As survivors of child sexual abuse we spend our childhood expecting, almost waiting for the next horrible thing to happen and I must confess that is hard programming to break. We suffer in silence, we manage and manipulate our world so as to try to outsmart our perpetrator, we take the long way, we try to stay within eyeshot and earshot of someone who just may be willing to protect us, but ultimately the evil wins and we are trapped to face the unthinkable-again and again.
So how do we shake this feeling of doom and gloom? How do we reprogram our minds and our bodies to expect great things today? Personally it is a moment-by-moment challenge where we have to take captive those negative thoughts and put the opposite spin, a positive spin, on that moment. Today, I am still conquering this residue of abuse in my life. We were conditioned to spend so much time worrying about the next attack that we tended to live in the next moment, the future, instead of the here and now. We create the scenarios that will bring disaster and focus on them like they are real.
We have to speak truth over the lies that the evil planted in our minds. We have to take charge of our lives; living on purpose, determined to experience joy, enjoy our relationships and just be. We have to plan our days to function with maximum health that includes nutrition, rest, and exercise. This discipline is so contrary to the conditioning of the abuse, because we learned to hate our bodies and what they have suffered, so we tend, at least I did, to almost punish our bodies. So many eating disorders are birthed from child sexual abuse. We either put on a layer of insulation to protect ourselves or we starve ourselves, both exercising control over our bodies we did not posses as vulnerable children. Many of us also engage in self defeating and self destructive behaviors that limit our mind and bodies ability to heal.
So today I challenge you to reprogram your thoughts. Instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop, take off both shoes and run barefoot in the grass. Expect great things out of this day. Expect to be surprised, to be excited, to enjoy the life you deserve, free from pain and torment, free from abuse and free from those dreadful thoughts.
Know that God loves you and never wanted you to suffer. He desires you to live a life full of peace and joy. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
For resources for survivors of child sexual abuse please visit VOICE Today, www.voicetoday.org.