Making the Psalms Personal.

First chapter of Psalms: 1370s: commissioned by Queen Jadwiga of Poland

I’ve been going through the Psalms, writing them as if they came from my heart. It’s been a wonderful exercise and I seem to think of the Psalm the rest of the day. Some of them are happy; some are sad. Tonight, I got to the 22nd Psalm and as I tried to enter into the sufferings of David and Jesus, my own sufferings became vivid. Maybe writing out the Psalms is a good way to get the bad stuff out, like I used to do while in therapy when I wrote my life story in a journal. I hope this helps someone.

Psalm 22:

Why did you let this happen? Where were you? A question I used to ask. No more. I accept what happened. This world is a cesspool of evil. But mental pain brought me to you, the Lover of my soul.

Most of my life, I have felt like a worm, not a human being. Because my father molested me, I felt filthy and unlovable. But you, O Lord, are enthroned in heaven. All power is yours. I believe in you. You were there the day I was born. You took me out of my mother’s womb.

People say, “Why are you still thinking about the abuse? Get over it!” They make fun of me because of my social phobia and agoraphobia. Sometimes when I speak, they say I am crazy. They laugh at me when I gasp in terror when someone calls my name, “BELLE!” I peed in first grade when the teacher called my name. Pee filled the seat of my chair, poured down my legs and shoes and puddled under my desk. What happened next? Memory gone.

In high school, boys surrounded me, trying to feel my breasts, trying to take my bra off. Me? I wanted love and babies. But I was snow-white pure; a virgin head to toe. Then in high school, a boy told everyone he had screwed me. I was easy. He said it loud to a crowd of boys as I was walking by. A lie. They opened their mouths wide against me. My father says it too, “SLUT!” as he throws me against the wall. My heart has turned to wax.

But you Lord, are my strength. I want to tell everyone how you have saved me. You have heard my cry for help! One day, all will kneel before you. My children will worship and praise you!

Nightmares of a Sexually Abused Girl. (Warning: Trigger and not so nice shit going on.)

I had a dream this morning. I don’t think I have ever shared a dream like this before, but I felt God wanted me to share it because of other women who were abused. So they don’t feel alone. So they know someone understands.

First of all, I used to have terrible nightmares for years about my father and sex. At first, I had blood on my nightgown in the dreams. This changed into excrement. So many dreams where I had poop all over myself, trying to hide it, horrified at the smell and running from people so they wouldn’t see or smell me.

In this dream, I met a wealthy, older man in Las Vegas. He was large and wore black expensive clothes. H met me through my paintings. He saw them and liked them and wanted to meet me. He encouraged me to keep painting and one day have a showing that he would finance. He was nice, but I could see he wanted to have sex with me. I became attracted to him, but he was married and so was I so I told him I had to go home and I told myself I would never see him again.

A few of my family members were there too and we had stayed at his place for a couple of days. I wanted to give the man a gift, but when I tried to do that, his nice vases and figurines got all tangled with the gift. I couldn’t untangle it and there was a huge mess in his living room because of me. I told him I would clean his house before we left.

He and my family were cleaning up when I had to go to the bathroom. I had been sweeping, but had to stop. I ran to find a bathroom and they were full so excrement was leaking down my legs. I finally found one and got poop all over the place. A man was in a room next to mine and shoved something through the wall. It was a key with a wooden piece on it that said, “Men.” I grabbed it and got poop on it and threw it on the floor. The man came in and looked at me with disgust and left. I heard the rich man call out to me, “Where are you? It’s just like your family to make a mess wherever they go! And why aren’t you helping?”

I felt so worthless and helpless. I knew he would also be disgusted with me. I walked to the door and opened it a crack and told him I was having trouble. I didn’t know I had poop smeared on my face.

He looked at me, at first with anger, and then his face softened and I saw love, forgiveness and understanding on it. I was amazed he could love me the way I looked. I woke up.

I know I had always confused God with my father. I always had the seemingly impossible task of believing God loved me. God was my father. My father was a sexual pervert and physically abusive. At church they told me over and over that God was a father. Well, I was always afraid of my father and of God.

