by Mrs. Smith on April 6, 2019

On a drive yesterday (because I live in the car now, in case you were curious), I had a pretty powerful experience.

Normally, I keep this side of my life out of my social media. There’s so much that happened behind the scenes to move me from a place where none of this would have made sense, to a space where this stuff is as beautiful and tangible as the sunrises that take my breath away…

Who I am now doesn’t really match who I was 6 years ago, you know?

So forgive me if this is a little out there. I’ma share it anyway.

Driving is one of those mindless tasks that can be a meditative, mind-clearing experience sometimes. Like doing dishes or folding laundry, which is where I have some of my best communication with God, actually.

So I’m driving down the road, not really paying attention, just floating away on some song, and I randomly thought about something I’d talked about with a friend recently. It sparked this cool little epiphany.

Before we go any further in my story here, I should catch you up about something you might not understand if you haven’t experienced or researched the effects of trauma:

There is this almost-universal reaction to sexual abuse (and other kinds of abuse, too) — where the victim feels all the unpleasant feelings that the abuser should feel, but likely doesn’t, or they wouldn’t have hurt someone.

I had a moment of insight, where I saw the abusers’ guilt, shame, horror, and self-loathing, absorbed into me, trapped for 30 years and woven into almost every aspect of me –

  • This default certainty that everything is my fault.
  • Operating constantly from a place of “not good enough, nope, never will be!”
  • This intense guilt… about what? I don’t even know. But it’s definitely bad. I’m a horrible person.
  • So many things that just don’t make any sense, but are there under the surface, driving all kinds of irrational feelings.

It’s not mine. None of it. It didn’t start with me. Yet there it is, not sitting in some invisible, metaphorical backpack weighing me down — it’s woven into my way of being.

I’ve seen it before, but not with this kind of clarity. I’ve cleared it before, but not with this understanding. This isn’t my first rodeo, y’all. I’ve forgiven and let go and allllllllllll of that, a hundred times over.

But this time.
Mm, this time…

This time, I owned it.

If it’s woven into me like that, there’s no sense in continuing to throw a fit about it not being fair, not being mine, treating it like some alien invader. No sense in “clearing it” when that’s the mindset.

This time, instead of sending it back to its owners…

I claimed it, held it, loved it, and felt empowered to take care of it as if all that crap really was mine.

This time, in behalf of the people who hurt me, I turned to Savior and gave it to Him. As if it were me that had done those unspeakable acts, as if it really were my fault (which is a laughable thought, really – like a 3yo could be responsible for something like that…) I forgave myself.

I wasn’t looking at it from my perspective. It was their [expletive] and I owned it from THEIR perspective. Their shame, their buried self-loathing for what they’d done, their horror, their guilt. It was mine.

For a moment, I stepped into a timeless space where everything is Now, and there was no distinction between “them” and me, between whose pain is whose, and what kind of pain it is. I forgave it all as if it were mine, gave it all to God so He could heal it, as if I had the authority to do that for them. I pulled them into that space — wherever they are, whatever they’ve done since then — and we all sat with God, driving down the road in my car with happy, healing tears streaming down our faces, on this beautiful journey called life.

Well, okay, obviously, it was my happy tears. The “abusers” weren’t really there and I have no idea if this cosmically reached through time and space and touched them in anyway.

The internet is cool, though. It occurs to me now that it’s possible, through the magic of social media, these words could actually find them. Ooh, there’s a thought, right? This could actually find the older boys who raped me, and the abusive father who came in and joined them in molesting an innocent three year old. These words could find the next round of “older boys” who found me 3 years later, and over time added stealthy manipulation and brainwashing and a more quiet form of agony, as well as long-standing, deep-seeded beliefs about what it means to be “play house” and be “married.”

But why stop there, with my personal experiences? These words could find other people who’ve done unspeakable acts of violence, they could find people who carry heavy, heavy burdens of regret and self-loathing. They could find people who have shut themselves off from that kind of pain, who are completely and totally numb to the damage they’ve done. They know not what they do, and they don’t care.

To which I now say, so what?

That doesn’t scare me or change my love for you. I find that now, I don’t even think of you as “abusers,” and I don’t think of myself as a “victim” or even a “survivor.” We’re all just children of God with shared experiences that changed our lives, who need -deeply need- the power of God to intervene and heal us. I love you. I hope you’re okay.

…and of course, energetically speaking, these people can reject that gift if they aren’t ready for it. In terms of reality, I don’t know that it makes any difference to them.
…but I know it does for me.

Matthew 5:44-45 

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Namaste, y’all. Rock on.

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