“I Will Pray for You”- Why that Triggers my Anxiety

I met with my Pastor yesterday and he gave me some insight and some hard challenges. I will talk more about it when I am up for it but right now I will just keep it brief. One of the things that has always caused anxiety for me is my Trigger words that take me back to my Spiritual force fed abuse from my mother (that I still get).

My pastor gave me the challenge to think of a new happy memory and attach it to those words, give the word either a new meaning or say something different completely. He explained to me that every word we know, that I know, is neutral. We attach, I attach, specific meanings and memories to it.

For example, some words I cannot stand to hear. It urks me, it makes my blood boil and hatred to rise up in me. One of those words is PRAY. I hate that word. When I think of PRAY I think of the hypocrisy people use (my mother included) to “pray for you”. Some of the meanest people say that, “Well bless your heart, I will pray for you.” When you have done nothing wrong. I feel that there is a double meaning attached to that word and it isn’t meant to be sincere.

Instead of saying pray, prayer, praying.. I will refer it to as “talking to God” or “talk to Him”. That is essentially what I am doing anyways. I am just taking out the trigger word. Even just typing the word or thinking of the memories attached to the word “pray” makes me want to punch someone.

That is all the brain power I have today. I am hoping to make a list of words that trigger me in the next couple posts… but the issue with that is I don’t like being triggered. lol

Sundays are a Trigger

I have until July 1st to see my therapist so time is precious. She told me a story about how when you talk about old wounds in a safe place and work through them & the emotions it brings to you- you are cleaning your abscess.

Abscesses are wounds within the skin full of pus and without proper treatment, they grow inside you destroying more flesh and causing more pain. But when an abscess is treated, the doctor has to go in and remove all the toxins, pus, dead flesh and clean the wound. That leaves you with a huge, tender opened hole.

Sundays feel like that to me. I had to go to church every sunday and put a smile on my face. I had to hide the abuse, go through the ritual of sunday morning church, worship, tithe, notes, prayer, communion and more.

Now since my abscess has been cleaned out and I have cut out the poison in my life- I had a huge triggers aka open holes when it comes to my Christian beliefs, sundays, prayer and worship. You would think that once you deal with pain and the emotional turmoil that you get better and feel better. My reality is I actually trigger easier, have migraines, I get so mentally exhausted and my nightmares are worse/more frequent.

I confronted my therapist about this. I am so puzzled as to why I FEEL more things. I used to just be numb and stuff things down inside of me. Now I am feeling every emotion all at once sometimes. With her soft smile and warm eyes she told me that she is proud of me.

I had to check me ears. Excuse me? You said you are proud of me? Have you been listening to the stories I have just been telling you? I feel worse! I trigger more easily and I am so exhausted anymore. How can you be proud of me when I feel so horrible, overwhelmed and just guilty for not being able to even say a full prayer for more than 10 seconds?!

My therapist simply smiled at me again. “Have you felt the need to self harm?” I looked at her blankly for a second. I answered no and that kind of surprised myself actually. I always turn to self harm when  I get overwhelmed and I hadn’t thought about that once recently when it used to be an everyday thought. She told me it is because I am allowing myself to feel my emotions and go through it.

It is like the default way I deal with things is to cut and stuff. Since I have turned away from those as a natural response- I am now no longer numb, depressed and stuffing. I am feeling, vulnerable, experiencing and dealing. That is why she is proud of me. Realizing that- I am proud of myself. It takes hard work to be in this place. It takes even harder work to allow yourself to feel.

I just can’t wait until my open sore is healed for good.

My Current Playlist

I wanted to share my playlist with you. I have been honest with myself this past week about the relationships I need and the relationships I don’t. There has been a lot of mixed emotions from empowerment to “what in the heck am I doing?” moments. I am so much stronger now than I have ever been.

What has been helping me stay strong is I put together a playlist that talks about the way I have been treated or felt all my life. There is a mix of genres because I like all music. It took me a couple days to put this together, it is 20 songs and I am in total love with it.

I have not been able to work out at all because of my abuse when I was younger but with this playlist- I just might be able to one day. Okay- so enough chatting- here is the list. Enjoy! & Let me know what you think below. Plus let me know what songs help you out when you are having a difficult time staying strong.

I titled the playlist- Stronger

  • 1 Fighter by Christina Aguilera
  • 2 Just Like You by Three Days Grace
  • 3 Mean by Taylor Swift
  • 4 It’s Been Awhile by Staind
  • 5 Breakdown by Seether
  • 6 Brave by Sara Bareilles
  • 7 Mean Girls by Rachel Crow
  • 8 Freckles by Natasha Bedingfield
  • 9 Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
  • 10 Wide Awake by Katy Perry
  • 11 Roar by Katy Perry
  • 12 Country Strong by Gwyneth Paltrow
  • 13 I Don’t Want to Be by Gavin DeGraw
  • 14 What It’s Like by Everlast
  • 15 Call Me When You’re Sober by Evanescence
  • 16 Not Afraid by Eminem
  • 17 Liar Liar by Christina Grimmie
  • 18 King of Thieves by Christina Grimmie
  • 19 Not Fragile by Christina Grimmie
  • 20 Cries in Vain by Bullet For My Valentine

It’s just under 80 minutes and I love every single song on here. So if you are a sufferer of abuse, you get all the blame shifted to you, been bullied, being left alone, depression, self harm or suicidal- one of these songs just might help you. 🙂

No Longer Silenced

Therapy was a break through for me and so was yesterday. I think it just all clicked in my brain. I know I still have a journey ahead but I am making some huge steps. I have ALWAYS feared my m. whether I would like to admit it or not- I did. I would fear she would take my sisters away for good, I would fear of disappointing her, I would fear of the degrading letters and emails she would send. I would fear I wouldn’t measure up, gaining too much weight, not pursuing the career she approved of, not living the life she approved of. But mostly I was fearful of losing my sisters.

