Dear Karen: I would like to know how you turned out so well? It is obvious to me that you are truly blessed with writing skills and your ability to communicate your struggles in life through words and faith. I thank God for you and reaching out to share with others…I answered my own question!
Dear Nancy: Thank you for your inquiry. The first time I was asked this question, I had a comical response.
“Turned out so well? I was RAPED, abused (physically, mentally and sexually), neglected, beat up by boyfriend after boyfriend, husband and sister; my brother committed suicide, another favorite brother died a year later, my mother almost killed me, I nearly died several times over, I let evil people into my son’s life…turned out well?”
But the woman continued, “You’re beautiful, articulate, obviously educated and look normal. You got your son away from those people.”
With huge eyes and a mouth dangling on the floor I simply replied, “God!” Quickly retreating to that quiet place within to ponder and talk this question over with our Lord.
This is a very tricky question and one I challenge my fellow sisters with similar experiences to answer either here or on their own blogs. For me, it was easier to share the details of the rape than articulate how I survived.
In short, I succeeded despite the tragedies. In fairness I never felt I had a choice and question my success. I still wonder if I was just too stupid to lie down, cry out for help or otherwise do something to bring attention to the abuse. I admire women who seek help and even those who fall apart. I feel my success was a smoke screen to hide the shame.
I recognize I was outwardly functional but living a lie. It was impossible for me to see much less celebrate my accomplishments when they were so intertwined in heartbreak and pain. I look back and see failures, misfortunes and missed opportunities.
For example, I was gang raped in college by my brother’s friends, my parents beat me up (again) and my favorite brother committed suicide during my senior year. While I agree it is amazing I even graduated, I still regret not publishing my research paper. My research paper is one of those things I still mourn, among others.
My success began when I said good-bye to my abusive relationships and made a commitment to keeping my children safe and learning to live in truth. This is a really great prompt and one that deserves a more complete answer. For now, my simple answer continues – God and lots of therapy!
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord
make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
Thank you, Lord for meeting me in my heartache, embracing me, wiping my tears and leading me to safety. Please Lord Help me to find the words to help others. Amen.
If you have a question, topic, biblical sister or verse you feel would inspire a great post? Or if you want to know more about something I’ve already shared, please submit your idea on my “Ask Karen” page—if I use it, I’ll credit you. And anticipate your feedback!