Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Phone Call, Tears and......

I got a phone call today that brought me tears. Good tears. Tears of Gratitude. Tears of realization that I have completely come full circle. But - I digress. Let's back up a bit.

In November I completed my retraining with the Central MN Sexual Assault Center to become an Advocate again. It was not as difficult this time around. The first time through I struggled. Really struggled. I was brand new on my Healing Journey and trying to come to grips with my Truth and I wanted to take on the world! My heart was already chasing the calling I felt. Truth was- I just wasn't ready and still had a lot of work to do on myself. The biggest piece this time around, I think, was that I was more prepared within my mind and soul. I am completely comfortable with my Truth and the journey I have taken. I am at peace with not having my parents or siblings in my life. Most importantly - I LOVE the Me I discovered hiding under all the pain, lies and ugliness of the past.

We were constantly reminded each week to wind down, treat ourselves kindly and do something relaxing because this line of work and subject matter can be extremely difficult and stressful. Since I had a 45 mn ride home, I would pop my boy, Kirk Franklin, into the CD player and blast it. (Yes, I even blew a speaker. Hubby is not happy about that.) Throughout my journey when I needed strength, to be reminded who I was and where I was going, and to find my center I would turn to this song - Declaration (This Is It). It's the song I listened to on repeat for over 2 hours while I waited to give my victim impact statement. It's my life's theme song. And yes- the one I blew my speaker on.

I had started experiencing anxiety, doubt and fears during the early part of training. I won't even go into all the things that were being thrown at me, but the past came to life again. All the years of hard work felt as if they'd never happened. I was being attacked for removing my parents and siblings from my life. Lies were being told about me. My PTSD reared its ugly head and I became jumpy, couldn't sleep, was on constant high alert. So many  things came at me and attacked me. I kept asking WHY?! Why is all this happening? One night driving home, I just started yelling at God and demanding answers. I was Fed Up. I kept hitting repeat on the CD player and Declaration kept playing over and over and over. And OVER. Then I heard it. I heard God's voice in the song.

I look back now, I look at how you tried to break me
To take my life, my peace of mind and drive me crazy
My self esteem, my dreams, my destiny
So, God allowed it, because He knew He had big plans for me
It's your grace, I know today it's how I made it
Thank You, Jesus
When I thought that it was over

I am Healed. I overcame my past, the abuse, the pain - everything. God brought me through it and WE (joint effort) did a lot of work on this girl. I believe that God has huge plans for me. It does not explain the abuse I endured but the journey I've taken has completely prepared me for those plans. And here I was - pursuing the call and passion He has placed on my heart. You know when God is using you in a mighty way that the devil wants to steal your joy, your blessing and discourage you to the point that you quit. He wants to blind you so that you can no longer see where you are or remember the good things God has already done.

Anger instantly flooded my veins. My blinders were OFF and the game was ON! I began screaming at the top of my lungs while driving down 94…….Oh, no you didn't!! You will NOT steal from me! You can't take my joy, my blessings, my calling - my life! You're a liar. You hear me? A LIAR. I am healed! I am WHOLE! God gave that to me and it's not yours to take! You tried to destroy me as a child through what was done to me. The joke is on you! God's taking something horrible and ugly that you gave me and has turned it into something beautiful, amazing and is using me to touch others. Get out of my life! You have nothing on me and no power over me!

I yelled so loud and for so long that my throat ached. Seriously, who does he think he IS?! Guess what? The anxiety, fear, doubts - Left. POOF! I had found my Strength again. Let's go back even further…..2009… fill in some more gaps. Sitting in my support group, fresh on my Healing Journey, angry, raw with pain and my advocate asks me, "Tell me what it looks like when Lori is a Thriver." (There are 3 stages: Victim, Survivor and Thriver. That calls for a separate post at a later date.) I was so taken aback and angry by her question that I told her she was a fucking lunatic. Really - I haven't even come to accept where I am RIGHT NOW. How dare you ask such a stupid question! I love my advocate. Truly LOVE her. She took no offense and even giggled a bit. She explained that even though it seems completely impossible at this very minute, I will reach that level one day and it's important to visualize what that will look like for myself. Could I dig inside just a bit, push past the anger and pain, and see the future Thriver Lori?

Fine. In a perfect world, where I've worked through all this crap, Thriver Lori is an Advocate for those who are struggling to find their voice and their Truth. She's helping others on their own Healing Journey and showing them that there is Hope. She's running her own support group(s), blogging about childhood sexual abuse and involved in bringing awareness to the issue.

Did I believe that would ever happen? Honestly - no. In that very moment I thought my pain, shame, guilt and anger were here to stay and were my new life. They felt like permanent appendages. Weights that would surely drown me and cause my death.

Fast forward to today. TODAY. 

I am an Advocate. Blog about my journey. Get PAID to blog. I am constantly Tweeting, Facebooking and bringing awareness to Childhood Sexual Abuse. I am not ashamed of my Truth or to speak out.

This week I attended the Board of Directors Meeting for the center. I am in the process of becoming a member. ME. ME! Lori the THRIVER! And….. Drum roll, please……

I got a call from the center and am being given my own support group here in Monticello. ME! THRIVER LORI! I can barely hold back the tears as I type this. God is so GOOD. He just keeps opening doors for me. I am so overwhelmed with gratitude and so proud of myself. I have come full circle. GOD HAS BROUGHT ME FULL CIRCLE.

So, God allowed it, because He knew He had big plans for me
It's your grace, I know today it's how I made it
Thank You, Jesus