Lately, the last few years, I’ve grown closer to God and have begun to finally see his love for me. I think the dream shows that. It is a good sign, I think. I’ve always been too embarrassed to admit I am many times covered in poop in my dreams. I felt like sharing, because I think other women may dream this too.

Right now, I am close to our dear God, but because of my mental illness, I’m not so close to my family. They love me very much, I know that, but they don’t understand me and are afraid of saying something to make me want to kill myself. Also, I talk about God all the time and I think they get bored with that and with me. I don’t think they really enjoy being with me, and I don’t blame them. I don’t enjoy myself either. Lol I get sick of my sickness.

I have no friends. I rarely leave the house because I’m afraid I might run over someone or hit another car. The traffic in my city is totally crazy. Even when I do go out, I can’t wait to come home. I seem to always say the wrong thing to people or I start sweating up a storm until it is dripping off my nose.

I have come so far in therapy with dealing with the abuse. I’m sure after reading this, you with think, “Um, No, you haven’t.” lol  But I have. I used to want to die every day. Now I usually wake up happy at the thought of spending the day with God. I talk with him and pour out my heart to him. He is everything to me. I do have small lapses, but I’m glad I’m not completely mad and in an institution somewhere.

I also think one reason I’m this crazy is my father burned my hands on a stove when I was three. I kind of left my body when that happened and have been royally fucked up ever since. BUT I got married (twice), had two beautiful girls, have a good husband, and have 7 wonderful grandchildren who love me. So, all in all, I think God has paid me, “double for my trouble,” as Joyce Meyer says. The fact I could have a semi-normal life is a very big deal and I thank God for it.

One thing about my family. Every one of us believes in God. We will all be together in heaven. I mean, that is a huge, wonderful miracle! I know my two grandmas prayed for all of us and I’m thankful for their prayers as I’m sure it made a difference. We are a stubborn, pleasure-loving family, yet God pulled us to himself by a series of calamities that made us see how stupid and wasteful it is to love this world and the things in it. We don’t care about the world any longer. We care about our family and being together in heaven. We learned the pleasures of this world end up as ashes in our hands. But the ways of God fill our hands with people to love and a glorious future.

 

My Life with God in My 40’s.

My grandsons and granddaughters. Taken 8 or 10 years ago.

I must warn those who keep reading that this story is partly about sexual child abuse.

My forties were half wonderful, half crazy painful. When my daughters got married and left home, I fell into a depression. I had lived for my children and my life and  home felt empty. I went to a psychologist and he suggested I go to university and work towards a career. I liked that idea, so I did go and enjoyed it immensely. However, something happened that made it impossible to keep going and get a degree.

When I was 46, I went to stay with my father when my mother went to Florida to visit my sister. My father had been dizzy and falling, so I went over to make sure he would be okay. That night, alone with him in the house, he knocked on the bathroom door while I was in there getting ready for bed. All of a sudden, I became terrified. I thought he was going to rape me. I ran out and went in the bedroom I was to sleep in and tried to lock the door, but I couldn’t. I went to bed very frightened of him. The next morning I went home as soon as I woke up.

I shook all this off and decided I was just imagining things. Then I started having dreams. Dreams of him chasing me, harming me, abusing me. I told my sisters what had happened. They told me secrets they had kept all their lives. My older sister said our father’s brother had touched her sexually. My youngest sister said the same uncle had also molested her. I was shocked and horrified. I decided to go to my psychologist and talk with him about it.

He was skeptical at first, but after a few visits trying to sort things out, if it was my father or someone else, he concluded I had been molested by him. He wanted to use a therapy where they tap your hand while talking; it was supposed to bring the memories back clearly. I didn’t want that. I felt if God had made me forget the details, then I didn’t want to go around God and find out more than my mind could take.

Well, from then on I have had mental problems, breakdowns and dissociation, which is when you kind of stop being an adult and  you become the child again. It is kind of spooky. I don’t realize it is happening when it happens, I just start crying like a little child or start talking in a child’s voice. My daughters always know when this happens. My voice sounds the same to me. This happens if I am under stress or sad.

