I have to admit, I am seeing a shrink.

I have to admit, I am seeing a shrink.

Yes, it’s true. I admit it, I am seeing a shrink.

But I also admit that…while I’m trying to make myself the advocate for the authenticity and transparency of the challenges of an abused single Christian mom’s life (and life in general), I thought twice before deciding to make this public confession, and write about it.

Because in the Christian circle I grew up in, it was taboo to talk about that. It doesn’t sound spiritual at all, actually. At best, we recognize the big impasses in our lives, we promise to go and see a professional, but we actually just talk about it to one of our friends and tell them not to repeat it. At worst, we despise the very idea of talking to a shrink, especially if they are not a believer.

I’ve actually been around so many Christians who have had a long walk with the Lord and the equivalent of a Master’s degree in theology just by listening to preaching, reading books and participating in Bible study groups, but who are consumed by their inability to forgive, are unable to even name their emotions – let alone deal with them – and hurt everyone around them by repeating old patterns from their unregulated childhood. I say this with a great deal of compassion, but also with a great deal of sadness. Because it’s sad.

I HAVE TO ADMIT, I AM SEEING A SHRINK.

I’ve decided it’s not going to happen to me. I’m dealing with some severe stuff. Being surrendered to adoption as a baby. I’m also dealing with a hard life as a single teenage mom and more recently, finding out that my (ex) husband had been drugging and abusing me for years, and that my daughter was his victim too.

So there is enough reasons as too why I should go and see a therapist. We can all agree that difficult grief requires a helping hand from someone who knows about it. And It helped me a lot, by the way. It’s been a few months now and I feel like we are just getting started, there is so much going on, so much to be processed and we only have 60 minutes each time every other week. But I still desperately need it and will need for some time to come still.

Not going into too much detail, but I still suffer from anxiety attacks, chronic stress and pain, depression, bitterness and the inability to let go. A classic example of an imperfect and tired mother. Except that I’ve decided I really want to fix this in my life.

Going to therapy doesn’t stop me from having a real prayer life you know. God and me, we talk a lot.

I have a relationship with God Almighty, even though we’ve had some arguments and even though I have a hard time understanding life, my relationship with Him is the main thing giving me strength.

But I needed a little more help, I couldn’t cope…and I admitted to it finally.

It should just be the first step in a real transformation process. Admitting. Acknowledging that we’re having a hard time. Then trying to fix those flaws, letting ourselves be transformed by God who calls us to walk from glory to glory and to continually become the best version of ourselves.

For me, going to a shrink and trusting God for a drastic transformation of my character…because often it takes a miracle…is by no means inconceivable.

It’s like believing that God can cure us of an illness, but going to see the doctor anyway, just to understand what’s wrong. It’s like believing that God can provide for our difficult finances, but going to an accountant anyway, just to manage our money well.


I could go on for a long time about the fact that I am convinced that God wants us to be able to be vulnerable but also wants to take advantage of the talents/knowledge that He has given to other people. He really likes to use human beings in general to bless us, and it’s just completely foolish to deprive ourselves of that.

What to do?

So, didn’t I convince you? You’re judging me, aren’t you? It’s really not a big deal. The point here is: do you have some boo-boos in your heart, some dead ends, some things inside you that are ruining your life and the lives of others? Are you convinced that you need to seriously work on living a real transformation to finally have a more peaceful and abundant life? (I hope so, because answering no to that question is a problem, in fact…! Haha! (uneasy laugh)). But you refuse to go see a shrink or you really, really can’t afford it, and there isn’t even a counseling service in your church? Well then, here are a few other suggestions, so you don’t become like the old Christians I described above:

  • Find yourself a series of good books on the subject(s) that concern you (that doesn’t replace your Bible, we agree) and seriously study them, with an open heart.
  • Talk to friends, real ones, who will challenge you and to whom you will be held accountable to on a very, very regular basis.
  • Find a mentor you admire and want to be like and spend lots of time with them. Ask her lots of questions too.
  • Put yourself in a “straight talk” mode with God…like, “What do you want to change about me? Where does that come from? What lie do I believe? Why am I reacting like this? “and listen to the answers, even if they might hurt! Afterward, ask Him concretely what you should do to experience healing (…suddenly He would tell you to go see a shrink, you know!). Hahaha!!!!!!)

Go for it!

Life by Mim

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Goodbye and taking a distance

Goodbye and taking a distance

I have been trying to write a coherent text about the last past year for a while now and for a specific purpose. To leave this all behind me from now on and to move forward.

