How I made it through… (religious themes…may be offensive to some)

Please do not take this post as someone’s way of forcing their beliefs on others.  I am not here to make you believe what I do or to tell you what to believe.  By sharing my story, I am reaching out.  This is a part of me.  It is what brought me through the darkest times of my life, and I hope that it will bring comfort to some and understanding to others…

I grew up in a broken home.  To me it was a way of life.  It did not seem broken to me because I was only three when it broke.

At the age of six I was molested by my grandfather.  By the age of nine I was falling apart under my father’s ever increasing expectations.  My cousin took advantage of my innocence at ten and the rest was downhill from there.

Like I said before, my family was broken.  I couldn’t fix it.  No one really could.  Most people just looked on from the outside wondering how we got along.  On the inside, everyone was just trying to make it through one more day without falling apart.

I am thankful that my father did provide a home, food, and clothing (embarrassing as they were), and that he took us to church (even though his version of the gospel was a little skewed).

I can’t remember a time when I did not know who God was.  Jesus was a gentle loving man who looked at me from portraits in my family’s homes and in the churches we visited.  We read stories about how he cared for the children, the sick, the lonely, and the forgotten.  He was just as real to me as anyone else in my little world.

At the age of eight, I learned that the only person who had ever really been there for me might disappear from my life forever.  It terrified my little heart to know that I could be separated from God.  Because I did not ever want that to happen, I asked Jesus to come into my heart and be with me always.

From that moment on, the pain was a little less when my body and soul was bruised and sore. When I had no one to comfort me or dry my tears, I had Jesus.  He was my very best friend because he understood that I didn’t mean to do wrong.  He knew that I was not trying to make people mad.  He was the only one who knew what was happening to me, and he was the only one who loved me still.  I was not upset because he would not “fix it.”  I was just glad that someone out there actually cared.

So many things have happened since the time that holding my Bible at night would make the nightmares go away.  I have learned that the way I see God often puts me at odds with others.  I understand that most people do not see him as benevolent or kind.  Most see him as detached and uncaring, and I understand.  I do not think that makes me right or anyone else wrong.

I do now understand how religion can hurt so many people.  My father was a very bitter man.  He was also a music minister, Sunday school teacher, and self-proclaimed preacher, who held a very limited view of the world.  He used religion to justify his actions and beliefs instead of using it as a tool for introspection and change in his own life. The fact that his actions and words were so very different hurt many people, including other family members.  Several of my family members learned of a vengeful, hypocritical God from watching my father.  It is truly amazing how people can believe in the same God, but understand him differently because of the shape others have given him.

From my little corner, I am still learning to cope and understand.  There are days that I want nothing more than to climb up into God’s lap and cry myself to sleep in His arms.  Other days, I want Him to wipe pain from the face of the earth with His mighty hands.  And yet, most days I simply want Jesus to just hold my hand and tell me everything will be alright…..

10 Things I Have Learned…

1. Even though abuse may be the cause of my behaviors, it is not an excuse for them.

2. Knowing what occurred, how it occurred, or how many times it occurred is not as important as simply understanding that something did occur.

3. Repressed memories are repressed for a reason.

4. My psyche is an amazing thing. It knows what I can handle and when.

5. Telling the story is not as important as sharing the secret.

6. Counseling that focuses on the events more than their effects does more harm than good.

7. You will not find validation until you validate yourself.

8. The cycle may begin with someone else, but it can end with me.

9. I am not responsible for my abusers bad choices or the consequences thereof.

10. The objective of healing is to learn and grow.

Healing is Bittersweet…

Along the way I have learned that the healing process brings joy and sorrow, sometimes wrapped up in one. It is a beautiful thing that sometimes makes me sad.

Like the time that I saw my father in my brother. That moment opened my eyes to the man my father was and forever will remain. It gave me a new perspective on my mother, and my relationship with my brother. That moment released me somehow. I learned that I was not a bad child, simply a child who could no longer live with the anger and abuse. It brought me joy because it brought freedom.

Yet, at the same time, it brought sorrow because I knew that these traits now live in my brother. I can see him treating his ex-wife and daughter as my father treated my mother and me. Not only this, but the knowledge came that I would never have a relationship with my father. Thus, the sadness in my joy.

Or, like the time that I realized that my grandmother had the power to stop my grandfather and never did. I was so angry with her. It hurt me so much to know that she never said a word. No one told me that I was not the only one. No one ever told anything.

But I understand why she never spoke. He threatened that he would kill her before he would let her divorce him! She felt she had to threaten him silently by having my cousin at the divorce hearing. She is a fragile woman in mind, and she has done what she felt she had to. Just as I must do what I have to. Her silence brings me sorrow, but my understanding brings me comfort.

There is joy in my freedom, even though it brings others sorrow. I am sad that I can never have a relationship with these two people, but I know that one day they will understand. Many tell me that I will feel differently when my father and grandmother pass. Though I know this is true, it is not for the reasons they believe. It is because I know that, when that day comes, there will be a release of all the secrets. Both will know the pain that they have caused, and why I never came. True forgiveness will blanket all the wrongs, and peace will touch us all. Bittersweet will be that day, but pain will not touch my heart.