I would have to write a book to describe what all I went through, and I have no plans to do that. I went to a few more psychologists and was an outpatient one time when I was hearing things. I am much better now, my biggest problem is social phobia and not wanting to drive or leave the house. But since I’m 67, I’ve decided not to fight that and just stay home for the most part. I really enjoy my life at home.

God was with me through all of this. He gave me a few beautiful dreams where he was right beside me. In the first dream, he looked at me with sorrow for what I was going through. The second dream was amazing. I was in church and saw my father there. I said to him, “You can’t hurt me anymore. God’s angels are with me.”  Then I turned and left the church. I was surrounded by many angels. We walked outside to a field and sat on the grass and sang a beautiful song to God. I looked up and saw a hill with three crosses on top. Suddenly, roses began growing and climbing up the middle cross until it was covered in pink roses. I stood up, and as I did I saw Jesus himself coming into view over the hill. I ran to him crying and flung myself into his arms. He was smiling at me and held me close.

The third dream was of Jesus and I riding beautiful, black horses. We were riding fast through a field. Jesus and I were laughing and enjoying the experience. All of a sudden, the horses grew beautiful, large, black wings and we rose into the sky and up to the stars. I knew we were going to heaven.

The wonderful part of my 40’s was when my grandchildren came into the world. I feel the best gift God has given me personally is my children and grandchildren.

God has shown me through the years to quote Scripture when I get depressed or have nightmares. No matter how bad I feel in the morning, or how bad I feel about my mother’s illness, I quote Scripture. I ask God for strength of mind and spirit. I thank him for being here with me and walking with me through life. My mind is transformed; I actually feel great peace and happiness. He is an amazing God. He is the strength of my life and my portion forever.

 

 

Violent Dreams and Revenge.

I had dreams last night that I haven’t had for a long time. Dreams of rape and violence. Dreams of me shooting the rapists. These dreams are always disturbing and I used to feel sad all the next day and sometimes for many days following.

Just as I got out of bed, I heard in my mind, “How can God allow this to happen to you?”  I laughed, and I’ll tell you why I laughed. I recognized that voice. It is the voice of Satan trying to rend me apart from God. But I’ve learned from Joyce Meyer to speak back to that voice in Bible verses. I say out loud, “The Lord is a shield around me, he is my glory, he is the lifter of my head.

The Lord is a strong tower I run to and I am safe.

The Lord is the strength of my life and my portion forever.”

As I quote these words, my spirit is lifted and I look up to God with thanksgiving. Jesus said, “In this world you will have many tribulations. But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Everyone’s tribulations are different. Yours may be financial, and you wonder why God has allowed this to happen. Perhaps you have lost a loved one. Maybe your husband or wife has left you. Quote the Bible, trust in the Lord and do good. We will never understand everything while we are here on earth. But we will understand afterwards.

Jesus once said to Peter, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 

John 13:7

Jesus said about his death on the cross, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.”  John 16:20

 

The Bible says Jesus was, “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”  If the Son of God suffered here, why do we expect not to suffer? No, we have “entered into Christ’s sufferings.” Christ has been suffering since Lucifer led a host of his fellow angels, the children of God in heaven, to rebel against God’s government. I can’t imagine what it was like for the Trinity to lose so many they knew so well and loved so much.

 

I don’t mean to minimize the pain anyone is going through. I know the pain of divorce, death and abuse. But I also know that God has sufficient grace, peace and love for us to go through these things. He walks beside us. He will comfort us here, and at the end of time, he will abundantly reward us with a beautiful, pain-free life in heaven. There, all our hopes and dreams will come true. We will be surrounded by love and beauty.

Dreams of Silence.

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I’m having more dreams about my mother. I keep dreaming she is hiding the fact my father was sexually abusing me. Last night in my dream she asked my sister and I to hide the evidence. I don’t feel horrible about these dreams. Not like the dreams I had about my father; but I wonder why I have them. I figured I have forgiven her and moved on.

