Tag Archive | abuse

Revealed Chapter 11: Take Him at His Word

“Impossible is an opinion, not a fact”

In March 2001 I was baptized at Second Baptist Church in Auburn, NY.  A full water immersion baptism.  I sent written invitations to my family and friends, asking them to come to the beginning of my journey with my new life.  I gave my testimony in front of the entire congregation.  I rehearsed and quoted my favorite verse:  2nd Corinthians 5:17:  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”   But my new life had begun long before this pivotal moment in my spiritual travels.  It began that very first night in 1997 when I was slumped on the floor of my bedroom and praying to someone/something I wasn’t even sure existed.  I just didn’t know it then, but my heart was ready.  So God sent someone to me, my husband, to help show me the way and help me understand and find my faith in a way that I could/would understand.  In the 14 years that Al and I have been married, we’ve grown together in faith, in love and in God’s love.  But especially in just this past year (2012).

2nd Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

That’s not to say it’s been an easy road.  Life, even with God’s unconditional love and guidance, is not such an easy road to travel.  There are always pitfalls, missteps, crises and challenges that you have to muddle through.  For me, it’s been that much easier knowing that God has my back at every turn.  Knowing that.  Again, not a simple or easy concept, like the “trust fall”.  And we have had our share of challenges and “trust falls” just this summer to get through.

 Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.

Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.

Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.

Painful moments, TRUST GOD.

Every moment, THANK GOD.

My children are not believers, unfortunately.  I would love for nothing more than to have them find their way as I did, so their futures will be secure in the knowledge that they will go to Heaven when their lives here are complete.  They cannot deny with honesty that I have changed, and changed much for the better since I came to God in 1997.  I wonder if they think this happened by osmosis.  And others that knew the “before” me, do you think I just woke up and decided one day that I was going to stop swearing like a redneck trucker?  Or that I was going to suddenly stop beating on my kid’s behinds with a belt, or whatever else I could get my hands on that worked as well or better?  Perhaps I just suddenly ran out of FWB’s (see “Chapter 9:  Faith”) that I would go visit at all hours, leaving my children home alone and at risk for my own selfish reasons.  And then there was that weekend trip to Florida to be with a “friend” while I left my children with people I barely knew, let alone trusted.  But they were okay, really, they were what? 11 and 13 years old?  And Karrie was 17?

I’m not saying I’m a model of a good Christian woman.  I know I am far from that, but I’m trying.  The fact that a person can come from the chaos and irresponsibility that I have come from and turn a life around and begin living the right way ~ the way God intended us to live ~ is a testament to His existence.  For whatever reason, He came into my heart for the asking, and made me new.  My debts have been paid, my sins forgiven and forgotten ~ and what do I owe?  Only faithfulness, devotion and love.  What He asks for is not that hard!  And for those of you who do not choose to believe, that is your choice.  I’d rather believe and be wrong than not believe and be wrong.  My way (which is His way) is a win/win situation, and I’m not wrong

Now?  My daughters and I have good relationships.  Don’t ask me how they found it in their hearts to forgive me, even when I could not yet forgive myself.  Blessing after blessing.  My son and I have been estranged for the most part and remain so, despite the fact that it’s very painful and I pray daily about it.  I’m sure, in His perfect time, it will be resolved.  Al and I are wonderful together.  As I’ve said, we’ve had our issues, what couples don’t?  But we’re getting through them with God’s help, and the help and guidance of many of our Christian friends.

I had a comment awhile back on one of my chapters from a man who was criticizing what I had written.  He seemed to think I was self-involved, self-pitying and that I should (basically) get over myself (not in those exact words).  I believe he used the word “whining” or “whiney” at one point.  That is the one and only negative feedback I’ve received, and I found it in my Spam box.  Go figure.  But I have not and will not dismiss the comment this person made because it’s negative, as it has value and merit as all of the positive ones I’ve received.  Although, I regret that I did hastily delete the comment before replying to this gentleman and thanking him for his opinion. 

