From Victim to Victor
Who and where we are, at some point becomes our choice.
A child becomes a victim the moment she/he is abused.
That is the choice
of the perpetrator. Because the child has no choice of her
role, she becomes the victim. As such, her emotions become
captive to the perpetrator. Her self image and identity become products of an act she had no control over.
What follows is a natural progression of a disease. At first
there are no symptoms, and life goes on as before. This is possible
because of the gift of repressed memories. The child can store the
pain along with the memories in the dark corner of her mind. It is
out of sight, and “out of mind.” Unfortunately, in the dark, it grows,
unnoticed for a long time.
Choices are different for this child.
Pain is perceived differently for this growing personality.
Self perception is
distorted, but not necessarily observed as such.
The abscess may still be unnoticed by the middle school years.
A young adolescence may be stormier than most. Promiscuous behavior
may become the first symptom of the disease process. And just as
common, may be a perfectionist, overachieving behavior. But even now, to
the untrained eye, all may seem well. By now the abscess has reached
beyond the heart, and traveled to every part of the body. Other,
"real" diseases are more frequent. Self mutilating or destructive behavior may be seen
as part of "accident prone" or "awkward" years.
Cries for help are in code.... desperately wanting to be broken.
The need to hide the abscess becomes intense by the teen years. Overachieving, as well as wild behavior may be the dressing chosen to cover the now visible wound.
The more the years roll by, the more difficult
it is to hide the festering sore. More and more layers are needed
to completely cover it. And if a glimpse is stolen, the viewer most
often is repulsed, but not aware of the real ugliness.
Health begins to fail.
Relationships are destroyed or deserted.
Dreams are forgotten and forsaken.
There is an all consuming desire to stop the pain even at the expense of
keeping the hidden thing hidden.
Self mutilation becomes self destruction.
Layers of bandages become personality disorders.
Pain seeks revenge.
Now only one thing can possibly cure this disease. The abscess must be opened, drained, and thoroughly cleansed. It must heal from the inside out, so that it will never return. In order for that to happen, it must be kept open during the healing phase, no matter how painful. Frequent cleansing and application of medication are needed.
In the case of the abused child/adult, the memories are the abscess, and they must be brought to the surface.
The pain is intense, and very real.
There is no "getting over it."
There is just "enduring it."
As the abscess heals from the inside out, the pain slowly becomes less intense, and each application of the medication takes less time, and brings more relief. A hope of restoration begins to take place.
Plans for life begin to form.
Dreams are reborn.
The child/adult begins a new identity! No longer a victim, but
the Victor. When the healing is complete, there may be a scar, but
no more pain. There will be a celebration as the patient is released
from the treatment. A new life has begun!
Where there was pain, He brings peace.
Where there was fear, He gives hope.
Where there was self hatred, He applies God-love.
And where there is death, He gives life.
God has promised to heal our wounds. He has asked us to endure
suffering for a little while. He has chosen us as His children, and
as such, we are entitled to His inheritance.
None of the process will be wasted, not even the abuse itself. Where a child has been broken, is exactly where He brings the greatest blessings.
Personality becomes not the result of the abuse, but of the healing.
Dreams are not broken by the abuse, but realized through the Spirit.
Strength is not stolen by the abusers, but increased by the Father.