Thank you for coming by the “Stories of Healing” section of my website.
Over the years, I’ve read so many brave stories from people who are suffering and struggling to overcome their issues. I firmly believe we can all learn from one another and find comfort in sharing our journey. (You can read my own story of healing here.)
This is a special place where you can find unity, support and hope in the stories of others. You also have the opportunity to share your own story of pain and triumph with others who are looking for encouragement and healing. You’re invited to share your story up to this point, even if you don’t consider yourself “Fully Recovered.” After all, who does?.
Please feel free to contribute your own good ideas, perspective or even your own story as we create an online community filled with encouragement, mutual support and healing.
May your life overflow with love, joy and peace of mind, Wendy
Your Stories of Healing
Share Your Story
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“I just felt compelled to write you about your article. It was so truthful that I had to say “Bravo!” I’m a single mother. I have two children, one of whom is paralyzed by spinal bifida and my husband left shortly after his birth. My trials raising these two children all alone was unbelievable. Raising a child who is paralyzed and had to undergo 17 surgeries before the age of 6 nearly did me in. I had very little education and money and jobs were incredibly tough….Now I feel that leaving their abusive father was still the best thing I could have done for them, in spite of the poverty and shame we have had to endure…I’m proud to say both my children…are finishing college…my daughter is graduating with honors…Bravo for finally speaking the truth.”
Dear Wendy, Where to start. At the age of 8 yrs old I was sexually, mentally and physically abused by my father for 22 yrs. I meant a man who I thought Loved me, But didn’t. we had a son together. Eight months into the marriage we divorced. He meant another woman. I raised my son on my own for 2 yrs. Till I meant my second husband. We were married for 15 yrs. Divorced as he found someone else. My third marriage I knew this man for sometime before we got married. Which ended as well. Last July 1st weekend I was Brutally sexually assaulted by a guy I was dating off and on.. He is up on charges. I am still in the pre trial stages. My father passed away in 2009. He died a horrible death. I forgave him for what he did to me years ago. But since my fathers death I have not spoken or heard from my mother. And her and I were close. I have not heard or talked to my 2 brothers or 2 sisters in 3 yrs. I have no family , just my son. I have no home, I rent a room where my son lives at. He rents a room as well. I cannot afford a apt. of my on as I am on a disability pension. Not a lot of money to live on.
I think my point in telling you all this is this, If I can survive so much in my short 51 yrs of life, with next to no help form anyone, I think we are strong women.
Only the strong can survive..
My name is Sheri and I am woman, Hear me roar.
I am 45 years of age and I have become an adult orphan. My mother suffered through cancer and I saw her during her hospice care at home shortly before she passed in Mar 2007. My Grandmother lived a good long life but, passed suddenly in her sleep July 2014. My father passed away Mar 2015. A childhood friend that introduced me to my fiancee passed away April 2015. The most painful of all of this loss was finding out my father committed suicide. The pain is nothing like I have ever felt before but, once I received some answers as to what was going on with him I have started to understand. My father had been diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer after already battling with other health issues for quite some time. I wouldn’t want to see my father suffer for the sake of having a him a little while longer. When I am very sad or somber I soak in a hot bath while burning candles, incense and playing peaceful or healing music. I do my best to focus on the wonderful memories I have and be thankful I have those instead of being sad there wont be more.
I have no story of healing. Well, maybe I am healing very slowly. He came into my life as a caring friend when I was going through a very rough period. He was compassionate and supportive but would disappear whenever I actually leaned on him. He would tell me we were just friends but then ask me for financial and sexual favours and I, thinking that he’d change hia view of me, would oblige. He would periodically disappear from my life very suddenly and just neglect to talk to me or completely forget I exist. It came to a point where I was planning to commit suicide. By then he had taken thousands of pounds in financial favours and still assure me cheekily that he feels absolutely nothing for me. I am still in contact with him. Maybe I still hope that he will love me. We meet only when it’s convenient for him or when it’s an occasion that I give him gifts. Otherwise he’s online all day long and doesn’t even acknowledge me. I feel very hurt and angry. I don’t know what to do!