So, why did I write all of these chapters and put myself “out there” for all to see?  Good question.  I was definitely not self-pitying, nor whining.  I guess I was trying to make a point by showing how something good can come from something so dreadful, if you just have faith.  There are so many women who have been or may still be in a situation(s) such as I have been, and I’m hoping they find their way to this blog and get something positive out of it.  If they’re led to a new life through spirituality, that would be my best blessing.  But if they simply get out of a domestically violent relationship, or stop taking their frustrations out on their children by abusing them, or just give their child an extra hug and “I love you” today, I would be deliriously happy.  It’s as simple as that.  I don’t want pity, or praise or condolences or a pat on the back.  I want my words, my experiences to find someone and give them inspiration to better their life and those around them.  I was able to achieve this through finding my faith and spirituality, and you can too.  It only takes a moment and a simple prayer, and to believe that Jesus died for you on the cross.

If you’ve had an abortion, doesn’t matter how long ago, there is help for you.  If you drink or do drugs, abuse your kids, allow yourself to be abused in any way (and there are many ways) there is help for you.  If you’ve attempted or think you might attempt to end your life (yes, I have *twice*), think again and again!  Call someone, call anyone and talk it out ~ and pray, pray very hard.  There is help for you, too!  You are never alone, even if you don’t believe, God is there with you… for you, in you.  Take Him at His Word.

** Aftermath ~ Just a quick note ~ I have found out the BH has passed away, without ever having found me on the street and having to kill me (“Chapter 6:  Trading Faces”).  As told in Revealed Chapter 10:  May You Reach and Find God Before God Reaches and Finds You, BB committed suicide in 2003.  Do the math:  that’s two out of three “ex’s” who have left this world for the next.  That leaves MS, my first husband, alive and well.  Hmmmm.  Actually, he and I have since become good friends, and I have forgiven all three of my “ex’s” (2 posthumously) for their part(s) in my journey.  I guess maybe I should’ve thanked them!

~ Coming Up:  A first-hand look inside a 72-hour stay at Hutchings Psych Center after a suicide attempt.

                        Don’t miss it!

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Revealed Chapter 8: Control Freak ~

As painful and embarrassing as it is for me to admit, I don’t remember thinking a whole lot about the welfare of my children from the mid-80’s to late-90’s.  I guess it’s because I was in this awful, never ending relationship with someone I’d grown to detest, and I was in this “zone” where I just wanted to be happy… even for a little while.  Happiness, to me, at the time, was either being drunk, or shopping for something new for myself or sometimes for my kids, but mostly just being away from BB.  Our relationship was so sporadically volatile, but there were still times when I hadn’t given up on that white picket fence fantasy, and we’d try to make things work and act like a real family.  It wasn’t all bad, but when it was bad, it was really bad.  But there was the summer we went camping at Lake Eaton in the Adirondacks… well, except it rained.  And occasionally we’d go to Fair Haven Beach on Lake Ontario and spend the day trying to be a “normal” family.  The kids “joined” things:  soccer, band, Girl Scouts ~ I was even a GS Leader for several years, and took the troop camping and such. 

 So, it’s not like I didn’t care about the kids, I just wasn’t as attentive and loving as I should’ve/could’ve been.  I never told them I loved them enough, if at all.  I was recently asked by my marriage counselor “‘how did I know my parents loved me”?  That was a really tough question, as looking back, I don’t remember them ever saying so.  But I knew.  Somehow.  I’m sure that they did.  I was sure that, when my dad brought out his leather Army belt to whip my and my brother’s behind for something, it was with love.  And when I was forced to eat the most God-awful fried liver for dinner, even when my mom knew I hated it and it made me gag, I knew there was love and my well-being uppermost on her agenda.  So, that’s how I knew to show my children that I loved them.  But now I wonder if they could’ve ever known that I loved them back then.  Doesn’t seem possible.

 Being the control freak that I was (see Forgiven and Set Free), I became an abusive disciplinarian.  And I was the only “real” disciplinarian for my children.  BB was not a parent to them ~ not even to his own Brian and Katie.  In truth, he was an agitator in our family.  I think I over-disciplined because of two things:  my control freak attitude, and the frustration of being in an abusive relationship myself.  I did not see it for the abuse that it was, I saw it as “making my kids mind”.  I wanted well-behaved children, who would do what I wanted, when I wanted without question or hesitation.  WTH?  Just reading what I just wrote sent my brain into a tailspin!  I did not “spare the rod”, but seriously overused it.  I have since felt overwhelming guilt, apologized to each of them, acknowledged my sin to God and begged everyone for forgiveness. 

