Beauty from ashes daughter

Words of hope from an abuse survivor

Grad School September 9, 2012

I am in graduate school while working full time. Its been three weeks since the start of Fall Semester and admittedly I am overwhelmed and exhausted and not sure how I can maintain this pace. This blog is very important to me because it is something that God has been nudging me to do for a while and it is a way for me to live out my life’s purpose of helping and supporting others. I remain committed to this call but I also think its important to share what a struggle it is for me to find the time and energy to share my story with others. At the end of the day, when work and homework have sapped every bit of attention I have, the last thing I want to do is revisit the memories that cause me so much pain. In those moments, I remind myself that someone may benefit from what I have to share and somehow Jesus provides the strength that I do not have within myself. I love to write and so I shall write for anyone who cares to read. I choose to be a survivor.

Perhaps one of the reasons I am really feeling emotionally drained today is because I watched a video and read a chapter for my social work class that covered the topic of sexual abuse. This issue is very personal to me so seeing others suffer from the affects of sexual abuse causes me feelings of sadness and maybe even despair. Why on earth do we as a society allow this pervasive issue to continue eroding our children generation after generation? It baffles me and infuriates me. I hope that someday I can play a small part in changing the way the world responds to sexual perpetrators. Maybe I already have… more on that later. Now its time to sleep.

For those who are feeling exhausted like me, know that God is with you.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Advertisements
 

Family Tree August 28, 2012

Filed under: Survivor — Beauty from ashes daughter @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Its always helpful for me to have reminders that I do not have to become like my parents and I can choose to stop the cycle of violence. I thank Jesus for giving me the freedom from my past in order to make that choice. Here is a song that illustrates that freedom in a beautiful way.

Family Tree
You didn’t ask for this
Nobody ever would
Caught in the middle of this dysfunction
It’s your sad reality
It’s your messed up family tree
And all your left with all these questions

Are you gonna be like your father was and his father was?
Do you have to carry what they’ve handed down?

No, this is not your legacy
This is not your destiny
Yesterday does not define you
No, this is not your legacy
This is not your meant to be
I can break the chains that bind you

I have a dream for you
It’s better than where you’ve been
It’s bigger than your imagination
You’re gonna find real love
And you’re gonna hold your kids
You’ll change the course of generations

No, this is not your legacy
This is not your destiny
Yesterday does not define you
No, this is not your legacy
This is not your meant to be
I can break the chains that bind you

Cause you’re my child
You’re my chosen
You are loved
You are loved

And I will restore
All that was broken
You are loved
You are loved

And just like the seasons change
Winter into spring
You’re bringing new life to your family tree now
Yes you are
You are

No, this will be your legacy
This will be your destiny
Yesterday did not define you
No, this will be your legacy
This will be your meant to be
I can break the chains that bind you

And just like the seasons change
Winter into spring
You’re bringing new life to your family tree now

~ Matthew West

 

Unwanted and unheard August 27, 2012

Filed under: Religion,Survivor — Beauty from ashes daughter @ 1:01 am
Tags: , , , ,

When I was a little older, 10 or so, my mother once told me that when she learned of my conception, she wept. She said she prayed that I would not be born. She said she was devastated by the realization that she would be bringing another child (I have an older sibling) into a home filled with violence. Violence at the hands of the one who was to protect her and us. I know she didn’t say it to be hurtful. I think it was an attempt to explain how much she wished she could protect me. No matter what her reasons though, the idea that my mother never really wanted me stayed with me always – arising during my darkest moments in life. She actually hoped I would never come to be. God apparently had other plans.

My mother often looked to my sister and I for guidance, advice even regarding the domestic violence. As young as six or seven years old, I can recall my mother weeping on her bed, bruised, sometimes bleeding – as my sister and I quietly assessed her physical injuries, she would ask us – “What should I do?” I was placed in the role of parent before I ever had a chance to play the role of the child. I struggled to find the right words to offer her comfort in those moments because I had no example to follow, no parent to which I could model my behavior. Still, I remember trying my best to convince my mother to take us far away. Mature beyond my years, I begged for her to protect us and remove us from the danger of his wrath, which was unpredictable and erratic as most domestic violence offenders are. As an adult, these whispered conversations with my mother haunt me. My mother asking my opinion and yet never heeding it has a detrimental affect on my current responses in similar situations. The moment someone discounts my voice, all the bodily feelings of being hopeless and powerless rush inside me, quicker than quicksand, dragging me under. The slightest disrespect of my point of view, and I am back in that room, trembling and afraid, and feeling unheard. But I am learning not displace my feelings towards my mother onto others. And I am learning to trust that no matter what, God always hears my voice, even when its whispering.

