I was sexually abused when I was little.
There. I’ve said it.
The experience has resulted in some of the earliest and by far the most vivid memories I hold.
I was 4. It was my babysitter. The one who used to spend the night when her father didn’t come home…the one that would sleep in my bed with me…and tend me when my parents were out.
We’re told that our character is built or broken as we learn from and react to life’s experiences. I hope one day I will be a stronger person because of what happened. Right now I feel like I have merely pulled a convoy of baggage behind me, my entire life.
Now, 28 years later, I am beginning to feel the healing powers of abuse. And it is beautiful.
I wish I could say that the experience was a bad one and that I moved on. At least that is what my loving parents had hoped for me and what I had convinced myself deep inside. But like most of Life’s experiences, it has greatly affected me since.
- I am leery of babysitters. (ok. That’s a given, right?). We have been very careful of where we take our children, who watches over them, and ultimately, we are rarely apart from them.
- The designer and I are always seeking to show abundant and appropriate love for our children. I want them to know what it feels like to have righteous affection.
- I greatly dislike doctors. (Ok. Where did that one come from right?) I am just beginning to understand this one, but shortly after the abuse incidents, I was diagnosed with an extremely rare bone disease. My brave mother took me everywhere. A great deal of my childhood was spent traveling all over Southern California to look for a cure. I was prodded, poked and touched all throughout my childhood. Though it was in an effort to heal me, I of course was mortified and utterly embarrassed, feeling guilty every time I again had to remove my clothing and be looked at and touched. This is probably one of the reasons I have chosen to birth our children at home…(but that of course is a novel in itself). 🙂
- I was leery of intimacy. I kissed a lot of boys, but usually broke up with them shortly after. This is not a bad thing right? I consider this one of the only blessings of abuse. It’s hard to get into trouble when you are scared of intimacy. The sad thing is that I was uncomfortable even hugging some of my best friends (mostly boys). Of course I didn’t realize I was even doing this until I was in college.
- I have difficulty trusting other’s intentions. Once again, a no brainer. This is a yin-yang for me, for I love people and feel they are amazingly good. But at times, there is a part of me that is left wondering.
- It has affected the intimacy in our marriage. A love that is shared so deeply and felt so acutely should not have haunting of the past looming overhead.
Up until the past 6 months, I have suffered a great deal from allergies: seasonal allergies, food allergies, and environmental allergies. I began to have even stranger reactions like migraines every time we were around a large body of water. (I know, another story). For the record: I’m not a hypochondriac. And now I wonder if hypochondriacs really are too.
My good friend, Stacee, had been taking her son to an allergist and was finding great success. She knew I had food allergies and suggested I go as well. I had no idea how much good it would do to me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
During the past 6 months I have seen ZD Chudyba, an allergist, alternative medicine & acupuncture practitioner. With my long history of medical intervention (“Forrest Gump” leg braces for 4 years, 3 orthopedic surgeries, and a lifelong dependency on Western Medicine), and my aversion to doctors, I have become open to trying new health avenues.
Though NAET may not be for everyone, I have had an amazing amount of success with ZD. My food allergies are slowly disappearing, my anxiety is lessening, the pain in my legs is diminishing, and my burdens are lifting.
What I conclude, rather, is that whatever direction we take in our healing process, we have to be open, willing, and trust those healing us. We have to choose.
I ponder the woman dying of a blood disease who took the last strength that she had to reach out and grab the robe of the Savior, (Matthew 9:20-22):
20 ¶ And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an aissue of bblood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
The woman was made whole. She had the faith to be healed. And she allowed His virtue, love, power, and Atonement, to heal her. (I love that he called her ‘daughter,”…he loves us soo much!)
The first time I went to ZD I prayed whole-heartedly, that the Lord would help my body accept the treatment and begin to heal. I truly began to understand the depths of His eternal Atonement. As I envisioned myself giving up the burdens I was carrying over to the Lord, I saw His burdens also becoming lighter. And that, my friends, was one of the greatest gifts I feel I have given the Lord. Ensuring his selfless act was not without purpose. By using His Atonement, trusting in Him to heal me, I could feel His love, His power, and His joy.
We all carry burdens: those of pain, fear, anxiety, loneliness, maladies, disappointment, feelings of abandonment, failure or even hatred. We’ve been abused or have abused others verbally, mentally, emotionally or even sexually.
If we want to heal we have to have faith, but more importantly, we have to choose to use that faith. Faith like the dying woman Matthew wrote about. Faith to reach out to the Lord and ask him to heal us, to make us whole. To allow the Savior to guide those healing us.
How long have we been holding sickness and pain within ourselves? 12 years like the woman? Like me, could it be longer?
May we choose this day to use the Lord’s everlasting atonement. May we make this choice to go to our doctors, psychiatrists, counselors, bishops or health practitioners with questions and be ready for answers, change, and action. Allow our Savior to heal us once and for all. That we too may help others to heal and be whole.
As I was laying after my treatment this week: alone, listening to the peaceful music in the darkness, I opened my eyes and saw a blue light in front of me. It was a large light, an essence of sorts. It was blue, a deep blue, but full of light. When ZD returned to remove the acupuncture needles, I told her about the light. She said it related to my liver. (We have worked much on my liver).
