Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday -- April 28, 2011

I ran across a quote this week, "This search for the truth, it's not for the faint hearted."  (Robert Goran, Law & Order: CI). I couldn't agree more, especially in relation to dealing with childhood sexual abuse.

The last couple of weeks have found me dealing with a variety of topics and abuse issues. My therapist and I began working several weeks ago on the final abuse event -- a rape in college. It raised a lot of anger toward my parents and other family members. I do not believe any of them responded in an appropriate or helpful way when I shared the episode with them.

Then along came spring. The harbinger of abuse when I was a child. Last week while walking through my neighborhood, I was drawn to a row of blooming honeysuckle bushes. This is what I wrote in my journal that day --

As I was walking I came upon a bunch of honeysuckle bushes just starting to bloom.
 I walked over to them to smell the flowers. Honeysuckle is a mixed blessing in my life. 
We had honeysuckle bushes in the backyard. I remember smelling them when I played outside and later when I dissociated. The day/night of the worst abuse by ****, I dissociated and went outside. The honeysuckle was just blooming. The air was cool with a hint of heat leftover from the afternoon sun. The grass was soft and new, and just a little cool on my bare feet. It was this time of year – April or early May. That’s where so much of this emotion and pain is springing from. It was this time of year when he took me to the study and raped and sodomized me. He humiliated me in my father’s “sacred” space. He called me horrible names, and accused me of wanting him to do those things to me – of actually enjoying the abuse he meted out to me.
 I dissociated and left the study to survive the onslaught of pain and terror. 
I felt safer in the open space of my backyard than I did in my own house.
Once outside I sat in the grass. I smelled the honeysuckle. 
I listened to the cars driving down the street, and to the families reuniting after a day of work and school. Mostly I sat and didn’t think about what was going on in that room. And I waited.

So what does any of this have to do with Thankful Thursday? Everything. I am thankful to have survived the abuse -- to have discovered I am not crazy -- to be learning to trust myself -- to have found people who believe and support me -- to have found my voice after all these years. But mostly I am so glad that I have loving Father who never abandoned me, and for whatever reason, I never left Him. 

The rest of my journaling for that day -- 

The honeysuckle and the evening air and the weather are the triggers that bring clarification and pain. The clarification is good. I am not crazy. The body remembers. The pain is just more of the same. It will ease with time and talk.
 But it will reverberate through the rest of my life.
I feel less stress now than I did earlier. I feel more in control. I am sad, and still worried that I am only shallow and self centered -- the two things I most want not to be.

Validation of my sanity is a big thing to me. I am blessed when it is God who reminds me of who I am and what my value is.

So to you, my compassionate witnesses, I offer my gratitude on this Thankful Thursday.


For more Thankful Thursday posts click here Spiritually Unequal Marriage


  1. what an incredible woman you are to have survived it. what an incredible God we serve to stay with us no matter what.

  2. Oh, my heart just aches when I read about what you were forced to endure. I am so thankful you could cling to your relationship in a loving God to help you then, and that He is continuing to help and heal the wounds even now. God is so good.

  3. I hear the deep pain, the wounds --and rejoice that you have reached out to a loving God. God sees our pain and is ready to come along side.

    Giving thanks to our heavenly Father with you.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  4. I'm so thankful that we have a Father who never judge and leave us no matter what we went trough, you are indeed a strong woman and may His grace and loving arms be with you always as you go through this process of healing

  5. Beautiful! The writing and the woman who did the writing.

  6. Melanie, my heart hurts in reading what you endured and then my soul rejoices that God has brought you this far and you are still going!

  7. I am so sorry that you had to live through this... and live through it still with triggers and pain. I am so thankful that you are working through it and sharing here so we can see your healing unfolding even more!


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