A young woman who I will call Jessie came into pastoral counseling to talk about her anger. She felt so much of it, it was hurting many areas of her life.
Being trained to dig for the hurt when anger issues are apparent, together we unveiled where she would need healing.
She had been molested as a young girl by a family member and had not been able to trust those closest to her to help protect her. She shared how when she shared what was happening to her with a family member she was beaten and told not to speak of it. She was deeply hurt and therefore carried deep hatred for her perpetrators.
She had not spoken of it again since telling me. By keeping this torment inside without understanding how to address it, it became dangerously explosive.
She needed to share her pain with someone compassionate who could help her work through her feelings and try to forgive. The forgiveness would not help her perpetrators. Its sole purpose was to set herself free from letting that horrible childhood experience ruin the joy life could bring her in adulthood.
She was asked to write out a letter to all those to blame for her anger. Then tear the letters up and search for possibilities of those people having their own issues that caused them to act in such unimaginable ways. We talked about how if she could look at their acts as their unresolved issues from their own childhood or merely feel bad for them for living in such a dark place that maybe it would help her move on. While trying to forgive them seemed impossible, just talking with someone who showed compassion, gave her some relief. With continued visits, hope through her awareness of her cause for her anger began to surface.
She was then guided to a professional therapist to help with her ongoing counseling so she would have the ability to live a more joy-filled life.
While I do not know Jesse’s end story, I know many other women like her who suffered from childhood sexual abuse and/rape. After professional counseling, they are in many cases helping other people who’ve had similar experiences. By doing so, they’ve been able to find their own joy.
If you are someone who suffers due to similar issues, please seek help. There is hope.
For other inspiring stories of how everyday people overcome their struggles, please click: Inspiring Stories of Everyday People
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