I remember when I published my first post detailing aspects of my childhood sexual abuse; Brad and I prayed, I published it, and then the emotional/mental stress of it all made me physically ill. I wanted to curl up under a rock and die from being so publicly vulnerable. But instead, I curled up on my bed and asked God to let me sleep. Thankfully, he did.
Since then, posting publicly on social media about abuse has become easier, but it still feels emotionally/mentally perilous at times. What words can I use to help people understand the trauma of abuse and protect the vulnerable? What parts of my experiences are worth reliving publicly to encourage other survivors? How do I tell the truth in a way that causes the least amount of pain to my family with the most benefit to other survivors and advocates? How do I even discern my motives for sharing? These are just a few of the questions that spin around in my head when I share publicly. But I suppose the biggest question is this — how do I love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and my neighbor as myself through sharing my experiences and (very limited) understanding of abuse? How indeed.
And here’s the thing — no one else can answer these questions for me. My agency and how I use it is my responsibility. That realization is at once liberating and terrifying. One moment I feel empowered and the next I cower with indecision. But exercising the agency God gives us is how we grow. So . . . here’s to growth! And, more importantly, here’s to growing together.