Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Like many who have survived abuse, I struggle with God.  To compound that, I grew up in a Christian home with well respected parents.  That is both good and bad.

Good because I truly believe that I would have died had I not been able to draw on my beliefs that there was God and He was bigger, stronger, and somehow in the midst of my mess of a home.

Bad because there were elements of abuse that twisted those same beliefs into everything that they were not.  The result left me unable to get past the why of what was happening to me.

My conclusion: that I was bad.  Otherwise, I would have been saved.  And because of my badness, I became so focused on the why. 

Why did God allow this?

Why was I so bad?

Why wouldn't He help me be good?

Why did they hurt me?

It must be because I was bad; why else?

I have struggled in a figure eight pattern for years.  It's entirely predictable.  The circular logic of the why... a possible answer of why... no, that's not the answer and then I'm headed into another pointless loop of questioning.  A vicious cycle.

Somehow I have kept my belief in God intact.  It hasn't been and probably won't ever be pretty.  But it's there.  We attend church weekly; a miracle to explain on a different day.  This past weekend someone spoke about asking what instead of why.  What has many more answers than why.

What happened?  I can answer that if I tell the truth of what they did.

What was wrong with them?  They were mean people.

What could I have done differently?  Not a lot.  I was a kid.

What do I feel about what happened?  I can name the feelings if I think hard enough.

What did God do back then?  He created a way for a child's mind to cope.  He kept me alive.

What is different now?  Everything.

What can I learn about myself?  I'm stronger than they thought.  I'm stronger than I thought. 

What can I learn from my childhood?  This one is harder to answer but I have some theories...

Questions are good.  But answers are almost always better.


JeannetteLS said...

I was just writing elsewhere that mostly I try to NOT keep asking questions and get quiet within myself and allow the answers to show themselves, to make themselves heard. I took a different path in believing in God. I still believe this--God is all that feeds life--ALL life. And all that saps life, destroys life without creating more? That is NOT God. Evil? I don't know. But it is the yin and the yang of things, for me. So God did not save me by doing. I listened to God and watched for God, and that saved me. But my parents were not mean--they behaved horribly when they drank, or when they were in the grips of the NOT God stuff. My confusion lay in the extremes within my family. THere was no in between. Clearly you are stronger than you knew. You are still here, still growing, still loving, still learning, still breathing. And I bet you laugh, too.

I am so glad you reject the answer that you were BAD. So glad. Take care... I know your birthday's this month. So was my late daughter's birthday--the 28th. I hope you can enjoy your daughter's joy in knowing you are on this earth. Take care... Oops. I said that before. So what?

Just Be Real said...

A lot of us have come up with that same conclusion who were abused. It was my fault. I did something wrong. I was bad. Thank God I am now believing that "it was not my fault." Takes time. Appreciate you sharing, thank you.

Ruth said...

It is really wonderful to feel what is here in this post. Asking what is such a very different question than why and I hadn't thought of it this way. I feel the move forward, I feel hope.

Shattered said...

Jeannette, it sure seems like the wild extremes in families that are sometimes the most difficult to understand. I was writing about that today...

I had a nice birthday and I will be thinking about you as you celebrate your daughter's as well.


Shattered said...

JBR, getting rid of the feelings of "badness" has been so difficult. I'm glad you were able to get past that. Thank you for sharing that it does take time; I often get frustrated with myself because I am not healing fast enough.


Shattered said...

Ruth, hope is such a good feeling and I'm glad I can convey it here too. Thanks for your encouragement; sometimes it helps just knowing that someone can "see" the progress.


Deborah said...

My first reaction when a God is referred to as allowing (or not) something to happen is a kind of judgment. A flat-out judgment, actually. My belief is that a belief in an omnipotent being is irrational, and that there will never be an answer to why directed at God because he simply isn't there to defend, deny, comfort or condemn us.

But I accept that my belief is only mine, and that if your belief is intact, it is indeed some kind of miracle. The wisdom of re-framing why as what is very sound, and not something I would have thought of. I've learned something important, and the frustration I first felt as I started reading this post disappeared in an instant. You have answered these whats with reason and clarity, I think, and I agree with Ruth that there is hope here.

Shattered said...

Thanks, Deborah. I appreciate your perspective too...