Sorry…this one is kind of raw…and personal…and…ya…
I asked Abba to choose my therapist. I only had three specific requirements: specialize in sexual issues, a believer and strong enough to keep me from avoiding the hard work. Not only does she deal with sexual abuse and addiction, she has a strong background in spiritual abuse. She not only believes, the woman is a very powerful prophet/prayer warrior. She is strong enough that she can get me to say things that I won’t normally say. And gentle…on my hardest day she let me cry all over her shoulder. She is unlike any therapist I’ve worked with before.
This week we landed on my issues with sex. I braced to go through the abuse timeline…again. I did NOT expect this woman to be so blunt to the point that I was face down on the couch, blushing and laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. Is this therapy? Is your therapist supposed to respond to you like a girlfriend? Did she really just say *that* and did I really just reply with *THAT*? Is it really therapy if you are laughing? Once I quit laughing, we went to work tackling the root of my issue.
I wrote a *long* letter to the husband during our engagement about my “experience” or lack-thereof. I did not mention one iota of the abuse, although I mentioned having trust issues. I remember the conversation we had after the next service. Can I just say that if you are trying to avoid having sex …spending a half hour talking about it isn’t going to help? I was still very much a child. Pleasing this man I loved and idolized and was terrified of losing was utmost on my mind. So I said things I thought he’d like me to say and I implied things that I didn’t really understand and we left that car with TWO completely different ideas of what our marriage would be like.
I didn’t understand how twisted this part of our marriage was until I was sitting in a chair arguing with a psychiatrist that she didn’t know crap, despite her PhD. She insisted there was no such thing as a sexual child and I was insisting she was just too dumb to see that one was sitting across from her. And she stubbornly kept repeating, “There. Is. No. Such. Thing.” It took 5 minutes and two passages from the book I demanded she bring out every time I disagreed with her before the truth hit me.
I was told a lie. A lie that I believed to be truth.
I believed that I caused the boy to do the things he did to me. I did the things he told me to do. And once I learned what was going on in the backyard shed was “sex” I believed what I was told: I was just a girl and girls used sex to deceive the boys. I was a FREAKING SEVEN YEAR OLD GIRL. A little girl who couldn’t multiply 5×5, barely dress herself or make her own breakfast. I was capable of being sexual? But that lie stuck. And it stuck as I grew into a young teen with hormones and identity issues and a home life that was a nightmare. And I heard how my breasts were too big and my personality too loud and my family origin too trashy to ever attract a “good man”. And I watched girl after girl have a boyfriend and I only had boys who were friends who said, “You’re not the type of girl guys fall in love with.” And I was told that I wouldn’t live past 19 anyway, so what did it matter what happened? And this lack of identity, dignity and worth made me vulnerable to be used. And as I was used I just repeated the lie. I was an evil girl who made the boys do evil things. I fed their lust. I tempted them. I had the power to cause them to stumble and there was no way that I would be anything but the woman Proverbs warned men to avoid.
The husband, he had a different experience. He had a previous relationship and he knew that somewhat normal women don’t have these strange issues. They don’t try to attract you and repel you simultaneously. They don’t tell you they like something and then freak out the second you even come close to doing the thing they just told you to do. They don’t respond to your advances by purposely making themselves as unattractive as they can. He just didn’t know that my issues SHOULD be a problem. Because he too had begun to believe the lie. The lie that human sexuality was the original sin in the garden and that God hated it and that a truly perfect man would strive to overcome his desire to be with his wife in that manner. And so, in a way, we were perfect for one another with our twisted messed up issues.
And then Abba took away the soul wound and things changed. I fell in love with the husband and the husband fell in love with me and it was only a matter of time…we found ourselves dealing with my issues. Again.
I’ve been so angry and sad to be in this place. But this time I’ve decided to fight back. And that’s why I sit on her couch. And I talk to another human being about why I can’t get my head to quit telling me that I’m sinning every time I smile at him and I distract him and things end up where they end up. I want to embrace my husband and not have scriptures screaming in my head, reminding me that I will be responsible for his soul’s demise. I want to put on something in the morning and not second guess myself. I don’t want to ask myself if I’m going to be showing too much skin or too much breast or butt or hip or god-forbid elbows or my toes. I want to be comfortable, in my own skin. I want to be a woman and that mean nothing more than I’m a beautiful, amazing daughter of Abba.
I was talking with my sister today. We were talking about therapy and how it pushes us beyond our comfort zone. I told her that I wished I was brave enough to share the journey of embracing my femininity and sexuality…the real truth and not some vague truth. When she asked me why I didn’t the only answer I could give was because “It embarrasses people.” She responded with “It should be talked about. It just needs someone to talk about it.” You mean me? She just laughs. Because she knows the last time I said that I ended up saying crazy things on a stage in Ohio.
So, I’m praying…sort of…about being more honest and raw about this journey. It’s not easy for women to be open and vulnerable with others and perhaps a little of my insanity will be the very thing that makes the difference between being trapped and being freed.
I really want to tell you how I’m learning that it is absolutely possible to have a healthy sexual identity after sexual abuse. That is possible to be absolutely in love with Abba and in love with another human being. That Abba designed this to be an expression of love and it is not sinful and it is beautiful and holy and righteous. That a woman CAN embrace her sexuality and she won’t go to hell…and neither will her partner. That this relationship is the highest form of worship and intimacy that a human can express. That’s what I really want to tell you.