The internal battle with myself began when I was about 12 years old. I started teaching myself the art of control - control your emotions, pretend you are ok, and look like you have it all together. I stayed busy with school events, plays, softball, and I was a member of a singing and dancing group. All of these things kept me busy, occupied, and allowed me to stuff my feelings and thoughts deep within me. I was shiny and happy on the outside but dirty and devastated on the inside.
I got REALLY good at pretending. Maybe I should have been an actress - lol.
Honestly, I had some really dark days towards the end of High School and the beginning of college. The weight of what I had inside of me was taking a toll on me. The thought of dealing with my emotions and past overwhelmed me to the point that I thought leaving this life would just be easier. My weight dropped down to 100 pounds and sadly, I thought of suicide on more than one occasion. I couldn't deal. I couldn't face the abuse. It's too deep, too difficult, too shameful, too complicated. Looking back, God always showed up during those darkest days. He would whisper in my ear, send a friend to me, wake me up with a positive thought.
Nursing school was no joke. It challenged me intellectually like I had never been challenged before. It was difficult but I focused and dedicated all of my time to studying and being successful. I wasn't going to let myself fail. I was going to control this situation, be successful, and prove to myself and others that I wasn't a failure (even though I felt like a broken, weak failure on the inside).
I met my husband while I was in Nursing school. He was a GREAT distraction to what was really going on inside of me. I graduated Nursing school with a solid B average (I'm very proud of that), we planned a wedding, and our married life began - all the while remaining in control of my emotions, still pretending and stuffing the past deeper and deeper.
I've controlled my emotions for so long that I don't really think my brain and heart communicate like they should. I don't cry much. I never really allowed myself to feel the deep pain that the abuse caused. I've had moments, particular situations that I've broken down for, but my emotions are wacky. That was my coping mechanism. Control!
I've learned that victims of abuse often turn to self-harm, alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity and drug addiction. I get it! You are looking for an escape. You are looking for something to make you forget, to make you feel numb, to lesson the pain. My coping mechanism was CONTROL WHILE PRETENDING. It was exhausting!
(Friends - I am humbled and touched by the outpouring of comments, private comments, love, and special deliveries that I have received. Please know that my prayers are with you also. This is really a broken world that we live in. If you don't know Jesus, turn to Him. Get to know Him. Thank you Jesus for saving me!!)
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