Rape

Is It Time to Let the Cat Out of the Bag?

While going through some of my childhood possessions, I came across something which took on a profound meaning to me: a kitten poster.

This was the first poster I got as a six year old. I immediately was captivated by it because of its cute factor. A small kitten, hiding in a paper bag? What's not to love?

You know, the phrase, "the cat is out of the bag?" Well, I couldn't deny that ditty followed me throughout my life, eating disorder shenanigans and, of course, my disclosure of and recovery from them. After all, within my book, "Thin Enough," I wrote a poem starting the chapter on disclosure, entitled, "The Cat is Out of the Bag."

Disclosure - it is intimidating.

The Power of "No!"

A large part of my recovery process involves using the word "no." Indeed, saying "yes" gotten me into more trouble and disease than standing in my own okay-ness with stating it simply, but firmly.

My eating disorder experiences were driven by an insatiable need for perfection, approval and to be pleasing at all cost. So, "no" became a dirty little word. After all, a girl, filled with sugar and spice, should be completely fulfilled with making other people happy.

Right?

Wrong.

Domestic Violence: Your Family & Friends

Every year 4,774,000 women in the USA are victims of physical violence.The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 totaled 6,488 However, the number of American women murdered by current or ex male partners during the same timeframe was nearly double that amount at 11,766.

Every nine seconds in the USA, a woman is assaulted or beaten. One of them could be your sister, your cousin, your neighbor, or your best friend.

Abused? God has victory for You!Premium Content

There are many of us out there who have been bullied and abused.

Whether we've been beaten verbally, emotionally, physically and sexually by a family member, have been teased, thrown in lockers or picked last for teams as kids or, worst case scenario - all of the above - it certainly is a challenge to live through that, let alone, overcome it.

Many of us are underdogs, the forgotten, the least likely.

And that is precisely why one of the things that I love most about God is His viewpoint on that status. God's "M.O." is one of championing the underdog, encouraging him/her, and exalting/promoting that individual, not just in spite of the odds, but quite often, because of them.

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Memories: Ouch!Premium Content

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Psalm 51:12


Autumn floods me with childhood memories of locusts inhabiting our farm and caterpillars on twigs, kept on mason jars, just waiting to become monarch butterflies.

And, with that flooding, often comes the tinged bittersweet feelings that accompany a childhood innocence of long ago.

I recently caught a funny post on the internet. It read: "Memories: Ouch!"

They say humor is humor because it is unflinching truth. And that certainly was the case with this post.

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Sexual Abuse FAQPremium Content

Q: Aren't most offenders strangers?

    A: No. 29% of perpetrators are relatives of the victim, while 60% are
    acquaintances and friends. Only 11 % of perpetrators are strangers.


Q: If sexual abuse only happens once, does it really cause any harm or damage?

    A: Sexual abuse is about power and damage to the core identity of a person. Any incidence of sexual
    abuse leaves an imprint.

Q: If the abuse isn't violent and causes physical injuries, is it really sexual abuse?

    A:
    Abuse is usually coercive. In most cases, the child is engaged by means of
    persuasion, bribes, and threats, rather than by physical force. A
    perpetrator likes to convince the victim and others, that the child was a
    willing participant. This causes many victims to experience confusion,
    shame, guilt, lowered self - esteem, betrayal of trust, fear of intimate
    relationships, and a distorted view of sexuality. Most victims do not have
    physical injuries.

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Will I ever get over the pain of the child abuse I suffered?Premium Content

Will I ever get over the pain of the child abuse I suffered?

God has a special place in His heart for all little children, but I cannot imagine the way He grieves over an innocent child who suffers at the hand of a parent.

If you are reading this and have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord, Savior, and true Father, I can understand that. How difficult it must be for a person who suffered abuse to believe in a loving Father. The heart wants to believe, but the mind shouts, "No, No, protect yourself." Right? Just imagine, though, that God, in His loving mercy, wants desperately to be all that your earthly parent was not. He wants to surround you with love and security, with hope and a future—all that your earthly parent robbed you of. Receive it from Him.

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Are You Experiencing True Guilt or False Guilt?Premium Content

We must differentiate between true guilt, and false guilt. Listen to how Paul differentiates between the two:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness; to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.2 Corinthians 7:10-11


Before we investigate these types of guilt, I would like to give you an overview.

  • 1. True guilt. Corinthians calls this Godly sorrow in the NIV, or sorrow that is according to the will of God in the NASB.
  • 2. False guilt. Corinthians calls this worldly sorrow in the NIV, or sorrow of the world in the NASB.
    Within false guilt I see two categories:
      a. Deliberate pretended guilt.
      b. Imposed guilt. This is guilt that we, the world, and other people impose upon ourselves.
  • Let's explore.

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    Asking for Support: Getting the Help You Need - Part 2Premium Content

    by Dale & Juanita Ryan | see: Part 1

    We resist getting help

    In spite of the abundance of God's love and grace and the many ways in which love and grace are available to us, we do not easily reach out for the help we need. Even when we have acknowledged our need for help, we may find ourselves hesitating, finding excuses, resisting. Resistance to getting help is often the result of a mixture of fear and despair and shame.

    Fear

    It can be frightening to get help. In the process we feel vulnerable and exposed. Jim's Dad had made cutting remarks about him all his life. Jim was so accustomed to hearing that he was lazy and stupid and irresponsible that every time he shared in his support group, he expected to hear these same hurtful comments in response. Even though people didn't respond this way, Jim imagined that everyone must be privately thinking these things about him. As a result, he would sometimes begin to share only to freeze with fear and find himself unable to talk.

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    Asking for Support: Getting the Help You Need - Part 1Premium Content

    by Dale & Juanita Ryan
    See: Part 2 | Part 3

    The God of the Bible is a God who saves and heals. The Bible is clear about this: He will deliver the needy who cry out, he will rescue them from oppression and violence. Psalm 72: 12,14) When we see our need, acknowledge our inability to save ourselves, and cry out, God delivers us. God rescues us from oppression and violence. Whether it is the oppression and violence of our compulsions and addictions or the oppression and violence of abuse and neglect, God delivers us and heals us. God is powerful enough and loving enough to deliver us from all of the oppression and violence we face.

    This is the good news proclaimed in Scripture. And it is the basis for our hope on the recovery journey. We cannot save ourselves. Or heal ourselves. But God can. And God will.

    Sound simple? It turns out to be anything but simple. There are several reasons for this. First, we find it hard to believe that God is

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