I have been able to hurt, cry and heal this past year and now in a month I will be leaving our home behind to start a new life.

Goodbye and taking a distance

Relationships are freaking difficult. Just as difficult as blogging about divorces, it now appears. But divorces are really much worse. Practically and financially they are hopeless, but that is just the beginning. I had to grieve and say goodbye to my entire life as I had imagined. I once saw the love of my life in that other person, my ex. The other person once made my heart beat so hard that it made me so bloody nervous everytime we were near to each other. I remember the flow of hormones that screamed through my body the first time we kissed.

We had so much between us and our relationship felt sometimes as if it was overflowing with love. We had made huge lifelong commitments. We moved in together, raised our children from separate relationships together, got married, adopted a dog and then we became incredibly blessed by welcoming a child of us both.

Well, that has been a long time ago and can now be classified as adorable, cute and fun.

Because suddenly there were reasons to break that commitment. Not just the case of someone cheating on the other person, no. Serious reasons. Abuse, drugging, spousal rape, and child rape.

And now I have chosen to say goodbye and distance myself from him. Even though he does not want the divorce. Even though overzealous people tell me that it is not God’s will for us to divorce.

I try to distance myself from my emotions, from the hurtful things that people have said. From him so I can try to divide my life as I would have built it up by two. The math will never be right, I will always be left with less anyway.

In this there are only victims.

But I choose not to be one. I want to heal from this. And slowly, I am.

Goodbye and taking a distance

Will you make a way?

for me a friend is someone who that wherever they are, is it another town, another state another country, it will always feel like they are nearby.

After recently finding out about things that I was afraid of. Things that have happened in the past but have now been revealed to me, worse than I had ever imagined…I ended up going through a very rough patch again. I was just starting to recover from the first big blow a few months ago. My heart was broken, it was hurting, I could not stop the tears from rolling down my eyes, seeing images of things that had happened to us unknowingly. How could this all happen? Why was I chosen to carry so many burdens during my life? How could there ever be a way out of this despicable situation? I can’t see it; I am barely keeping my head above the water.

But yesterday, my dear friend came to pay a visit. She lives far away in Romania and she comes over to Belgium often to visit her grandmother who lives here, and now she is here for me, because I needed her. She is a Christian friend; I don’t have many of those here in Belgium. I have Christian people in my life who care and who I see regularly, but for me a friend is someone who that wherever they are, is it another town, another state another country, it will always feel like they are nearby. This friend prays for and with me, she gives me godly counsel and she encourages me. She helps me remember that God has everything under control and that it WILL be okay, even if it doesn’t seem like it now. She is full of encouraging thoughts, she genuinely cares, and she a has wealth of scripture knowledge that somehow really do make me feel better. Sometimes she will do this in person, sometimes by text, but she never fails to be that trusted friend.

A few days before she arrived, I was listening to my Spotify on my way to church last Sunday. You know that list on Spotify that compiles songs based and what you have listened to in the past? Well, there was this song that was really speaking to me, even though I could not really make out the words. I marked it, added it to my favorites and listened to it a frequently in the following days. 

So, when my friend left, I needed to bike somewhere, I plugged in my earphones and looked for that song straight away. It’s called “Maker” by Woodland worships. I started to really listen to the lyrics this time and it the refrain was speaking out to me so clearly “You will make away…you are the maker of my heart and you will make a way…when I can’t see a way out, you will make a way”

Oh Lord, please do that for me, because right now, I cannot see a way out” …my heart cried out to God.

I want to be more like David who too called out to the Lord when he was in desperate state. He prayed, “Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!”(Ps. 27:7). Then David testified expectantly, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart” (v.14). He knew that God would make a way.

I’m finding it hard to do so, but I am so willing for I know that our God is a strong, loving God and so in the evenings I am in an intercessory state of prayer, with this song on the background, moving my heart.

“Please Abba Father, will you make a way?”

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Forgiveness.

The damage of sexual assault is extreme and it is lifelong. As much as someone forgives their abuser, as much hope as is found in the gospel, we don’t get complete restoration this side of heaven. It does not happen—that’s why the hope of heaven is so glorious. But the suffering here on earth is very real, and it does not go away simply because you forgive and release bitterness. Women who have been abused are going to live, myself included, with lifelong consequences of the sexual assault.

It means that I trust in God’s justice and I release bitterness and anger and a desire for personal vengeance. It does not mean that I minimize or mitigate or excuse what he has done. It does not mean that I pursue justice on earth any less zealously. It simply means that I release personal vengeance against him, and I trust God’s justice, whether he chooses to mete that out purely eternally, or both in heaven and on earth.

