other way around.
Tell the Truth
I have had a few opportunities to tell you the truth, to say whatever I wanted to you, but I did not. Part of me wishes I would not have been such a coward. I want you to know how much you hurt me. The other part of me knows that it would not matter what I said you would not care. You would enjoy the attention, you always like all the attention being on you.
What I Want to SCREAM
I want to scream at you and tell you that you hurt me. To tell you that you traumatized me. I want to tell you how I cannot even change clothes in the comfort of my own home without feeling uncomfortable or like I am being watched. To yell that you took my childhood and my innocence away from me. That is something I will never get back. I cannot go back and act like a child again. Not all of that is your fault, but a big piece of it is.
I am never a violent person, but I would like to punch you in the face a few good times. I bet that would help me release some of my anger. That sure would make me feel better. I do not understand how you can have four different types of cancers, and still be alive. I guess that is just how my life goes.
Papa T is Crossing the Line
I heard a phrase today that I had not heard in a long time. A phrase that makes me nauseous. “Daddy T” I never understood why you made us call you that. Mom does not understand why that name makes me uncomfortable, and to be honest, I don’t completely understand it myself. All I know is the name makes me physically sick. My sister told me today that you want her daughter to call you “Papa T” And it incited some rage in me.
Yet, That Baby is Safe From You
Luckily that baby lives far away now so you cannot get your hands on her. If she were still around, I can promise you that you would never meet her. I would go to jail before that happened and I would be okay with it. You will never get the satisfaction of her calling you “papa T” which I feel is WAY too close to “Daddy T”
You will never get the satisfaction to take that baby’s innocence away from her, and that brings me just a little bit of you. Your abuse ended with me, and I will do everything in my power to make sure it goes no further.
Working on Forgiveness
I know it does not sound like it, but I truly am trying to forgive you. It is just a slow process. The thing is, I am not forgiving you for you. I am doing this for me. To heal. I am doing it so I can put you in the past and finally move on. To better myself and be the best person I can be. I know in the end you will get what you deserve, and I will not even have to lift a finger.
In this piece, Three Words I Can Say Could Make You Hate Me, my guest blogger begins to outline her life when she was younger. What a powerful voice she has, yet still too scared to let it out loudly. Time and Jesus will cure that. I’m so proud of her and all that she has been doing to heal.
A Born Fixer
Every since I was a little girl all I ever wanted to do was please you and to help you. All I have done my whole life is what you needed. You needed someone to bathe a kid, I did it, you needed someone to help feed a kid, I did it, you needed someone to complain to, that was me.
I grew up listening to everything wrong in your life, your husband or ex-husband drama, your “my kids hate me”, my kids are terrible, my kids don’t love me. Did you forget I was your kid too? Or am I just an ear to listen and a body to help work? You’ve definitely groomed me well for the job I would like to have one day. If anything I am a listener and I like to help others to the best of my ability. So at least there is a positive within all the negativity I have listened to and experienced during my life.
This Thing Called Life
My life has been a series of what does mom need me to do next? What does my youngest brother need? Or even what can I help another brother with? He may have had most of the attention from you growing up but that also meant that he got the attention from the men in your life too. So there was a lot of negative things going on in his life as well. As much as I don’t like him I do love him so I didn’t like to see him so upset.
You have complained to me so many times about so many different things that it makes me scared to share anything good or bad with you because I am afraid it will upset you. I feel like if I tell you some things you’ll stop caring, stop loving me. In fact somethings, I would rather just bottle up or ignore because I know that you wouldn’t approve or would hurt your feelings.
What About Me and My Feelings
Like sometimes I want to point out that I have feelings too and I’m tired of having only one-way conversations about you and your kids like I’m not one of them. I know you don’t mean anything by it towards me but it still hurts me. Especially when you say we are all unmotivated kids that’s don’t care about you. Maybe not in that order but they have both been said. I am motivated, I work, I’m trying to move out, I do love you. Stop putting us all together like we are all the same.
One day I would like to have a conversation with you about me. About my life, and about things that I am learning about myself. Like I remembered what it was like to be motivated to finish something. Sure it’s just a sweater but to me, that is an accomplishment. To be able to wear something that I made. Just because it’s not interesting to you doesn’t mean it’s not important.
