Raw

It’s like someone threw my heart and mind into a blender. I don’t know if I have words today. It feels really difficult to write – or do anything really. All I know is that this hurts, and I might need support to get me through.

He was reading the bible today. It was about how husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church. I listened to the whole thing because I couldn’t tune him out. It was so hypocritical, and I was angry – so angry and frustrated and everything else that I nearly cried right there. 

The rest of the service was me trying to cope. I could barely breathe. I almost blamed myself at one point, but I was able to tell myself it wasn’t my fault.

We had a parent teacher meeting and this other meeting. Everything took so long. I was ready to leave. Once we left, I saw his car in the parking lot, so I guess he was still there. 

I didn’t take a nap like I usually do after service. My aunt came over to get her makeup done for a wedding. I finished an assignment because it’s due at 11:59 pm today. I did these things and hid my feelings. Now I feel ready to burst at any minute. There’s this fogginess as well. 

I’m really upset. This happens so often, which is why I feel weird about telling people that I’m not okay. I’m in this situation every week – how much more can people take when it comes to me talking about the same thing? I keep wondering if I have the right to complain because I’m not doing anything about it at the moment.

I’m also attempting to release the anger towards my parents (for being in this situation). I’m realizing that the anger is actually disappointment and sadness.

I’m aware that there’s hope and that I’m not doomed, but I don’t feel that way today. It’s been a rough few months, and I feel raw. 



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23 comments

  1. Lizzi

    Hey music2799,
    I just wanted to check in and see how things have been going. It’s been a while since you’re last post, which seemed like you were in a rough place. I hope that you’re doing okay, but remember that we’re here if you need any support or want to post. Hope you’re doing well.

  2. Jordan Volunteer

    Hey there again music2799,

    I’m so sorry that this was particularly a harder Sunday than it usually is… I can’t imagine the racing emotions and feelings that are going through your mind. You have a lot going on, with school and just trying to live your own life. It is hard to feel like you’re moving on when you have this one then that seems to continue to hold you back, and parents who seem to not be helping that much either. Parents who make you feel like you HAVE to stay, and that you just need to get over it. Well, it isn’t that simple. I remember your friends being supportive, so I hope that they are continuing to be that for you and of course, you have us to always talk to. Remember, in difficult times like these you just need to focus on the things that bring you joy. Self care is so important♡ keep you head up, you got this.

    – Jordan

  3. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for coming back with more to your story. We are all here for you. I’m so sorry to hear that you had such a rough day. That really sounds emotionally exhausting. It’s even harder to feel like you need to hold all of those emotions in. Sometimes you need to let things out just for your sake. Your struggle is very legitimate and you have every right to complain. What you are working through is really hard. Some days are certainly going to be harder than others and that is ok. That is part of the process of healing. We are all here for you.

    Stay strong,

    Tyler

  4. musicislove

    Hi music2799,

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with seeing your abuser every week, that’s got to be so rough and you shouldn’t have to deal with that. I’m glad you know it wasn’t your fault because you’re right. You always have the right to get your feelings out about what’s going on, how you feel is valid and we’re here for you no matter what. I’m sorry you’re hurting so much, but I’m glad you know there’s still hope. Try to be gentle with yourself, we’re here whenever you want to share more.

    Delaney

  5. sam Volunteer

    Hi music2799,
    Thanks for sharing. It’s great that you are trying to reconcile some stuff regarding your family and are getting to the core of your frustrations with them.

    I’m so sorry you are still experiencing this constant contact with your abuser. As far as your concern about whether you have the right to complain, you ALWAYS have the right to air your grievances with us. We are here to support you through these experiences, no matter what. I hope that sharing on here helps alleviate some of those feelings of being about to burst and find clarity in some of that fogginess.

  6. Lizzi

    Hey music2799,
    I’m so sorry that you have to continue to endure this week after week. I’m glad that you know it’s not your fault, because it’s not. It’s okay to be angry with your parents if you are, but it’s also okay to let go of that anger if you realize it’s not truly anger towards them. You can feel any way that you want. Your feelings are valid. It’s been a few days and I hope that things are a little better, but know that we’re here for you if they aren’t and you need support.

  7. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    I am so sorry you are hurting. You did a great job telling yourself it wasn’t your fault and you are strong for sharing this. We are always here for you and Come up with a better plan when engaging your parents when feeling upset. You feeling are valid and you are allowed to express yourself however you need to express yourself.

