Sometimes when I am alone with my thoughts, which is often, I wonder why I am the way I am. Why do I feel things so deeply? Do other people feel things this way? Why do I seem to take one step forward and three steps back so often? While I know we cannot blame who we are on someone or some event, I do know that what we walk through has a way of shaping us into who we are. Recognizing this is an integral part of our path that we walk because if we fail to do this; we will end up blaming our lot on someone else. I may appear to contradict myself at times until I am fully able to express my mind on this matter- so please bear with me.
I’ve seen stories that tell of a child surviving years of abuse and torture only to have a complete mental breakdown and never heal. I’ve watched where a woman was sexually molested, beaten, and enslaved for a long period of time and when freed she could not unfetter herself from her tortuous dreams. So, while we are responsible for our reactions to other’s actions; there are still the intricate musings of our vast beings that cannot be overlooked nor cast aside. I would like to keep these thoughts in mind as I share more about my story. I write mainly because writing is cathartic for me and also in hopes that maybe someone else would choose to share their story with me. Although it has been nearly a lifetime since my story began; so much of it is still fresh in my mind. I have spent so much of my life lamenting the way my brain and emotions work. Instead, I am coming to a tentative grip that this is who I am.
I will endeavor to write from the perspective of my story alone; but at times it will intersect with others who were with me. What I write about is true but I will change the names of other people. I hope my battles, my agony, my confusion can all touch someone’s heart who may be struggling and feel that they are alone. They are not. Sometimes I will share poems I have written to chronicle my journey. My poems are more like prayers whispered up to God in hopes that He will hear me. Thank you for taking time to read!
This is a difficult portion to tell. I tell it for those of you who have been through trauma or abuse and cannot seem to find your release. Knowing there are others who are hurting and striving to move on can be helpful to our souls.
Several years after we escaped from the lord’s farm, one of my children called me on the phone. He wasted no time getting to the point of his call. He told me something that is now imprinted on my brain. He told me of a day when his dad took him to the shed in the back yard and grabbed a 2 by 4. His father stood towering over this twelve year old boy and said, “Tell me you hate me.” My son was dumbfounded and shaking in his shoes. He said, ” No, Dad, I don’t hate you.” His Dad proceeded to beat him with the large piece of lumber. The whole time he was beating, he was yelling for him to tell him that he hated him. My son said he was sobbing and in pain and didn’t know what to do so he finally said, “Ok, Ok, I hate you.” His dad looked at him and said, “Now, tell me you hate your mother.” My tender hearted boy just sobbed. He told his dad that he didn’t hate me. And so the beating continued. When my son couldn’t take it anymore, he said, “Ok, I hate Mom too.” He was exhausted and writhing in pain. His father then looked right at him, dropped the lumber, and walked away.
Things that happened to my children I find out in spurts. I have five children so at varying times things have been told to me over the years. It’s one of the worst pains to find out your child has been hurt. I do not know how to reconcile with these things.
I was thinking of the pieces of me I lost to the farm. One big thing that I struggle with is that I always had many friends before the farm. Growing up I was extremely social and had wonderful close friendships with many people. As the years at the farm ticked by I realized that I had no friends anymore. Living on a 500 acre farm– secluded from the world and shut off to all “worldly” relationships– daily stripped me of my ability to even know how to make friends anymore. A worldly relationship was anyone who didn’t believe like this “supposed” church. I’ve noticed that I have sorta climbed into my own shell. I want to meet people and have friends, but when the time comes to go to a place where I could meet a new friend I shrink back. I have found that when I am able to go to an event I usually cling to my husband. I feel panicked when he’s not by my side. Last year we went to his work’s Christmas party and I remember going over with my husband how I didn’t want him to leave me alone. I was terrified to go there. Just yesterday someone I know asked me to stop by and visit with a group of friends that I hadn’t met before and I immediately drew back inside. I felt the same panic rising from within. But at the same time I heard my mouth saying “yes”. So I decided to go. I felt like it was my first day at school. I was so nervous! I made myself go after almost chickening out. After I arrived, I made my way over to the garage where everyone was sitting and talking together. I met everyone, sat down and immediately began running scenarios through my mind. Wondering what each one thought of me and how I couldn’t sit still or stop shifting in my seat. I tried to relax but to no avail. I pretty much was nervous the whole time. Although I felt I was a nervous wreck, I also felt happy that I had actually went instead of retreating in my own world. (One small step for this woman 🙂
The sky is a beautiful palette. It is ever changing. It makes me smile.
