It doesn’t really matter what your past had been. What matters most is your future with Me. ~ Jesus
Two words, too powerful to have liberated me. Of course, my Jesus set me free! But this social media campaign against sexual abuse and violence helped me a lot.
When I saw a dear friend’s post: “Me Too”. I really felt sorry for her. It was shocking! I wrote her a message and emphatized. She responded, she was shocked too, and was very sorry for me. Hers was a milder offense compared to mine, but still, the issue is the same.
It brought struggle. It brought tears.
Would I post #MeToo and share? What would my family think or respond? What would my friends think and react? I wrote this epiphany on October 20, but instead of posting it soon, soon lingered.
It wasn’t easy. Angst and anxiety enveloped me. But heaven’s embrace comforted me.
Two words, too humiliating to have admitted that I’ve been physically and emotionally harassed, violated, and was haunted for many years.
I owe no one sharing my dark secret. While growing, I had a struggle that one day, I need to publicly share this almost forgotten experience. I didn’t know exactly who did it first and how ugly it had been. But strange and scary nightmares used to haunt me for years since childhood until a few years ago.
I wasn’t raped. But almost, yes. I only accepted the fact that it happened to me when I encountered a kindred spirit in 2011, who’ve been through the same foretaste of hell. They encouraged me to be processed. A family friend who helped me process it had the relatable experience. She lent me materials for Biblical Counseling, listened to my stories, counseled and prayed for me. She said, our brain is powerful and it has the ability to shut a piece of painful and horrible memory in childhood for the sake of sanity.
I grew up loved and cared by my family who has no idea what I’ve gone through. I’m blessed with a Christ-centered family. But no matter how parents loved and shielded me from danger and evil deeds, Satan took hold of selfish men who did it. Not only once. Again, I wasn’t raped. But I was emotionally raped, physically trampled upon and wounded. I won’t give further details.
Pain: A Blessing not Everyone Appreciates
Our family had been through hellish crucibles. My brother suddenly died in 2011, eldest sister in 12.12.12 during brother’s birthday, and my father in 2013. I battled with anxiety.
My siblings had an idea about it and somehow, I’ve been grateful it wasn’t clinical depression. But there were times, I had angry outbursts which shocked me and them. It wasn’t exactly towards my siblings, I love them dearly. But it was horrifying that I’d been violent sometimes, and hurt them physically. Could you imagine that? I still cringe whenever I remember that.
I realized that it could have been the suppressed anger and pain which were burried in the abyss of the trench of dark memories. I also thought it was just because I was too stressed with how I juggled two jobs from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and sometimes, I worked until 9:00 PM. My earnings weren’t enough because my late sister’s diseases were very rare and her needs and medicines were expensive. We’re grateful for God’s providence through generous family friends and relatives who helped financially support my sister. Jehovah-jireh!
When Soon Lingers
My late sister Leah, shackled with paralysis, bedridden, misconstrued sometimes that I don’t love her that much and I didn’t want to take care of her. But she had an idea that seeing her deeply hurt and helpless, was killing me softly for almost two years.
If only I could snatch her sickness, and suffer for her instead, I would have done that. But through all of the raging storms we’ve been through, ate Leah was like a sunflower focusing to the Sun of Righteousness. She’d been a great comfort with her delightful demeanor.
From “two weeks to live” verdict, God sustained her for almost two years. She was imbued with sunshiny spirit, her faith was fortified. She fought a good fight or faith, like our late father, a year later.
I wasn’t literally suicidal. But I had battled with thoughts of dying instead of her, not only because I loved her and I didn’t want her to suffer longer from her very heart-wrenching condition, but also because I just wanted my scarred and scared heart to rest permanently.
“The TRIUMPH OF CHRISTIAN FAITH is to suffer, and BE STRONG; to submit, and thus CONQUER; to be killed all day long, and yet to LIVE; to bear the cross, and thus WIN the crown of immortal glory.” ~ EGW, Sketches from the Life of Paul, p.300
Sharing my unconventional story of survival through God’s grace is an attempt to publicly confess that I’ve forgiven long ago those who’ve taken advantage of me physically and emotionally.
“Love your enemy” had been a very bitter pill I needed to swallow. True forgiveness means not tolerating the sin and the sinner. True forgiveness is a gift from God who can mend broken lives. True forgiveness is always choosing to forgive again and again when the painful memories unexpectedly visit. True forgiveness is the willingness to forgive even the offenders weren’t sorry or remorseful.
God can forgive, but he can’t take away the consequence of sin. He can fully heal, but can’t just erase the scars. But His grace can beautify the scars.
“Scars are beautiful when we see them as glorious reminders that we courageously survived.” ~ Lysa Terkeurst
The most hurtful fact was for an instance, being blamed as if you liked it in the first place. You were the victim, but you were blamed. How distorted and deceitful, the devil is to instill lies. But I didn’t embrace the lie that it was my fault. I also had fault in some instances, I trusted too much. That’s why I still battle with my trust issues until now, especially with some men.
“Don’t be defensive, Lanie!”
I heard it not just once. Some friends thought I was defensive in posting single blessedness as a cover up for my longing to have a good relationship and marriage. Yes, I admitted and I realized that. I’ve been defensive, and yet, they have no idea that I’ve gone through unexplainable and unimaginable crucibles that influenced me to not fully trust men.
I need not pity. I need understanding. I can’t control what you’d think and feel about this post. I would appreciate if you could offer a special prayer for me. I would appreciate emphaty. Sharing this epiphany is just the beginning of continual healing with my Wounded Healer. I didn’t allow the ugly experience to define me.
This is just the beginning of another battle. But the battle is the Lord’s.
“The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:14
For many of you, you’ve seen me so sunshiny and all smiles, by God’s grace, that’s genuine. But sometimes, I needed to wear a mask — smile, though the heart is breaking. I still opt to keep looking on the the bright side of life.
I still can’t imagine how I survived, as I reminisce the scary, dark memory lane I’ve been through. But praise God! I’m out of that grim tunnel of the past.
From a victim to a VICTOR, I’d been focusing on how My Wounded Healer transformed a mess into a message, and a test into a testimony.
I’ve forgiven because My Redeemer restored me, and set me free. Too scarred, but no longer scared.
I am LOVED. I am HEALED. I am HELD with an everlasting hand that would lead me to true forever — eternity!
Please read these related articles:
- Woman Who Started “Me Too” Movement Has Been Helping Sex Assault Survivors for 10 Years
- Is Hollywood Harder on Sexual Predators than the Church Is?
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