Dear Wendy and fellow survivors, I so need to “share my story” with you but, having read your warning below the “Your Story of Healing” and underneath “Want to include a photo?” just underneath the bit in blue italics about agreeing to your “Terms and Conditions”, am literally terrified someone will be able to identify me. I don’t know where to begin, there’s so much. I think, for safety, will just explain ‘where am at’ now. Am now disabled due to numerous violent assaults, most specifically the attacks were on my back, which triggered a chronic, disabling, agonising, neurological illness called Fibromyalgia Syndrome. The traumatic experiences have suffered in the past also triggered the chronic and very distressing mental/psychological illness complexPost Traumatic Stress Disorder in me. i have been on a 3yrs 5months and 3days waiting list for desperately needed psychotherapy which I am hoping will somehow help me in coming to terms with the disabling, very painful, exhausting and life-changing/limiting effects of both illnesses. I am also an adult survivor of child sexual abuse (as well as emotional, mental, physical abuse, in actual fact it was abuse on every level possible) It started when I was four years old (only months after my father suddenly died) and ended when i was aged ten yrs old (when menstruation prematurely began). When I was in mid-twenties another traumatic dreadful thing happened when I was seriously physically assaulted and raped, the police released the perpetrators so, therefore, they were never brought to justice. I cannot, no matter how hard I try, get closure or any semblance of ‘peace of mind’ about this or the ensuing domestic violence i went on to suffer after the previous attacks. I constantly live in fear, am hypervigilant 24/7, have uncontrollable vivid, terrifying, horror-filled flashbacks which means i relive the every sickening detail of all the attacks over and over again, nightmares when I wake myself up screaming (my poor neighbours!!). i have deep and crushing and despairing depression, off the scale anxiety and daily panic attacks, am an insomniac, i use self-harming as a way of coping with my out of control pain and the horrendous memories.. I have very high blood pressure, and several other chronic medical illnesses other than severe fibromyalgia syndrome and M.E. Have become so disabled that am now housebound, apart from venturing out for important appointments with GP or at the main large hospital some 35 miles away. I am divorced twice over and have two wonderful sons, one from each failed marriage. Amazingly, they are growing into well-balanced, successful, intelligent, compassionate, mentally strong lovely young men (sorry am biased here!: I am so very proud of them both in equal measures) m I honestly don’t know how they have each become such wonderful people with a mother like me. I am sure have failed them as a, financially very challenged, single parent and latterly a Mum who has gradually become more and more disabled and ill. I don’t know who to turn to for help, understanding of my personally very complex mental and physical illnesses, for advice, treatment/therapy. As mentioned, am on a long, long waiting list for some form of psychotherapy to enable me to cope with the cPTSD. I feel as though every day am in ‘crisis’ psychologically. The physical ill-health problems I have impact so very heavily and painfully on my mental and emotional ill-health and visa versa. UK drs don’t seem to have an understanding of cPTSD, FMS,M.E and are reluctant to treat me. I am never violent, always polite and courteous to them, but for some reason they are unwilling to help me, offer me therapies/treatments or refer me to the appropriate consultants. I do not know why they are so unwilling to treat me. I live alone so never have anyone with me during gp consultations. Our health system is in crisis here, but as a patient so am i!!! Really don’t know what to do, who to turn to. It was so lovely when Wendy’s message popped up on the screen today, thank you Wendy. Please accept my sincerest condolences for your devastating and tragic loss of your two beautiful children Wendy. You are truly a very special person indeed to be helping others after everything you have been through and will always go through as a loving Mum. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART Wendy. My deepest appreciation to you also for taking the time to read this message to you and your Team. Namaste’
Be Still, My Heart
“Dear Julia . . . there is no easy way to tell you this . . .”
On July 3rd, I learn of my friend’s suicide
The savage truth delivers a violent punch to my heart
and fractures my core
For others, the days ahead bring fireworks, art fairs, and festivities . . . even The Rolling Stones
but I’m here still trying to get up off the floor
Reality comes in waves now; acid waves which leave me breathless
I can’t talk about it yet, or say his name aloud, or share his wonderfulness with you
but I know that soon the grieving will begin and it will be better than this
In a single moment everything can change
your perspective . . . your world . . . even the person you are
To the muffled backdrop of exploding fireworks, I weep
for his pain
and my loss
and the tremendous tragedy of it all
It didn’t have to be
This life . . .
is magnificent and beautiful
yet fragile, tentative, and temporary
and ever so bittersweet.
