Calling on Your Angels…..A Great Coping Skill!!!

***Warning: May cause triggers, but I’m sure many will find this particular blog uplifting and hopeful in many ways!!!***

This is a lighter side of the blog “He’s Back Again…”, which you will find below. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve been here, somethings been flying around that I couldn’t quite get a grip on, but here it goes anyway.

So, as I shared in the previous mentioned blog, I have been sucked back into the darkness a bit and actually went running to my wonderful therapist Marjorie for some help to get through. She’s been a blessing in my life at giving me coping skills to stay in my present and work through the darkest of moments, so I couldn’t go without her expertise; I just wouldn’t be this far without her in my world.

As I sat in her small, but quaint decorated office, with pictures of Oriental Art placed about and hung on her walls. You can look into these works of art and wonder about those who created them. They tend to pull you into a world of opening up your spirit and touching base with what lies within.

Many times, as survivors of child sexual abuse, we carry a feeling of extreme violation in our hearts. This can only be described as evil but your soul still carries the innocence of a child. There is and will be a life long impact from child sexual abuse. It does rewire your perceptions; re-align your normal behaviors; it will be scorched into your memory never to be forgotten. You will have periods in your life when you feel surrounded by the darkness and you may even feel your life invaded over and over with the fear from these particular events.

“This is normal. You are not insane. You are one of the many who’s lives have been impacted by the very personal violation of child sexual abuse.”

These remembered events are the darkness that hovers around us, it challenges us, cages us. When these events are play out in our heads, we become that panicked child all over again. Often, as we grow older, we are distraught with the ups and downs of re-living these horrific acts. None of us ever forget these moments!!!

A victim who has gone through such attacks will often go through a cycle, which I commonly refer to as the Rollercoaster of Memories. You may have those off and on again reactions that seem to haunt. At time we think we cannot conquer over them, we fear not being able to just live and exist in the present; appreciating all of the small moments of joy that have crossed our paths.

Recently this is what’s been going on in my head. I feel a bit overwhelmed; flashed back into the memory of when stepfather used the shotgun barrel to rape the little girl. My head has been swarming with a vivid motion picture of that horrible night. I’ve questioned, cried, stomped and prayed; all trying to extract the remembered emotions of terror. I have been in the huge spiral of a downward racing coaster.

As a survivor who puts forth a continued effort to help empower others and inspire them to chase after the life of happiness they deserve; this leaves me feeling like much the hypocrite since I couldn’t seem to help myself. However, I’ve been blessed with some pretty amazing folks who have showered me with prayers, love, little jokes, and tons of well wishes. Still the Demon would not leave me.

The other evening I did the best I could to help myself break through the dark storm. Going to see Marjorie was the best I could have done for myself, as I said she has played a huge part of where I am today and helping me to gain some sense of peace in my world. She has kept me living in the present and filled my soul with the belief I can indeed help myself, so long as I use the coping skills and truly focus on what I aim to achieve.

“Don’t we all have to do this in some way? Isn’t this a very common place of self-doubt that every human endures at times? Isn’t this the basics of living and achieving? If we do not focus on the end result, on the goal at hand, how will any of us ever battle against what holds us back?”

These past two years, since truly being happy and with finally finding my voice; also relating with so many other amazing advocates and survivors, I have found one common strength between us all.

“We all have a belief in some greater power that has kept us alive and guided us to where we are.”

My particular belief, my hope, my continued strength to battle onward, comes from faith. Faith there is a God and He did not intend for my life to be stripped away by the evil of my parents. I believe the few who have loved me, who now exist as Angels, are still around me and will protect me. This is the power that helps me hang on and move past this dark storm. The aura of stepfather with the gun, the pain of him tearing me apart as I lay there silent on the royal blue quilted bedspread; this is my most darkest haunting and I’m sure you each have your own particular event that seems to never leave.

