When I was young, I often wondered if I had a stamp on my forehead. It must have read “Invisible” or “Damaged” – how else did broken, sick men know to try and take advantage of me?
Sometimes, those feelings can still be a constant battle. When a friend ignores a text message. Not being invited to an event. Feeling alone. Invisible.
When asked how your week is going, you smile and say everything is great or okay because to admit that it’s not, would show weakness. We learn we can’t show weakness because weakness breeds abuse.
Besides, we know we’ll get the brush off anyway. No one really wants to hear how your week is going. Very few actually want to engage in the down times of life.
We know we are a burden. A burden on those who know. A burden on society. A burden on ourselves. Probably a burden to God himself.
When sexual abuse is ignored, we learn we are alone in this world. Buck up and take care of your own. For what ever reason, we weren’t worth the effort to fight for. And we tuck that knowledge deep down into our souls, stitching it into the gaping crevice in our hearts, so we never lose it. Never forget.
With great effort, we eventually learn to fight. To claim our lives over the abuse. To shout, “ENOUGH!” from the roof tops.
A glimmer of hope that says we are worth MORE. And we grab onto it like a lifeboat adrift in an ocean full of hands trying to pull us back down. To keep us down. To keep us quiet.
There are many who don’t want to acknowledge the abuse. Afraid perhaps, that our mess will some how splash up on them. They will try and pacify us with platitudes like, “I’ll pray for you.” or “You just need to forgive and move on.”
And once again, we are left alone. Ignored.
Yes, we do need your prayers. Please, if you make this promise, do it. This battle is hard. Sometimes minute by minute. We never know where the next trigger might come from. Tv? Someone standing in the grocery line who smiles a certain way at us? A stranger’s stance that reminds us of our abuser?
We do need to forgive. But how? Many have no idea how to take the steps to move towards this. Is it just a prayer? Years of counseling? Do we need meds? Is there a step-by-step book?
The sweetest words we could ever hear? “How can I help?” Please offer to pray right now. Please offer a listening ear. Please don’t ignore me. Please see me. I’m here. I’m broken but I don’t want to stay this way.
* If you understand these feelings because you’ve suffered abuse, subscribe to my site right over there in the sidebar and you will get my step-by-step ebook on forgiveness. >>>>>>
As the body of Christ, how can we do better at taking care of our wounded? Leave your suggestions and thoughts in the comments. I love hearing what you have to say!