The same with schooling, just because it’s not what you want me to do doesn’t mean that it’s not something I can do. I want to work in the psychology field with kids. But that’s not good enough for you. You want me to be able to support myself and I get that but why can’t you support me in my decision on what I want to do it just might take me a while to get there.
The Truth About My Engagement
I would love to be able to sit down and talk with you about why I truly didn’t get married. How it was a lie to begin with sure it wasn’t intentional but a lie nonetheless. I would like to tell you that I have recently learned that I am not interested in men but more confused than anything. I’d like to have your support while I try to figure everything out all the way. But you’d disown me for that thought or try to shame me out of it.
I have listened to everything you have had to say about everything and everyone. I have supported you through good and bad decisions. In short, I have loved you and accepted you as you are. But you would not do the same for me I am sure. You would just hear the words and then you’d be done. Done with me and done with everything else because without me who will you talk to?
Three Words I Can Say Could Make You Hate Me
Without me who will help you when you’re down? Without me who will help pick up the pieces that are left and glue them back together when anger or sadness strikes?
I love you and I worry about you more than I worry about anything or anyone else. So me keeping this one thing from you. Keeping it under lock and key may hurt me but at least I know you’ll be okay. Cause I’ll still help you. The sad thing is there’s not anything you could do to make me stop loving you but just three could make you hate me.
Today, I am thankful for the bravery of this young lady. She certainly has powerful emotion behind her words. Also, she is using them to help her sort through the muddy water. She is loved and a treasure. May she be blessed in her courage and continue to speak for those who do not have a voice.
In Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness, my guest blogger shares her thoughts on this subject. I have a mental disorder that can be crippling at times. When I say crippling I mean I cannot get myself out of the bed. I have thoughts in my head on a continuous loop that should not be there, to begin with. Those days when I don’t call, text. or even speak to people. Hell, I don’t even come out of my room. When I say I can’t get myself out of the bed, I mean, I literally will stay in it for days. I will only leave to go to the bathroom or to eat.
The “Happy” Place
There are also days when I am “happy” these are the days when I can really get myself into trouble. when I talk ninety to nothing and spend all of my money in one place. Or I could get in the car and just drive in one direction not knowing where I am going but going anywhere is better than where I am. These are the days when I bombard all of my friends that I haven’t talked to in days that I want to do something. On these days I don’t sleep, I could be up for days at a time and it wouldn’t bother me one bit. I make poor choices when I am like this.
This is Bipolar Disorder in a Nutshell, at Least in my Case.
I am tired of the stigma on mental illness or mental health in general. If you have asthma, everyone can tell by the physical complications that you have. However, when it comes to mental illnesses we dare not speak of them. They don’t exist to people who don’t have them or at least they perceive it as a negative.
You don’t see people not talking to people with asthma so why shouldn’t they for people with mental illness. Honestly, I should feel free to share that I have bipolar disorder without having people think that it means I’m crazy. Furthermore, I shouldn’t have to own that lie but yet here I am pretending it doesn’t exist or calling myself crazy.
I am Tired of Comparing Myself to “Normal” People
What does that mean anyway? To be “normal”. The definition of normal is conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. So what I’m seeing is that everyone is supposed to be the same, act the same, and do the same things the exact same way? Maybe I’m looking at it in a negative way but it sounds to me like normal people are nowhere to be seen. Because no one is the same no one is conformed to the same standards.
So why do we make ourselves feel less than just because of a mental illness? Bipolar disorder is my normal just because it isn’t yours doesn’t mean that you have the right to tell me that I am wrong, not to be trusted, or dangerous because of it.
Today, I am thankful for modern medicine. It has helped me look at life a bit more clear. God is bigger than all, but He created man to create medicine to help. Never feel weak because you need a medication to help you even things out. You are not weak! Honestly, you are brave and strong.
In The Reality of my Nightmare, my guest blogger writes about her interpretation of the trials I have been walking through. She writes it as if she were me. I read it the morning of my friends funeral. She is pretty spot on in all that she said.