I asked God what I should do about these dreams. He said to just talk to him about my mother’s part in it all. I did, and I will continue to do this until the dreams go away.

The reason I have felt no ill will towards my mother is that I grew up in the 1950s. There were no Women’s Shelters, no welfare, no help at all for women. My mother was a secretary and I think she was paid minimum wage – no benefits at all, of course. She would never have been able to take care of us three kids. I know that.

On top of it all, my brother had severe asthma. He was always sick. He was in the hospital at least once a year; his medications were expensive; doctor visits had to be paid. If my mother left my father, my brother would have had to go to the county hospital and I don’t know how she would have paid for anything else. It was just impossible.

The big memory I have of my mom and me was when I had a growth on my upper thigh. It was so strange looking that I’ll never forget what it looked like. It looked like a cauliflower. When I looked it up, when I was an adult, I found out it was a genital wart. They had to burn it off of me and I remember that well.

At the doctor’s visit, I remember him examining me in a way I’d never been through before. I remember him speaking to my mother and her answering him. I remember driving in the car on the way home; but I don’t remember what was said by anyone. I do remember we got a new doctor after that.

I wish our brains could leave us alone. But I trust God that he made our brains this way for a good reason. I have read we will dream about something until it is resolved. I believe that is true, and I guess that’s why I have no feelings anymore about my father and what he did. It took a long time to reach that resolution – but it happened and I’m happy about that. This is just another thing to resolve and I know God will help me.

If You Do This…That Will Happen. (Not Necessarily.)

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Me, walking by the Pacific Ocean when I lived in Vancouver, BC.I walked one to two hours a day. Loved living there.

I remember when I was in my thirties, forties, and fifties. I was always trying to lose weight. I used to buy women’s magazines and each decade they would have a new idea on dieting. The first was having a low-fat diet. If you cut your fat intake down to so many teaspoons a day – you will lose weight. I did it for a year. Try enjoying toast with 1/2 tsp. of butter. I did it, but I never lost a pound.

They would tell us to walk for half an hour to an hour a day and we would lose weight. I did it for years. I did get toned up, but I never lost a pound. They told us to do aerobic exercises for half hour a day. Our metabolism would go up and we would lose weight. I did that by going to a gym, doing step-aerobics and going on the treadmill. I never lost a pound. I did look better though. I looked like I lost 10 pounds, but I didn’t!

The one time I did lose weight was when I joined Weight Watchers. They put you on a 1,200 calorie a day diet. I lost weight the first week and every week thereafter. It isn’t easy. I was hungry all the time. But that’s how it goes if you want to lose weight. Now that I’m old and sick and can’t walk far, I gained all that weight back. But at 66, I don’t care too much.

I’ve also read if you have a bad habit, such as drinking Pepsi every day, if you stop it for one to three months your craving for it will go away. I did stop drinking Pepsi one time, I still craved it 2 years later. I don’t know where all these health experts come from but they are wrong about a lot of things.

In my Christian life, I’ve noticed that when Joyce Meyer says if you quote the Bible out loud if you are feeling depressed, peace and joy will come to you. And she says the more you do it, the easier it is to do. The more you fight depressing thoughts with good thoughts from the Bible, the happier you will become. I started doing this regularly about a year and a half ago. I found it to be true.

Because I was sexually and physically abused by my father from a very young age, I have always struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. Some years were better than others, but a crisis could bring on a terrible depression that could last a long time. I think if I had done what Joyce said, all those years ago, I wouldn’t have had the trouble I’ve had. My life would have been happier. I didn’t know the power of the Scriptures or the power of God for so many years.

But I’m so happy to have learned God’s power personally. I used to wake up each morning wishing I was dead. Now, I wake up happy, knowing God will help me through the day and make me feel good about life. It has been an amazing 18 months of chasing sad thoughts away, amazing because it actually works!

The Great Sadness.

