Tomorrow is 3 months since my world changed forever. The one thing I feared most reared its ugly head in my world. The one thing that happened to way too many people in the world but could not happen to me - us - did.
Three months ago tomorrow my marriage ended. My marriage of 28 years, 6 months and one week. The man I loved with all my heart and lived with for over 30 years packed his bags and left.
The shock. The pain. The unbelief. I struggled to breathe.... Our family, our dreams and our hopes for the future - shattered.
Who am I without him? How do I live without him? How do I survive in this world without the man my life has been so intimately entwined with for so long? I have been with him for more than half of my life! I was, in some ways, just a child when we married. He was my lover, my rock, my confidante, my companion and best friend. He raised my firstborn and held my hand through five more labours and births of our children.. I know what he likes, what he loves and what he doesn't. I thought I knew everything about him.
I sank into depression, still unable to comprehend what just happened and wished at times that someone could wake me from this nightmare. I got so angry and I couldn't stop crying but with children at home and a brand new job I had to keep going. I have already been on antidepressents for 5 years. What on earth do I do?
What a journey the past 3 months have been. Constantly on the verge of tears whilst holding my breath, trying to be strong. I have suddenly started crying in public and at work but I am too broken to care who sees me. Now it is January; a new year and a new beginning. Thanks to my beautiful and amazing children ,my family and friends galore who have all supported me and had my back, I feel I can begin to look forward.
So begins my blogging again. I can't make excuses for who I am or what I say because this is me. I am driven to help people. It is in my bones. I am always using my experiences to help others and this will be no different. I have watched for years with such deep sadness, too many marriages fail and I am here to show support and love the grieving partners left behind. I also hope to use my story to help save those who maybe on the brink of seperation.
As always I ask, if you know anyone who fits into this category, then please share my blog.
love Cathy xo
After reading about yet another suicide this morning, of a beautiful young man with the world at his feet who struggled with depression, I am compelled to write this blog and share my story.
At this point, I feel this is THE most important blog I could ever share because there really IS a way out of hopelessness.
After the death of my mother when I was just 5 years of age, I was subjected to 10 years of sexual abuse. From the age of 5 - 15 my maternal grandfather abused my trust. Starting with me as a grieving 5 year old child, he habitually subjected me to detrimental mental abuse; mental abuse that still affects me to this day and perhaps will my whole life. (I am now 51)
My whole childhood was extremely difficult as no one knew what was happening and therefor could not understand my behaviour. I became an expert and covering my feelings and displaying a smile. I was extremely lonely, I had no one to talk to and felt like no one in the world loved me. I grew up believing I was not worthy of time, attention or love. I ended up taking drugs and getting drunk as much as I could to ease the suffering inside.
I absolutely had to have a boyfriend my whole childhood because I had been taught that that was how I would be loved. I was promiscuous from a young age, I knew no different! It was how to get the attention I deeply craved.
I developed a full blown phobia of abandonment. (I suffered terribly and went undiagnosed until the age of 45 with this). At the age of 21 I met my husband. I fell head over heals for him but could not understand what he saw in me. I told him he was too good for me and I meant it! I honestly believed with all my heart he was way out of my league. We married and had two children and fought constantly. This quiet, patient, long suffering man put up with my constant attacks on him. My trigger would be touched over and over and over again and would manifest in deep anger and out of control behaviour.
At the age of 25, Jesus Christ saved me. And I mean, literally saved me. "He pulled my feet from the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock. He established my steps and put a new song in my mouth". (Psalm 40;2-3)
Within days, I was a new person. I had HOPE for my future and was surrounded by His love.
I could not stop crying. The years and years of childhood pain was being gently purged out of me through my tears. This amazing, beautiful loving God was REAL and tangible and cared for me!! He loved me just as I was. It didn't matter to Him the state I was in or what I had done, He took my hand and led me a new way. His way. I still had severe mental issues, anxiety and depression but I also had HIM, and He is far more powerful than what I felt and the problems I had. Suddenly I had a reason to get up every morning. I could not get enough of Him. The more He gave, the more I wanted and slowly but surely, I began to heal. I seemed to get so far but then hit a brick wall with my healing.