My therapist sat back after she heard some more stories I shared with her. Just to hit on briefly about how I cannot go into a church sometimes and sit through a service without triggers. I can’t see families together because mine isn’t. I can’t hear the familiar Bible stories or verses because it’s pounded into my head. It brings back painful memories of childhood. Not only would memories verses be plastered all over the walls in her house but she would play a tape for us of the Bible at night that we would have to listen to to fall asleep. We’d move from church to church, lesson after lesson, daily readings of the Bible together. Memory verse contests, home schooled teachings of the Bible, video tapes of the Bible would sometimes be the only thing I would be allowed to watch. IT was horrendous. Everything was pounded into us & shoved down our throats. There was never a choice involved- it was forced fed.

black-woman-silenced

A couple of the most prominent verses are “Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Colossians 3:20. I didn’t EVEN HAVE TO LOOK THAT UP! I knew it by heart. This one I did have to look up, Ephesians 6:2-3, 2“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Those two verses are seriously the first two you learn growing up in that house. I lived there til I was 14 and had to visit there until I was 17-18, so I saw my little sisters and how they were raised. If they didn’t comply, they weren’t spanked- they were literally beaten until they stopped. Not just 1 smack with discipline- it was smack, smack, smack smack smack!

I brought a letter my m. sent to me on my birthday so my therapist could see it. She was astonished. This card didn’t look like a birthday card and it was a blank card originally. It wasn’t signed by the whole family, (I got nothing from my sisters but a group voicemail), it was just signed by m. But it was written in to the max of just Bible verses about love. Make me puke! My therapist had then told me that I have been severely Spiritually Abused by her.

obey

She picked up the card and said, “How many more times do you want to go through this?” That didn’t really sink in until the next day to be honest. But what she said next hurt so bad I couldn’t believe she said it. She said, “You already do not have a relationship with your sisters. You are not in their lives.” I got a lump in my throat and my eyes started to burn. I had never heard that or thought of that. I told her how much that statement hurt but I couldn’t repeat it. So she said it again. I flustered and started crying. “It hurts you because deep down, you know it’s true.”

It is true. All this time I had been fearing the most damaging thing my m. could do to me and she has already done it. My therapist let that soak for a minute and then began to comfort me by saying another truth. “You don’t have one now, but you will have an opportunity. They will come to you whether they are 18 or older, and your mother will no longer have control over them legally. And ya know what, I am so proud of you for actually being able to even attend church with how much you have been through. You may not be able to go when you have triggers but you need to learn to separate the difference between your abuse and what it’s like to have faith.”

The next morning I sat up a Googled Spiritual Abuse. I found this really good article/site that talks about how God doesn’t approve of spiritual abuse. Matthew 18:6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Sea_water_Virgo

That is the EXACT moment of when it all clicked in my head. The reason why I never ever could really go against my m. or step dad fully was because of the guilt of disobeying God. I had to honor them, and obey them in everything. That meant eat what I was told to eat, sit when they said sit and be who they said be. It all makes complete sense to me now. Thinking on this is actually comical to me now, how easy it was to fool me. I can see it plain as day. And now I know God is not thrilled about this at all! It is not my fault, I was a little one she caused to stumble. She is control and power hungry. She twists the words of God to benefit her. And it is better for her to drown in the sea.

Once I was able to see all that so clearly- I felt God stand behind me and empower me to do what I did next. My therapist recommended that I speak up. I kinda shook at the thought because I didn’t want to, I couldn’t imagine doing that. She asked why. I responded, “because I don’t want to stir up the hornet’s nest.” She asked why again. I couldn’t come up with an answer. Fear. Fear of what? My sisters are already taken from me. It was because back to that key thought, “well if I do that, I am not honoring my mother and father, I am rebellious, ungrateful, horrible daughter….” THOSE aren’t my words- that’s what I’ve “been trained” to think.

So next, I went onto Facebook. I made a status talking about how I do not want a relationship with my m., I have never had one with her. (I don’t ever call her mother, I call her by her real name) How it breaks my heart I have to have pre approval to be able to see my own sisters. And that I am not going to stroke her ego to just maybe be able to see my sisters. How my m. uninvited me to this past christmas, how I never hear from her for months at a time and I want nothing to do with her. I am done being silent.

Now my m. doesn’t have facebook but my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends do. I didn’t post it to be mean or to get back at her. I posted it to let everyone know what they have always assumed. I then later posted another status saying that no one has to choose sides mine or hers. And that if you have a relationship with her you will still be able to have one with me. Also that I will never talk about situations about her unless that person asks- then I will answer.

I got a lot of support from my friends and family surprisingly enough. But the family that is related to both of us pretty much stayed out of it. Except a couple people who said “it takes two”- meaning I am at fault too. Well, I am not and some of my friends stood up to them for me, which was nice.  I didn’t expect to “start a war”, I am just letting people know I’m not faking a relationship with my abusive m. anymore. Then that is when my therapist’s question that lingered in my head was answered, How much more are you going to take of this?.     None.

 

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