What About Doubt?

What about doubt?

Doubt comes to us all from time to time. But as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse doubt can seem ever-present. Growing up with this abuse was living in constant doubt about the act of the abuse, doubt about trusting others, doubting myself, doubting decisions that I made. I still deal with that doubt today to some degree. And why wouldn’t I?

I was always being told by my abuser that he loved me faith-doubtand I believed him. But at the same time I felt there was something wrong with that relationship. It didn’t seem natural and as a child I didn’t know why. But he was the adult and kept telling me that what was going on was natural and beautiful.

At the same time I was being told by another adult in my life that I was good for nothing. Nothing I did was ever good enough for him. I was stupid in his eyes and would never amount to anything. Imagine the confusion I was living with. Was I worthless or loved? I finally came to the conclusion that I was worthless. As evidence, when the sexual abuse finally ended when I was 18 my abuser no longer wanted anything to do with me. I was hurt and confused and at the same time relieved that the abuse was over! I once tried to tell someone about the abuse and was met with impatience so I was never able to tell her. The other adult continued berating me and putting me down. Talk about doubt in myself!

Doubt, Doubt, Doubt! Did I want to even have a relationship with my abuser anymore? Did I want to continue to take the constant put downs. I doubted everything! I lived with self-doubt for most of my adult life never knowing if I was making the right decisions. Doubting what kind of husband and father I should be. What kind of employee I should be. What kind of friend I should be. Wondering if people would like me if they knew about the sexual abuse. It mostly paralyzed me.

As you can see doubt is a close relative to shame and guilt. Shame that I was a participant, unwilling or not in the sexual abuse. Guilt because of the abuse as well as the notion that I could never do anything right and was never good enough to amount to anything.

Well there is hope! Over time I have begun to see my self-worth. I can see that I can make good decisions when I need to. I have begun to love myself for who I am. Sure doubt comes into my being but it no longer runs my life. It wasn’t until I started to believe that I was worthy, smart, lovable even loved by myself, that doubt became less and less powerful for me. I see now that the sexual abuse had nothing to do with me but said volumes about the abuser. I see now that the put downs I kept receiving came from his own insecurities and has nothing to do with my own worth. The doubts are slowly having less and less power over me. path_road-less-traveled

There is a light at the end of the path whichever path I have taken. At least now I’ve taken a path and not stood paralyzed wondering which way I should go.

“Your Faith, your Love, your Beauty, your Truth is a hundred times more powerful than doubt. Faith is like the Sun, doubt is like a cloud. Yes, there are some cloudy days and let them be there. The Sun will eventually SHINE!           http://www.lifelongquotesandsayings.com

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Sticks and Stones

We’ve all heard the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Well there are times when words hurt us 100 times more than sticks and stones ever could. These words may come from other people which is bad enough. But when they seem to come from us, from our very core, they have an even more devastating effect.

These words that seem to be our own voice are telling us how terrible we are. They tell us we have no hope, that this is the truth about us and there is nothing we can do about it. How can we escape things that these words cause like depression, anxiety, guilt, shame, fear and even self-hatred? When we are abused sexually, physically and verbally these words take on a life of their own and they are often devastating.

As a survivor of sexual, physical and emotional abuse I have experienced the effects these words can have on us. Living with sexual abuse I was constantly confused about what was happening to me. Was I being punished for something I didn’t know I had done? Was this how an adult showed a child they loved them? If it was good why was it hidden and why did it seem so weird? As a child of 6 I held onto what I wanted it to be which was love. But after I had gone through adolescence and the abuse itself ended I learned it was not love at all. I lost all trust in myself and my judgment. It was all my fault, or so I thought. As a survivor I constantly blamed myself. Words like stupid, good for nothing, ugly, my fault and much more that others told me constantly, soon became my own voice and I believed it and made those words define me. I went through my days believing that all those words were really me and there was nothing I could do about it because it was the truth. I had no self-esteem!

In my 40’s the emotions the words had caused were overwhelming me and I decided that I needed help. It began with help for my depression and included antidepressants and it helped lift me a little. But those words never stopped haunting me. I could have just stayed in the place that had become comfortable for me if you can believe that. Believing these words were so deep-rooted that even the thought of there being something more caused fear and anxiety. I couldn’t change my beliefs because what would that mean? As time went on I began to understand that I didn’t need to let these words define me. That there was more to me than what these words kept saying about me.

And so my real journey began. It started slow while little by little I started not believing these words I had lived with for so long. I was determined. It has taken a while for me but this journey has begun to replace those lies, those words that were so ingrained in me. The words that defined me were being replaced by new hopeful words which slowly began lifting me up. When I started believing these new words about myself they gave me the strength to continue. Sure there are many times I’ve slipped back into the old patterns of belief, hearing those words in my head again, but with help and a new understanding of why I believed those hurtful words about myself, I can more easily and quickly bring myself back to the new truths I’ve learned.

I know now that I am not that weak, insecure person I used to be. God has no part in that. God’s words about me are much more powerful and real than anything I believed in the past. How can I be anything other than what God has created? UntitledI am a strong, courageous, confident, peaceful human being filled with Life, Light and Love. This is the truth about me and about you. And as we grow together these new words will begin to lift us up. The words that used to define us will begin to fade and have less power. They will be replaced with new defining words. Those words will begin to define us and lift us up to the truth about who we are, who we have always been.



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