I've had to stop to inhale and exhale more this week than normal. My breathe has been caught a few times, leaving me feeling a bit short of breath. It's the same ol' same ol'... SHAME!
I've read and I'm already re-reading a book entitled, "Unashamed" by Christine Caine. Although our stories aren't exactly the same, there are an amazing amount of similarities between myself and the author. I feel like she took my thoughts and feelings and wrote them out in her book. Her book is so relatable yet so hard to read. It's her story of Victory over her shame yet I am still wading deep in the depths of mine. Yes, I've made progress! Every small victory is worth celebrating. For me, shame is still quick sand, chains, prison walls, and limitations.
The book states that "facing shame is a matter of COURAGE and CHOICE". I've been attending group therapy for approx. 7 months now. I have shared some personal stories but have found myself succumbing to fear more than trusting my boldness that Christ has instilled in me. It's waaayyyy easier to listen to others, offer feedback to them, and ignore my thoughts. Well a few weeks ago, I was driving to group and made the decision to myself that I had to share something every week. Something! If I were to wait for the fear to disappear in me before speaking, I would never speak or share what I needed to share. I made a CHOICE. I just needed the COURAGE.
Last night in group, I spoke. Briefly. It's embarrassing to even talk about and even type it out right now. Remember, I'm a nurse. The anatomy and the human body is our nature, our wheelhouse. We study to understand it, speak of it, help it, teach it, nurture it, and care for it. It's a comfortable subject and just feels natural as a nurse. But...saying the word "penis" last night was the most embarrassing and shameful thing to had to say out loud. After I said it, I chuckled. Can you say inappropriate response? Can you say that I was guarding my feelings? It was a bold move for me though. Afterwards (when everyone in group became silent and it was extremely awkward) I wanted to retreat into a rabbit hole, hide my face, and escape the reality of what was having to be discussed. I went from feeling like a responsible professional adult nurse to a scared, embarrassed shamed child. This process is a rollercoaster y'all and its super hard. It's also disgusting to relive due to whose penis I was having to refer to. Shame...on you. A N Y W A Y, today is hard. I am having sharers remorse. It's really a thing. I didn't sleep well, I can't eat today and I'm probably making it worse by blogging about it but it's hard reality for sexual abuse survivors.
A dear friend of mine used the analogy with me of having to Slay the Dragons. In times of adversity, you have to do the hard things, the dreaded things, the things that hurt so much. You have to slay the dragons to make progress, move forward and fight for victory. My dragon is a fire breathing, sore infested, sin driven, nasty smelling dragon of shame who nags, steals and tortures. I'd like to think that I made a small effort to fight back last night, pulling my weapon out, in an attempt to slay the dragon.
I continue to ask God for courage and to choose to continue to fight. That's my prayer for all abused. We are worth the fight. We are worth the freedom that will come when we overcome this. I also continue to ask God to continue to find ways to use our ugly experiences towards something that is positive, encouraging, and soul building to others. He promises us that. We just have to believe that He will use us and believe that we are worthy of being used to better His kingdom.
Slay on & Merry Christmas!