I really don’t know where to begin, but I just have to start somewhere I guess. On October 14th, 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I underwent two surgeries over a period of 10 months and radiation. It is a frightening, life-altering experience to have cancer, but I received counseling throughout and was very determined to come out the other side for the sake of my daughter, my husband and my own well-being. As I was finally beginning to feel good again, in April of this year, 2015, my beloved mother died unexpectedly after a brief illness. One month later we had to put her dog down. He had been part of our family for 19 years. Now we are in the process of selling my childhood home and the feelings of loss are unbearable. My father died almost 14 years ago. I found him dead in a pool of blood. He died of a heart attack, but the trauma of finding him like that haunts me to this day. It just feels like so much loss over such a short period of time. I have tremendous support from my husband, but he can only do so much. The grief is suffocating. I feel completely alone without both parents, and losing their home means losing my childhood, my safe place. I journal a lot and I’m trying to find things every day to be grateful for instead of spending each moment filled with torment and self-pity, but it’s never easy.
I am the Proud Parent of a Mentally Ill Daughter
The most memorable moments of Becky as a teenager were in emergency rooms, in the principal’s office, or in the waiting room of a therapist. We fought her unnamed demons for years, unclear if any of the therapies or medicines were doing any good at all.
She dis not graduate high school, but her brilliance in testing got her into an open enrollment college. At the end of her freshman year in college she had been living on her own for six months. She had not found a job, she had borrowed our car but rarely came to class. Her roommates described her as sleeping most of the time. In April of that year she came home one afternoon and asked is she could talk to me.
“Dad, …I don’t have anything to live for…I need help…I need to stand on my own..” There were no tears, just a realistic, bleak description of where she was in her miserable life.
We sat in our living room with no place to go. No solutions. For seven years we had tried. We have tried all combinations of depression drugs. We had tried all doctors. We had tried everything.
In my religious tradition on rare occasions when divine guidance is needed a father can offer a special prayer. We prayed, eyes filed with fear and tears, even anger. And then I uttered the words that I will never forget.
“Becky, this will be the best year of your life. I promise.”
I will never forget the look she had on her face. It was a combination of surprise, anger and hope. Surprise that I would say such a bold thing. Anger that I might be wrong. Hope that I might be right.
That day we decided to start over. We decided to find a new doctor and check to see if there were physical issues aggravating the depression. Since our family doctor had become to be seem and “part of the problem,” we picked a doctor our of the phone book and made an appointment.
A few days later Mother, Father and daughter entered the office of Dr. Darrell Stacey, a family practitioner who happened to worked a lot with patients suffering from mental illness. After a complete exam we went in together for the consultation. It began with a familiar set of questions.
“Have you tried this drug.”
“Did it help?”
“Did you try it in combination with that drug?”
“Did it help.”
Finally he came upon a drug combination she had not tried.
“Can you try this for three weeks and see if it helps?”
“Doctor, I have not got three weeks.”
Silence. We knew what she meant.
Then the doctor said words that I had been waiting to hear for seven years; words that made him an instant family hero; words that changed our lives.
“Come back tomorrow. Call me on my cell.” He produced his card and wrote his cell number.
“We will beat this together Becky. We can do this together.”
Becky did not go back the next day, but she did go back the next week for blood tests and talk. Later she tried the recommended drug combination and got a bad result. After about six weeks Dr. Stacy called her with news.
“Becky, you have been treating depression for seven years, but you are bipolar and many of the drug combinations we have been using on you made it worse not better. In addition, you are hypoglycemic, which means that an empty stomach will have a devastating impact on your moods.”
That was ten years ago. The worst year of Becky’s life became here best, with better ones since. She found a wonderful job, reentered school, and she fell in love and was engaged to be married. He wonderful husband understands her illness and is her partner in helping her stay healthy. They are now the parents of three children.
“Dad, I now know what it is like to be happy.”
She still struggles, but there are more good days than bad.
I’m a single mother of two children. I have been in an on and off relationship with my children’s father since 2004. The relationship had it’s up and downs and I wanted my children to have a two parent home. During October 2014 we decided to make the relationship work. At the time I was full time case manager with an agency while being in graduate school full time. During that the my children’s father thought it will be better for me to stop working since he had a better job to support the family. When i started school full time my relationship went sideway. We were arguing more and he became physical toward me where I had to actually fight him before going to school. It was to the point were I was going to school with blood on my clothes and putting on a happy face. Of course he apologized for his behavior and thought we should get married. During February 2015 he proposed and of course i said yes thinking all the bad things will change. Skipping to June 2015. That was the worst day of my life. I found out he was cheating on me and he was in an altercation that lead to me being physically harmed by how him. I remembered getting dressed as usual and taking the kids to summer camp and daycare. My left eye was bruised and my left eye area was swollen. I went to get a restraining order. Later that day i received a knock on the door and it was the child protective investigator and police. At that time i froze. Since i had requested a restraining they had to investigate the case. Since having a restraining order against my children’s father he has not been helping out financial with them. I working full time and taking care of my children. I moved two hours away to take a better job. The case went to trial and he was found not guilty. At that time i felt that he got away with the abuse and he felt that he wasn’t going to help with the children. My children father was texting me putting me down as a person and saying how he got away with it. I’m finally starting the process of child support and visitation. I feel that I can’t breathe at times and I try to push everything i feel away to keep going . It seems that i don’t feel and emotions when it come to myself. I laughed with my kids and coworkers but that’s not me being truly happy it’s just a face i put on. I just want to be truly happy and have peace and joy with my children.
