by Crissy Moran
Today I went hiking alone. Though it may seem like a small thing, the act of hiking alone was a huge stride for me. Today is the second time in my entire life that I have ever hiked alone. The thought of going alone has always scared me. I always worried that without the distraction of another person I would see people looking at me and that they would laugh at me. It was a fear I have had all of my life and has crippled me in so many ways.
It goes back to middle school. My family was broken and we were poor. I was an introvert. I didn’t dress in clothes that matched. I heard kids making fun of me and whispering that I was the ugliest girl in the school. They would make spit balls and blow them through straws in my hair until I would get angry and my eyes would fill with tears. They would make fun of me straight to my face and even try to fight me. I was very brave and would fight back if I had to but it usually never went past the taunting. I found my escape and victory in beating up my brother’s friends.
As I was hiking, I was listening to my music. I haven’t downloaded music in a while so I was listening to whatever I could find that had a fast pace. I found a song I hadn’t heard in a while and although I knew I didn’t like the words, I did like the song as whole. The lyrics were about wanting to be with someone he didn’t really have to love. The singer is talking about his desire to love someone who may be drunk, on drugs or “too sad to give a F”. I have listened to this song before but today in the quietness and away from all the distraction the end of the song stirred feelings of my past.
I thought of myself as fearless in my 20’s. I wasn’t afraid to drive over 100 mph and slam on my brakes in the middle of no where. I wasn’t afraid to jump out of a moving car. I wasn’t afraid of being abused or raped by a full grown man. I wasn’t afraid to take too many pills. I wasn’t afraid of drugs. I wasn’t afraid to fly to another state to meet a man who could maybe, possibly fall in love with me…or kill me. I wasn’t afraid to get into a business that I knew would haunt me for the rest of my life. I wasn’t afraid to hold a loaded gun to my head and cock the trigger. I wasn’t afraid of the darkness. I reasoned with it. The darkness and I were friends for along time. The darkness enticed me. It sucked me in. It drowned me. It was supposed to be my death.
The last few lyrics of the song were the ones that made me tear up when I was on my hike. These are the words:
“Love’s an excuse to get hurt
And to hurt
“Do you like to hurt?”
“I do! I do!”
“Then hurt me.”
I “liked to hurt”. The feeling of hopelessness and angst was a big part of who I was. I was fearless…or so I thought.
Memories and scenarios rushed thought my mind. I thought about them and I saw them for what they really were for the first time. I wasn’t fearless, I was fearful. I was afraid to be known. I didn’t think who I was was good enough and I didn’t want to be found out so I disguised myself with a false confidence. I created my identity.
It got me thinking- how can being fearful and fearless seem so close to the same thing? It was because Satan had been working on me for a long time. Satan destroyed my family. Satan wore me down before my life even had a chance to get started. He molested me and brainwashed me about all things concerning love and sex. He created a path for me that seemed enticing. He told me that I could be someone worthy of being known. He offered me a false sense of being loved. Love and lust were the same thing to me. This dangerous path was paved with much evil. Lust, drugs, alcohol, rape, abortion, porn, lies, anger, physical and verbal abuse, hatred, isolation, shame, depression and tears that sometimes wouldn’t even be able to fall because of pride.
One day it happened. I was finally known. The world finally knew me and I thought that I had earned and achieved love. The thing is I wasn’t really known. I was just playing a role.
I thought about the old Crissy today and I saw her for who she was. She was desperately afraid of being nothing. She was afraid of not being loved. The old Crissy felt that she deserved the pain inflicted on her and the pain she inflicted on her own flesh. She was so full of shame that went all the way back to her childhood even before the taunting children. She thought she deserved all of that pain. I wished I could go back in time to tell her everything would be alright that there would be glimpses of light up ahead and to be strong and not to lose heart. I wished I could let her know that it wouldn’t be long until real love would be revealed.
I am often asked what was the turning point for me. I had hit rock bottom when the industry I was in affected a relationship I was in. This was the end of my rope. I had loved and lost too many times and I lost all hope of recovering from this one. I prayed to God to show me a sign of His love and He did. He sent a someone into my path to tell me that He loved me. It was the sign I had been waiting for and I felt the love He showed me in my early childhood come rushing back. I knew Him when I was 11 years old but thought He had deserted me.
When He came to rescue me I left everything behind. I just picked up my cross and followed Him. I am in the 5th year of my recovery now and my world has been just been turned around for the better in every possible way. I no longer seek love in unhealthy ways. Those days have been put to rest. My heart has been filled with the purest, richest and truest love. The love of a Father who will never leave or forsake me.
I give all the glory to God for saving my life and rescuing me from the hopeless, fearful woman I was. I praise Him for saving and restoring me! I no longer have a desire to feel hurt or pain. All the shame I felt is gone. He has washed me clean and forgiven my sins. I have no reason to be ashamed anymore. He has healed my wounded heart. He has washed me clean. I know what it’s like to feel real, genuine true love. He has brought me home and it feels so good. I am finally known…for the woman I really am.