  8. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi music2799,
    I’m sorry you were hurting. I know church is something you love and being focused on him doesn’t make it better. You did great telling yourself that this is not your fault because it isn’t. You are strong. We are always here for you.
    Trying to not get angry at your parents is okay if you do. Parents don’t always say the best things and aren’t as supportive as you want them to be. You are valid and you are allowed to feel the way you want to feel.
    Thank you for updating us. We are always here for you.
    -Alyssa

  9. Ashley Day Captain

    I don’t mind that you need support after enduring this difficult encounter every week, music2799.

    It sounds like you had a long day that felt draining. None of this is your fault. In the past, you mentioned how it feels difficult to take action because of how your parents might respond. Although stepping away from the church might not be an option yet, there are some steps that you are able to take and that you have been taking. You seek support from AVFTI, talk to your counselor, and engage in self-care; these are some things that you are able to do right now and you’ve been taking steps in the right direction.

    I’m sorry you’ve been having a rough time. Keep holding on.

    Ashley

  10. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hi again music2799!

    Your feelings are so valid. Putting yourself into a triggering space always has the potential to weigh this heavily on your mind, and that is a completely normal response. It sounds like you’re feeling trapped in the situation without the option for a resolution. I sympathize with you. Feeling disappointed and sad in this case is so understandable.

    Remember that we believe you and are always here for you. Take care of yourself. I’m sending lots of good vibes your way!

  11. Jess Volunteer

    Everything you’re feeling and experiencing is completely valid. It’s okay to not feel positive today. Keep fighting through that feeling the best you can, and you’ll find your hope again. If you need to talk about your experiences, those that care for you will continue to listen. You are so incredibly strong for seeing him every week and coming out of there with self-care and persistence. Keep fighting the best you can. If you need anything, we are always here for you. Stay strong. <3
    -Jess

  12. Kailey2298 Volunteer

    Hi music2799 ,
    How your feeling is so normal and valid. Its so hard to go through what you’ve been through and to continue to see him every week is so hard. Your so strong and just because it’s a down day does not discredit all your hard work. You have every right to talk about it as much as you want. I think talking and sharing is a great step in the road to recovery. Your not alone and you are so strong don’t forget that. If we can help in any way please let us know, I hope to hear from you soon!
    Kailey

  13. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear music2799 ,
    You have every right to complain, to be tired, and to be angry. You are being re-exposed to your trauma every week and you are expected to pretend it isn’t happening. This isn’t healthy and your body will only be able to keep it up for so long before it isn’t able to do it anymore. It wasn’t designed to be exposed to this type of stress/trauma constantly. I know that you feel stuck and obligated and I am worried about you.
    Do you have things that you enjoy doing? Is there a way for you to make at least five minutes a day to do them? The psychologist I told you about last week just did a YouTube video on the vagus nerve and how we can tone it to help regulate out autonomic nervous system. It may be something you find helpful.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  14. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi music2799,

    Thanks for the update. I’m sorry he was so present in your service. It must be so difficult to deal with everything he did to you and then have him be such a constant in your life. I want you to know that you’re doing an amazing job. You’re so incredibly strong, especially with everything else going on in your life. I really think you need to find a healthy release, though. You need to take care of yourself. You deserve to feel good again. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful or offer better advice, but I want you to know that I believe in you. You can do this. Please let us know if we can do anything to help you.

    Marissa

  15. Amysue43 Volunteer

    Thank you for posting. You are right to say that some days are better than others, and unfortunately, this day was a bad day for you. However, I think you are managing it well. You’ve done a full assessment of yourself in this post and I’m sure with some other thoughts you’ve had since. You should know that your feelings are normal and expected especially with something that you perceive as hypocritical – as you might be the only one who knows. I would encourage you to look beyond the person speaking but the actual words in the text by simply following along or attending a youth group. Such might eliminate the amount of focus you might be unconsciously putting on this person and you can actually focus on what you would like to be at church for.

    I would also encourage you to continue in sharing your feelings and thoughts with those you feel comfortable with. You could also continue posting her to get the love and support you deserve, and perhaps a journal to at least get those feelings on paper rather than on your heart.

    Stay strong <3 You've got this.

  16. Kayla Volunteer

    welcome back music,

    This sounds really difficult, to hear him talk in a way that you know he hasn’t acted in the past. Your feelings are valid and you have the right to complain because this situation isn’t right. Have you thought about what you would like the situation to be? It sounds like you aren’t willing or able to leave the church, which is totally okay and you shouldn’t have to. However it sounds tortuous to have to see him weekly especially in this setting. Church is meant to be a safe place. If you are ready to take action, consider talking to someone in authority at the church who you find trust worthy. I’m sending you love.

