I began to share my story at the beginning of 2021. I am now almost at the end of my story. If you are only just picking this up, please do go back to the first post and read my story in its entirety 🖤🖤🖤
As I move forward, my faith is restored. God placed His hands on my shoulders in Exeter Cathedral and the Bishop of Exeter picked it up from there. Hope is one of the greatest promises of Christianity. It is the foundation of our faith. Hope is God’s assurance to us that all will be alright, because He has promised that it will. Hope is what keeps us going. For me, faith and hope are intrinsically linked. It is in faith and hope I look to the future. I don’t forget the past, but I am not letting it define who I am and who I have still yet to be.
In the definition of hope as it is generally used: it is my hope that the counselling and therapy I have undertaken and will continue to undertake, will keep me moving forward. I am realistic though and I know there will be difficult days, difficult weeks, even difficult extended periods of time. I know there will be times when the panic will set in again. I know that therapy does not bring about instant healing. It is a pathway, a journey, in which the trauma sufferer, hopefully, eventually learns how to live with and deal with past trauma in a more measured way, keeping it in perspective and not letting take over.
I also hope that anybody who reads this, who has suffered similarly in their lifetime and perhaps kept it locked away as I have done for far too long, might feel able to speak to somebody about them. So many people never come forward, and I totally understand that. There have been many times during the past months when I’ve asked myself why I didn’t just keep my secrets. But in the end, I didn’t have an option; my brain took over. One day without warning, they just erupted from the volcano of my mind.
Of course, it is important to find the right person to talk to, someone who can be trusted and then ultimately, someone who can lead the way to finding the best source of help. In the first instance, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend NAPAC. They listened and set me off on the journey when I had no idea where to go to for help. If you have suffered in any way as I did then please also speak to your GP. Even if you don’t think there is an issue, there will be. Seek the right counselling. Be discerning in choice. Choose a counsellor who can also offer a wide range of therapy and perhaps is used to treating those who have suffered abuse. There are plenty on the internet and those who are open have written about themselves and their experiences. Speak to those close to you. They are going to be your first emergency service when things flare up. You need their support. I couldn’t have done any of it without my family and close circle of friends. Don’t listen to those who try to make little of it. Mental illness is real, don’t let anybody try to tell you otherwise. Dealing with past trauma is mental illness, it is dealing with matters within the brain which are out of our control. PTSD is mental illness and it can lead to other issues if it is left untreated.
Of course, in many ways I wish I had dealt with this a long time ago. There have been occasions over the years when I’ve wished I was brave enough to speak out and deal with all I was hiding away, all that way eating away inside. But perhaps the time wasn’t right. Perhaps it is something that needed to wait until such a time that my family – my brother and sister, my husband and children were more able to cope with it and support me through it.
One thing is for sure, it is never too late to late to tell, it is never too late to unburden the hurt and it is never to late to begin the process of healing.
Hope: is it the
finest thread we hold on to,
delicate and easily damaged?
Is it brittle, like glass,
So easily dashed to the ground
Shattered into a thousand pieces
By a thoughtless word,
an unkind act?
All the demons of the world swirl around hope,
their aim, to strangle her and suppress her power
Because they know,
Hope is strong!
Stronger than spider silk.
Hope holds on relentlessly
When all else seems lost,
even the slimmest chance.
Hope resists all evil.
Hope is the light that shines through the darkness
of the past, of our secrets, of our weakness.
Hope is there in our absolute brokenness
Ready to re-shape the future
Faith, Hope and Love,
our Bible tells us, these three:
Faith, Hope and Love.
Yes, the greatest is Love, but it is
Hope that sits like an arrowhead in the centre,
Binding the two together
When our faith is weak, when love is a struggle
Hope will fire her way through
To light the path before us,
Hope can make everything possible,
and nothing impossible.