Do you want freedom from torment in your soul, but no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to find it? No amount of prayer, worship, or crying out to God seems to fill the empty, tender, painful spot in your chest? Or there is the other end of the spectrum…. where no amount of food, alcohol, medicine, or shopping can stop this inner torment. There is this pain that you can’t quite put your finger on. But something is just wrong inside. That edgy feeling is always there. If you just had another diet coke, or a latte, or maybe a new bedroom suite, you think you might feel better at least for a little while. But it doesn’t really fix anything. Only for a moment while the coke is still icy cold or the coffee is steaming hot does that gnawing feeling take a small break. And then it is back.
My whole life has been like that. So I have always kept busy or medicated with sugar, shopping or Starbucks, just to distract myself from that nagging angst. Hard to describe really, and I would have denied it was even there if you would’ve asked me. People who have known me probably would have told you I was a very peaceful, happy person. Or maybe not; I’m not really sure anymore. But it all came to a head when I was in my 40’s. My memory, my focus, and my despair finally became undeniable when I was toppled with pelvic pain and all-over body pain that made me cry out at times. Torment! Sheer torment!
What was I to do? I knew the Lord as my healer. So for about two years I sought the Lord for healing, going for medical help as I felt He was showing me to do, visiting about seventeen practitioners and spending untold amounts of money. Nothing, I suppose, compared to people who opt to fly places for surgeries and nerve blocks, but I definitely saw my fair share of money go out the window.
So, after two years of doing my best to read my Bible, pray, and go to doctors, I ended up at a women’s worship event at my church called Pink Impact. At this time, I had to sit on a cushion, as my bottom typically felt as if it was on fire when I would sit down, but I worshipped anyway.
As the three day event went on, my pain became less and less. Yes, this was it! The Lord’s healing for me! I came home as high as a kite, soaring above the clouds, thanking God for healing me as I knew only He could do! I told my almost seven-year-old that life was going to be able to get back to normal and we could have fun again, and then, WHAM! After about two weeks of feeling good and getting myself discharged from Physical Therapy, the pain returned with a vengeance. I knew at this point I was in a spiritual battle.
After six more weeks of trying to understand what had happened, I drove my SUV to a little area near some woods close to my home and sat there with my journal and pen in hand. I finally asked the Lord why I still hurt like this. And that was when He revealed to me the abuse that had come from my family’s inner circle, and this is why I still hurt “down there.” The pudendal neuralgia that had come with my recent pregnancy had been healed through the pelvic floor physical therapy and expedited by prayer from many of my church friends, but I was still left with this pinching, pulling, twisting and heavy feeling.
“Unclean spirits,” I have heard them called. Evil spirits that need somewhere to express themselves, so they take up residence in bodies that have been abused and have lost their spiritual safety covering. That’s it. Simple as that, a protective layer that a girl (or woman) is supposed to have is torn away when sexual abuse occurs. It’s trauma in its most wicked form. The younger the child, the more devastating the offense. Life-long physical and mental health changes occur, and the devastation remains locked in both body and soul until it can be dealt with. Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. writes on this subject in The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, a book that I would recommend for more understanding of this subject, though from a secular viewpoint.
What challenges do you face? For me, it was beginning a process to heal my soul from the wounds caused so many years ago. I wasn’t aware of more than half of them. Of the events that I did remember, I just thought that I had gotten away from some scary situations. It turns out I had only remembered the part of these events that was “safe” for me to recall. The horrific parts went “underground,” so to speak, buried in my soul until they began surfacing as body memories. Body memories that were created way back when.