Freedom is a word that keeps coming up in my life. It has been especially present the last three or four years. I keep moving closer and closer to it and with each step, I cast away more of my chains. With the most painful struggles have come the greatest rewards. My whole body has been buzzing with anxiety and it is unrelenting. I have not been sleeping and at times tears well up in my eyes for no real specific reason. I have restarted my EFT routine in hopes of being able to cope better. Why is all of this happening? I believe it is a result of all of the emotions being stirred up due to EMDR. I can feel the EMDR purging the deepest parts of my trauma and with that comes an amazing sense of freedom. I can feel those memories moving from an ever present pain to a distant sadness. That’s progress. EMDR has forced me to look at some things with a clarity that is so raw and bright. It is impossible to continue to lie to myself or not see the evil of others for exactly what it is. Along with this comes some greiving. When you lie to yourself about people and their intentions and you finally see the truth you then have to grieve what you thought your relationship to those people was. For example, I am finally starting to let go of some very deeply held shame and blame. These feelings were so hidden and a part of who I am that I did not realize I still held them. On a logical level, you can know something in your mind but your heart might tell a different story. Once you let go of the lies you’ve been telling yourself the truth can be shocking. My truth is that I was a little girl just trying to make it in a harsh world. I was not to blame in any way for what happened to me or for how I was treated by certain people. All the shame that was heaped on me was not mine to take responsibility for. It might surprise you to know that in the still of the night my inner voice would question, “Did I do something to cause these things to happen to me?” “These people cannot be as bad as I think they are.” Now I know and can say in my most full-throated voice than none of what happened to me was my fault. The magic of this is that I really feel it in my bones for the first time.
Some of the truths I’ve had to face are kind of brutal. There are some things that happened to me during my childhood that are too dark for me to give breath to here. Sometimes abuse happens and on the surface, it doesn’t look like abuse. It might feel off and you might question for decades if it was abuse or if you should just cut that person some slack. Maybe they didn’t know better or maybe they had some mental illness that made them behave a certain way. The part of you that loves them wants to protect them from the things they’ve done. Once you’ve seen them clearly and you allow light to be shone onto the things they’ve done you cannot unsee what is right in front of your eyes. Then you have a choice to make. Love yourself and set yourself free or continue to try to unsee the truth and protect those who hurt you. I’m choosing to love myself but it comes with a cost. The cost is letting go of old beliefs and feeling the pain of the reality of the situation. Right now I feel the pain every day but I know it will lessen over time. The other side of the coin is knowing that I did not, could not cause all of that to happen. I was just a child.
I know that some of you will say, “I still have friends at Calvary Gospel” or “There are still good folks there.” You are free to believe however you wish but from where I stand I do not see how that is possible. Sure years ago when maybe some people really didn’t know what was going on, although I don’t know how they could not see what was right in their faces. The information regarding how many young girls and others were abused has been out and available for a couple of years now. If they still attend they are choosing to support a church that covers up crimes and fosters an abusive environment. I cannot support anyone who turns a blind eye to the truth of what that church is. I cannot lie to myself and say that any of those people are or could be a friend to me. If you know, and they do, that these awful crimes have been committed and you still support Calvary Gospel then you are complicit. These people who still attend CGC are supporting racism, classism, misogyny, child abuse, and the Grants who have been a party to a multitude of sins. Saying this out loud is like breaking the final link in a chain of pain tying me to CGC. There was a time when I felt sorry for the congregation and maybe even wanted to save them in a way from the UPCI. I get the brainwashing and control and how hard it is to break free, but then I wonder how do the Grants still have a church, how are people still attending? Especially after everything with Glen Uselmann being out in the press. I believe that if they are still there it is because they want to be. This may sound harsh and it was my feelings of guilt and shame, which CGC gifted me with, which has caused me to worry about what others might think of my feelings.
I know that we are all on different parts of our journey and I do not expect everyone to agree with me. If you cannot agree with me I hope you can at least rejoice with me in my freedom. I hope that you will also understand that I no longer intend to soft-peddle my opinions about the Grants, my parents, or anyone else who abused me or watched while I was being abused and did nothing. My goal is to heal and that means getting really real.