At the age of 45, after hundreds of panic attacks, I decided I needed to see a professional. One of my greatest regrets is not having done that sooner, but now it's done and I am better than I have ever been.
I take anti depressants and love them. A week after starting them I was in shock. "Is this what normal feels like?" I had NEVER ever been free of this knot in my gut before.
The journey of mental health is not over for me and maybe never will but I am not alone as Jesus LIVES in my heart and encourages me every day.
Please, can I urge you to cry out to Him? I don't know your struggle but I have had a hell of a journey of my own and I know this to be true. Jesus Christ - loves - you. He is real and powerful and King of all the universe and yet - He loves YOU! He knows you, He was and still is, with you. He is not the cause of your pain and suffering - He is the ANSWER!
Please contact me if you have any questions. If I can answer, I certainly will. I am praying for you now.
And to those reading this that have not suffered this way, can I please ask you to share this around with your contacts? We have a growing mental health epidemic and suicide is on the rise. There IS an answer and people need to know this.
God bless you all,
Love Cathy xo
I sobbed into my pillow as I went to sleep last night. I read with horror, as I prepared to sleep, about a young girl who was betrayed by her father. In the most thoroughly evil and treacherous way, the now 14 year old girl was used and filmed for sex from the ages of 11-13. Bound, blindfolded and gagged she was repeatedly raped by her father, several other grown men and all of which was instigated by her own father.
I cried for her. I grieved over the light sentence this evil man received after such horrific acts to his own baby girl. I cried for her future and for the future of our world. I prayed and cried out to God, for her healing and for my own. My story pales into insignificance compared to hers, it hardly rates a mention except that I have some insight into what lays ahead for her.
Our lives were re-routed as children at the hands of those we trusted. The paths of our destinies were altered by the perverted actions of grown men who made the choice to follow their sick and lustful desires instead of doing what is right. These people (sometimes women) make a choice to follow through on an evil act, despite the potential consequences for both the victim and themselves.
I have lived for 51 years, 30 of those years with hundreds and hundreds of panic attacks and chronic anxiety associated with childhood PTSD. I have spent half of my life afraid, confused and I hated myself because I couldn’t understand why I was so different. I self medicated on drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. I ran away at 16 and became a teenage mum at the age of 17. Thankfully, I was given a strong husband who has stood by me, despite my savage, angry attacks on him from pent up pain, frustration & fear.
At the age of 45, I finally sought professional help. Soul searching, medication and therapy began the very slow process of digging passed the layer of denial to try and understand who I am and why. The years of damage to my mind is very slowly beginning to unravel and make sense. My very first session, 6 years ago with my psychologist revealed I had PTSD and I left that office feeling like I had been hit by a bullet train. I felt physically sick to learn how mentally ill I was - and have been for most of my life. Due to the actions of others, this precious little girl had no chance of living a normal life. It was extremely confronting and deeply emotional. There are continued confrontations for me as the layers are gently peeled away.
But what I have experienced is minor in comparison to what this poor girl, and others like her have got coming up. Thank God, her father has been sentenced, albeit another devastating betrayal by those in the legal system, who should be putting this girls healing and well being as utmost importance.
“The judge said the man’s actions would likely have lasting and irreparable consequences for his daughter, who was now 14, and maintained an attitude of loyalty to her father despite what he had forced her to endure”. Perth Now, Sunday Times.
There is no “likely”. There is absolutely, no likely. It is a given. This child will need years of love, patience, support and therapy. (Hopefully she gets it sooner, rather than later.)
The season of minor sentences MUST stop. It is time to stop going soft on criminals of this nature and make a hard stand; do whatever it takes to make a deterrent. Our jails are full to overflowing - so build more. What ever it takes!