So what is the amazing coping tool that my dear Marjorie has given me this time? The power, the belief, to CALL ON MY ANGELS!!!

My particular Angels are the three main people in my past who have loved me, but who God has taken.

The first of these is the one I feel closest too, the boy who came to live with us at fourteen and suffered through many of the outbursts of rage from stepfather. His name was John and he did all he could as a young man to try to protect me, show me kindness, and be more of a brother than my real blood brother could have been. He was and always will be the brightest moments of my life from age twelve to twenty-five. He never let me down. He distracted stepfather many times from getting to me with those raging fists. If it weren’t for John, I would have been killed at a very young age.

The second of these Angels is my Grandma Ellen. I remember still the power of that last beautiful hug she gave me. I can still feel her arms wrapping around the small child and letting her know that she meant the world to her. Grandma Ellen was given my baby crib, for why I’m not sure, but she kept it in that old ragged farm house on the top of one of the many mountains of Southern Missouri. The road to her house was a golden red gravel and it went up and down a series of five or six hills to get to her drive way. The farm house was made of old tattered barn wood and the linoleum floors were worn. The last night I spent in that house with her was on my fifth birthday and she still tried to put me in my crib. I remember telling her that I couldn’t fit, even though I was very small, there was no way I could sleep without fearing falling through the bed. It’s a funny pleasant memory that I hang onto and one I use to fill my head when the dark seems to threaten my day.

The next and last of the Angels I treasure is my father. I don’t have many memories of him, but those I have are all pleasant and I know he would have rescued me if he had known that such evil was murdering the little girl he created. He didn’t CHOOSE to leave my life. In fact some of my memories are of him coming to visit after he and mother split up. He’d swing me in the backyard, he’d pick up mother, brother and I to take us for drives in his beautiful red convertible. I’d get to sit on his lap while he drove and he’d work the pedals I couldn’t reach. I got to go watch him drag race and he was a winner with that car. When he’d win I got to keep the trophy, but my collection disappeared when stepfather moved us into the house he wanted.

This is my spiritual coping tool. You see stepfather has me somewhat terrified of even my afterlife. A part of me, no matter how silly I think it is, still believes that somehow he is going to be waiting for me there. He is going to be there and keep me from having peace. In reality I know this is very doubtful, but unfortunately, the fear of having to face him again; the fear of the evil he spoke coming true, this is part of my dark storm.

So now as I chase out the feeling of this demon once again, I know in my heart that these three Angels are fighting with me, circling me, protecting me and they will indeed carry me through to my afterlife. They will get out their powerful swords and conquer the dragon that swoops down to grab me. My Angels will protect me and I know if you think of your Angels, they will swarm in, circle and protect you, carry you through to the life of peace and happiness you deserve.

I hope as you read this you feel the power of connecting with those you’ve lost but who were most special in your life. Feel their love for you. Remember the happy moments spent with them. Allow them into your thoughts and see how they chase away the bad, the evil, the demon can no longer control, there is no space for him now. In this battle you have protectors and those special protectors will never leave you. They are always with you. They will create a castle of safety for you to spread out your wings and fly with them to the magic of your life.

Feel the magic of your Angels!!!

**In closing; if you do believe in the power of spiritual healing, I want to give you the other half of this coping skill. As you bring in your Angels to circle around, think about what power the demon has in your thoughts. Once you’ve got hold of it, throw your arms outward and say to yourself: “Me and my Angels now chase you away. You (say the name) have no more power here. You are banned from this castle and you will not return.** If you are one who believes in the aura of a bad spirit hovering around you. This coping skill gives you control over that aura and you can banish it away whenever you feel its presence. The power and control belong to you, the living, not those who hover around in our thoughts or who make their person felt in our homes. It is our safe castle and we say who crosses over the moat and who is banished to be eaten by the gators below if they return.

This tool has given me a renewed sense of strength. It allows me the power to push away any bad and call my protectors in to circle. Give it a try for you, hope it gives you that same sense of being in control.

