Together We Heal

Together We Heal is for any who suffer from the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. We provide a safe forum for survivors of abuse to share, learn and heal. We work to expose sexual predators and their methods of getting into our lives.

Easter – A Conflict of Emotions

16 Comments

For many of us who were raised in a religious setting, but also endured childhood sexual abuse at the hands of someone in the ministry, this time of year can be a conflict of emotions. For me, there was a time when I abandoned the organization that I felt had abandoned me and my fellow survivors. Unless it was a wedding or a funeral, I wouldn’t darken the doors of any church, synagogue, etc. I would even go so far as to say, for a time, I held God responsible for what happened to me and had genuine feelings of hatred toward the church and God.

It wasn’t until I had spent many years working with a therapist and in a group therapy setting, that I realized it wasn’t the fault of God that what happened to me happened. However, the churches failure to take action, support those of us who had been harmed and take the necessary steps to prevent these predators from hurting other children still causes great pain and still has no excuse.

That having been said, I read something today that I think applies to both Easter and survivors.

“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all” ~ Leo C. Rosten.

20140420-042108.jpg

It’s clear, for those of us who subscribe to Christianity, that Christ stood for something, and made a difference in our lives by sacrificing His. Applying that to survivors of CSA, we too can take this opportunity to turn this awful, evil series of events that happened to us, and turn them into taking a stand, making a difference in the lives of our fellow survivors and help prevent this from happening to future generations of children.

For those that know me, and have been keeping up with all that Together We Heal is doing, you know we most definitely have passion, compassion, are taking responsibility and doing all we can to take honorable actions for this cause.

So as we go forward today in celebration of Easter, in acknowledging the resurrection of Christ, let’s apply this most critical of moments in His life to our own lives. We can resurrect our destroyed lives. We can restore what was taken. We can have our lives count for something. We can because we have survived a “death of our own“.

I’m not saying this because I believe all survivors should feel exactly like I do, and I most certainly understand if you still have reservations about anything having to do with any religious organization. I only write this to give you words of encouragement, to let you know that if I can make it through to this point in my recovery, I know you can too. But I don’t believe it should be forced onto anyone, by anyone. This is on your terms and in your own time.

So now with this perspective, I hope we all can look at today as a day where we are no longer shackled by the weight of guilt, shame and self-blame. We can experience a rebirth and resurrection for ourselves. We can because together…we can truly heal.

Copyright © 2014 Together We Heal, Inc.

Author: Together We Heal

In 2006 David took the first step in a long and painful journey back from the abyss of addiction and self-destruction. He promised his dying father that he would get clean. And he did. But as he cleaned his body and soul, he began to confront the sexual abuse that his addiction had for so long obscured — abuse perpetrated by a church youth minister when David was 12 to 15 years old. Those three years of abuse destroyed the foundation of love and faith that had been built by his family. For 25 years, David kept the abuse secret and lost himself in a fog of drugs and alcohol. He was by turns destitute, at times incarcerated. The promise to his dying father was the catalyst. And the bedrock of his mother’s love and devotion was the foundation on which David rebuilt his life. Therapy, 12-step meetings, and soul-deep determination were the bricks and mortar. David founded Together We Heal to provide fellow survivors and their families, guidance through the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. In 2015 he was asked to become a part of the Child Safeguarding Initiative team with GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to empower the Christian community through education and training to recognize, prevent, and respond to child abuse. David represents Together We Heal & GRACE across the country as a public speaker and instructor; teaching churches, schools, and families how to talk with their kids about sexual abuse, how to better identify predatory behavior, and how to properly respond to those harmed. "To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” - Dr. Seuss

16 thoughts on “Easter – A Conflict of Emotions

  1. Reblogged this on Hope's Tapestry and commented:
    “I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all” ~ Leo C. Rosten.

    Like

  2. David,

    What a good and clear story and it is almost like you had been reading my mind the last days because I came to the same outcome.
    I didn’t want the struggle inside anymore which has taking the time it needed to get to tha tpint.

    I can’t change the past but with my work and the gift I got I am dedicating my life to best I can to be there for others that want my help.

    When you can set yourself free by making peace in and with yourself it opens your heart for love and happiness.

    Like

  3. What a wonderful thoughtful post. So very Inspirational to us who at times second guess our efforts in this fight against abuse. I stand outside your circle of circumstances. I have no history of abuse or betrayal by those entrusted to my care. Many wonder why I am so passionate about this issue. All I can offer is “I did not pick this fight, it Picked me” to be remembered as having stood for something, and to have made a difference to have lived at all”.
    I hope you all have a beautiful day.

    Like

  4. Thank you so very much for these timely words. Perhaps one day I can feel more comfortable among Christians. Right now they are repulsive and triggering to me. Have you been able to return to a church building?

    iamnotbubba
    http://www.perpetuallyhealing.com

    Like

    • I am now, but it took over 30 years. So don’t feel you need to rush things. Remember what I wrote when I said, “your time”. No one should ever make you feel you should do otherwise 🙂 as long as you’re finding a healthy, healing path of recovery…that’s all that matters

      Like

    • Hey Joel, I’ve been reading some posts on your site and have appreciated much of what you’ve said. If you would like to include our site in the section you have on “healing” please feel free to add together-we-heal.org “Together We Heal” – we would be honored if you did, but will not be offended if you don’t, just wanted to give you the option. Hope you’re having a great Sunday.

      Like

  5. Pingback: Easter: A Conflict of Emotions -

  6. Thank-you for the many kind, inspirational and timely words spoken here. I am in the church again, even though it was not any “visible” abuse, or any noticeble signs..just those ongoing triggers…the mind games…the “inside” workings of the enemy….until….even today …entering into the “here-after” was a very real idea to me.
    Why don’t I leave the church?
    My husband has left…and is VERY miserable…working..and then sitting in the basement engrossed in sports…my kids have left…and my girls do not even speak to me….my boys do however,,,and for the sake of “The Cross” I continue on. To leave now…would send the message loud and clear…”That church stuff is just not real..and you have proven it”
    I prefer to promote “The Cross of Christ” than any “membership” at a Church.
    It is very sad when “favourtism, shunning, mind games, and Spiritual abuse are all too evident today.

    Like

  7. I appreciate your story. here is part of mine. My father was a minister who truly believed he was God himself… and I was his child. when I was 12, my father took me into the sanctuary of his church, and attempted to crucify me… My hands still bear the scars of his nails all these years later. He could not follow through… he didn’t have the stomach for it, so decided to rape me instead… as a symbolic crucifixion. That was Good Friday. I went into hospital by ambulance and died for 3 minutes due to loss of blood. On Easter Sunday, I arose from my hospital bed to return home to my father. As you can imagine, Easter is a very difficult time for me even now… all these years later.

    Like

  8. David…thank you for sharing this thoughtful, honest expression. It reminded me of my own struggle with those of supposed devotion who thought nothing of dismissing my experience and pain in the name of that devotion. If you care to read, this was my essay about that experience: http://www.kissesfromdolce.blogspot.com/2009/04/tonight-begins-holiday-of-passover-time.html
    Please also consider sharing my website with your webmaster so that we may list each other in support.
    Thank you. All the best.

    Like

Leave a Reply to Susan Komisar Hausman Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s