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