I’ve had only a glimpse of suffering, just a taste of violation, betrayal, and rejection. Yet the intensity of the pain left me in shock.
From the very moment, when it seemed that my entire life crumbled, I felt the Lord's presence sheltering me. I was not rescued from the pain of this event, but I know I did not walk through it alone.
It is normal after abuse to feel confused, disillusioned, guilty, and angry. The extreme emotions in this phase can be very unsettling. The feelings of emptiness were overwhelming at times. It all seemed so unfair and so unbelievable.
I struggled with the fact that evil seemed to prevail. This was so disillusioning. I held my breath, waiting for God to smite them. I truly believed that sooner or later truth and right should win, and falseness and crookedness should fail. That isn't what happened.
I spent over a year railing against the injustice of what happened, trying to push the reality of it away, to deny its existence, to just get over it. My attempts to forgive and heal seemed fruitless at times. The reminders of what happened kept me in a perpetual cycle of forgiving repeatedly.
I longed for a short cut, an easy path to healing, but I couldn't find my way around the pain I was going through. Accepting the grieving process helped. There would be no quick cure for the grief, confusion, and pain.
My losses were many, and I acknowledged how much that it hurt. I accepted that I would have to simply experience the pain as part of the healing. This writing expresses those feelings:
IT HURTS by Jan Groenveld
IT HURTS to discover you were deceived.
IT HURTS when you learn that people you trusted were setting a trap for you.
IT HURTS when you are accused of being a troublemaker. It hurts even more when it is your friends making these accusations.
IT HURTS to realize their love and acceptance was conditional on you remaining a member.
IT HURTS to see the condescending looks on the faces of those you had befriended.
IT HURTS to know you must start all over again, to have wasted so much time.
IT HURTS to feel betrayed, disillusioned, and suspicious of friends.
IT HURTS when you feel as though you no longer fit anywhere. You want the security you felt before, yet you know you cannot go back.
IT HURTS when you feel you are all alone and that no one understands what you are feeling.
IT HURTS when you realize what you gave up, what you had invested.
I have done what I can to heal. I wrote letters of forgiveness that were never sent. I gave up my demands for justice. I forgave and let go to the extent that I am able to for now. I believe that the Lord will continue to work in my heart to increase my love for those who hurt me.
Jamie Arpin-Ricci said it well in the comments from yesterday...
"It took me well over 2 years to be able to think of my former community without deep woundedness...Years later, the wound is healed, but can still ache in certain 'weather', if you catch my meaning."
Yes Jamie, I know exactly what you mean.