Good luck, peace within, always in strength & in spirit!!!

Fear of Judgement and Shame……

This may be very triggering for some, but I beg you to challenge yourself just a bit to get through it. I believe you will find a great sense of accomplishment when you do!!!

Yesterday morning I finally faced something that I never thought possible. Please allow me to share in hope it can give you a breath of courage; a sparkle of what can change.

The Violence Prevention center of South Western Illinois, (VPCSWI.org) asked if I would like to speak at a training seminar they held at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, in Belleville, Illinois.

If you are familiar with any of my history, there is this huge block between me and ANY CHURCH BUILDING!! Religion itself is fine, but going into an actual church can cause instant panic; it rips at my emotions and holds me captive in fear of judgement. The valley of shame from my past and all the horrible truths that lie there-in still causes the tears to flow.

Sadly this is so much a part of me, when I attended a funeral this past spring I broke into little pieces, shedding tears as I looked at the beautiful stone carved angels. Simply being in the building I could hear them screaming “NO”.

“You shouldn’t be here!!! How dare you stand there as if accepted.”

Of all things the line into the church at the funeral landed me in the end seat of the first pew, just left of the pulpit. I begged them to forgive me. As we kneeled in prayer, I listened intently; however, I couldn’t stop the sense of begging for their acceptance of me. To look past all of my faults and all that had been done and not strike me down at that very moment.

When the service ended I exited quickly, gave my hugs to the family, and found my car. Shaking with the tears streaming down my face, I immediately lit up a cigarette and inhaled deeply. (I’m extremely emotionally addicted to them.) Then putting my car into gear I took off in search of our local Baptist church.

I’d seen signs around town for the church, Faith Baptist Church of Breese, but had no clue where it was located. I actually came home to search it down, but not until I had driven around in a panicked state for an hour trying to find it. I don’t have GPS in my car or phone, so thank you internet & the creation of Google!!!

Sadly when I found it and drove out there the doors were locked and I stood there crying for someone to let me in. I had to speak to a minister at that moment or for sure I would just break into pieces and never be able to return. NOo one was there to let me in and I didn’t write the number for the location I needed to call.

“There was no solace and I came home to lay on my bed and cry like a child!!”

The only connections I had with any church throughout the past 30 years was my first wedding, my children’s Christening; then once a forced attendance during a weekend visit with my children, which was nothing more than a control game by their father. There has been maybe two weddings and this funeral. Somehow, I had always managed to stay out of a church because of this heavy sense of judgement.

“It wasn’t always this way of course!!”

As a young child I did everything to go to church, I loved church!! My babysitter or one of our neighbors who attended would always take me to our Baptist church. May dear Grandma McKnight, had taken me to her very Southern Baptist church during my last visit with her at five.

“Just two years after the monster came into my life, all of that was gone!!!”

First he used God’s allowance of what he did to me. Then after age twelve he said God would no longer forgive me for the bad things that happened between us. God would start passing judgement and I would never be accepted into His heaven.

“To this day I have been afraid of this judgment and would shake in fear with each service I ever attended.”

It’s not that I didn’t or don’t pray. It’s not that I haven’t always tried to live the best life possible or that I didn’t or don’t believe in religion. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’ve got an antique picture of Jesus and it is a beautiful sense of my connection with Him. This picture has been carried with me for these past 25 years, through the divorces and instant escapes. It was one of those most valuable possession I ever carried. Not valuable in dollars, but in a personal relationship with God. I have always gotten on the floor and prayed to this picture for a better way;  for a way out of the fear, violence, submission. I have broken down repeatedly and begged for His forgiveness to shine into my path.

This brings me back to yesterday’s event……

The event was a Faith Leadership Training Seminar and I was asked to speak. I was honored and amazed they’d asked me; gladly I accepted and took on the challenge.