  17. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there,

    I am so sorry that today has been difficult, but I hope you know that thats normal in the healing process. Some days are goingto be easier than others, but the important thing to remember is that there is hope and that you are supported. We know how you feel and we want to help. Maybe today isn’t the best, but tommorow will be better. Stay strong. We are here for you.

    Carmen

  18. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,

    I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. Please know that it is valid and normal. You always have a right to talk about the things that are bothering you. I think that the way you feel is totally just. Take it day by day and remember you and your mental health are the most important right now. Keep working on you and with time it may start to get better. I’m sorry that it has been a rough few months. We are always here for you! I hope that when you type out how you feel it gives you some relief.

    Stay strong and have hope!
    -Natalie

  19. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi Music2799,
    I am really sorry to hear that every Sunday brings you so much pain & discomfort. Is there any way you could take a few weeks away from church, or maybe try another church if you are able to do so & if church is important to you. I believe that what you experience each week can be just as traumatic as the actual abuse (only difference is it’s a different kind of abuse). Your feelings are valid. You have the right to be or go anyplace without having to be re traumatized. I hope you can find some hope when you come on here & share. You deserve so much more! You are brave & stronger than you know. You deserve to be free from reminders of what happened! Thanks for trusting us enough to share. This is a safe place to do so! Continue to take care of you!
    Dawn

  20. Shannon Volunteer

    Hey music2799,

    I am so sorry you are feeling this way. Please know your feelings are completely valid, just like you are valid. What if you took a break from attending church? I think taking a break and focusing on healing might be a good idea. Let us know what we can do to help. Be kind to yourself

    Shannon

  21. Ryan4121 Volunteer

    I’m so sorry these emotions come up and you have every right to be upset and complain. Thank you for sharing your story with us and we want to hear from you. So many people can relate to you, as you can already see from some of the messages. My hope is that you put yourself first and prioritize healing over everything else. Your emotions are completely justified and we please keep us updated as you continue to be brave.

    Ryan

  22. Solongago Volunteer

    I am sorry this is happening, and you feel so bad right now. You have every right to complain. Your trauma is on-going because you have to subject yourself to this man’s presence over and over and over again.

    I used to take my oldest brother’s daughter to church from the time she was four until she was about 7. Then her folks started coming. I left the church at that point because I couldn’t be there with him. He plays the piano, and has played for the church, and the idea of them coming up to him and telling him how wonderful he is… Too much. Seeing him being reverent or reading the scripture or singing a hymn, I couldn’t do that. I went church hopping and then babysat my sister’s kids every Sunday for about six years. I couldn’t do what you are doing.

    I am back at my church now. My brother’s daughter is grown up and moved away, and they are not coming to church any more. I know I have forgiven him, once or twice or 3 dozen times, but it’s a process, and Sunday morning is about God and not about what my brother did to me. So I can feel at home in my church when he is not there.

    If you have talked to your pastor about this, and they are still using this guy in a prominent role, then the church is not going to change. I would hope a church family would circle the wagons around a victim and support and protect her. But the insidiousness of sexual violence is the silence and secrecy that surrounds it, which empowers the shame in the victim. My guess is the whole church doesn’t know what happened. If they do, and didn’t circle the wagons around you, I’d say go and don’t look back, you aren’t going to make folks act appropriately.

    I want to say, let it all out, all your emotions, every time, to your family. But you probably know best, and it is possible that even if you do, they just cannot be who you need them to be for you. That is so hard to take. It is like bashing your head against a stone wall. We try so hard. It is so hard to give up on having the family we want or need. To accept them for who they are, not more and not less. And to do what is our best interest without feeling guilty or selfish.

    I am sorry. I wish I had something better to say to you. I know it is incredibly hard. Even without running into your perpetrator at church, there is a spiritual aspect to what we have experienced and church, and church families can inadvertently hurt us. But with your perp there, and that isn’t going to change, your spirit is being attacked over and over again. Is there any chance you can try another church?

  23. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    You have the right to complain. You have the right to be upset. To continue to have to see your abuser, every week, is painful. Traumatizing. You don’t deserve that. I know that this may not be possible, but is there any way you can stop going? I completely understand if not, or if you don’t want to. I just know how difficult this is, and you don’t deserve this. Is there anything else we can do to be supportive? Let us know-we are here for you.

    Erin