The ripple effect of the victims is far reaching. Just ask my family and friends.
I have now reached the stage of acceptance. Perhaps I will never know wholeness of mind. But I am grateful for my life and I am proud of who I have become. I feel the pain of others who are coming up behind me and at least I can somehow, in some way, use my pain to help them.
Many people say that Jesus Christ is just a crutch. That people only find Him when they are desperate. For many of us, how true that is. It is not a criticism, it is fact! When we are sick, we go to a doctor, or hospital if we need it don't we? If we have a broken leg, we most definitely need a crutch. Well, Jesus is the Doctor of broken hearts. You see, it is when we are broken, lonely, sick or in need; when we are at our lowest point that we humble ourselves and cry out to Him. THAT is what He wants. That is when we are open and honest and transparent enough for God to come and fill our hearts with His LOVE. When you have been touched by that LOVE, you will never, ever be the same.
I have seen with my own eyes, felt His touch on my skin, felt His LOVE in my heart. I have been forever changed, He has given me hope and opened my eyes to Truth. He saved me from self destruction, gave me 6 children and a loving husband to ground me and give me the stability I desperately needed.
I was hurting, lost and confused when He saved me. Is my life perfect now? No. While we live in this world there will always be problems and pain; hurdles we have to jump over but God is there to lead us through those dark times - if we ask Him to.
We are never, ever alone. We may feel like we are but He is always just a breath away; a cry in our hearts, a whisper from our lips. He can hear our thoughts and read our hearts. He is concerned for us!
There are millions of people on planet Earth now who can testify to this truth and billions that have gone before us. Can that many people be so wrong?
I am still finding my feet, finding my way but I know that I know, that if I didn't turn to Him when I was 25 years of age, I could be in a very dark place right now.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.
You are loved.
This week I had a panic attack. It was then followed by a mental breakdown the next day. Everything had been going so well for so long. But this year I have retreated into my safe shell of denial (detachment) where I can be numb to those things that cause so much pain and fear.
I had come so far in my life. Finally starting therapy at the age of 45 and a year later starting antidepressants; my soul began to calm and my behaviours and feelings started to make sense.
If only I had started therapy in my early twenties, things may never have gotten so bad. But I didn't, and they did.
A very difficult childhood altered the state of my mind. I was trained to soldier on no matter how I felt. I became an expert in 'coping'. I could keep on going everyday no matter how dark I felt inside.
At the age of 25, I met the only One who has never, and could never let me down. I have done everything I have been told to do to get healed from this nightmare. I have prayed a thousand times, cried endlessly, begging God to please take this pain and make me 'normal'. I have been prayed for, studied the Bible, quoted the scriptures, believed in faith and so on and so on. God has eased the pain, He has held me while I cried, He has sent encouragers and loved me through it all.
Yet here I am. Still with so much confusion and grief.
Why hasn't he healed me? Why am I still suffering so?
The answer is I don't know and maybe I never will. Maybe due to the depth of damage, I need more therapy to understand before He heals me. (The issues of damage are so complex and have been there for so long that my psychologist told me it is a miracle I am still alive).
There are so many others like me, in the church, that struggle with long term illness. Whether it be mental or physical, there are probably millions of Christians who have also done everything they know to receive their healing. The pressure is awful when we don't receive that healing. The suggestions that we haven't prayed enough, haven't applied our faith, have sin that has not been dealt with. This all brings discouragement too.
The Truth is that only God knows. He is a kind, loving and giving God. His mercy knows no end.
I, for one, will never let go. I have tripped and ended on my face many times. I am climbing out of a deep gully right now; with hesitation I am getting up again because I know His love, His Grace and His hope.
I also know there is nothing more I can do to receive my healing but trust in Him. If I never do receive that healing then just having Him holding onto my hand will be enough.
I love Him.