Writing this seems like a nightmare
I am waiting to wake up from this nightmare because of how real it feels. But when I open my eyes, it will all go away. No. This nightmare is real. I can’t believe this is happening to me. Why? Why me? What did I do wrong to cause these people to knock on my door? Who has been watching me and observing my every movement?
I am afraid
Afraid to raise my voice even the slightest bit because someone might be watching. Also, I am afraid to take my child to the other room for fear that someone might think I am going to punish them. Afraid to go out in public with my child for fear that someone will judge me the wrong way and call them again. Why me?
Raising kids is hard, especially 7 of them. They are all so different in so many ways. Yet, I would not change a single hair on their head because I love them so. I love my kids with every fiber of my being. I would gladly take any strife or burdens off their shoulders. Honestly, I would put them on my own if it helps them and their future.
My kids are special
Some have mentally challenging issues. Then, there are others who have some physical issues that need my constant attention. Being a mom is hard. Tiring even. Yet, I am glad God chose these beautiful children to be mine.
I love fiercely and I will do anything in my power to protect them from the world and its temptations. Sometimes, I help others before I think about myself and my needs. I have run myself ragged going in all different directions to help those in need as God calls me to do. Honestly, I try to open myself up to other moms in different clubs and organizations that my kids participate in. I try to help them and converse with them when they need a friend or a shoulder to cry on.
You took care of my child when he played sports on your team. He became best friends with your kids. I thought you loved him like one of your own. He stayed at your house and slept over so many nights. Every time, he had a blast when he came home beaming from ear to ear. He would tell me all about how fun it is at your house.
Invitation then Betrayal
I invited you into my home which we manage to keep clean amongst the chaos of having multiple children and animals in the house. And yet, you betrayed my trust by calling them. Why? Why me?
You know my child is well-fed. We give him clothes and things to play with. Furthermore, we keep him involved in sports. Importantly, we teach him the love of Jesus in everything we do. We fight for him daily because he is different. And that’s okay because I love him so much.
How Would You Feel
You are a mother with kids of your own. How would you feel if someone called them? They showed up at your doorstep asking to be invited in. Then ask you probing questions about your home and relationships with your kids? And what if you found out that it was a supposed “friend” who called them on you.
How would you feel?
I should hope so.
Because that is how I felt.
The terrifying agony that my kids could be ripped away from me with no warning. Sadly, the wailing and uncontrollable sobbing happened in my car when I got the call. My heart can’t take it anymore. I am so tired of having to justify myself to these people. Justify every action that I do and every word that comes out of my mouth.
How would you feel?
Would you demand an explanation from your “friend” and say some nasty things to them in retaliation? Would you constantly be looking over your shoulder to make sure no one was watching you if you ever had to punish your child in public? Or are you one of those parents that let their children run amuck and let them do whatever they want?
Either way, I want you to know that it is understandable if you did not know the family or if you had never been in their home and seen how the family operates. It would be understandable if you didn’t know me or my son at all.
But you did know us.
I was at every game. I talked to you all the time. And yet, you still called them. I thought I could trust you. You have betrayed my trust. But I choose to let God be in control of my situation. I choose to let God be the judge of your actions when you get to Heaven instead of judging you, which I am not called to do.
Honestly, I choose to love like Jesus with skin on and be the city on a hill for you. I choose to let God listen to my sorrowful prayers and collect my tears in a jar. Furthermore, I choose to let God pick me up and comfort me because he knows I am the mom He called me to be. I am not perfect. But God does not call us to be perfect. He calls us to be his disciples and to love our neighbor in his Word.
My house may be messy sometimes and my kids may drive me crazy most days, but in what reality is a house always tidy and the kids always clean and well-behaved? I would love to meet those people and that family.
Haven’t you ever made a mistake as a parent?
Because if you say no that is a bold-faced lie. We fail daily at things but the key is to learn from those mistakes, move on, and leave the past behind us. Those failures are also successes. I have put several of my kids through a full education (and I have homeschooled them for many many years as well). Two of them have graduated from college, with honors, which is a huge accomplishment.
One of my kids is married with a baby on the way. I could not be happier for my sweet child. My smallest child is excelling at things that doctors told us would be impossible. Yet, with me by his side, he has survived those odds.
