“My body keeps failing me. I feel like I have no control over my body anymore,” I shared with a friend.
Since I’ve been diagnosed with epilepsy in the last year, I’ve struggled understanding my emotional response to my body, to my mind’s failure to me.
My last post was almost two months ago because I felt disconnected and fearful.
Who knew that it was going to take watching the fifth Planned Parenthood edited video to help me understand what has been going on within me.
Before I go any further, I must explain something upfront. I am not going to discuss abortion processes or my opinion on it. That’s a blog for another day.
Also, I am not going to go into graphic descriptions of the abortion process, rather I will address the bodily fragmentation felt shamefully after sexual abuse.
My last seizure happened the Sunday after my last blog post, and I was scheduled to begin writing within the next couple hours. Instead, I lost consciousness and was sent to the emergency room because of how long it took me to respond to the life around me.
The following weeks I wept and couldn’t understand the depth of my shame that I was experiencing for having another seizure.
Clearly, I had no control over my body.
Last week I allowed myself to watch the fifth video, exposing Planned Parenthood’s manner of selling baby parts for profit.
Before then, I had been protecting myself, wanting to live in denial that boundless profit could be made from parts of pieces of a baby.
My eyes watched the minutes go by, dry, shocked, and unflinching. That’s until I saw the remains.
The disjointed bodies.
That’s when it clicked. That’s when I wept.
Yes, I was looking death’s work before me–death’s irrevocable work right before my eyes.
Clearly those lives had no control over their bodies.
As sexual abuse survivors, you may have felt a twinge of identification with those images, too, but couldn’t quite put your finger on the ‘why.’ In our lives, our bodies, at some point, were viewed in part, not the whole.
Maybe someone even profited from the desecration of your body.
Thinking of my latest epileptic episode, I realized this disease–much like my perpetrators from long ago–took control of me, violated my body, and left me emotionally numb.
It’s not the same, mind you. Yet, it helped me connect the new disgust rising up within me toward my own body, my own brain.
Sharing this connection with another survivor, she reminded me of something she discovered through her healing journey on the subject of shame.
“Well, that makes sense to me. Don’t you remember when I was working through how I really felt about my body, and I chose to draw my thoughts instead of writing them?!” she returned with great passion.
The healing subject at the time was shame toward a survivor’s body.
“Remember how I drew a leg here, an arm there, my torso in another place–all surrounding my head?” she reminded me.
Yes. Yes. How could I have forgotten?
The horror on the face: sketched with heavy dark pencils, shadowed everywhere, agitated even further by a creamy, soothe background.
Each part of her body scattered across the page like volcanic matter spewing upward and outward upon one of the most beautiful canvases of all time: creation.
Like my friend, many abuse survivors have similar responses.
Some hate certain parts of their body. Or all of it.
Some think they’re ugly. Or fat. Or disgusting.
Some survivors only see themselves in light of their genitalia. I’m significant because I have breasts; I’m toned and fit; I’m sexy, and I get a lot of attention; I know how to use my body to get what I want.
Some survivors do anything and everything to hide or blend in to the crowd, creating a form of invisibility.
In fact, some even try to get fat in order to prevent their perpetrator–or anyone for that matter–from seeing them as attractive.
Holding onto these false, twisted, and unloving perceptions of our bodies does not honor the God we serve.
If, indeed, you have heard of the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, then contempt for our bodies is contrary to the truth.
Let me explain.
The truth is, God not only knows all of our thoughts, but also He formed each of our body pieces and formed them together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13).
The truth is, our bodies–each of our bodies and each part–was fearfully and wonderfully made. Period.
The word ‘fearfully’ there means stupendous and admirable: not anxiousness, apprehensiveness, or dread.
The truth is, God desires unity. Unity is one common theme seen throughout Scripture.
God, since the beginning of time, has desired for His people to be unified with Him. To be unified with the body of Christ, that is the church. And to be unified in our marital relationships.
As a result of the trauma we experienced during the abuse, we, most likely, have dismembered our body in the way we look at it. God in His goodness wants to heal our hearts, our minds, our bodies, and our perceptions of our body.
I’m learning how to love my body as a whole, including my mind.
With all my heart, I know that one day the epilepsy will be no more, and connectivity will exist been mind and body.
With all my heart, I know that each aborted baby will have a whole and complete body in heaven.
With all my heart, I know that each of us as survivors will also have new bodies that will never again feel dirty, ugly, fat, disgusting, or numb.
We’ll walk those streets of gold with an unspeakable joy, shouting with gladness the praises of our Savior and King, our Eternal Healer.
Until then, if we place our disjointed bodies before the Lord in prayer, He will be faithful to us.
He will tenderly draw us together to make us new.
And whole again.
What’s your next step?
Go look in the mirror and look at yourself. What do you see? A wonderfully made person? Or a less-than-satisfactory, despicable body? While looking in the mirror, say this out loud, “I am significant. My body is magnificent. I am wonderfully made.” Try repeating this multiple times a day. Pray through it. See how God will meet you in connecting you with your body.