“Was it finally possible that I could stand in front of those who served various entities of their church and not feel that heavy weight of their judgment and my fear?”

It really first hit me as I pulled into the front entrance of Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Instantly I felt the grip of standing on hallowed ground. The panic hit and my heart started pounding. I parked as far away from the front door of this exquisitely decorated conference building, mainly because I felt the fear of;

“What would they think if they saw ME getting out of the car, pacing quickly into the building, searching for a familiar face to cling to for acceptance?” Luckily I soon found the beautiful friendly smile of Debra Mize, the one who originally invited me to attend and speak. She is such a bright face or perhaps it’s knowing the connection we have from our paths.

I watched as those attending walked into the conference room. with each eye contact I questioned my worthiness to be amongst them. As I listened to the awesome presentation from the staff at VPCSWI and the opening given by U.S. States Attorney, Mr. Stephen Wigginton; I absorbed all of their knowledge and enjoyed getting involved in the discussions.

Then came my turn at the end, that’s right; last speaker!! My stomach turned as I started walking up to the stand. My heart was beating so fast I feared a heart attack would strike me down right there. My knees shook so badly I felt myself stumble a bit as I walked. Then I stood there and looked out at the 25 faces in attendance, maybe not that many you say, but these were all mainly connected to their church!!! Different levels of leadership within their perspective areas. This was terrifying; their judgement of my being involved at all with this seminar was all I could think about.

First I questioned my worthiness then I questioned my ability to make an impact on their hearts!!!

“How could I leave them with something to carry away from that seminar besides the very useful information in the training?”

I took a deep breath and fairly explained who I was. Then as I began to open with the carefully written out and then outlined on notecards speech I had intende; 20 seconds in I had to stop the tears.  Then I thought about the importance of their understanding of how what they had just heard about in this wonderfully presented seminar, effected the person who lived inside the mess.

There were a few other topics I shared, but most importantly was to explain that those living in this violence and abuse, would most likely not be sitting in the front pew of their churches. The fear of judgement and the shame is too heavy for much success at this. Instead, I hope that I left an impact on them concerning the need of us, as a society, to remove the masks; to put no one in our society above suspicion of these crimes. Instead ask them to really see the people around them, in their neighborhoods, grocery stores, (yes, even bingo) and take 5 or 10 seconds to really look at who they are and what they might be dealing with or trying to survive.

Remember; 1 in 4 homes are struggling with some type of violence, bullying or abuse. We must care enough to guide them to resources and do all we can to support the continued provision of TRUE HELP!!!

We must remember also that people, like Jerry Sandusky; who was not just a famous coach, but also a father, husband, neighbor, friend and church parishioner. We must care enough about our friends, family, neighbors to ask when we suspect that something might be going on.

“Are you alright? Are you safe? Please can I direct you to some help?”

I pleaded with them as I do with each who reads this,

“Please be the extended arm of help?”  Remove the blinders of acceptance and do not turn away from the screams, tears, and fear of those who are being harmed.

To let you know what the greatest accomplishment for me; they all welcomed me!!!….. I did not feel the heavy weight of judgement when I left the conference. Instead I felt peaceful with a wonderful blessing of accomplishment, finally I know that it is alright!!!

Thank you VPCSWI for inviting me to attend and close out your very wonderful seminar.

Thank you U.S. Attorney Wigginton for a great opening to an early Saturday morning share.

Thank you Ms. Debra Mize; Art Therapist, Ms. Cathy Daesch; Educator Ms. Teva Shirley.

Mentioned:

VPCSWI.org – http://www.vpcswi.org/

Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows – http://www.snows.org/default.aspx

United States Attorney, Stephen Wigginton – http://www.justice.gov/usao/ils/index.html

Faith Baptist Church of Breese, Illinois – http://www.faithbaptistbreese.com/

Belleville Counciling Services; Art Therapist Ms. Cathy Daesch – http://www.stage-ps.info/Therapist-Directory.aspx

Illinois Visiting Nurses Association, Educator, Ms. Teva Shirley – http://sivna.com/

(c) Patricia A. McKnight

Author: “My Justice”

ISBN#978-1-45207-170

Authorhouse.com, Amazon, BN.com, Lulu.com

Available in Paperback, E-book, Kindle & Nook!!!

