I used to be someone who used to run away from things. My problems. Life. Everything. Until one part of my story became overloaded, and bogged down with too many memories and life experience that never got digested properly. It caused massive attacks and confusion and I’m happy to say, as of today, those hauntings are safely behind me.

I don’t know if I ever told you this, but my background, although shiny and glimmery on its surface, once used to be a personal hell full of turmoil and great grief.

I had married a narcissist and one that was cruel and very abusive. I was trapped in a marriage and too far away from close confidants; I’d gotten lost somewhere along the way. I was too far away from home…a safe place where people actually “knew” me. I was a stranger, literally, in my own life for years, and it took its toll all on me physically and emotionally but most importantly, spiritually.

I’ll never forget living in Texas and working at an ad agency and one of my bosses coming to my desk privately and saying: “If you are married to someone with manic depression, they are going to steal your soul.”

Years later I found myself nearly running for my life, my belongings stuffed into garbage bags and running out of that apartment in Ohio…the place where my ex had gotten a promotion and moved us to. It was close enough to Pa that I could run across the border. And with my family, that’s what we did. I was out. But only physically. I went through a very haunting divorce and many years full of very unhelpful therapy. It has taken me a long time to readjust to the real natural world. It has actually taken nearly a decade of recovery, healing, but finally, now today I am able to sleep at night and feel safe in my own home. I can use as much toilet paper for example, as I want and eat what I want….I always could, but now I believe “I’m allowed” to….Today, I am mentally free.

I remember too many things to ever count but more of which are horrific stories and nightmares that used to actually happen in my home on a daily basis. I remember crying every single day. And not the shedding of a small tear but mascara stained pillows and bloated eyes on a daily basis after a night full of fighting. I remember being locked into places I felt I would never get out of again…alive. And yet here I am. Today I’m able to cope with it all as though it never happened. But it did. And at one point I needed more help than what my family could give me so they had checked me into therapy. After years of not talking about my situation or the obstacles I was still facing I had locked them away…in my mind vault and that is where spiritually the most damage had been done. The therapy I received last summer was the very best thing anyone ever did for me. It was true love that my family surrounded me during that time, and got me the true help that I had to have. They didn’t have a choice by that point nearly though. I had become unresponsive and literally began shutting down as a human being. “If you are married to a person who abuses you, they will steal your soul” I would always hear that boss echoing in my head. I felt, at the time that she was right. What happened over the years of great physical and especially mental abuse had robbed me, and it was a seemingly dark hole that no one knew if I would ever make it back out of again. But what they didn’t know, was that in Texas is where I found Jesus.

My parents used to send me devotionals when I lived in those crummy apartments with him. I remember locking myself in the bathroom and for it to be “the routine” whenever he would start…but I would go to those devotionals. Something about them. What was IN them, saved my life. Each and every time. And as I continued to read, I started to highlight and write in them. By the end of it all they were no longer books but pieces of damped scrunched up pieces of paper…things I would cling to when he came busting in those bathrooms breaking the doors down. I had found Jesus. Those pieces of Him that saved my life. He saved me and continues to save my soul each and every day. I am “more safe now than ever” He tells me and I know after last summer’s last stand…I know that this is true. The devil hasn’t won. And he never will.

I looked at that marriage and years full of heartache and pain as a battle between good and evil as there has been no reasonable explanation for any of it otherwise. Evil did not prevail.

If it is anything that I learned though from my life as it is now, it’s that I must first learn to heal myself before I can heal others. And my service today, is to do just that.

I was always someone who wanted to help “the other party.” It got me into some trouble throughout my life and put me in very bad situations, ones in which I ended up hurt.

I have new boundaries now, but it is still hard to live as the empath that I am. I tend to suck up the energy from anything even around me, so I must watch what places I put myself in and what surroundings certain experiences could awaken. It is simply how it is. It is my life. And I’ve decided that memories, even the bad ones, are precious gifts. Little pieces of life experience that we should wear as our battle armor. If you are a survivor too, please know that you aren’t alone. Stay strong. Rely on the Lord. Each day His mercy is new. Good always wins in the end as long as you are properly aligned with it. Align yourself with the Lord. He is your true protector, and He wants the best for you.

May God bless this message. It is His will, not mine. I’m thankful to those who have taken the time and listened to it. Amen.

“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them.” Romans 12:6

Dear Survivor,

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