Dichotomy (Journey #3)

I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I have issues with codependency, shame, fear, people pleasing, and am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation.

This part of my blog will be dedicated to chronicling my journey through recovery, finally allowing Christ to heal the secrets I have hidden for thirty years.  It’s true, what they say… 

“You’re only as sick as your secrets.”

My secrets are pretty sick

Dichotomy: a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different

It’s hard to think about and process the abuse I’ve endured.  It’s even harder to think about my abuser. Truth is, I remember her just as much as I remember what she did. I can’t recall when she started babysitting my brother and me. In my mind, she was always just there, which makes me think she was there before those earliest memories were crafted in my tiny mind.

There’s a running joke in my family about me, as a 3 or 4-year-old child, going to a neighbor’s house early on a Saturday morning to ask for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Cute? Funny?  Maybe…

My question, “why on God’s green Earth is a young child going door to door asking for food?” Lucky for me, the neighbor brought me back home and alerted my mother to my adventure. This particular neighbor was three houses down. That makes me wonder how many doors I had already knocked on before getting to her. Sadly, this story sums up much of my childhood home life.  Love and warmth wasn’t prevalent. I was left to my own devices early on – the definition of a latchkey kid.

That’s probably why I absolutely adored my babysitter. She showed me the attention I so desperately craved. Alongside those disgusting memories of abuse, I have memories of things like “the kiddie show”.  Even now, I fondly remember those moments. My babysitter would sit us down at my dining room table.  She would portray herself as a game show host and interview my brother and me.  Oh how we would laugh at the silly questions and antics my babysitter would perform.

At bedtime, she would tuck us both into our beds and shut off the lights.  Before we would drift off to sleep, she would go from my doorway to my brothers doorway doing silly things. She may have danced like a chicken or talked like a duck. Most nights, I would laugh myself to sleep!

The thing is, I want so badly to hate my abuser. These good memories prevent that. It would just be easier if I could hate her, or if I could erase the memories I have and pretend she never existed. Unfortunately, I cannot – these memories are etched in my mind and they replay in my head at the most inconvenient of times.

The hardest part is asking how can love and loathing exist simultaneously toward a person? I can’t explain it. It’s a strange and ugly dichotomy, one I would wish on no person. It’s the result of the betrayal that stole so much from me.

It’s another place in my wounded heart that I know Christ will heal. I can’t get through this on my own. He is the keeper of my heart, and I trust His methods – no matter the pain and suffering I must endure.

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.  Isaiah 65:17

 

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