Dreams Media Promotions – Ms. Donna Kshir http://dreams-media.weebly.com/

Know that it is “OK” – Survivors in Strength & Love

This still gets me through the rough times 🙂

 

This blog is my rambling about the many emotions and fears I am left with after 32 years in abuse. The sexual abuse as a child and my mother’s neglect is what’s affected me the worst. This has left the deepest impact on my life. Each day I hope to share with you a look into these emotions & fears, but also the success & joys. Some of these you may find triggering so please read with care!!! Do not stress yourself, read at your own leisure, in baby steps!!!

As I was growing up in this house of insanity and rage, I don’t think that loneliness explains how I felt. When I remember what it was like for me, especially from ages 9 through 16, there is a knot that grows in the pit of my stomach and a tightness in my chest. I actually took a moment to look at the tatoo on my arm, take a breath, then continue.

As much as I’ve healed, grown, achieved and in the present safety of my life, I am still instantly overwhelmed. A sense of panic takes my breath away and for just a fleeting moment my muscles reactively tense up. Why is it that the simple thought of being around them; being in that home at the mercy of the one whom God put in charge of my world, this can instantly cause a reaction of intense fear?

I AM 49 YEARS OLD – WHEN DOES THIS STOP!!!

It has taken so much personal effort to get to where I am now. This includes my professional and personal growth. It is insane to think that her complete lack of caring can still make me so sad. My therapist relates my mother’s treatment of me in the following way;

“Your Mom did not see you as human, there for she did not consider that you required even the most basic of human needs.”

This truth still breaks my spirit, but I guess its good that I can come back to my reality. THE CRACK IS THERE BUT I DON’T FALL IN ALL THE WAY ANYMORE!!!

As I grew up in her abandonment, I was isolated. There was only responsibility and control in my world. His disgusting acts of molestation, that would grow to such an intense evil; one night changed my world forever. He is the reason that I instantly become terrified, but it was the disregard of my decaying body that left me feeling so isolated.

All my life was filled with caring for others; waiting for someone to acknowledge and care for me. I kept waiting and praying for MY FATHER to come and rescue me, but not he or anyone from his family would find me til I was 19 yrs. old. This is the depth of isolation that causes me to still be swept away by the emotions.

Then I think of the hundreds of survivors that share this sense of isolation. We feel stained and different from others, but when you think of our numbers and the voices that are gathering there is a comfort. No matter how lonely I feel I can think of all the others like me and know that I have a new family building around me. All of us knowing the other is there for the desperate times.

Today there is so much to be happy about. I’ve built my family with my children, with the one true love that has rescued my soul, with the wonderful friends that have allowed me into their world without question; now with the hundreds of survivors who have been brave enough to connect with me. It’s an amazing new feeling for me. I don’t feel alone in this world any longer.

Today there is a sense of strength. I’ve connected with some really amazing people and honored to have some powerful voices at my side. This is the happy life that I was meant to have. It is finally here. I am safe & loved. This is a new beginning and I am so excited about where it will lead.

Be comforted if you are one of this family. Know that it is “OK” to get swept away in our past at times, but then pull your focus back to the present and remember those around you. It can be almost impossible to believe that these feelings and fears will ever go away. It seems they come back to distract and haunt us. I pray that you can feel at ease during these moments, take a breath, feel the safety around you in our new growing family!!!

Survivors in Strength & Love

Standing, Speaking, Circling to Protect

Thank you for releaving that sense of loneliness in my world!!!

(c)Author/Advocate/Speaker/Survivor: Patricia A. McKnight

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62