“If Christmas is about gifts and vacations, then the true joy of Christmas will dissipate after all the food has been eating and the gifts opened’. If I thought of the season this way, I would simply enjoy the celebration but it would not have a true memory’. Today, I see and feel the profoundness of the season as the birth and love of the savior. That He is born…that He is born.”
When I was in an abusive situation at home, I looked forward to Christmas because it was a time that I would not be yelled at, hit, I would be given food and shown some love. A time when I could have a new clothes and people would say kind things to me. A time when my abusers would leave me alone because they would visit other relatives and I could be alone and not be on guard…walking on eggshells. God was nothing to me. He did not have meaning…I did not feel his presence. As I reflect on this now, I see myself as being left out by God. I was callous to Him because I did not feel His presence. Pero Hindi itim ang puso ko, uhaw lang. I longed for love, kindness, and gentleness…even for a single day. And even with all the blessings I gained that day, it was never enough for the year of torture I lived through. Kaya para sa akin, yung time na yon, walang Diyos. At wala akong paki sa kanya.
—— Johnathan, survivor for years of Incest
These reflections are from my clients who come as they put their lives together after years of abuse. They have so much judgement of themselves—whether they are good people worthy of love; whether they there is something more out there for them. Thats the challenge of working abuse cases —its the breaking through the haunting belief that the life of abuse is ‘the way it should be.’ Darkness is all they know and so better that than being dead…better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.
Thank you God for not judging us and see the whole story of our lives. To seeing though our pain and understanding that we blame You for the lack in our lives. May You continue to check in on us from time to time. We need your support if we are going to make it.