Gentle Recovery

Healing From Child Abuse & Rape

Healing Journey

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Weakness and Tears

Posted by gentlerecovery on January 2, 2010 at 11:42 AM Comments comments (3)

"Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it."

Albert Smith


I learned to fight. I learned to fight to survive....and to never show weakness. To show weakness meant defeat.  And he had taught me - his fist in my face, 'don't you dare cry.' I never did. I swallowed the fear.  I forced myself to be strong. I cut my body instead to fight the urge to give in - to buckle - to fall.

When he beat or ridiculed me - I refused to let him see how terrified I was.And when the rapist held me in that house I cried only the first time - After that - I never did. I forced myself to be strong - to never let him see my fear. When I was detained - I refused to cry. I wouldn't show them I was afraid. Instead I fought. I fought to stay strong.


I was driving back from a friend's. My 13 yr. old, then just a baby, was in the back in her car seat. Without thinking, I pulled off to the side of the road and started crying. The tears kept coming. They wouldn't stop.


I wasn't crying because I had to fight someone to stop them from hurting me. I was crying because I felt inadequate as a mother.  This baby depended on me to protect her and keep her safe. I felt overwhelmed. I had no idea how how to be a mother. I only knew how to fight - I only knew how to survive.

I cried not because of someone's hatred towards me - not because someone was hurting me. I cried because I loved this child and I didn't want her to ever feel shame and pain and fear like I had. I cried because I was afraid I couldn't give her what she needed.


Love made me cry. Not hate, not violence, not having to fight to survive.

The Voice of the Heart

Posted by gentlerecovery on December 3, 2009 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (3)


"Words are the voice of the heart." Confucius

I thought I was bad, wrong, unworthy of anything good....Over and over my parents called me garbage, idiot, stupid. They told me I was worthless and deserved nothing. They ridiculed everything about me - the way I walked - the way I talked - and what I did. I believed what they said.Their words became the voice of my heart. I lived them. I ran on them.

The power of their words led me into situations that almost killed me. The power of their words took me down a path of self-destruction. They became ingrained in my spirit. They became a part of who I was. I couldn't shake them.

I didn't know they were lies. I had heard them so often I accepted them as truth.

 I think words have energy - a power in them that can lift beyond what I think I'm capable of or they can bring me to down to the lowest edge of life.

My parent's words took me deep into darkness - drugs,eating disorder, self-harm. They led me into dangerous situations -situations like being held and raped. Their words became the fuel for my self-hatred, the fuel that drove me to descend deeper and deeper into pain.

Somehow though, God broke through the darkness. I learned the words my parents had told me were lies. Lies that had become so cemented inside me I couldn't shake free of them. Even though I knew they were lies they continued to gnaw at me, tearing at me inside until I had to rip my arms or throw up to relieve their pull to tear me down.

Those words have been the hardest to fight - the hardest to overcome.

Words- I want to be careful to use my words to speak kindness, gentleness and peace. I want to be careful to use my words to empower others and to never tear down anyone or make them feel less than who they are.




Posted by gentlerecovery on November 9, 2009 at 5:48 PM Comments comments (3)

"We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them.There is no doubt that without it, we would cease to grow....." Leo F.Buscaglia

All that time, living on the streets, fighting to survive....alone....

Lonliness hurts. It hurts so bad. That pain - in your gut - constantly there - reminding you no one  cares  - driving your behaviour - forcing you to seek relief in things that create more hurt, more pain. Lonliness - it never left - its intense hold - its powerful grip - gnawing away inside...


Lonliness that causes a pain so intense- the only relief you can think of is death. I remember that pain...those years - an emptiness so deep....a gut wrenching despair -connected to no one - feeling utterly worthless - not good enough. No one to care if I ate, or slept, or was sick or cold or scared....

Lonliness....It hurt so bad - I wanted relief - I wanted it to end - that agonizing pain - to just go away. 


Lonliness - is a disease. It eats away at you - steals your life - leaves you feeling hopeless - always craving - desperate to be free of it.


When God touched me....He slowly filled that empty hole in my soul - that deep lonliness. He gave me friends,family - who cared...who believed in me....who challenged me to live my best life....But I fought them - pushed them away - It was so weird - what I wanted for so long, the thing I yearned for hurt more than the pain of not having it. 


I had always dreamed it would feel so good but instead I felt this awful pain 

associated with people caring about me  - I put up walls....lots of walls. For a long time I 'knew' I wasn't worthy of their love, their care, their kindness. I thought if they really knew me they wouldn't stay - so I left and kept leaving.  

One day God whispered - Stay. Don't go. Push past the pain. Why did it have to hurt so much? I wanted to be belong so bad and yet I couldn't accept it for a long time. Even now , sometimes - I have to fight - to not pull stay present.....To let people get close  - to let them stay.  

I wonder how many people are really lonely - who know how to put on a front - a facade - know how to look good, but go home feeling lonely - empty - aching for someone to really care about be connected in a way that makes their life meaningful - filling the emptiness with excessive shopping,popping medications, working until they want to drop.......


