A few months ago, I sent an e-mail…

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In response to a story that the host of a radio program responded to.  And today, well 12 hours ago or so, I flipped the radio on on my way to work and my e-mail was being read and responded to.  I am not sure how I feel about it.  Although there is nothing there that would betray my identity it was still almost a rush to have it read.  It is like doing something against all the rules, and feeling awesome about it because those rules were bad rules, we don’t go by those rules any more, but it is still scary like rushing down the big hill of a roller coaster.  I know the train will not leave the tracks and I will be ok, but it feels like I am going to be demolished every second.

This guy on the Catholic radio station, has a bunch of kids, mostly grown now, some adopted, and he is a practicing psychologist, has written books.  So I had this somewhat theological, somewhat psychological conversation, and he read and responded to parts of it.  He skipped parts of it too, which was ok because it was long, and I don’t know what he said prior to starting reading it.  I’ll have to see if there are podcasts of his show so I can listen to what I missed.  

 

I
Love your show. I catch it on my way to work so I often miss the beginnings,
like the lady who called in yesterday (Tuesday, I think). And she felt that
God did not love her much because of all the abuse that she had gone through,
I think, because I did not hear her entire story. But I can relate to her.
You said that you can prove that God loves her, even though He had allowed
what happened to her to happen, because she is a woman of faith. I don’t
know, because what about all the sexual abuse victims that turn into addicts,
alcoholics, criminals, self-abusers, suicides, chronic dangerous partners,
and so forth? Does God not love them? They are not people of great faith.
Some of them are barely hanging on, and some have lost their battle.

I have struggled with this question. I believe God loves these people, all of
them, however bad their lives have turned out, even those that gave up and
took their own lives. What I have to believe is that God cannot both give
humans free will, and prevent other people’s free will from harming those He
loves. He walks alongside us, even if our under-developed brains are unable
to get past the cognitive distortions that have helped us to survive, that
remain long after they are no longer needed and may have become destructive.
Some of these distortions, may be that we blame ourselves for what happened
to us, or may make us feel so unlovable that God cannot possibly love us or
that we deserve what we suffer.

After 10 years of chronic abuse from multiple perpetrators, both family
members and non related people, I can easily say that God loves me because He
kept me safe from becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol, a criminal, a
suicide, chronic abusive partners, and so forth, or even that I continue to
have faith that there is a God, a good God, to believe that God loves me. But
that says that I am better than those that fell into the more destructive
common pit falls of victims. No, God loves us because he created us. God
loves these lost ones, and the celebrating in Heaven when one of these finds
his or her way home will be incredible. God loves us because the Bible tells
us He does.

It does not take away all the depression, the grief, the loss, We still have
to work through what happened, and what we did to survive, and what we failed
to learn that we should have learned during that time. Knowing that eternity
is infinite, infinite happiness, doesn’t solve the problem of 50 years more
or less of struggling. It may not even be a blink in eternity, but from this
side of the Pearly Gates, it doesn’t feel like a blink. And if I hear another
person say that God can turn it to our good…. No we don’t want ANYTHING
good to come out of what happened, because the kooks are already trying to
call this just another gender type, and college professors are suggesting
that having sexual relations with adults does not hurt children. If they get
wind of how strong it makes us, or how it prepares us to do something
wonderful in God’s plan…. No, we don’t want it to be true that this
prepared us for something, or makes us stronger people, or brings us closer
to God. But you’re the guy with the degrees and the experience and I am not
even Catholic. I just have a history that was really triggered by a caller
that sounded like me, for the most part.

Here is another thing, though. I have not married, nor had any children, no
boyfriends, not gay or anything, just too afraid to even pursue a romantic
relationship. Now it is too late, and I totally regret having lost that bit
of what it is to be a woman. But the idea of having a child and losing that
child to the many accidents and illnesses that take children of all ages, for
me, I don’t know how anyone can get past that. Or to have a child I failed to
protect, who had to struggle as I have. That would be devastating too. I
think everyone who walks the earth has their own bag of rotting potatoes to
carry around with them for a period, maybe forever. I think it is so easy to
think that God has abandoned us or doesn’t love us so much.