 

Beauty from ashes August 23, 2012

Filed under: Emotional Pain — Beauty from ashes daughter @ 1:52 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So, you might be wondering why I chose the name beauty from ashes daughter for my blog. Well, I am a beloved daughter of God and beauty from ashes seems to me to be the most poetic phrase to capture the essence of my life. It, of course, originates from scripture:

“To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness.”      Isaiah 61:3

But I have found an even better description of this concept and it comes from the song whose lyrics are found below.

If I had a theme song for my life, this would be it.

Beauty from Pain

The lights go out all around me
One last candle to keep out the night
And then the darkness surrounds me
I know I’m alive but I feel like I’ve died
And all that’s left is to accept that it’s over
My dreams ran like sand through the fists that I made
I try to keep warm but I just grow colder
I feel like I’m slipping away

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I’ve cried my last, there’ll be beauty from pain
Though it won’t be today, someday I’ll hope again
And there’ll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

My whole world is the pain inside me
The best I can do is just get through the day
When life before is only a memory
I’ll wonder why God lets me walk through this place
And though I can’t understand why this happened
I know that I will when I look back someday
And see how you’ve brought beauty from ashes
And made me as gold purified through these flames

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I’ve cried my last, there’ll be beauty from pain
Though it won’t be today, someday I’ll hope again
And there’ll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

Here I am at the end of me (at the end of me)
Tryin’ to hold to what I can’t see (to what I can’t see)
I forgot how to hope
This night’s been so long
I cling to Your promise
There will be a dawn

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I’ve cried my last, there’ll be beauty from pain
Though it won’t be today, someday I’ll hope again
And there’ll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

-Superchick

So I remind myself each day that the abuse is over and that this new day that God has blessed me with is my crown of beauty and I must wear it well.
RKB

 

My story – the short version August 22, 2012

Filed under: Survivor — Beauty from ashes daughter @ 1:20 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I was raised in an atmosphere of domestic violence from the ages of 0-14. Shouting, threatening, and breaking things was the norm in my world. My mother finally chose divorce when I was 14. During this tumultuous time, when I was at my most vulnerable, I began to be sexually molested by a youth group leader at my church. This continued for two years. Then, I disclosed the sexual abuse to my mother. She called me a liar. I recanted my claim as a result of this and didn’t talk about the abuse with her again until many years later.

At 16, I turned away from God and turned toward alcohol and drugs to numb my pain. Thankfully, through the death of a friend, He pulled me back to Him about a year later. I recommitted my life to Jesus and He has faithfully walked with me, and I with Him, ever since.

Now I am married to an amazingly supportive Christian man who has taught me what real love is. I work at a counseling agency for children who have experienced trauma. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Family Life Education. I am in graduate school at the University of Toledo.  I am ridiculously busy, but God is calling me to do this, so here I am.

I hope to blog once or twice a week, sharing stories from my life and experiences in no particular order. I will include poetry I have written, song lyrics that speak to me, and Bible verses that have brought me hope and healing. I’ll share about my struggles with anxiety and depression and the counseling I have sought to deal with those diagnoses. I’ll discuss my issues with food and weight and how I am reclaiming my health at this time. I intend to write about my interactions with the court system and how it is hopelessly flawed. Finally, I’ll probably occasionally offer some advice on how to keep children safe, how to fight against a system that lets perpetrators roam free, how to find mental health therapy that works, and how to advocate for yourself and your children.

Much love to my fellow survivors as I begin this journey.

 

 
Reporter With Half A Smile

I am a news reporter suffering from Bell's Palsy.

Cherish Freedom

My Healing Journey From Mormon Ritual Abuse To Freedom

inspired2ignite

Moving From Surviving to Thriving