These are pictures of the area around where I live. I’m surrounded by mountains and so much beauty.
say you’ll be there for me
say you won’t let go
say you’ll hold me through the night
as i toss to and fro
tell me when it’s night
you’ll hold me till it’s morn
tell me when it’s dark
you’ll keep me through the storm
i don’t know how you do it
love so strong and sweet
you’re my forever love
ever since we did meet
(i love you scott lee)
I am so proud of my son Andrew for serving in the United States Air Force. He served three terms overseas during our battle against terrorists. He watched as several of his squad ended up taking their own life from the horrors they endured. I am grateful to all who serve to keep us safe.
I don’t understand why we as humans are so hard and exacting on our fellow man. I mean who are we to ever judge or put someone else down? We are all frail at times. We are all but dust. I think of the word “normal”. What actually is normal and who was it that decided what normal is? No one is “normal”!!! We are uniquely created to be different and shine in our own ways. I may not completely understand someone else’s choices in life, but I also don’t know that person’s life story. I don’t know what some have went through to bring them where they are in life. I relate to this because I have been judged before because I still have many struggles relating to the abuse and trauma I went through for many years. I feel like these experiences have given me empathy for hurting souls. I want so much for those who are depressed, hurting, or just having a difficult time in life to know that they are not alone. When we reach out and share then we can be stronger together.
i don’t know where you are
i wish i felt you near
i thought i knew your name
i want to love you pure
i’m afraid i can’t find you
Early on at the “lord’s farm” everyone would go on trips together. It was before fun trips were deemed unholy. One time we went to Canaan Valley to ski. Now I had never skied before and I was and always will be terrified of heights. Not to mention that at this particular juncture in life, I had panic attacks regularly. I wasn’t allowed to have any type of medication to help at all. Their view was that if I was following God wholly then there is no reason for me to have anxiety. I guess they forgot to factor in that we are human. I remember when we all got there and the fresh fear gripping my heart at the thought of skiing down a huge hill. After I got my skis on I saw that there was a Bunny slope for beginners–yay!!! I made it through the Bunny slope with minimal incident. I felt so relieved; I thought “Ok, I did it.” I was ready to be done with my skiing career.
Everyone was sitting down to lunch in the lodge and it was there that Adrian said to me that I was going on a more difficult slope. I said that I did not want to do that and I was immediately cut off. It was decided for me that it would be just wrong if I didn’t go on a bigger slope. It wouldn’t be showing that I trusted God. Inside of me I began to freak out. I was praying silently, desperately that God would help me. I wanted to please Him with all of my being. I was so afraid I would fail Him.
One of the ladies named Ann was the one who would go on this bigger slope with me. We got on the ski lift and took off. I was so terrified that I would throw myself off of the ski lift that I wrapped my arm around the pole to keep myself there. I fell as I got off the lift and realized that it was all ice. Great…. just what I needed. I looked at this mountain I was on and the terror I previously felt was intensified astronomically. The panic gripping my heart caused it to beat erratically and super fast. I thought it might explode out of my chest. Ann cajoled me to begin and I fell again. This is how I mostly crawled down the mountain. It took me over two hours to make it down that slope. I was amess. I was sobbing and embarrassed. I wished I was invisible. In my mind I thought I had failed God. I obviously didn’t trust or love Him enough to be able to ski like everyone thought I should. I couldn’t understand why I was singled out. In my heart I genuinely felt alone and abandoned.
My early elementary school years were fun and happy. I remember always being eager to be at school. Then we moved. I started a new school. Things seemed well enough at first; but then these two boys (Brian and Eric) in my class began to bully me. Brian and Eric came up with a new name for me– Poochie. They called me this throughout the day–every day. There was no let up. I remember when our class would be out on the playground playing dodge ball and they would yell out loud for no one to let me play. I was humiliated. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. More than anything== I wanted to know why they hated me. What had I done to cause them to pick me to torture? Was it because I was a little chubby? I remembered feeling so desperate to know how to make someone like me. ……….I guess I’m wondering– how do mean people choose who they will bully?