Lifting the Veil
I had an epiphany last night. I’ve been thinking about our stories, how they bind us and free us at the same time. Honestly, if we are not in the midst of a chapter or chapters of our own story, then we are asleep.
All stories require conflict, obstacles, goals, surprises, mystery, desire, patience, love, acceptance and resolution. Choices must be made. If we are not making choices, they are surely making us.
In my epiphany, I experienced deeply my own story about a veil covering my creativity, placed there by CSA, and my life long desire to break through this veil.
Part of my story, like any story, is the choice to release those “truths” we hold so dear, which find us and bind us. Identifying the parts of our story that are stopping us, controlling us, can be very liberating. It may be scary at first, but living in delusions and denial is a far worse fate to endure.
All my life, I’ve felt a battle going on within me, between good and evil. For me, the evil takes form in the thought, “no matter what I do, how hard I try, I will always be damaged goods.” This thought came to me in tandem with the CSA I experienced; it is extremely debilitating. Even identifying it took years. My story goes that I experience chronic pain because an evil presence is moving through me and attacking various systems in my body; it always manages to find a place to land. Crazy, right? Over the years, I have experienced hives, then shifting and becoming hemorrhoids. Then it shifts and becomes headaches. It became Planter’s Fasciitus at one point. Then a ruptured disc in my back and degenerative disc disease in my neck. I still suffer from PTSD and have nightmares every night that leave my body tense and aching, covered in sweat. This “thing” simply won’t leave me alone.
My story of an evil spirit occupying my body might sound either absurdly dramatic or quite valid, depending on your religious beliefs. But chronic pain is well documented in survivors of CSA. Either way, the story, which I have invested much energy into resolving, is not working for me. I wish I could tell you I was finally free. But I’m not, yet. I pray and fully expect complete restoration, because this story is at odds with the vision the Lord has for me. What is most disturbing is that this story confirms that earlier thought about my being damaged goods.
So clearly I need to rewrite the script. Easier said than done. Simply telling or reasoning with myself that it isn’t true has not been effective. I can change it from an evil force to just pain associated with CSA. It doesn’t matter. I am well versed in CBT, mindfulness techniques and the dubious theory of The Law of Attraction. The story is literally in my bones. It feels quite real, though I know it’s only a story, a way to explain the inexplicable. To deny my physical sensations is just as delusional as the story itself. No, I realize I have to deal with the story as a participant within the story. I must confront the evil, or whatever you want to call it, that has hijacked my well-being.
First, I must acknowledge that at least part of it is true. I am “damaged goods.” I am broken. To pretend this isn’t true, is what has kept me in its grip all these years. So, I must acknowledge that I am broken and embrace my brokenness. This happens to be right in line with my spiritual walk as a follower of Christ, who died to make us whole. Even in our brokenness, He loves us. I also know He does not intend for us to suffer.
As an act of faith, I have placed myself in His hands, that in His time, I will be made truly whole and pain free. That is also part of my story. I have no other explanation and no other way forward. I do not presume to test His healing grace. And I don’t believe God is “testing” my resolve; that would imply He somehow didn’t already know my story, long before I was born. Along with prayer and supplication I am making every effort to address and treat my issues around pain. Over the years I have committed to a variety of healing disciplines, from chiropractic to acupuncture, nutrition to yoga and of course therapy, physical and psychological.
I know a resolution will present itself in God’s time, not mine. Meanwhile I will survive. I focus on the good in my life; I am extremely grateful and despite the constant level 6-7 pain, I am filled with joy and a zest for living. I find it most helpful to focus my attention on the things that are important, like my mission and my family. I will continue to be productive. I will continue to love and be loved. I will keep adding to my story and I will unlock the secret God needs me to discover. I have faith the veil will one day be lifted.
“Professing to be un-broken is the worst form of self-denial. However, our true identity does not come from being broken but by knowing we are loved by God in the midst of our brokenness.” Todd Simonis