I am the youngest among the 9 siblings. Typically, the youngest gets the most attention, affection, acceptance and affirmation. Sad to say, that was not my experience. I felt I was a mistake, a nuisance and a bother. They were too tired of taking care of a large family and I would be left to the care of a nanny most of the time. My mom would often say to me “you are ugly, you stay home” or to my suitor, you are not suited for her, why not court her older sister because she is more beautiful than her. I was not only rejected by my parents but also my siblings. They would always tease me that my parents stopped having a child after me for fear they would get worst than me. As a young child, I carried a feeling of rejection, abandonment and deep shame into the core of who I was.
I experienced several episodes of abuse from people and some significant persons in my life. In grade 1, I was abused by 3 baggage boys, In Grade 4, a brother-in-law made a pass on me . In Grade 6, the tide turned as I was the one who touched a nephew’s private part. This act resulted to another abuse episode by this nephew. He almost raped me in my room. I was abducted and raped by a son of the general. I wanted to pursue a court case but was refrained by my siblings because of shame.
The most devastating experience had happened after the death of my Mom while I was still in my teens. My sister prodded me to sleep with my father and be his companion the night after my mom’s burial. However, my Dad touched my private part. Brief as it may, that left a deep mark on my being. I learned to hate myself. My body. What remained in my sense of worth and significance was shattered to great extent.
I grew up with a deep sense of insecurity as a person and as a woman. Because of my deep need to belong and accepted, I learned to put on the masks of a good girl, a bubbly one, and a perfect performer. On top of that, the depth of the pain due to the emptiness of my soul drove me to be boundary-less in relating, disempowered in my will to say no, and be emotionally dependent on others.
Disempowered to open up to someone, I tried ignoring the shameful feelings that constantly surface by numbing my emotions and drowning myself in sexual fantasy and masturbation.
Consequently, it paralyzed me from relating healthily with myself and others and obstructed me from being intimate with Father God. This intensified my embrace of the lie that I am not worthy to be loved, to belong, to be pursued and to be honored as a woman. It further made me feel so lonely, depressed, angry but Hungry for love and affirmation. I would easily fall to anyone who would give me attention and would say I’m beautiful.
I would look for affirmation and love through sex and it made me feel good about myself. If my boyfriend would need and accept me It’s heaven for me. I was looking to a person for my sense of worth, significance and identity.
My healing journey began when I attended a healing a conference to seek help. My fiancé for three years just broke off with me and cancelled our wedding plans, six months before the big day. He was not able to receive well my issues in the past that I shared to him. I was told that I can only become his wife if I process my issues with a counselor. Thus, my entry to the Living Waters Ministry program.
In Living waters, I realized that my pursuit of sex was empty and it’s a false intimacy. What I needed is His intimacy. I realized that my search for affirmation could only come from the one who created me and knows the depth of my pain and emptiness. My significant and identity is based on how he looks at me not on what others say I am.
It was only when I began to understand that I am a woman created in God’s image and that he longs to have a deeper relationship with me and He delights in me-that I began to experience freedom from my addiction.
It’s a daily battle, daily choice, Daily coming to the cross. I’m glad I married Jayvee and has stayed in this covenant. We are not perfect, but we have learned to see each others in the eyes of love and we make the cross as our first stop.
Becoming secure in God’s love and being empowered in my will were also key elements in my healing.
As I received prayers from my small group, accountability partners, counselor, and the trauma sessions I had, I feel I’m becoming more secure in His love, empowered and anchored deep within me.
Being in authentic relationships with others also had its place in my journey. Being a participant in the Living Waters program, I was given the opportunity to be in the company of real people. I am experiencing the freedom to lay down at the Cross the different faces that I wore in order to be acceptable to others. I had the courage to become real because these companions in the journey embraced me, accepted me, loved me, prayed for me, and blessed me. I was given the freedom to release all the emotions that I had kept hidden—my grief, my sorrow, my sadness, my anger, insecurities, my self-hatred. The Holy Spirit empowered me to choose to forgive my parents, siblings, abusers, myself and God. I felt the chains that anchored me from living life fully breaking and falling.
Yes, to be continually healed from shame I need to look to Him, for He is the only one who really knows me very well. Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
What bliss it is to be free! Furthermore, I also felt how my fragmented self was coming to be reconnected and be glued back again and be whole. With some qualms within, I chose to walk this new path to healing and wholeness. I know it’s a process though, but the cost of this choice is nothing compared to the glory I am experiencing with my Father who continually satisfy me with His unconditional, unfailing love.