Christian recovery from mental illness, childhood sexual abuse, and addtiction

My Testimony

My story is like so many others in this community of recovery. My molestation began around 3 yrs old and continued to around 11 yrs old. My grandfather was my main abuser. The sexual abuse was frequent and extensive. I learned to detach from my feelings, because feelings weren’t helpful or safe. I learned that adults couldn’t be trusted, and it was my job to make them happy.

My family was large and full of alcoholics and drug addicts. By the time I was 9 yrs old, I was smoking weed and drinking alcohol. The drugs and alcohol numbed those feelings that I was so terrified of. No more self-loathing and fear. No more nightmares. Just numb.

When I was 10 or 11 I told my parents about my grandfather. He was sentenced to a few years in a low-security prison. I spent every weekend, holiday and birthday at the jail with him. My family made it clear that he wasn’t a bad person and what he did was only bad because I told. I wasn’t safe. I wasn’t good. I made everyone unhappy.

I decided to get pregnant at 14 yrs old. I desperately wanted to bring a child into the world – a child that would be treasured, loved and protected. I married the father right after high school and we have 4 amazing children. But it wasn’t enough. Even though I love being a mom, it didn’t pull me out of my depression, anxiety, unhealthy sexual behavior or my addiction. Three mutually abusive marriages, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, self-hate, no self-esteem or self-worth and a strong resentment toward God left me suicidal.

I reached out for one last desperate cry for help and checked into rehab on 1/27/19 (my third rehab). Two weeks into the program I made a life-changing decision. I turned my life over to God. I asked Jesus to help me. I surrendered and admitted that I needed God’s help. I couldn’t go on like this and I couldn’t fix it alone. This was my first taste of a spiritual experience. I was overwhelmed by the love of God.

I realize that God has been there every step of the way – I just needed to open my heart to Him. The blessings in my life are truly amazing. God is doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself. My desire to numb my feelings is gone. My PTSD symptoms are gone. My family relationships are being restored. I am surrounded by a recovery community that loves me – true, unconditional love. Recovery is work, but for every step forward I make, God is there to match me and far exceed my dreams.

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