In the series called The Truth Is Not Delicate I describe a list of unhealthy thoughts and/or behaviors about what I may have taught my daughters as they grew up in a home with a young mom (me) involved in an abusive marriage and who was just discovering that she was sexually abused as a child.
Last week, number nine in this series was: believing I am not worthy is not okay. This week number ten in the series is: being fearful is not okay.
Post Traumatic Stress
When I operate in the spirit of fear, I’m not functioning in power, love and self-control. As a mom I displayed fear which is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. When I remembered my childhood abuse at age 29, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My fears at that time were coming from flashbacks as if I were living out that pain and suffering at that time, but those things were not really happening. It felt as if I was reliving the abuse of my past again in the present.
I was married at age 22 so I remembered my childhood abuse seven years into marriage. As my marriage continued and I had some healing from PTSD and lots of counseling around my childhood abuse, I do believe some of the fear that I was essentially demonstrating and/or potentially trying to hide was due to present threats from my husband.
Denial of Present Fear
I realize now it was a challenge to separate in my mind that I was abused as a child but also being abused by my husband. I didn’t have the skills at that time to ask for help or understand that I did have the power to ask for help. I needed to set better boundaries and speak up so everyone would be safe in my home. But instead of doing those things, I created coping mechanisms throughout my whole marriage to manage my husband’s angry outburst, and I also minimized emotional abuse that was happening toward my kids and me.
Being full of fear all the time is an unhealthy lifestyle. I am still working on my fears. I think of my fears as if they are on a continuum. If ten is all fearful, and zero is no fear at all, I am somewhere in-between. Realistically I may have fears at some level all my life. I want to conquer my fears. I’ve chosen to not let fear to continue to control my life. I want to function in power, love, and self-control. I will do my best to live out this choice, knowing I will not be perfect.
I want to share with my daughters that for whatever part I played in teaching or modeling being fearful and operating in the spirit of fear, I am truly sorry. I ask for forgiveness. I want to share healthier communication styles that provide a different teaching model not only for my daughters but also for all my relationships.
I know God loves me even when I need to make some changes. I am a Treasure and a Pearl.