I’m not a victim, I’m a survivor. No, I’m an overcomer. That’s a choice I had to make in order to set myself free from something the enemy tried to enslave me to many, many years ago and for most of my life. It’s a choice I made in order to take back my power and I will never again live as a victim. Victims are not free.
I didn’t get there alone, freedom from my assault, that is. My therapist pushed me into places I did not want to go, all while encouraging me that freedom was mine if I wanted it. After all, that freedom was paid for at the cross so it was an actual choice to remain tethered to the pain that lingered as a result of what happened to me. The chapter that I all but tore out of the book about my life, could, with God, be rewritten into a story where beauty comes up out of the ashes and through courage and grace, points others who suffer to the one who redeems.
I have been blessed to go through trauma work and I say that being on the other side of it. Going through it does not feel like a blessing. It feels like hell, actually. It feels like reliving the trauma. It feels like the opposite of power. But being on the other side of that difficult work, I can truly say that it’s an absolute must for anyone who has been assaulted. An absolute must if you’re ever going to get past it. And I mean really, truly moving beyond the trauma. Not shoving it down into the deep dark pits of never addressing it, never thinking about it, never mentioning it in order to avoid the pain and fear and anxiety that live tethered to that thing you shove deep down within you never to be spoken of. No, that is not healing. That’s not getting past it. That’s not closure. That’s called avoidance.
We all have our own journeys though. We all have our own trauma. We all have our own messed up stories. For this reason and out of love and compassion and having walked my own journey with trauma and avoidance, I won’t share the details about my trauma here because if you too have been sexually assaulted but haven’t done the hard work to heal from it, reading about my trauma may re-traumatize you.
I do want to say this though. On the other side of shame, there is freedom. A freedom I never realized was possible. And, keeping it in, even for decades, doesn’t mean it’s too old to rehash. It’s okay to let it out when you’re ready. And when you are, find a Christian therapist who has extensive experience with trauma and get to work. While you’re going through it, be kind to yourself. Dive into scripture. Surround yourself with goodness. The process won’t be easy but you’re worth it. I believe that and I hope someday you will believe that too and make the choice that I resisted for so long.
When you make the choice to be set free, what happens next? Abundant life and it’s beautiful.