Join the Conversation

41 comments

  1. Alyssa Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,

    Thank you for sharing your update. I commend you for being so brave in sharing your story with the radio show. Healing comes in many different forms and is different for everyone. No way is the wrong way. Keep pushing forward as you have been, you are making strides. Thank you for continuously sharing with us. We are here to listen and support you.

    Sending you positivity and support.
    Alyssa

  2. Lala

    Hi solongago,

    Thank you for choosing to share your story here, I cant imagine how anxious you must’ve felt listening to your story on the radio. It can be pretty nerve racking talking about God because everyone has different opinions but I think what you did was brave. You are a brave person for sharing your thoughts here and for sharing your story on the radio. Hope you’re healing stay safe.

  3. averagestudent Volunteer

    hello Solongago
    I can only imagine the anxiety and emotions you felt when you heard your story on the radio, this is something that takes courage, and let me tell you, you have that courage. Thank you for sharing, yes your thoughts on God and how you feel he has helped you are very eye-opening. You have taken control over the narrative of your story and I am glad, that you have done things not many people in your situation could do. I know you mention that you feel like you have missed milestones that a woman has, but I believe you could be a good mentor to people seeking help. Thank you again for sharing and keep us posted.

  4. mirage276 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    I think it is very admirable that you shared your story with this radio show as it must’ve taken a lot of courage to do so. Not only that but I’m sure that you sharing your story helped at least one other person out there listening and that is something to be proud of. You have come so far and I’m glad that your faith in God has not faltered and you continue to power forward with your head up high. I am looking forward to hearing about any updates along your journey so please feel free to come back and share once more.
    Much love,
    M

  5. Dash35

    Hello Solongago,

    You should be really proud of yourself for sharing your story with a radio show because that takes a lot of strength to do that. Thank you for sharing this story with us and I am glad to see that you are becoming more comfortable with sharing your story. It is never too late for anything! Just remember that you matter and we will always be here to support you in any way that we can.

    Best,
    Dash35

  6. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Sue,
    It takes a lot of courage to share your story on a radio show. You are so open, and that is admirable. I can only imagine that a lot of feelings came up as your email was being read. I love when you said: “we don’t go by those rules anymore.” That statement shows how far you’ve come. Although it must feel terrifying, you’re not letting the beliefs you acquired in the past (people telling you to stay quiet about the abuse) stop you from doing what feels right in the present.
    As of late, I’ve been struggling with a similar question. I’ve been wondering why these traumatic experiences happen to us, and I don’t really have an answer yet. I don’t know if I ever will, but it’s interesting to see what other people think. I’m glad you’ve found comfort in God and that you’re actively thinking about these things.
    Thank you for sharing this update. You’ve come so far, and we believe in you. We’re glad to hear what you have to say, and I hope you’re having a good week!

  7. Caitlin Volunteer

    Solongago,

    You are always so open with us and your journey. Its nice to see you are getting/are comfortable sharing it with others even in this way that feels like breaking the rules!!! What a stretch of your comfort zone! I agree with you He loves all of us, because He created us.

    I see you working on it and working through it in so many ways! Getting curious about the things that are coming up for you throughout all of life expteriences!

    Keep it up!

    -Caitlin

  8. ajklessig Volunteer

    Hello solongago,

    Thank you for sharing with us. I am glad you were able to express your feelings back to the radio and they responded! That can take a lot of courage to expose your thoughts/feelings to others who you do not know, so you should be proud of yourself! It seems like it also gave you a lot to reflect on spiritually. Please feel free to come back and share again!

  9. Penrose Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing! And it’s great that you have found something that can be healing for you.

    1. alexa.zaragoza Volunteer

      Hello Solongago,

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. It was a great thing that the radio read your email and responded to it. I think that it not only brought you a positive response, but it may have brought that positivity for the listeners as well. Healing is not easy and some may take longer than others to heal and that is completely okay. You are strong and it’s a great to know that God will be there guiding you and many others on a pathway of healing.