I am healing. It is the beginning. And that blue light, to me, was a symbol of hope.
Katrina, you are so brave. Thank you for sharing something so personal. I ache for the little girl that I cared about so much and for the pain someone caused you that has lasted for so many years. I am thrilled that you are finding relief and comfort. Love you.
My mom says that “that” is why we moved near you and YL. Now you know one of the reasons we adored you so: you were an answer to our prayers and just what our family needed. You know I cried when they split the ward right? I was losing my fab sitter and my crush all at once. 🙂 hee hee…young love…:) luv you girl!
this is such a strong post that i cannot sit back and not respond.
i am not sure what to say. i am happy for you that you are seeing the light.
i dont know you personally, but i kind feel i do.
thinking of you
Thanks Tali, 🙂 i feel the same way…and really hope to meet in the not-so-distant future! xoxo
Wow, Trina. That post was so open, honest, and real. Thanks for sharing a piece of yourself with us. Isn’t it interesting how the adversity we face shapes us and makes us who we are? There are often times when I rail against the hard things in my past, the thing that didn’t happen the way they were “supposed to”, but when I look back, I realize that if I changed those things, I would be changing what makes me who I am. I too have a rare condition, (mine’s neurological) and am off to read more about NAET.
Hi Stacy :), I hope you will find healing with NAET, taking Max there might also prove to be fruitful…it is an amazing process. luvs, trina
What a brave thing you did, first in seeking for help and having faith, and second, for writing this and sharing your experience with all of us. I am floored, by the way. What an awful, awful thing to endure. And I’m so sorry. Who would ever have suspected a female babysitter? I am so careful about the boys around my kids but somehow tend to trust the girls more. No more. I am so glad you’ve shared your perspective on healing as well. That’s an empowering way to think, that we must choose it, and one that will be on my mind all week. Hugs to you.
Hi lady Adrienne! It makes me smile to see your name. 🙂 There are so many things to watch out for as moms, if we can help each other avoid some of them I think it makes it easier. This post was obviously theraputic for me, but I really just want people to have hope in whatever they are going through or have gone through. 28 years really is too long to go without proper healing. luvs to you and yours, katrina
Trina, thanks for sharing that. I can’t imagine how difficult that must be. I am happy you are on a journey of healing. I have someone very close to me who struggles with a similar experience. It has been very hard in her marriage and even wanting to have children. We were talking the other day and talking about the atonement and why we don’t use it more in our lives. I appreciate your insight.
Your friend is very lucky to have you Becky! It makes such a difference to be able to talk, and have support from those we love. xoxo
Love you lady!
That took a lot of courage. I am proud of you. And will pray for your continued healing also.
luv you too lady!…and miss you! xoxo
Thank you for sharing this story. I love that you were able to share your open feelings with us on such a sensitive subject. Last year my niece, who was 5 at the time, was sexually abused by the son of her daycare provider. My brother and sister-in-law did not know how to get her help or what to do, and I was extremely involved with researching the best counselors and doctors for her and getting her the necessary help. Because my niece was brave enough to tell what was happening to her, he admitted to abusing 18 other girls and my niece stopped the horrible acts from that boy and he is now being held accountable for his actions. (And hopefully there will be no more victims because of him.)
Do you mind me asking what city ZD practices in, or sending me an email with his contact info. I have a sister-in-law that I believe would be very intersted in seeing him.
You are wonderful!
Hi Joidee. I am soo sorry about your niece, and yet am soo grateful her parents are taking the experience so seriously. Feel free to have you SIL read my post so that she knows the good she is doing. It is not an easy road. I saw ZD last night and she commented that children heal much quicker than adults. ZD is in Midway, UT…definitely worth the trip if your family is in UT. If not, there are thousands of practitioners all over the globe that treat with NAET. NAET has been known to heal all sorts of trauma and abuse. Here is a link where she can find one near her: http://www.naet.com/subscribers/drnamerica.html
I’ll email all this to you just in case.
I read this a few days ago and wanted to write when I had a few minutes that I could actually sit and have a minute to myself. You are so brave and courageous and strong. I think this is a post a lot more mothers needed to hear to protect their own children. I just think many mothers aren’t aware of the dangers. Dangers of people at church, in our neighborhoods, or even of female babysitters, and we need to know. I am so glad that you are getting help and healing. I can imagine it is probably a life long process and makes me even more grateful for the atonement. Keep it up lady! You are inspiration!
Luv you Rebecca! Guess who found me this week? Tara Morris. 🙂 She left a comment on the tomato basil soup post and if you click on her name you’ll see her cute blog. So fun…wouldn’t it be fabulous to all get together and see what has happened these past nearly 10 years…? 🙂 xoxo
Oh Trina, You are even more amazing than I already thought. I’m sorry that happened to you. So very sorry. I’m so happy that you are beginning to heal in all these ways. You inspire me. Love you!
Luv you too girl! How are you feeling this week? Miss you! xoxo