 Today, I see my children with my grandchildren, and they’re loving, caring and completely the opposite of how I brought them up… praise the Lord!  They do not appear to harbor any ill-will toward me for my errant way of thinking hitting them and screaming at them (including obscenities)  was the way to get them to happily obey my wishes/commands.  Ok, well most of them.  And sometimes my adult daughters (Kristen and Karalyn especially) and I will “joke” about the mental issues that I caused them growing up, the OCD problems and self esteem issues that they acquired due to my Hitler-way of discipline.  Although we can laugh weakly about it, it’s not so funny.  Maybe that’s our adult way of coping with the issue.  But, admittedly, I see parents with their small children now and I think to myself, “why couldn’t I have been so much better to my children than I was?”  And I hate most of the memories I have of their upbringing, knowing that I caused them so much pain and they must’ve thought I hated them.  I marvel now at how absolutely wonderful they’ve turned out as adults, and wonder at just how that happened!  I’m sure I didn’t have anything to do with it!

 

*This post was a little off topic, but Chapter 9 will surprise and enlighten.

Revealed: Introduction ~

It’s time.  This is it.  For so many years, friends and family have been encouraging me to write a book about my life’s experiences thus far.  It’s taken until now to finally feel the inspiration from God to put myself out there, after all, I have nothing more to hide.  I thought telling about my abortion at age 14 (Forgiven and Set Free) would’ve been the hardest thing to reveal, and I’ve done that.  It’s time to “come clean” with the rest, and pray that I can help someone else in the process.

I guess I would classify my story as surviving, what some could call, hell on earth, then finding my spirituality and turning my entire life around.  As shocking as some of my reveal may seem to some, it’s meant to encourage others to not give up, and to listen when God speaks to you ~ and He WILL, if you let Him, if you listen.  He can bring you through any circumstance, if you trust in Him.

“With God, all things are possible.”  ~ Matthew 19:26  

So, I’m not writing a book, exactly.  I’m going to blog about it.  Each post will be like a chapter, with this being The Beginning.  I’m not going to change any names “to protect the innocent”, but I will use initials out of respect for those who deserve it, and for those who have passed away ~ and, yes, even for those who don’t deserve it (respect)!  I make no apologies for what I’m going to reveal.  It is the truth ~ my truth, my perspective.  I will attempt to write each chapter in chronological succession, but I will be writing as my inspiration tells me.  I trust He will not steer me wrong.

Before I begin with the Chapters, I want to notably make clear that I had what I consider to be an awesome childhood.  I loved my parents, even though I didn’t know that until it was too late.  I love my siblings ~ all 4 are older than me, but not necessarily wiser… maybe in “some” ways.  I believe I had a “typical” childhood of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.  My parents were loving people, albeit strict and they believed in corporal punishment, as do I.  We vacationed as a family each year, went to the company Christmas party at the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse, I learned to wash dishes by hand before I could reach the sink using a step stool.  We grew up in rural Upstate New York, and strung toilet paper at the “four corners of Plainville” on Halloween night, then watched as the tractor trailers drove through them and blew their horn.  My story doesn’t really begin until I became a pre-teen/teenager.  I’ll get there.

I also want my four amazing children to know, before I even begin, that I love them above and beyond anything they can ever imagine.  I would not change one aspect of my life, as that’s what it took to bring them into this world and get us to where we are today.  They have survived the tyranny, chaos and abuse I raised them under, and have become incredible adults with gorgeous children of their own.

Lastly, and most importantly, I must acknowledge my husband, Al (whose name I won’t initial), for coming into my life just when I needed him most.  I must confess that it was Al that brought God into my life… or was that vice versa?  *smiles*  They came into my life simultaneously, and I have been abundantly blessed ever since.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  2 Corinthians 5:17

A starred sunset over Lake Ontario from Brennan Beach RV Park & Campground near Pulaski, New York.
http://www.sthomasphotos.com or Viewsinfinitum.com

Oh, and the photo?  I’m borrowing it from another site:  www.sthomasphotos.com   I also want to recommend the blog:   http://viewsinfinitum.com/ .  This particular photo is a favorite of mine and has the effect of calming my mind and my soul, allowing me to reconnect with my Lord and God when stress is particularly abundant.  This photographer has many such “calming” photos, many involving waterfalls, nature and landscapes.  The blog is well-written and insightful, always stirring my imagination and emotions.  Worth a look.