  10. vanessadmoreno Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    That is really brave to submit your thoughts to a radio cast, and I am so proud of you for that! I definitely agree that God loves you, as I believe he loves all of us. Although these situations are so terribly awful, I do think we shouldn’t be afraid to live life to the fullest- whenever you feel ready to, that is. Trauma healing takes time and I couldn’t even imagine the amount of stress or worry that causes, however, I do believe God would want you and all of us to do whatever that is that makes us happy (at our own pace)! I wish you lots of love and healing.

    -Vanessa

  11. rvmoss Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I appreciate you sharing your story and thoughts! I cannot even imagine the rush of emotions you had when you heard these thoughts on the radio but so happy for you! It is never too late to pursue anything you desire in your life, of course for whenever you are ready. Sometimes it’s hard to keep faith in something that we believed would protect us but I am so glad he has helped you through this journey and in your healing process. I wish you the best and hope to hear from you soon. We are always here for you! 💫

  12. tolleytn Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thank you for sharing this story with us! It takes a lot of strength to submit these thoughts and feelings to a radio show and I applaud you for doing so. I admire your ability to utilize your religion to see the better in people – something that is deeply personal and difficult to see sometimes.

    It’s so great to hear from you again. Hope to see another post soon!

    – Tiffany

  13. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi Sue,
    Wow, that must of been both exciting, but yet scary to hear something you wrote read on a podcast. It’s exciting to see how bold & brave you have become! To me, this shows how really far in your healing you have come! I’m sure hearing your thoughts being shared, stirred many emotions. Thank you for sharing what your email said. We are all entitled to have our voices be heard. You matter & so does your voice! Perhaps, by you writing this email, you might open the doors to others feeling the same way! Good for you! You should be proud of this accomplishment! It’s a huge step from where you were to where you are now!
    Dawn

  14. aegardiner Day Captain

    Hi Sue,

    That must have been an exhilarating feeling to hear your email being read on the radio! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. It is interesting to think how everyone does have their own bag of rotting potatoes to carry. We all have a different journey, which impacts our lives sometimes in many ways for year to come. Why one person goes down one path, while another who has a similar experience goes down another path makes each of our lives so unique. It is good to hear that you have found the comfort of God through your own journey even though it can’t take the pain, memories, and depression away. I hope that you continue to find the strength in Him as you continue to heal. You really have made such strides as I think back to you earlier posts! Hope to hear from you again soon.

  15. lqui101 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    Thank you for coming back and updating us! It is amazing that you found power in faith and strength to heal from what has happened to you. As in relationships, there never is a starting point in getting involved with someone or having children. You shouldn’t feel rushed into getting into something when you are not yet ready. It’s okay to feel all of those emotions in regards to that topic. Just know you can always come back here to talk! Stay safe.

  16. kr1510 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,
    Thank you for coming back and giving us an update. I’m happy that you have found something that has given the strength to move forward in your healing process. I believe it is never too late have kids whether it be your own or even adopting. Please keep coming back for updates, we are here for you!
    Much love,
    Kr1510

  17. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for coming back with an update. I’m glad that your faith in God has helped you through things. It sounds like He is a great source of love for you. I’m sorry that you feel it is too late to have children, but maybe God has other plans for you? When bad things happen it must be hard to keep the faith but it sounds like you have built a strong relationship with Him!

    Stay strong,
    T

  18. Javi7295

    Hi Solongago,

    Thanks for sharing both the story and the email. It is a difficult thing for many to come to terms with when people realize that due to god giving free will, there are those people willing to hurt and abuse others. In that, you are right in pointing out that god cannot interfere with others free will. Im glad that your faith in god has helped you in your healing process and just as you said, god does love you. Many of the fears you have in regards to having a child are completely normal as i’m sure all parents wish to keep their child safe from harm and to protect them from the harms out in the world. Feel free to continue to share with us whenever you want.
    -Javi

  19. sarahj Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thanks for sharing your e-mail. I agree with your sentiment that… God does not give us hardships like abuse to prepare us for bigger tasks, and I think you are also right to say that maybe we can’t be protected from other’s free will.

