Easter Hope

What does Easter mean for you? Is is about chocolate? (I am not judging, chocolate is awesome.) Is today about family? Are you a Christian, have you been to church to celebrate today? Or is it just another day for you?

For me, Easter has always meant very little. As a child and a teen, I went to Church every week. On Easter Sunday, I would attend an Easter service of celebration. Along with everyone around me I would exclaim “He is Risen”. We would shake hands- supposedly sharing joy and hope with each other. Except I did not and could not feel it. I gave very little thought to (and nor did I care) what those words could mean for me.

I was being sexually abused, how could I know hope or joy?  I did not see that Jesus had paid the ultimate price for me. In fact, it felt like an insult when I was told that Jesus had died to save me. How was I saved when I already felt like death had found me and condemned me to Hell?

How could I understand that Easter was to mean a time for renewed hope, when I could not remember ever having felt hope. The darkness of the abuse was like a thick black shadow over my life,- past, present and future. I could not remember the joy and hope in my childhood, I could not find any joy or hope in my present and my future did not seem to exist. 

I did not care that Jesus had died to save us all, I did not care that he rose again. It meant nothing to me at all.

At most Easter was about an Easter egg hunt, eating Easter chocolate and having a lovely roast dinner with family. In some ways today is no different, it has already or will include an Easter hunt and then eating that chocolate. There will be an awesome (if I do say so myself) roast dinner with my husband and my children. Those things are traditions, I do not want them to change. But this year is different for me. I am different.

I finally feel that hope others talk about at Easter. I have enormous, wonderful hope for the future. Hope for happiness, hope for healing and hope for peace. I am not sure what that means for my relationship with God, but I am certainly less resentful than I used to be- I have hope things will continue to change.

There is so much pain evident in the blog posts I am reading today. People feeling as I have and sometimes still feel. It makes my heart ache particularly today, for those people who have seen, lived and been touched by the agony of abuse. 

If you are one of those people, then I want you to know that even in the depths of despair, hope is there. I want you to know that when you cannot see past the darkness and you are feeling as if you are losing the battle, every breath you take is a win. 

If you have been or are in crisis, you have probably heard the same as I have- “one day at a time,” or even “one hour at a time”. An hour can feel like a life time when you are in the agony of flashbacks, or suffocated by shame. Forget one day or hour at a time and take it by each moment instead. Each moment is step on your journey, a step further away from the past and a step forwards on your path to healing.

Please do not give in, you deserve to heal and you deserve to find peace. There is always hope.

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Judgement

 

 

Sometimes, I fear I am evil. Those thoughts, feelings, beliefs I hold, I have always feared that if I shared them, people would see that evil within me unfold.

On Friday I shared some of those with my T. He let me talk, he let me explore and he asked some questions, which allowed me to be sure of my feelings. I shared my fears of what other people would think if they knew. My T told me I was entitled to those thoughts and I couldn’t feel something other than what I feel. He told me my feelings were valid, he seemed to understand.

Those people in my life who really have no idea, or cannot comprehend my past, I fear they would never understand. I think, they would be shocked, I fear they would change their view of me. But I cannot help the way I feel and I am certain it will not change. So, it feels as if I am lying, hiding yet more of myself.

I struggle with that a lot, I want to be open, I want to feel able to be me. If I want to share the way I feel, or share those things that were done to me, I want to be free to do that as I want to. But how can I, when there’s so much judgement, from within me and (in my experience) from without.

 

I go through periods of praying a lot, reading my (new and beautiful) Bible, where I find I just cannot get enough. But when I’m being completely honest with myself -with my thoughts and my feelings, I find I cannot pray, or even look at that Bible.

When I’m being real, I am ashamed of myself and I get all defensive, assuming I will be judged. Then everything that was comforting me, is suddenly a trigger, even my normally much loved, devotion app. Any sort of teaching, feels like preaching because I’m so full of guilt and so laden with shame.

Right now, I feel guilty for not feeling what I think I should and I feel guilty for feeling the things I do. I am ashamed of the thoughts I have and the way I feel about some of my past.

 

And if you knew, would you judge me, the way I judge myself?