I’ve said it before here and it bears repeating; sexual abuse is profound. It attacks the core of who we are. It holds within its grasp the victims’ self-esteem & sense of worth and twists and rips it; leaving the victim feeling tattered, wilted, stained, repulsive and ugly. It leaves its victim with a deep, deep sense of shame and guilt, with the victim believing that the abuse was their fault. Sexual abuse manipulates and destroys, it feeds the victims lies that devastate and ravish the soul.
Sexual abuse is so wretched that the majority of victims work very hard at keeping it locked away tightly in the remote “closet of the mind”….victims then get on with life, believing that it-the “dragon”- has been mastered….that is isn’t a part of their lives and it no longer affects them. Victims tend to believe that because it happened a long time ago it no longer matters. Nonetheless, within the remote closet of the mind are switches and levers that the “dragon” of abuse can manipulate and influence.
As we grow and mature we begin to discover that many of the symptoms and behaviors we so desperately tried to deny and hide begin to surface and are coming from the dragon’s use of his closet technology. What we thought was nicely kept hidden away in the closet of our minds begins to surface and we find it harder and harder to keep the closet door closed.
As we begin to pry open the doors of our closet we sometimes re-experience many feelings from the time of our abuse. I read a quote once that said~our memories are often carried forward in time by feelings~how true.
As we open the closet of our minds and begin to acknowledge and face the abuse sometimes we may actually experience once again the feelings of fear, defenselessness and anger that we repressed as a child or teenager.
Those feelings we had as children build and shape the dragon in our closet. If we live our lives attempting to convince ourselves that the dragon is not there, or isn’t real, he just stays in the closet and continues his secret manipulations upon our lives and relationships.
But when we finally open the door and turn on the light the dragon comes tumbling out and often it makes us feel frightened or like we are going crazy, and no longer in control.
Yet, we need to remember that in this process whether we admit that there is a dragon in our closet or not, he is there.
And the way to defeat him is to open the door, let him pour out his scourge of revulsion and horrors, and finally beat him back with our newly discovered sense of worth and self respect….we beat Him with the truth…with the power of the Holy Spirit who is within us, fighting for us and bringing God’s healing to the closet of our minds….Jesus is our truth.
We need to remember that when our Heavenly Father invites us to open the closet of our minds and face the dragon He is with us. We do not walk this journey alone. He will not abandon us.
It takes energy to keep the closets locked up and the door bolted. It takes energy to keep secrets. We must always remember that although these secrets may be horrific and terrifying, they are limited in their power. Now as an adult the only power they have is to frighten us.
I read once that the only real weapons our secrets have are the feelings that we couldn’t allow ourselves to experience or express when we were being abused. And its very normal to find those feelings we experienced as children to be as strong now as when we were children.
God invites us to healing and life….no more secrets, no more energy given to hiding things, no more time wasted with feelings of dirtiness, shame, guilt etc.
As we choose to walk this journey of healing with Jesus we will be faced with the choices to continue to grow or to retreat.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, there is healing and there is hope…there is wholeness.
Hallelujah! It’s a good thing to sing praise to our God;
praise is beautiful, praise is fitting.
God’s the one who rebuilds Jerusalem,
who regathers Israel’s scattered exiles.
He heals the heartbroken
and bandages their wounds.
He counts the stars
and assigns each a name.
Our Lord is great, with limitless strength;
we’ll never comprehend what he knows and does.