My next session with my counselor was two hours long. I was feeling better, but I was so very tired. Flashbacks, triggers, and nightmares were happening more frequently. I would suddenly see images and feel the memory in my skin – all of that green shame.
We worked on a timeline together. I did the talking and she used color coded markers. Anything in red meant my husband was aware of it, but if it was in green he had no idea.
There was a lot of green on the timeline, and even with the red I began to realize that maybe he wasn’t fully aware because I didn’t always speak the full truth clearly. I talked in circles and in code, and if I felt backed into a corner I just flat-out lied. It was all I knew to do.
She wanted me to think about what I would say to him and how I would say it. She encouraged me to just stick to the facts as we were still working on emotions and belief systems. I was so afraid to tell him. I felt like he would be livid. I wasn’t sure how he would respond or what he would do, plus I didn’t want to dump this pain on him.
Mostly, I didn’t want him to reject me.
It was still hard for me to reconcile not only how God could allow the abuse but also everything that comes with it. How could my abuser choose to harm me over and over? How could he act like nothing was wrong? How could he not be sorry? Those questions rolled around in my mind as the tears rolled down my cheeks.
I looked for God in everything. I looked for His reactions, forgiveness, understanding and His constant pursuit of me. I searched His Word and found truth with new eyes. Much of what was taught to me reinforced my wrong thinking, so it was helpful to revisit those verses and see them in this new light. God rescued, protected and loved me.
He was always with me.
His mercy to me was amazing. I truly was a miracle, and yet I still wondered why did this have to happen? I stared at the chart and thought of all the ripple effects. It made me so sad, and I wasn’t sure I would ever understand any of it.
When I told my husband about the chart, I admitted that I struggle to communicate clearly and there may be things I thought he was aware of that he may not know. He started asking questions, and then he just said I needed to trust him and tell him everything. I grabbed his hand and put it over my heart so he could feel my panic. He assured me that he would love me no matter what.
My heart continued to thump in my chest.
I wasn’t sure what was next, but I was moving and there was no turning back now. I knew God was with me and maybe He had a purpose for me. Maybe He would use me to help others. I just needed to trust him, and keep taking baby steps!