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I just finished reading, The Shack, by WM. Paul Young. This book moved me as no other. I bought it because I heard Mr. Young on a Podcast at, http://rureal.org/  hosted by, Jon Brandon. As they talked about the book, I was intrigued so I bought it from Amazon.

For me, the story becomes beautiful and inspiring when the main character, Mack, goes to the shack after an invitation arrives in his mailbox. The invitation could come from a prankster, a murderer or God. He isn’t sure so he takes a gun, just in case.

In this book, Mr. Young portrays God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as people he meets. I don’t want to say any more than that. Each person who reads this book will react to these portrayals in their own way. I will just tell you my reaction.

I fell in love once again with the Trinity through this book. How easy they are to be with. How loving, thoughtful and patient they are. How different they are than the picture most people seem to have of God. They are fun to be with, which I’ve always suspected since God gave us all such a sense of humor. Many times I say to God, “Now, that was just funny,” and I imagine he finds things funny too.

I entitled this post, “The Great Sadness,” because along with the beauty and fun there is tragedy, which the author calls, “The Great Sadness.”  I immediately related to that because I was sexually and physically abused by my father when I was quite small up until I was around 11 yrs. old. Even when I was an adult, he could be very crass and exposed himself to me a few times. Of course he always said it was an “accident”. I know about “The Great Sadness.” Every person who has been abused as a child knows it.

The author himself was sexually abused as a child. He knows “The Great Sadness.”  If you are one who also knows it, I hope this book will help you. The author said it took him 11 years of therapy to understand what his character, Mack, understands over a weekend; so although this book may not heal all your pain, it is a good beginning. It is a long road to recovery and there is so much to learn. Joyce Meyer helped me through this too and so did many books on why God allows pain, from Philip Yancey to C.S. Lewis. All these authors helped me. I owe them a great debt.

The last few chapters of this book shook me to the core and seeing the love of God through it was something I was grateful for. The God in this book is a God everyone can love and feel at home with. He is the God of the Scriptures; he called himself a servant when he was here. A servant. Imagine that.

Mental Illness and Sex.

I have been wondering if I should write about this subject and have decided I will in the hope it will help someone going through something similar. But if you don’t want to hear about my sex problems, you better stop reading.

 

I was sexually used by my father, starting when I was very young. He also abused me physically a few times to keep me in line. I was terrified of him.

 

I’m 66 now, and still have trouble with sex. Things are definitely better, but I’m still working things out. God has shown me something I thought I would share.

 

Every Friday, even though I’d had a great week, I began feeling sad. I didn’t know why until I prayed and paid attention to myself. It is because the weekend is coming and I know my husband and I will have sex at some point. After we do have sex, my depression lifts. I don’t have to worry about it for another week.

 

The thoughts I used to have during sex were not pretty – I will spare you the details. But I couldn’t enjoy the sex any other way, it seemed. I wanted to make my husband happy, and I was; but God was not happy because I was hurting myself.

 

God has been telling me a long time to quit thinking violent thoughts when I have sex. I tried a few times, but then I would just feel numb. Then one night after sex, I had this sudden urge to scream and keep screaming forever. The urge went away, but when I talked with God he said, “I can’t keep you sane, as you keep asking me to do, if you continue thinking these thoughts.” I pondered that for a few minutes and said, “I’ll try.” Then I said, “No, I promise I will never do it again.”

 

At that, I felt a powerful presence come over me. I had woken with a headache and it went away immediately. My body had been aching; I felt a softness all over me and the aches were gone. I knew it was the overshadowing of God’s presence. I felt so good and happy. I felt so thankful.

 

That was two weeks ago and sex with my husband has been great. We tried some new things to help me relax and of course, he is so patient with me and always has been. It is kind of embarrassing to talk with God about all this, but after all, he invented sex! It ain’t my fault! I just want to learn how to live with it and enjoy it and He is helping me.

 

God always helps me with everything if I come to him about it. I wish I could convey how wonderful it is to have God to go to. People seem to be afraid to give control of their lives over to him. If they only knew! If they only knew what a great person he is! If they only knew how he gives his best to us.