    From my perspective, God didn’t create a “perfect” world, right? That is something we believe we will be rewarded with after this earthly life is through. I believe God is there to guide us and give us strength through hard times – whatever those may be. Although.. I do have a hard time understanding why these things must happen at all, especially to the most innocent. In some ways I have to accept it’s not for me to reason why.

    I also believe that God loves even the ones who can’t “see” Him. I don’t think He abandons anyone, but if we aren’t open to the message.. it’s hard to receive. Right?

    Theologically speaking, there’s a lot that is just beyond me… but I try to keep an open mind. Always good to hear from you. Hope you are taking care of yourself.
    Best,
    Sarahj

  20. silverliningsunshine Volunteer

    Hi solongago,

    Thank you for giving us an update- that was a great email to read and I’m sure many others have enjoyed reading it as well. It is great to see you back, please feel free to update us anytime!

  21. brookeA Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for the update! It’s great that your story was read, and I hope you found the radio host’s response to be helpful! I’m sure you sharing your story has already/will help a lot of people who hear it. I hope you have a great week!

  22. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Great to hear from you again, thanks for coming back! It’s exciting that you got your email read on air like that, I’m sure a lot of people heard it and felt touched by what you wrote. It takes a lot of courage to share your thoughts publically like that! We love to see it.

    You have been through so much and gone through so much healing, it’s inspiring to see. I also love what you said about us all carrying our bags of rotten potatoes around. This is such a great analogy! It reminds us that we all have our stuff and reminds us to be more compassionate to fellow humans.

    It was great to see you back and we will be here for your next update!

  23. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,
    It’s good to hear from you again. That is so exciting that they read your email on air. Even if they didn’t say your name, it is still cool to know that they did that for you. I agree no one deserves to go through childhood trauma or sexual harassment/assault/abuse at any age. I wish people knew better than do that and controlled themselves from doing that. I try to be a positive person and I try to make the best of every situation. For example, I never talked about my story to anyone for years after it happened and one day I trusted someone who told me about AVFTI and because of her I got the help I needed to recover and help others by volunteering. If it wasn’t for what happened to me years before I met her, I wouldn’t have found this amazing organization and help storytellers. So you’re right no one deserves sexual harassment or childhood trauma and your shouldn’t have to see it as a good thing that helps you, but you can see as a way to grow and learn and help others. I live by this quote things happen for a reason and to me I think it relates a lot to your update. Thank you for coming back and sharing this with us. Hope to hear from you soon!
    -Alyssa

  24. hdezcinday07 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    First of all thank you for sharing your story with us. Nobody deserves to go through what you have gone through but I’m glad that you found god. You seem to be a very wise and strong woman. I’m proud of you for the way that you think. You have not given up on God and I’m sure he has not given up on you like you said. Healing is a process and don’t be afraid to ask for help that is what we are all here for to support you and give you adive when you need it. If you want a family, I say you go for it. It is never to late to get married and have children. Don’t be afriad of something that you don’t even know might happen. Postive vibes for you always. Please contine to share your stories with us, I would love to see the progress you have made.
    Best,
    Cindy

  25. chompyapple1 Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thanks for sharing with us again. It’s always great whenever I hear from you. Healing takes many years, and it isn’t always a smooth or easy process. It’s great to hear that the radio show responded to your thoughts. It’s also great to hear that your faith and love for God has helped you heal. I look forward to your updates.

  26. musicislove

    Hi Sue,

    I like how you put it, “walking with a bag of rotting potatoes.” It’s a great analogy, and it’s true, we all carry our struggles and experiences and they can definitely suck and weigh you down. I hate feeling afraid to pursue things I wanted in life and I’m sorry you have and still are dealing with that. It sucks and it’s not easy, but I agree with you, the idea of bringing someone into the world and losing them or having them deal with with trauma is terrifying.

    I’m glad you got to experience your email being read and responded to, I could see that being a really cool experience but I also understand the fear you mentioned. It can be scary to feel exposed even when you know you’re not. Thank you for sharing that with us and I look forward to future updates.