I never want to forget where much it hurt.....I want my arm to always be extended....reaching make a difference and help others feel connected.

The Truth about Love

Posted by gentlerecovery on November 2, 2009 at 10:14 AM Comments comments (2)

"Love is not a feeling. It's a behaviour." Oprah Winfrey

'I love you,' my father said. Then he beat me and called me filthy names.

'I love you,' my father said. Then he locked me alone in the car for hours in the worst part of town.

'I love you,' my father said. Then he shoved his fist in my face and forced me to eat even when I kept throwing up.

'I love you,' my father said. Then he held me down on the bed.......

'I love you,' the rapist said. Then he punched me so hard, my spleen ruptured.

'I love you,' the rapist said. Then he held me down and did what he wanted.

'I love you,' the rapist said. Then he locked me in a cold dark room and wouldn't let me go.

 'I love you,' God said. Then He patiently waited until I was ready to trust Him.

'I love you,' God said. Then He broke the hold of the drug addiction.

'I love you,' God said. Then He calmed my anger and hatred.

'I love you,' God said. Then He healed my heart with His gentle touch.

'I love you,' God said. Then He freed me from the shame and fear.

Just because someone claims they love you, doesn't mean they really do. I think the wires in my head got all mixed up when I was a kid. I thought what happened was normal, that everyone lived on edge, fighting to avoid getting beaten, living like someone in a war zone, in chaos, tension and confusion. I believed whatever happened was because something was wrong with me. I didn't know what was being done was wrong. I didn't know they had no right to do what they did. All I knew was it made me crazy. It made me want to punish myself in ways that nearly killed me. It pushed me over the edge, making me act impulsively, full of anger and not caring what happened.


But then I learned love doesn't hurt. I learned it's patient, kind and forgiving. I learned it's not jealous or full of pride or resentful or rude or demanding of its own way.

I never knew. No one had told me or showed me the truth about love. I figured it out as I went, but I had figured it out all wrong. Then God touched me and He showed me. He brought safe people into my life, but I resisted them, pushing them away, still needing to hide, afraid of getting hurt, not trusting. It took so long.

But then I got it. When love is real, not only does it not hurt, but it's like a balm that feels soothing on the inside and brings amazing healing and relief. I learned love doesn't keep a list of wrongs, so I chose to forgive and move forward. I want to shine so others can feel the touch of love from me. I want my life to reflect the truth of what love really is and find healing and freedom in their lives.


Braver Than You Think

Posted by gentlerecovery on October 31, 2009 at 2:08 PM Comments comments (8)

“Promise me you’ll always remember; you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”  A.A.Milne – ChristopherRobin to Pooh

I remember being really stoned. My eyes had gone all weird and I couldn’t focus. I felt off balance, dizzy and separate from myself. Almost like I was on the outside looking in. I was having problems walking. I had no idea where I was, how I got there or how to get out and go home. I remember falling, crashing into a wall and hitting my head. Some old lady popped out and started screaming at me. I had no idea what she was saying. Then the sound of sirens and the ambulance……. Life was a constant crisis...constant chaos.

I kept saying I wanted it all to stop. I wanted it to be normal. I didn’t want to do the drugs. At least that’s what I said and even as I said it, I was shooting up and ripping my arms open with razor blades and jagged rocks. Even as I said it, I threw up if I ate even a small bite of something. In my mind, I wasn’t allowed to be free. I wasn’t worthy. No amount of wanting or needing made a difference. No threats from any authority could bring about the freedom I said I wanted.

I needed to stay high. I needed to hurt myself. I needed to throw up. I needed to not feel or think. Especially to not think. The images of what happened tortured me. Anything to numb out from feeling the terror, the shame, the pain – I needed that more. And then God touched me. He broke through the torment in my head, in my soul – He took away the 14 year drug addiction. The memories though, the pain and shame andfeelings of extreme worthlessness – they were still there. I continuedto throw up and hurt myself. I still needed to numb out.

I felt guilty. I wondered if God would kill me because I was destroying myself. I screamed at Him to do it already. I dared Him to take my life, but He wouldn’t. Years went by. I lived two lives. I looked ok. People thought I was fun, happy, Christian. I wasn’t. When people said, God is in control, I knew my life was completely out of control.

I started writing. Then running. In the woods, alone – He whispered to me. ‘Face the pain. Don’t run from it.’ I never wanted to face it. I never wanted to admit it. I couldn’t. To admit it meant it happened. I didn’t want to believe it happened. But it did.

All I know – God is my strength – my anchor for freedom. The one thing in my life that gives me the courage to do what I otherwise can’t. He brought me to the point of being ready to confront what I never could. He allowed me to use the cutting, the throwing up, the hiding to stay alive. Cause that’s what it did. It kept me alive. I thelped me survive until I was ready to face what happened.

All I know -is in His presence, I feel at peace. In the woods I feel His gentle touch and hear His whispers of comfort and there I gain thecourage to come home and not use things that hurt me.

I want to make a difference. I want what I lived to help someone else find their freedom. Maybe that’s why God let me live.


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