Thursday, February 10, 2011

I paved the way for us

Recently, someone I love disclosed a history of sexual abuse to me.
Once I got past the tears for her and the outrage at the abuser,
my next thought was about how I could help.
I thought about all that I had been through in my search for healing.
The multitude of failed attempts.
The litany of treatments that cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars and two decades of my life.
Neither of these things will I ever get back and none of them helped.
There was no way I could let this person whom I love so dearly suffer as I had and lose what I did. I want to be there for her in her hour of need. This will no doubt be a painful and difficult journey for her, but if I can make it even a little bit easier for her, I will. My experience is like a "what not to do" in the search for healing. I pray that my ordeal will be an example of perseverance but also that it can help her to get to what does work sooner.

Over the years, I have done everything in my power to get help. 
I have attended workshops and 12 step groups.
I’ve bought motivational tapes, listened to subliminal C.D.’s.
I've done guided visualizations, role play, inner child work. 
You name it and I’ve done it!
I went to therapy alone, in groups and with my husband.
I prayed, hard and often.
I sat under a full spectrum light for half an hour a day, I took prescription medicine, vitamins, herbal remedies. I used creams and gels. I went on special diets. I exercised.
We went on marriage retreat weekends. I tried “tapping in” with EFT.  I looked into the mirror reciting daily affirmations. There were chakras, auras, crystals, contacting the dead and even the Ouija board.
I was broken and needed fixing. I was desperate.
I have been treated for dysthymia, post-partum depression, adult A.D.D., multiple medical issues, anxiety, eating disorders, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, dyspareunia, seasonal-affective disorder and bi-polar disorder. Many of these were outright misdiagnoses while others were merely symptoms or aftereffects of abuse.
I ended up having a total hysterectomy at thirty-nine after a lifetime of endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. I had a gastric bypass at forty after a thirty-four year struggle with obesity. I had multiple plastic surgeries to correct damage done to my body after gaining and losing 180 pounds. None of these things ever dealt with the real issue.
Every practitioner was aware of my history of sexual abuse, but none of them ever really put two and two together. I saw counselors, social workers, family physicians, gynecologists, an endocrinologist, a uro-gynecologist, a psychologist, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, my priest, a marriage counselor, a Christian counselor and finally, the right therapist.
At 46 years old, I found Robert, a masters level social worker who is also a Christian man. Robert is EMDR level 2 certified and a gift from God. Robert and I have covered more ground and made more progress in 7 months than I ever did or would have done without him. E.M.D.R.- eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is an amazing therapy.
With this therapy, we have gotten down to some long buried feelings and thought patterns. We’ve even uncovered some memories with it.
The real turning point for me though, was when Robert spoke the words, “dissociative identity disorder.” That’s when it all finally made sense to me. I still have a way to go, but the end is in sight now and although it took twenty years to get here, I’m here and that’s a good thing. A very good thing.


  1. Amen you are here and you are on the right path and the best part is is that God is walking right along with you! hugs!

  2. Looking back over it, I can see where He had His hand in it all. If I hadn't needed weight loss surgery, I wouldn't have prayed for a Christian therapist to help me with the decision. But because I did, he sent Louise, who sent Don and I to John who sent me to Robert... All things in the Lords time I guess. I am so glad that God is walking with me and I'm glad that you are too!

  3. I found EMDR to be extremely helpful in my own healing and it was my first training (parts I and II) as a therapist. I had been fearful of it initially but when I finally decided to try it, I was hooked.

    Having the label/name for what is going on with our minds is somehow reassuring. Am glad you know and are moving forward!

  4. Yes Grace, I was kind of skeptical at first, but I was so desperate for healing that I was willing to try it and I am so glad I did! I love your blogs and I wanted to "follow" yours, but didn't see the "follow" button. I have you bookmarked though! Thanks for the support, I appreciate it!