The moments of pride I feel for the children that I raised surpasses the moments of sadness that I feel when things like this happen. I choose to find the beauty in the ashes. I will stand tall and not be shaken by people’s opinions of me and my family.
So I will also choose to continue to stand by my children and attend every activity, club, and sporting event that they are in. And if you other moms judge me or whisper tall tales about me that are not even true, I will smile and turn the other cheek as God has called me to do. Even if it is the hardest thing I have ever done.
Cruelty of Others
People can be so cruel nowadays and they always look at the plank in someone else’s eye rather than focusing on the speck of dirt that is in their own eye. Words can definitely slice through a person and bring them down when we should be standing together as moms and supporting one another rather than bringing them down and jumping to conclusions by calling the organization before they have the facts straight.
No, we mom’s are not perfect. But we are doing the best we can with the circumstances we are currently in and with the children that the Lord has blessed us with. I will continue to be the city on a hill and shine my light bright for my kids and for you.
And I know deep down in my heart that God will be pleased with my strength and integrity, and when I get to Heaven He will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I can not wait for that day to come.
In the meantime
I will continue to be the most amazing mom to my kids and be a faithful spouse to my husband. Showing them the light of God. Continuing to shield them from the World will be a lifelong journey, but I would not change one thing about it. Not for you and not for any other mom who says a spiteful word towards me.
I will pray for you even though it is painful. Because in my darkest moments is when I cling to Jesus the most, and when my faith is tested, I come out stronger than ever because my Redeemer is with me. No more hiding. No more fear. I will not be afraid.
My guest blogger writes a letter to her mom. She is working through How to Separate the Good Mom from the Bad Mom. Her path of healing has been long and difficult. She is wading through the good memories and the bad. Right now, sadly, the bad memories are more prevalent. I pray that one day, she will remember the good memories she had with her mom. Somehow, someway, it makes the bad memories more bearable.
My Dearest Mother,
My Dearest Mother, you have caused me so much pain for the past ten years of my life. I cannot count how many times I have laid in bed at night and cried because of you. Sadly, I have cried because I was not good enough for you. I have cried because at the times I have needed you most, you were not here. Also, I have cried because when I have had a hard day at work or school, I cannot call you. It is so frustrating to me that you are so thickheaded that you cannot see what you did wrong. I have written you numerous letters in hopes that they would somehow reach you, and you would come to your senses.
Spoiler alert, you have not.
For years, I walked on eggshells just to be sure I did not hurt your feelings. At this point, I do not care. I am fed up with the lies you feed everyone. Imagine saying that your eleven-year-old daughter made up a story about how you locked your sick son up in his bedroom and would not give him food. Like, I did not just wake up one day and say ‘Hm, I think I want to make up this lie and make my mom look bad today.’ Imagine trying to blame you and your husband’s actions on CHILDREN. Honestly, I have not asked you for much, just for you to admit what you did and apologize.
I know that is something I will never get.
One time you told me you were raising us the way you wanted to be treated. That just does not make sense to me. Who wants to be sexually abused by their stepfather for years? Because I certainly did not. I did not want him to watch me every time I took a shower. Also, I did not want him to watch me get dressed. I did not want him to put his hand on my butt every time I stood remotely close to him. Furthermore, I did not want him to take me and my sister up to the garage that day and assault us. I did not want all this trauma you gave me. All I wanted was a mother.
At this point
I do not even try and wonder what my life would be like had you not met my stepdad because it tends to hurt my feelings. Why wasn’t I good enough for you? Honestly, why? Why? Just why? I have so many questions for you, and I know I will not get a single answer. All I want, is a mom. Someone to look out for me, give me advice, and most importantly I just I want to experience a mother’s love.
Every night, when I pray, I pray that I am not like you. I pray that I never cause my children pain. Also, I pray that my kids will NEVER lay in bed at night crying because they feel I do not love them. I will be nothing like you, and that is a promise. Maybe one day you will come to your senses, but that is doubtful.
In this A Letter to Myself piece, my guest blogger wants to step back in time and parent that child who was abused and never truly parented. She wants that little girl to know that what is happening is wrong and that she is not at fault. What a beautiful way to begin the healing process.
