I Wish I Could Save You

This is a story I wrote to myself in counseling before going into treatment for my eating disorder:

I’m so proud of you! I know it’s incredibly hard to trust someone enough to tell them your story. You feel so scared and vulnerable and yet you want someone to know so badly it hurts. You are so brave!

I know you have been through so many things. You can’t even comprehend it all, but you feel responsible. You feel shame for what has happened. You just want to hide and forget all about it, so you stuff it deep inside. You want to be perfect in every way so no one will ask questions and so someone will love you. My heart aches for you! I wish I could save you, but only God can save you.

The things that have happened aren’t fair. They aren’t right, but deep inside you feel like you deserve it. You feel broken and damaged. But you are not defined by the things that have happened to you. I want you to be free, truly free.

I’m so sorry you’ve gone through all of this in secret. I understand you don’t feel safe telling anyone or letting anyone in, but the weight of what you are carrying is so heavy. I know you are an incredibly strong girl, but you don’t have to carry it alone. I know you are terrified beyond belief to let someone in. I know what happened when you tried to tell your friends. I know you lied to the teacher because you were scared. I know you won’t even let God in on that part of your life. I know the prayer you have prayed, “God you can have everything and use me in any way you want, expect for that part of my life. You can’t have that part. I’m going to my grave with it.”

You have thoughts and questions you can’t answer. “How’d he know my garage code? How’d he know someone wasn’t home? Why did he sneak in your house? Why did he scare you like that? Why did he try to force you to have sex with him? He’s a Christian guy, why would he do that? You thought Christians were different.”

I’m so proud of you for protecting yourself. He made you bleed, but he didn’t get inside of you. You tried to fight back and all he could do was have sex with your legs. He was so proud after and told you that he’d had sex with you. When you told him he hadn’t and showed him the spot he’d made on the couch he was frustrated. He wanted to be the guy to take your virginity, but he didn’t know that had already happened.

You broke up and he threatened to kill himself over and over again. He’d tell you how he was going to drive his car over a cliff. You worried he would do it and that you would feel responsible. You took on the guilt and shame. He was bipolar and on lithium. You weren’t sure what he was capable of doing.

For years that spot on the couch was a reminder of what had happened. You tried to clean it, but the mark was always there.

Despite what has happened to you, I want you to know that I love you for who God made you to be. You are not defined by what has happened to you. You do not have to be perfect to be loved. God wants more than anything to have a relationship with you where he can show you who he is, who he made you to be, and how much he loves you. He wants you to feel safe with him. One day you will and you’ll tell your story at your own pace.

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