According to recent statistics, there are 39 million of us walking around the US with wounded souls.
We look just like everyone else, minus the crippled heart. We mask ourselves in anger and perfection, and fear intimacy with a vengeance. And although we may talk a good game about trust, it’s really a four-letter word we avoid.
Most of us live in silence. Though we are large in number, few of us will ever say a word about the darkest secrets lurking around the corner of our memory.
For me, the telling proved more difficult than the remembering.
It’s hard, finding the courage to say the one thing you promised never to share. Even if threats were never spoken, the fear runs deep. Your heart pounds and your hands shake and you struggle for balance because suddenly, the air seems a little thin.
You are not alone.
I wish I could tell you it will be easy. I wish I could smile and say that everyone will believe you and that those closest to you – the ones who must know – will take up the fight on your behalf.
It doesn’t always happen this way though, and for that I’m sorry because I know this only deepens the wound.
And sometimes, the very person who stole your innocence will be the one who shows up unannounced. Sometimes, you’ll need to learn to lean on others who you know will protect you – even if it’s from the very people you thought held your heart with care.
Be gentle with yourself. Know that opening your mouth and saying those words – even in a whisper – is the bravest thing you’ve ever done and your heart will need a little time to heal. And in speaking the truth you are flinging wide the door to freedom for those behind you.
Because darkness cannot live where there is light. And somewhere, there’s a persistent shining on your deepest pain and your heart feels on fire because you just aren’t sure how much longer you’ll survive in the quiet with the screaming inside your soul.
Know this :: there are 39 million of us standing behind you. Cheering. Crying. Lifting you up when you can’t lift yourself because baby, you’re worth it and so is your soul.
Healing is possible. You are brave enough to speak and strong enough to survive.
And when it’s over, when your knees stop shaking and your heart finds her rhythm again, you’ll find the One who was there all along, picking up the shattered remnants and placing them together piece by broken piece.
All statistics were gathered from Darkness to Light. I also recommend Mary DeMuth’s Thin Places: A Memoir and Dan Allender’s The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse.