Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saying I Love You

I know I haven't been on here in a while! Sorry! Life seemed to pick up the pace a little bit and I was struggling to keep up! I've got life pretty much under control - or at least as much as a person can have life under control...


I was talking with my sister's kids on facebook the other day. I am not all that fond of my sister in the first place, but her kids wanted to talk to me, so I agreed. The kids never did anything to me.

The youngest got done talking and the last message she sent was, "I love you, aunt Lara."

Oh geez.

I have a rule that I live by. I don't know if it a good rule, but it seems to work for me.
Don't say "I love you" unless you mean it.

So, when my sister's daughter said she loved me, I froze. I ended up not responding. I felt bad, but I had to decide which was worse - saying an empty I love you or not responding. I chose not to respond.

To me, there is nothing worse than an empty "I love you."

I feel as though I have just had my fill of them and there is no need for them. They just hurt people.

They've hurt me, I know that.

In particular, my best friend in high school would say that she loved me everyday. I, of course, would say it back. I thought she meant it. I'm sure she did at one point. She was also the one that I went to first about the abuse. She didn't believe me and told my abuser what I told her, making the abuse a million times worse. I don't know about you, but to me, someone who loves you wouldn't do that to you. They wouldn't call you a liar and then make your life even worse.

That was when I stopped with saying "I love you" unless I mean it. Only a few people in my life get "I love you." Those people are my best friends and my family. No one else gets them.

Call me stingy, but that is how I feel.

Love is too precious to give away to people who don't deserve it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hope Restored

I finally had the opportunity to go to a friend's house for the first time. We have talked a bit online via email and I know her husband really well, but we have never really met.

I felt that I needed to meet her. We have so much in common. It is actually quite creepy. We were both abused, we both have ovarian cysts, and we both have mother issues.

So, I go to their house yesterday at 1pm. I stayed until 11pm! We just kept talking and talking!
I want to share with you a little of what we talked about yesterday. To respect her privacy, I won't use her name.

We started off talking about my mother. Her mommy issues are similar. Her mother didn't leave her physically, but she left her emotionally. She just didn't want her own daughter anymore, so we talked about that for a while.

We eventually got to talking about the abuse. She was so full of wisdom and advice. It was fantastic. I was finally talking to someone who understood. She knew what I was feeling and why.

She told me that I had a beautiful soul. I started crying. I don't feel like I do. I know I do, but I don't necessarily feel it all the time. I want to feel beautiful and feel like I have a beautiful soul.

She told me the best thing I have heard in a very long time:

It gets better.

She brought back my hope. If she says that it gets better, well, then I believe her. She has been through it and she has finally gotten to a point where she can say that it gets better.

My hope is restored. We talked about how the abuse affects every aspect of life from shopping, sex, school, relationships (romantic and not), and religion.

I feel like I can survive all of the craziness that comes with the abuse in regards to those things now.

I feel so much hope now. It was all from just talking with a friend.

What restores your hope?

Friday, June 8, 2012

I am a Sinner

I am a sinner. I was made that way. I was baptized and all of my sins were washed away.

I am still a sinner.

I am not perfect.

Every Sunday (or nearly every Sunday), I go to church. We say this prayer every week and I have not once in my whole life ever thought about what it meant.

I confess to Almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;
and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord, our God.

So, what does it mean?

I am convinced that for everyone it may have a different meaning. For a priest, it may mean something very different than what it means for me. This is my interpretation of it and how it coincides with my life.

For me, the lines:

I confess to Almighty God,
and to you my brothers and sisters,

They mean to me, that we all have made mistakes. God loves us anyways. We are His children and He will always love us. It can be hard to feel sometimes. Sometimes it feels like we may have done something or acted in a way that makes us feel as though no one could be able to love us.

Especially, after being sexually abused. There were moments last summer that I was so mean to people that tried to help me. I pushed them away (hard) and was bound determined that I could handle anything by myself. I was wrong. I wasn't letting God in and was in need of His love and guidance. I was truly alone and lost.

The next part:

that I have sinned through my own fault,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;

To me, this means that the mistakes that we make as humans are going to take many different forms. This only touches on a few, but they are a few very broad categories.

Relating this back to sexual abuse, the way that we felt or what we have thought during the abuse may have been sinful in nature. For me, I know that I had thoughts of wishing I could just die. I had thoughts of killing him. These (I've been told) are very normal thoughts considering the situation. God also understands. He forgives. He knows that it happened and He wants us to take from it and turn it into a chance to learn and better ourselves.

and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord, our God.

This part is pretty self explanatory. We are forgiven. We are loved no matter what.

I just wish that these prayers were more than just words for people. For me, after being abused, they were a way of life. They were a way of getting myself to believe again and keep my faith. I lived these words. I still try to.

I know that I am a sinner. Being abused makes me feel like I am worse than everyone else, like I did something to wrong God.

This isn't true at all, but what I have been learning lately, sometimes the knowing and feeling parts of your thinking don't quite line up or make that connection.

So, the next time you pray or even talk to God, think, "Am I just going through the motions?"

Make your words and actions take meaning.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Abuse in a Nutshell

I was abused by the same boy over and over.

The abuse took a few different forms.

Verbal. Every day in class I was talked to like I was the dumbest thing on the face of the earth. I was made fun of. I was degraded. I was asked personal questions that no one has the right to know the answers to, but me and maybe my doctor or boyfriend. I was asked double bladed questions that no matter how I would choose to answer, I always lost.

Physical. I was taken to places in the school to be touched. The boys bathroom was a favorite for him. I was touched so much... This part is too hard for me to talk about right now... Eventually, I will be able to do it.

Mental. I was left feeling like I was so small. I lost every ounce of self confidence that I ever had. I felt like I was not worth anything. He made me feel that way so much so, that I couldn't help but think that it was true. I started to doubt everything I thought I knew about myself and God. I started to think that I was supposed to suffer and that maybe I had done something wrong and deserved to be treated like this.

I know now, that none of the above is true.

None of what he did defines me. It has structured my life to be different than others, but it's not supposed to be the same anyways.

I know now, that I am worth everything and then some. Some days it is hard to feel it, but deep down I know it.

It seems odd to say, but I am glad that I am given the opportunity to learn so much about myself. Don't get me wrong, I do wish that I never had to endure such terrible things, but in the end, I think that if anything, it is making me a better person.