I have written numerous letters to other people who have greatly hurt me, but I have yet to write a letter to the person I feel has hurt me the most.
That person is me.
For years I have “punished” myself for things that were not my fault. Its been hard for me to keep in mind that when bad things were happening to me, I was between the ages of 7 and 11. U have blamed myself for years for the people around me dying. I have blamed myself for not being there for them while they are dying. Like for goodness sake, Sarah, you were like 9. It is not your responsibility to take care of people who are dying.
When my dad got divorced for a second time, we had just moved, and we were tight on money. It is not that my dad was not making enough, it was because he was giving a good chunk of his money to his ex-wife. So, I started skipping meals just to make sure everyone else had enough to eat. When I would eat, my brother would make comments on my weight or how much I was eating. That’s when I stopped eating for weeks at a time and started working out six days a week.
After over a year of doing that
I finally realized that it wasn’t my responsibility to make sure everyone was eating. It was my fathers, and he was incredibly absent at that time. So I slowly started eating again. I have better eating habits now, but I still have my days where I feel I shouldn’t be eating. To this day, if I have to get weighed, I can’t look at the scale because If I see what it says I will spiral.
Around that same time, my dad was incredibly absent. All of the cooking, cleaning, and children basically came my responsibility. I was basically the parent in the household. I juggled all of my responsibilities at home, schoolwork, and band.
About the only thing I remember from this period of my life is being incredibly exhausted. It was at this time sister would hardly sleep. And she became violent. So I would wake up at three in the morning to her punching me in the face or her pulling my hair. I remember countless morning of me just crying because was so tired and in pain.
That was a super dark time in my life.
This was the beginning of a super dark time for me. I had zero will to live, I didn’t care what happened to me. Honestly, I wish this part of my story had a happier ending, but I’m still learning that Madison isn’t my child or my responsibility.
I feel guilty when I go out while she’s at the house. Also, I feel anxious that something bad is going to happen to her while I am gone. I feel like I have been better about leaving her home, so that is a step in the right direction.
Then, I guess the last piece of this story is about the shooting. I remember that morning going into the band room with my friends and I stood across the room from him and I just stared at him. The atmosphere that morning felt off.
I used to blame myself for not talking to him that morning. I used to think that if I had just talked to him, that he wouldn’t have killed two people. That was his choice, not mine. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It is not my fault. After a while of repeating that to myself, I finally believed it.
This Powerful Note to Self is by a guest blogger who is working through some intense emotions and trauma. Remember, if you are a survivor of anything….it is NOT your fault! That can be so hard to believe, especially if you struggle with implicit memories and you cannot remember.
Implicit memories are memories that are from conception to three years of age. However, explicit memories are from the age of three until the present moment. Those are the memories that you can pull from and have validation, so to speak. Implicit memories are ones you just “feel.” They, to me, are harder to process and reconcile.
Sadly, any type of sexual abuse or molestation is devastating. It can take years to heal. Honestly, it may never heal this side of heaven. That is something that I’ve had to settle within myself in order to process things. My guest blogger is deep in the trenches. I am so proud of what she is doing to get help.
Instead, I am the one thing I have been raised to not be
The one thing that will make me lose people close to me
I am not who my parents expected me to be
Also, I am a disappointment in their eyes
I am a disappointment in my own eyes
I know it is wrong
Sadly, I know its not meant to be that way
I have not chosen to feel this way
It just happened
I have actively fought it
Honestly, I would rather not acknowledge it than admit to it
I don’t want to talk about it
And I don’t want to act on it
All I want is to be normal
To be who I was meant to be
Not who I have become
By choice or not
I hate myself for my feelings
I would rather just ignore it
Then deal with it
I am not normal
Sadly, I am broken
I AM NOT OKAY.
But one day I will be.
What God Says
God says He loves us. He sent His son to die on the cross for us. When we come to Christ, He throws our sins as far as the East is from the West. Also, He says that Satan is the Prince of the Earth. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy us all. We have free-will and it is a giant butthole. God will not supersede free-will, though He can at any moment. He loves us and that is enough!