When I was a teenager my father died very suddenly in a horrific car accident. I was the last person to see him alive. He always hugged me and told me that he loved me…being a teenager, I kind of thought that that was “Un-cool.” Then suddenly he was gone and life stopped and my family spiraled into unwelcomed changes. I couldn’t sleep at night, and each day I felt like I was being hit with wave after wave of pain and grief.
At the peak of my grief, my father appeared to me in a dream. He stood at the foot of my bed, his face was peaceful and he had a glow or an aura about him. He smiled and told me that everything was going to be ok. I’ve missed him and thought often of him over the years. The times I’ve missed him the most were when something significant was happening in my life: When I graduated from high school, then college, then marriage, and the birth of my own children my birthday, his birthday. But somehow that dream always stayed with me. Is there life after death? Who among the living knows for sure? Was it some type of mental coping mechanism my brain invented? Who knows?
What I have learned from my father’s death: life is real; life is precious and everyday matters! I try to remember to not let insignificant problems come between me and the people I love, my wife, my children and other family and dear friends…and compared to life, most of the problems I deal with are insignificant. All that I can do is love the people I love…today…there are no guarantees for tomorrow. When I part with a family member or a dear friend – the last words they hear me say (if I’m blessed to see them again) are “I love you.”
Thank you for bravely sharing your story, Wendy on HuffPo “I Was Sexually Harassed By A Christian Fundamentalist Minister“.
I was raised in the same church and at age 14 was pursued by and started “secretly” dating an 18 year old young man from the local congregation. At the time my immature brain was hugely flattered and didn’t think it was at all strange that I was the only girl in 9th grade whose boyfriend picked her up in his car after school. After a year and a half of sneaking around I got turned in to our local pastor, who then went to my parents and I suffered much the same humiliation, punishment, and overall degredation that you did with questions about what happened, where and how often…which was mostly me saying “No” to his “But we’re going to get married anyway!” advances. He was quickly shipped off to school in another state and I was left to suffer the embarassment alone in our rather small local congregation.
Just like you, after 2 years, evidently I had atoned sufficiently to be sent to the church summer camp for brainwashing and eventually was accepted to “God’s College”. Thankfully I met my amazing husband there, we married (way too young) and are still happy together after leaving the cult together over 20 years ago. I had an experience recently that can only be described as PTSD after finding out my “boyfriend” went on to become a pastor in one of the cult’s splinter groups.
Out of curiosity I watched part of a video of a sermon he gave and I was flooded with feelings of guilt, and shame, and embarassment…and then, something else bubbled up after all these years. Anger. Pure, unadulterated anger. As a mother of a daughter myself I was finally able to understand that I was a VICTIM of a PREDATOR…and a predatory religious system that valued his worth above mine…that blamed ME for the sin MORE than him. That held young females to a higher standard than young males.
I’d been carrying the burden of my “sin” most of my life like a scarlet letter and suddenly it fell away and I was PISSED! I was angry at him, at the church, at my parents, at his parents, at my friends, at the church members, at the pastor, at everyone that was supposed to protect ME! I did some research and found that in some states, our relationship amounted to statutory rape, even though we weren’t having sex. And on top of it all to see him standing behind an elevated pulpit, preaching to the sheeple still following that grotesque way of life was almost more than I could bear.
Over time I learned to forgive myself and move on…but it’s not been easy. I know it wasn’t easy for you to share your story, so I wanted to support you and hopefully find my own bravery in sharing mine. I was a child and what happened to me wasn’t right. What happened to you wasn’t right. The more we hide in the shadows, the more likelihood it can/will continue. Thank you again for sharing your story.
Stop Hurting and Start Healing
What to Do When Bad Things Happen to You
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