Rachael Denhollander 

Choose forgiveness.


Damn him.

Broken single mother's heart

Damn him, DAMN HIM! I find myself yelling in my head.

That happens when I let my mind wander off to happier times. How I miss so much of what we had.

Damn him.

Or like today, when we went to the zoo with another family. This used to be one of our favorite family outings. We were having a nice time, but suddenly my son would curl up to me, brushing his face up against my shoulder, whispering “I miss our family”.

Damn him.

Even writing this post, those two words are repeating in my head, while tears are streaming down my cheeks.

Damn him for tearing all of our lives apart from us. All of us. We were not perfect, we had our issues, but I always thought that we would be together forever. Even with those issues, there were many more good things that were going on for us as a family. Our son was so happy, so loved. We had a stable life and a loving family.

How wrong can somebody be? How can someone be totally oblivious to what is happening right under her/his eyes?

My husband seemed to have it all (or at least a relatively good life), yet he decided to do things, unthinkable things, despicable things, that have ultimately destroyed everything when brought to light.

The biggest victim?

The 5-year-old child who only knew the adoration, love, and protection of two parents not realizing that there was evil, constantly lurking, endangering him too.

He is too young to understand what his father has done. He only wants his family back. He does not understand why cannot be that family anymore.

And it breaks my heart.

I don’t like those words, I believe in forgiveness, even when things seem unforgivable, and call me crazy, but I do forgive him, but still…that pain and the loss.

Damn him.

That’s all my heart can say for now.

Dear (ex) family

Picture of ex-family

Dear (ex) Family

First of all my apologies for writing and posting this letter on my blog even though I doubt that you will even read it. I see some of you weekly/daily but none of you speak to me besides my brother-in-law who spoke to me once since. So because there has been almost no dialogue between us since my husband has confessed, I decided that I needed to write this down, so that I can hopefully let go. I think that this letter may also be a guiding light to others who are walking the same path as I am.

As an adoptee, I have always suffered from a feeling of abandonment and rejection. When we came into each other’s lives, I did not know my birth parents yet and I had been all alone with my two children here in Belgium for many years. When I met my husband, I met you all and I had hoped that I would finally feel like I belonged to a family.

My husband had not been very positive about some of you, he felt hurt by things past. But because I had no family, I knew how precious it was and so I encouraged him to renew the bonds. On Saturdays I would propose to visit his parents, I tried to let him see another side of his sister whom he had grown to not like and we would have weekly family dinners together. But somehow, I felt like I never was fully accepted.

I am not going to jolt down all the reasons for why I felt like this, it’s not my purpose to play the blame game. I just what state how I felt all these years. I felt, inferior. I felt out of place. I certainly did not feel loved.

I have laughed with you, I have cried with you. We were all very involved in each other’s lives. 

But now, you act as if I do not exist. 

The reaction that I would have preferred (but not expected) was at least that you would be as disgusted and as shocked at his behaviour and not question me as to why he did these things. Because there is NOTHING that can excuse what he has done.

And you then claim to love my son, your nephew, yet you treat his mother, the victim, with disdain. That is not loving. That is heinous.

Maybe you were disgusted and shocked, but I don’t know this because none of you have let me know. None of you have checked in on me, or on my children. And my messages are left unanswered. If I ask something I only get an answer through someone else or I am cc’d in an email. Do I have to hear from third parties that you are mad at me?

There will be no acceptable reason for me as to why you choose to ignore me. None. The least you could have done is sent me a text asking if we were ok. If your nephew was ok. I was not expecting people to choose sides, but I have had more support and help from friends and strangers than from my own (husbands) family.

Just hoping that your children will never have to experience the pain that I have been through and be blamed for a crime that was done to them.

And in case you are wondering, we are doing well despite the situation and this only due to the grace of God. We are well surrounded by friends who now are the ones who now laugh and cry with us. Because believe me, even when you see me smile, I am just wanting to cry.

I miss my nieces and nephew and love them very much. I still love my husband and have forgiven him but cannot be around him right now. I do not know what the future will bring, but I am trusting in the Lord to guide me and that all good things happen in God’s good timing.

I do want to thank you for never letting my children feel left out on birthdays and holidays even though they were not of your blood. Thank you for the good food and funny table talks and finally, thank you for helping my husband through this terrible season and I forgive you all for the pain you have caused me.

I was very hurt and bitter by you shutting me out of your lives but when I finish this letter to you, I’m letting go of that pain, anger, bitterness, and resentment. Because that is what this letter is all about.

Shalom.