Monday, January 30, 2012
Why does anyone have anguish or anger in the first place? Why did God create in us these emotions that have turned so destructive? Why couldn't He have limited their effect on us? I wish that were so. They run pretty deep in me and I know they do for many people. Anger and anguish are emotional responses to injustices and harm done to us or others.
I am participating in the Beth Moore study “James : Mercy Triumphs”. This portion of her notes and the DVD presentation really struck me. The text she is using in her presentation is John 16: 20 -24.
Joy and Anguish
(Greek chara) (Greek thlipsis)
With needing new glasses at first glance I thought thlipsis was “therapist” How fitting....
A couple examples from the workbook are:
pain + anxiety = anguish or suffering + dread = anguish
In Greek the word Joy is connected with the source of the joy. It seems in our culture that joy is often mistaken for happiness and to most of those in the world it is the same. For me the definition of joy is something I haven't completely grasped even though it seems to be explained adequately. It is my own personal “block”. The Greek word “thlipsis” (anguish) is from “thlibo” which means “to crush, press, compress, squeeze”....as in pushing down emotions and memories. Anguish is defined as mental distress and I can totally relate to that. The root word for anguish is the Latin word “angere”....which is also the root word for anger. One of its meanings is “to choke”. She suggests that anguish keeps everything inside and anger brings everything out. When I have my anger storms...I am in touch with much anguish before, during and after. At some point in time there are a lot of tears...usually after.
As a young child being abused sexually by a couple family members and also ritually abused by a group of mostly unknown adults I learned quickly that to protest, cry or be angry brought on more abuse. I wanted to not be noticed and in order for that to happen I had to keep quiet and still. So any and all emotional responses were buried inside. The first thing to surface was the anguish in the form of depression which was somewhat quelled by drugs. None of the anti-depressants worked very well so I was given anti-psychotics or tranquilizers which dampened my personality and affected my ability to function so I might as well have been depressed. I also had electroshock therapy which did not help at all. I even had a sodium pentothal (truth serum) session which brought out nothing because the memories were buried inside my alters.
At one point a therapist thought I needed a medication vacation and my doctor agreed, the emotions slowly began to surface. I ended up on an anti-depressant only which allowed the emotions and memories to minimally surface. I had many memories of the abuse by my family members and eventually the ritual abuse. I cried a lot...still needing an antidepressant. I also began to have anger fits...usually about things that didn't seem to matter and never around others. Inside we knew that being angry in front of another could have unpleasant repercussions even though we knew were no longer in an abusive situation. I was placed on a low dose anti-psychotic since my doctor did not believe I had been ritually abused and did not believe and treat Dissociative Identity Disorder. I went off those medications and no longer see that doctor.
My infrequent anger fits turned into anger storms...which brought a lot of anguish afterward. The anger comes from an alter or two or three, who are all ultimately me and I am responsible for doing the work to resolve the anger and the anguish. There are many memories of events that surely brought on the anguish and anger however I do not feel these emotions as I am thinking about those events. I'm not sure I did when I originally had the memories. I think I felt more confused and fearful at the time. Because of the nature of the ritual abuse there are spiritual consequences, demonic attachments, because of the sins against me and my personal sin. I have no doubt that there has been demonic influence on my emotions especially the anger and anguish. Often demons are purposely attached to alters. Fortunately I have had prayer from my pastor, therapist, and others to cut those ties. Recent prayer relieved daily anger storms and now I have had only three in about two weeks. Any anguish I have felt has not been nearly as intense either.
I know there is more work to do, more prayers to be prayed, more writing, more inner searching of my alters to make connections. Healing is available and I am on that journey. I know God used this study and this particular presentation to promote the healing work He has for me. It's another step into His purpose for my life.
More on Beth Moore and her bible studies can be found at: http://www.lproof.org/
Friday, January 6, 2012
Today is epiphany...the day we commemorate the revelation of Christ to the three wise men who came from a foreign land when they saw the manifestation of the star over Bethlehem and connected it to prophecy. It was more than simply following prophecy and magic eastern mysticism...for who else but God could transform their gentile devotion to reveal to their hearts and minds the awesome reality of a living and breathing human God cradled in the arms of a human mother, guarded by a human father?
It is the same power of God that realizes an epiphany in us of who He is and converts our empty spirit into the home of the very Holy Spirit...a part of God.
As I have grown in my spirit and walked the healing path intertwined with my walk with Jesus, He had made to known to me, as He desires for all of His children, to continue to give us epiphany moments. He wants to open our eyes and allow us to realize Him in us.
We all have dark closets in our lives that often we are not aware of. As a survivor of abuse with DID I have more than most of my Christian brothers and sisters. For healing to happen for me I have to allow Jesus access to those closets and dark places. It is difficult for anyone to admit they have a dark place that hasn't been fully turned over to God. Places where we go to sin, make excuses, hide, plaster a smile over the pain, anger, fear, and lies. Often it is still in the dark because subconsciously we have justified what is there. Jesus can and does reveal it to us when we are ready. He makes us ready when we continue to submit to Him and ask Him to show us those places. I know I don't deal with people very well. I feel quite stressed working with the public. I am an introvert so that explains some of that. Sometimes people have disrespected me, perhaps aggravated me in some small way but not abused me. I have found some resentment inside that I can't explain but that I don't want hindering me. I also have a deep well of anger that I can't connect to specific events. I find I am inordinately angry with my therapist and sometimes others who are trying to help me. The “offenses” loom larger than any good things that have come out of these relationships. This is not uncommon for survivors of various types of abuse. Having DID, I have a few alters who don't want to integrate, they think they are fine by themselves but others inside need it. They do not like my therapist. But while the offenses need to be dealt with, they need to be framed within the truth. Sometimes its because I don't like being told something about myself that I would prefer to avoid. Stick my fingers in my ears and sing “nah, nah, nah...I can't heeeaaaar you!” Ok...so I don't do that literally but I do it as a survival mechanism that has lost its way and lost its usefulness. A part of the truth is that I don't know all the truth. I have to submit that to Jesus.
I realize that there are more epiphanies to come for me about Him, about myself and about this journey I am on. Once I think I know it all...I'll stop learning anything new and I'll stop progressing. If I close myself off in fear or anger, if I quit giving those things up to Jesus, then I will stop healing and begin a descent into sickness. I don't know the future, I don't know what this path looks like a week down the road or even a day. But I choose to believe that I will be healed and that my destination is wholeness and victory. I don't know what it looks like but I want to do the thing that is set before me now and walk the path I see clear now. Now will become tomorrow and in a few days Now will become next week in a little while Now will become next month and so on. I can do the Now that has been revealed to me.