Mine…

I guess you could call this a journal of sorts….a glimpse into my journey – a moment on the road. I have never really shared my writings before, but here, I will do my best to share those thoughts that fill my mind.

I have always cherished my thoughts and writings and guarded them with care. I guess I have always been afraid that someone would try to take them away from me. It sounds crazy, but that is the only way I know to describe what I feel. Maybe it is because, as a child, I was told that my feelings and opinions did not matter. Maybe it is the only thing I know of me. Maybe the only identity I have is in the words and pages I hold so very dear.

That’s an interesting thought…..

It is true that I feel more alive when I write. I feel connected to myself, and balance seems to come so much easier. Passion stirs within my heart, and I lose myself in my thoughts. Pen and paper are the only two things in this world that have ever allowed me to freely express the thoughts that run through my mind. They do not judge, nor do they say that my poetic thoughts are silly. Writing is the only thing that gives me a sense of worth. When I write, I feel as though I am eloquent and elegant (which is something I never feel I am). In writing, I do not feel the same awkwardness that comes with expressing myself aloud. The words just seem to flow. I have no fear that my words, feelings, or opinions will be rejected. There is no fear that someone else will take my words and make them their own. For in that moment, it feels as though they take away from me the person that I am.

Funny, I never really thought about that until now. Yet, there it is in peach and mauve…

It is a strange feeling to find something new. You wish to hold it for a moment and try to take it in, to turn it in the light and study each new facet as it sparkles in the light. You do not know what you should do next – hold it close and cherish the thought of having it, or run and show it to everyone you know. You know you should do something, but exactly what – you have not a clue. There is something to be said for quiet reflection, time to let it all sink in. Yet, to hold it quiet for too long is to lock it away and never allow others the benefit of it’s beauty.

Hmmmm…..

I guess I must go and ponder this thought for a moment in order to let it all sink in. I must give it time to become a part of me. However, I must not hold it to myself for so long that I fear to share it with others.

Ttyl,
Kylee

Two Years Later… (an excerpt from my original Survivor site)

When I started this page two years ago, I never would have thought that I would be able to tell you that life was good. Yet, here I am, saying those very words! LIFE IS SO GOOD!! What more could I ask for?

Some of you have become very familiar with my journey, others have just begun to examine it. No matter what you have read, I want you to know above all things about the new life that I have. It’s been a really long time since I have been able to write to you about the things in my life, but I felt I just had to stop an share. Someone needs to hear the words I am about to say.

Life was really hard to stand up under for a long time. It hurt to know that the people that were supposed to love me thought so little of me. Part of me died when I realized that the love that I had for others was not returned. This was not only true for my grandfather and my cousin, but for my best friend too. The person I imagined I would spend forever with was ripped from my life. Not only was my heart empty, but my soul had a gigantic hole that I thought I could never fill. I just wanted to die. I would no longer be empty. None of this would matter anymore.

Time went on, even though I thought it was extremely unfair that everyone else’s lives could continue when mine had halted. I could not see how everyone else could just keep going and leave me there in that dark place – alone. Now I know that it was a place that no one else could go. It was a place where I did not want to be alone, but I was the only one who knew the way through the darkness. So I stumbled along. My friends were there. They loved me through it all. Please don’t think they left me – it was only that they could not follow.

Light came into my heart, and the emptiness began to fill. I found places that my friends could visit. Sometimes it hurt to let them see the destruction in my soul. I did not want them to know how horrible it looked in there, but they came. Somehow, my heart healed. The only explanation I have is that God started to smooth out the rough walls. Jesus showed me his scars. He had been abandoned and alone. His friends could not follow him – he even told them that once. He knew the darkness when he was left to his pain – forsaken by all he loved.

Remodeling had begun. Once, every room was hung with dark curtains and decorated in sparse furniture. I wasn’t going to stay in those places, and I certainly would not invite anyone else in those deepest rooms. All they were allowed to see the small waiting room that was nice and cheery, but they knew there was a secret behind the door. The curtains came down, and where there once was only darkness, there was light. Every room had a view, each more lovely than the last. Elegant furniture, flowers, and life.

How did I get here, I prayed, and I cried. I let go of myself – let go of my pain. I could not hold these things, because they held me. Yet, when I stopped trying, they let go of me. I guess pain is a lot like me. It likes to be wanted. If you hold on – it will take hold of you, but when you let go – it lets go of you.

Life is good. It’s not perfect. I still have my fears like, “What if I find someone who loves me, and I tell them about this part of me, and they do not want me anymore?” It’s irrational, I know, but it is still a fear that grabs me sometimes. One day, someone will show me that I am wrong, but I have to believe it first.

I have to go now. I hope that what I have said has touched you and given you hope. You can go on. You will get though. Just hold on and believe.