In this story we share, we are proud to introduce you to a brave, powerful woman named Nicole. In it, you will learn that it’s possible to overcome abuse. You’ll see how some of the hardest decisions you will make in your life can cause your biggest breakthroughs. You see, there was a time when Nicole could not fathom life without abuse; she simply assumed “normal” involved sexual, physical or emotional abuse for everyone. She experienced the unfathomable as a child and into her young adult years. Eventually, she found a healthy love and marriage, but when she had children of her own, the darkness in her past abuse came rushing back to her in a new way. It was then that Nicole knew her health depended on her facing the toughest decisions in her life. We hope Nicole’s story will encourage you as much as it encourages us. This survivor found hope. She set boundaries. She forgave. And she is moving on with her life. This is a story of a courageous woman that gives us hope; a light at the end of the tunnel.
I can’t believe people actually grow up and experience no trauma. You mean your dad didn’t sexually abuse you? Your boyfriend never slapped you? You’ve never been raped at a party, in your sleep? What does THAT feel like, to live a young life without abuse or trauma? Sometimes I can’t believe it when people tell me they haven’t really experienced anything traumatic.
And yet here I am.
I am someone who has experienced traumatic abuse and survived it.
I still see his face and hear his voice. Flashes of memories haunt me when I’m driving my kids to school or being intimate with my husband. The shame feels sickening, as I remember him looking at my body- touching it, snapping pictures of it. The shame I have felt that I somehow caused this as a child because I didn’t know how to make it stop. The never-ending question in my mind as an adult with my own children, “How could he do that to me?! What the hell was he thinking?!” And even though I will never fully answer this question, I still ask it all the time. I can’t make sense of abuse, because abuse makes no sense.
Yet, I have grown up into adulthood and have been able to function in healthy, intimate relationships.
And I’m abused no longer.
But the road to separation from my abuser and the healing of my broken heart has been a really, really long process. Did I say really long process? Really long.
I remember as I came to terms with what happened to me. I was angry. No, enraged, was more like it. I looked back on the sexual abuse I endured, How could you have done this to me?! What were you thinking?! The heaviness and sadness were overwhelming to me as I tried to make sense of my life. Who I was and where I came from.
I felt unwanted, unloveable, and gross. A truly gross, not normal person.
All the dark, heavy baggage, the weird secret memories. I carried a deep well of shame inside my chest. I wanted to be known and loved for who I was, but who I was was someone who had been abused, shamed, broken.
I struggled to try to unravel the confusing things I had experienced, relieve the pain from it all, and find that I am more than this angry, heartbroken girl.
I felt guilt for years as I wrestled with all the abuse I had already endured and the toxic behavior I was still enduring, wondering if it was okay to break relationship with this person. First, he was family, so . . . And I am a natural people pleaser. And I hate conflict. But I knew I couldn’t carry on with my life in a positive way if I was going to continue to allow this abuser into my life. I had to come to the understanding that this person who was supposed to be my protector and my hero is unsafe. And that I am ALLOWED to get away from unsafe people. Period.
So, the first thing I did was set healthy STRONG boundaries between my abuser and me. Setting boundaries was a game-changer for me in my relationship with my abuser and in my healing process.
Armed with my belief in Christ, Christian counselors, strong pure relationships, and a courage to pursue purity and right living, I stepped out in boldness and told my abuser we would no longer be in a relationship and that I forgave him for what he did. That we wouldn’t see each other or talk on the phone anymore. Done.
Oh, it was so hard. Yet SO freeing!!! All the years I couldn’t and didn’t know how to make it stop as a child and finally I was able to say, “no more.” I had to remove his evil toxic ways from my mind, my body, my spirit. So that I could heal and grow into the person I was always meant to be. Not an insecure girl, but a courageous woman who forgives and is free from shame.
Abused no longer.
If you have experienced trauma and are dealing with its fallout, you too can find hope and forgiveness. Please reach out to a trusted friend, confidant or counselor. The abuse you experienced is not your fault. You deserve to live a life free of abuse.
Please spread the word and share this blog with someone you know who might benefit from what The M3ND Project does. If you have a story to share that would encourage others or help to shed light on the different forms of abuse or Double Abuse®, please share your story with our M3ND team so we can consider publishing it https://themendproject.com/the-m3nd-project-tmp/.