    Delaney

  27. Erika23 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,
    It’s not always easy to talk about ones feelings or thoughts, but I’m glad you did. I can’t completely understand your pain and struggles, but I can definitely understand your fear of having a relationship or even having children. I think at some point most of us begin to develop fear from all the terrible things we see or experience throughout our life. It can be hard to get past all the thoughts and feelings that keep us from doing the things we want to, but it’s not impossible. I truly believe you still have a chance to do all the things you felt you missed out on. I don’t know exactly how difficult and long the healing process will take, but I can tell you that having the strength to tell your story is definitely a step closer. Please update us on how you’re doing or feeling when you can.

  28. jcastle38 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I’m glad you came back to update us. I’m sure you must have been surprised to hear them read out your email on the radio station. But you made some valid points and I’m glad they were addressed. I think of hard to answer questions as well, and it might seem helpful to you to join a group of people that think the same so that you are able to explore those questions about your faith, together. I understand you may feel as though you missed out on a lot of things and that it may be too late, but it is never too late to look for companionship whether that be in a romantic matter or not. You have been doing great in your healing process I can’t wait to see how much more you will accomplish. Sending you lots of love, and hope to hear from you soon.

  29. karinakalke Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thank you for updating us. I’m glad you were able to write to the radio show and receive a positive response. I know you’ve been having some issues with your church. Have you considered an online worship option? I think it would be helpful to talk about these questions with people who may have a similar thought or a different perspective in their faith. As you know, we are always here for you.

    Sending love and support,
    Karina

  30. Breanna Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    Thanks for providing us with an update. Even if having a child isn’t in the cards anymore, there are always people looking for companions – platonic and romantic – at all ages (referencing my 60+ year old dad, still trying to date). It may feel difficult or awkward trying to form those new relationships at a later age, but it’s not impossible. Although I’m not a religious person so I cannot speak too much on God, but I can imagine how weird and surreal it must have been to spontaneously hear your email being read. If anything, I hope it’s an indicator that your voice matters and that people are willing to listen.

    Sending love and support,
    Bre

  31. Neesha Volunteer

    Solongago,
    I do not believe any one of us can speak to what ‘God’ intends or plans. If how God loves is a scary question and it is natural for people to doubt. We do have free will which means we have to live the consequences of our own actions and the actions of others. Some people cope with addiction and that is heartbreaking. You’ve been afraid to pursue a romantic partnership and there is wisdom there given your own past experiences. I hope you can find it in you to reflect who you were back then and trust that you did the best you could with who you were at the time.
    As always I am grateful to read what you write. Thank you for sharing.

  32. noobloop Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,
    Thank you for sharing this. I can tell that your healing journey is still not quite done yet. Sometimes you’ll hear something and it’ll be like a little trigger reminding you of what happened. However, I think it’s wonderful how you reacted to it. Many others would say that God hates them and somehow is punishing them and that’s why they went through the life they had. But you have a different outlook and I love how you said sure He might have let certain things happen but you know what, you’re still here. You are healing, healthy I hope, and just living. I know you mentioned how you don’t know what it is to be a woman; children and relationships do not define you. You are not a woman because you are married. A woman is resilient, outspoken, sassy even, nurturing, you name it. Women have a lot more empathy and sympathy, and better understanding of what others may go through. Women are detail oriented. A man is not a man because he is married either. We think a man is man when he protects. In the same way, a woman is a woman because she is strong and that is who you are. I enjoyed reading your perspective on life now and I do hope you continue on your road to healing.
    Best wishes,
    noobloop.

  33. Solongago Volunteer

    Yeah, my church is kind of out there, way over on the left. The Catholic radio station is equally way over, but on the right. Most Catholics I talk to think the radio station is way over on that side. It kind of balances things out. LOL! But my church has begun the mask-thing again, so I am not going. And since the delta variant seems a lot more contagious, finding another church home at this point might be reckless. I am not afraid of dying, well any more than anyone else or at any other time, but I worry about bringing a bug home that my parents might get. Whether or not they recover, it may weaken them and I know it may happen anyway, just going to work and stuff, but, trying out new churches at present just seems wrong for me.

