what’s in a name? p1

love twisted.

i’ve said sharing has gotten easier over the years. sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. i’ve done all i could do to “get over it,” but every time i go back, i can’t help but relive those emotions. i know i can’t stay there long.  i don’t define myself by it like i used to. but the fact of the matter is is that it’s there. always.

but i am defined by Christ. who i am in Him. not my past. i never have to face it alone.

(now that that has been established…)

i want to explain to you the meaning behind the title of my blog, love twisted. Love Defined…because it does mean something. the lies that were and the truth that Is. who i was and who i now am.

for years my abuser (my stepfather) told me he was “in love” with me. it became “more serious” when i was about 14. it continued on until i was about 22. i left when i was near 24. (i’m near 27 now.)

no area of my body was sacred. i would completely shut down. i would try to go numb. i would hear screaming inside my head, as if that would drown it all out.  when i would push him away, he would say i was acting like a baby. he always wanted more. he encouraged me to initiate.

everyone in life had hurt him, including my mom. he accused her of cheating on him. he said he couldn’t help but fall in love with me, her daughter, because i was so godly, pure, kind and compassionate. so what we were doing was ok. it didn’t matter that he was 20+ years older than i was. it didn’t matter that legally, he was my stepfather. no. this was right. this was real love. God wants us to be happy. was i happy? no. but he was happy. and i was co-dependant. i didn’t want to hurt him (or make him angry), and it appeared to me that God was on his side anyway. somehow, it was always justified. i was always made to feel guilty. all those years, i carried such a conviction inside of me. it was wrong. i prayed, i read my bible, i listened to sermons…i even  confronted him on it. several times. but always, always, the tables turned on me. either he’d let me pull away and make my life a living hell, or he would somehow guilt me into it.

my body was not my own. my father used it. my stepfather used it. i was called every derogatory name in the book. it was my fault i was so appealing. men couldn’t help themselves, or so i was told.

he was always the victim. i was always the user. i genuinely thought he was in love with me, but no matter how hard i tried, i couldn’t feel the same. but for a while, i accepted it. i thought it was what God wanted me to do.

until i found out he was doing the same thing to my sister.

then the hatred defined me. then i realized how twisted he was. we tried to run away, but ended up coming back. and even though i had been promised change, it started all over again. he used me all over again, until he found another outlet, and it was over.

this was love twisted: taking and demanding. using and abusing. based on merit and emotion. if you had shown me love then, i wouldn’t have recognized it. i would have questioned your motives. made fun of you. what i knew about it was based on my experiences. i hated him. i prayed that he would die. that i would die. i would imagine that a hero would come and snatch me away. none of that happened of course, but that chapter did end.

what comes next is real Love. Love as He Defines it. and my struggle to accept it.

and that’s part 2.

the arms that hold me

it’s moments like this when i wish i had arms to crawl into. arms that would hold me close as i cried the way i want to do right now (and will no doubt do before the night is over). safe, warm, tender, strong. an embrace i could finally release myself in.

i turned myself off to touch for a long time. when i was young, it hurt. bruised. instilled fear.

as i got older, it made me feel disgusted. a touch would make me twitch. writhe. want to scream.

i was kind of forced out of my comfort zone when i encountered those within the body of Christ. i questioned motives for a long time…still do, on occasion. i walked with my eyes cast down. my face hidden beneath my hair. but my bubble began to shrink as people suddenly showed me love…His love.

His love. the arms that hold me. His word. even as i crave a touch to assure me, to secure me, i know i have His promises. but it gets worse as i think about the distance between us.  i can’t feel Him now. i can’t see Him. He’s the love of my life, and i haven’t even heard the sound of His voice. it makes me so homesick. i yearn for His touch. in every embrace here on earth, there is a moment you have to let go…it makes me long for eternity so much more.


i wonder if He longs for that moment as much as i?…when i can finally rest in His arms.

all fixed

i wanted to be “all fixed.”

i wanted to be able to present myself baggage-free and say, “hey! there’s nothing wrong with me!”

that’s why i’ve been doing all i’ve been doing these past few years…committing to recovery programs, seeing a counselor, attending support groups, crying my eyes out, kicking and screaming myself to sleep, wallowing in self-pity and despair. i was doing it so one day i wouldn’t have to do it anymore.  in my mind, once i achieved that, maybe then i would get what i desired…

i was wrong.

i recently completed an intense, 6 month long program geared towards women recovering from sexual abuse. i had resisted starting it at first, and because i was so “advanced” in the recovery process, it was fairly easy to go through. i was ready to cast another check mark on my “road to recovery” and let this be it.

wrong again!

nothing cut me so deeply as the last section of the last unit.  i couldn’t even talk in group that night. anytime i tried, i’d cry.  i cried hard for most of the day leading up to the meeting, and for some time into the night…all over the subject of intimacy. sexual intimacy. not from anything i experienced, but the unknown…when i may have the opportunity to share myself with someone one day. this was an area i couldn’t reach, i couldn’t “deal with” on my own. i have to wait. wait until i  meet that poor shmuck who will have to face those demons with me come consummation time.

it was all so unfair. i’ve worked so hard to get where i am so i wouldn’t have to burden that guy some day with my problems. and here it all came crashing down on me…i can’t finish it alone. heck, will it ever be finished? i’ve heard time and time again that recovery is a lifetime process, but i wanted to be the exception. (i know, right?…prideful, much?)

so i gave up.

i’ve entered into a stage of indifference. no man will ever love me like God does, so why hope? why desire? why care? He’s all i need right now…and forever. so i’m probably more content in my singleness than i’ve ever been. whether my attitude is right or wrong, i really don’t know…or care at this point.