Saturday, May 24, 2014

Shoulders Back, Head Held High

I got a wonderful Mother's Day surprise this year... and it was a surprise to my husband and kids too!  While I was greeted with the typical breakfast in bed in the morning and given a card made at school as well as a purse, my real gift... the one that meant the most to me was time.  The time I was given has resulted in a MAJOR change in how I feel about myself.  Let me explain.

Ryan purchased me an ebook about a month ago.  He gave it to me so I could escape into a fictional world that was not of my own building.  He hoped I would read it on vacation in Florida, but that vacation really wasn't conducive to reading.  The Friday night of Mother's Day weekend Ryan asked me if I had started the book yet, and that reminded me I had it so I went ahead and started it before heading to bed.   Quickly, I was immersed in another world... one that wooed me in a very surprising way.

It was a love story... okay maybe not love at first... a lust story with two very powerful main characters with lots of issues.  A few pages into it I read something that totally shocked me and looked over at my husband saying, "What did you buy me???"  His eyes got big as he replied. "I don't know, I read a review and it sounded like you might like it. Why?"  I proceeded to read the part that shocked me aloud to him and he was shocked as well and quickly apologized for getting me this book.

I am a survivor of a sexual trauma and because of this I am very "delicate" when it comes to things that are sexual in nature.  Not long ago I would have closed the book in disgust and then spent the next few days fighting an internal battle of anxiety and repulsion because of the story's raw sexuality and the extremely crude way it explained things.  But for a reason, unknown to me at the time... I was able to keep reading without a problem.  I was shocked.

Quickly, the full plot of the story came into view.  It was about a man and a women, both survivors of sexual trauma (molestation and rape),  and how they had to work through their personal issues with their past in order to be able to truly love each other.  It was a very interesting, passionate, well written piece of fiction that I recognized as being done by an author who either had experienced sexual trauma herself or did a tremendous amount of research to be able to write it's aftermath so correctly and vividly.  I finished the book by Saturday afternoon, unable to put it down and I discovered that the story was actually a trilogy.  Ryan purchased the second ebook for me immediately and I dove in right away.

Book two was a hard read for me as it dealt with the specifics of the sexual traumas as well as the characters realizing how broken they were and how much work it would take to fix it.  I spent nearly all day Mother's Day reading.  The story nearly ripped my heart out as I read... feeling all of the emotions they felt because I had been there and in some ways... realized I was still there.  I don't think I cried, but I hurt and by the end of the book things were very unresolved and I felt sick to my stomach.  I was glad there was a third book because I needed to feel better... and I felt stuck in a bad place.  The book had me remembering some of my past habits that I have worked so hard to break free from... and it had a part of me desiring to go back there and be like that again.  I prayed for God to protect me, and He did but it was a very uncomfortable feeling.  It brought forward a lot of memories I'd just assume forget and showed me some things I hadn't even realized before.  Ryan purchased book three for me Sunday night and I started it right away, hoping for resolve.

Book three was just what I needed.  Resolutions were found and things began to come together for them as a couple,  they beat the crap out of some of their demons and were actually happy.  Personally, I realized the reasons for some of my behaviors and had a cathartic moment over something I had no clue about. It was amazing.  The book ended very abruptly with a lot of open ends and missing info about other story lines - but it closed up the hole I needed closed and I felt total relief when I finished it.  There is supposed to be a fourth book, but it has yet to be released.  Personally, I'm not sure I NEED to read it as I was able to get what I needed out of it already - but I might read it just for fun.

So, I essentially read three books in three and a half days.   I was a woman obsessed.  I've never done that before!   Earlier I said that I was surprised I was able to continue reading, but was able to for a reason unknown to me.  Well, when I was done with all three and had time to think about the journey the books took me through... I understood exactly why I was able to read them.  God knew I would glean exactly what I had been searching and needing for years.  Even through years of therapy, pieces of me were still very broken as a result of the sexual trauma I endured but something about this story... the way it was written, the details it provided and the things it made me realize was extremely healing to my body, heart, soul and spirit.  So many light bulbs lit as I read.  So many things of my past finally made sense to me... I literally felt like a thousand pound weight was lifted off of me.  I fell to my knees while alone and cried like a baby... feeling the freedom I have longed for so deeply wash over me.  I felt blessed by God and so very grateful.

I have always had horrible posture, it's something I hate about myself and I have worked on before but usually give up because it seems I can't make myself stick with holding my shoulders back and my head up high.  I don't think it is a coincidence that since reading this series and achieving that freedom that I am holding my head up higher and my shoulder back farther naturally.  I just feel different.  I am no longer ashamed, I am no longer afraid, I am no longer looking in the mirror with a frown wishing I was something different, instead I feel a new confidence that I believe is exactly what God wants me to feel.  I feel good deep down in my heart and soul.  I feel pretty for the first time ever.  I feel proud of who God has made me into.  Those things were stolen from me a long time ago... but thanks to some very raw, rude fiction given to me by my husband, some time to obsessively read given to me by my family, some hefty guarding of my heart by God and my ability to accept the truth inside me... I got them back... it took 23 years but I got them back!!!  Shoulders back, head held high... I feel good.  Praise the Lord!

I'm sorry I have not said what the series is, if you want to know you can message me.  While I am totally grateful for the series and what it did for me, I don't feel right about passing it on to the average person for entertainment purposes.  I didn't feel it portrayed love and sex in a way that would be pleasing to God at all. In fact it was quite the opposite.  I was able to look beyond that because I have a very firm grip on what I believe God intended love and sex to be like.  For someone who doesn't, this story could be very destructive.  If you feel you need an experience like mine or just feel like you can handle it... PM me or leave your email address as a comment.  Your comment will not be published without my approval so I can just get your email and cancel your comment.  I will gladly share the titles with you.

Keep your shoulders back, your head held high and have a great Memorial Day weekend!!!

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