I’m pretty late in posting about my 2nd Advent Sunday. Sorry about that. I kept meaning to get to it. But having a sinus infection has seriously derailed the timeliness of my planned blog posts.
I was feeling better from my sinus infection, since I got my anti-biotic medication and Flonase three days beforehand. I’m glad to report that I am continuing to heal and feel much better, day by day.
On my second Advent Sunday I did much the same things as I had done on the first Sunday of Advent. I made a wonderful meal and had a great time. I had one of my artificial candles lit while I ate. I listened to some wonderful Christmas music. I watched a couple of Christmas themed shows and movies. I had my Christmas tree lights on and that brings me so much joy. That was all great.
An unfortunate thing happened, I cried. I wished that hadn’t happened, but sometimes when I am thinking about God I get all wrapped up in shame and humiliation and that is something that I have not overcome yet in my healing process. I still don’t think that I deserve God.
I still blame myself, in some way, and carry the shame of those who abused me. I decided to write about this because I think it is a common affliction for survivors of child sexual abuse, child abuse, bullying, emotional abuse, ritual abuse, the whole gamut of types of abuse.
For me, as a Christian, I have never been able to believe that God could feel the same way about me that I believe that they feel and think and love towards others. It is a huge part of Christianity to believe that God loves us all, each one of us, and that Jesus lived and died for us all, for all of our sins. For me, I think, it is particularly horrible, because ritual abuse is spiritual abuse. I’m only writing about this to highlight how this applies to me and, I believe, to survivors. I believe that many survivors think that they are the exception and that God doesn’t love them or want them, internalized deep inside of them.
I know theoretically that the shame and guilt that I feel are based on being abused by others, and that I was a child and was abused, and therefore not sins and not something that I should feel shame or guilt about. I know that I should not feel that I am the only person that God should feel that way about, because I certainly don’t believe that God should feel badly towards survivors of child sexual abuse. But I still do. So I had a boatload of that come up last Sunday and that was not fun or good, but it is a part of my life and something that I am trying to heal from.
Bizarrely I alternate between feeling ashamed, guilty, and bad and having just a ton of rage at God. I think this is all a by-product of abuse and none of it is my responsibility, though I still feel it, believe it, and have to deal with it and try to heal from it all. I think it is good that I have finally been able to feel anger at God, after so many years of not being able to. I blame God for giving me to my mother, a sexual offender and child beater.
I realize that I wouldn’t exist without being born into my family of origin. For a very long time, most of my life, I have believed that it would be better not to have ever existed and have wished for that, to take back time and to have been wiped out of existence. I wished that I had never known my family. It has been the fondest wish of my life to be someone else than who I am, anyone else. A few years ago I stopped wishing that as well.
I was sorry when my online friends said to me that they valued me and that I had made a positive and healing impact on my life, because I still wished that I hadn’t existed.
For the last couple of years I am finally glad that I exist. I am glad that I am alive.
All that I/we have endured does not get wiped away and I believe that I would have been just as wonderful and kind of a person if I had not been abused. Actually I believe that I have been a more wonderful and kind person at times in my life and I see how certain abuses have negatively impacted me and altered me, especially with my abusive boyfriend. So I don’t think that abuse has shaped me or altered me in a way that can redeem having to endure it all. I don’t get that type of lesson from my life and I accept that others might get that from their life.
The first quote that I found on Advent to include in my Christmas quotes for this year was
“Advent creates people, new people.”
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas
So I guess this is a great time of year and a great day to celebrate God in the manger, Jesus in the manger, Jesus growing up, loving us all, sacrificing his life for us all, and triumphing over death and evil. Advent and celebrating really is a good time to heal and when things come up, I am learning, it is a good time to think about them and to feel about them, even if you only wanted a little happy time and a little happy meal, Advent is a time for healing, to be changed, to be a new person in some way.