    The topics that seem to overlap between healing from this stuff and religion and how various religious communities interpret or answer these topics/questions, well, it is part of what I am going through. I guess I thought I could come here with this even though it is also religious or spiritual. I can’t be the only one who struggles with questions of faith, and the living out of our faith, like specifically forgiveness and loving people who have really hurt us or hurt those we love or hurt other people. I have lost a friend because she got deep into prison ministry, and being totally honest, I cannot go there. I had no problem being her friend even though that was one of her major focuses, but she couldn’t understand why I couldn’t participate. But then perhaps she was one of those people that need needy people to “fix.” And getting healthier, I was no longer a friend she wanted. Maybe. The point is that I think those of us who have experienced sexual abuse/incest have been affected spiritually as well, and I think the same things that make it hard to find support in families where this stuff happened, it is also hard to find support in churches.

    1. walvarenga1 Volunteer

      Thank you for providing us with an update, we value your trust in the AVFTI platform. Expressing your feelings even you may be in a state of confusion is a step in recovery. Healing takes time! I think it was meant for your email to be shared on the radio for others who may find themselves having similar thoughts on faith to know it is valid to feel however they do. I admire your strength in finding healing in where your faith lies and no one can take that from you! You also mentioned your feeling of regret for losing a bit of what it is to be a woman but I can assure you that even though you feel this way, it’s never too late to seek friendship, romantic or otherwise and if not, do what makes you happy! For any further updates, we’d love to hear from you again.

      Best,
      Wesley

    2. candyappleb Day Captain

      Oh… yes that does make sense. I understand better now. Of course you are always welcome to share here. I’m glad we can be a safe space that you turn to when you are going through tough parts of your healing process. If you just need someone to listen we’re all ears. 🙂

  34. Starling Volunteer

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. It’s great that you were able to write out your thoughts to the radio show and have them read it and respond. I’m glad that your faith has been helpful to you during your path towards healing. Maybe you should discuss your thoughts on religion and faith with a local church. I know you expressed issues with your regular church in the past, but have you considered going to another one? If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

  35. Brooke Volunteer

    Solongago thank you so much for sharing. I can’t give direct advice on religion but I can say I love that you’ve found God and spirituality and it helps you in your healing. As for feeling like you lost part of being a woman, being a woman is whatever you make it. It seems like you’ve gained a lot with faith. We have a Find Help tab with resources but maybe reaching out to a religious organization and speaking to someone that way would be helpful. You are very brave for sharing with the radio and here. You are always welcome to come back here and share. Sending lots of love.

  36. Brooke Volunteer

    Solongago thank you so much for sharing. I can’t give direct advice on religion but I can say I love that you’ve found God and spirituality and it helps you in your healing. As for feeling like you lost part of being a woman, being a woman is whatever you make it. It seems like you’ve gained a lot with faith. We have a Find Help tab with resources but maybe reaching out to a religious organization and speaking to someone that way would be helpful. You are very brave for sharing with the radio and here. You are always welcome to come back here and share. Sending lots of love.

  37. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for coming back to share. I’m glad that you have found that God and religion have been healing for you-wherever we can find healing, we should pursue that.

    Erin

  38. candyappleb Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,

    I’m happy that you were able to share your thoughts with the radio host and that your letter was chosen. That is pretty exciting. I can’t say that I entirely understand where you are coming from with this particular issue but I am glad that you’ve been able to talk about it. I know it has been pretty heavy on your heart/mind lately. You’re always welcome to share with us. This subject is a bit out of our wheelhouse. I’m not sure if we have the answers you’re looking for. I see how it relates to your abuse history and how it impacts you as a survivor, and I’m glad that you felt comfortable sharing it with us. Have you looked for other religious resources to maybe share your thoughts with outside of the radio program? I know you’ve spoken to your pastor, but have you explored other churches in the area? We’re happy to listen. Local churches may be able to provide some better incite.

    All the best,
    Becca