Reflections On A Former Life
“Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God, who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51: 14-17
In February 1999 I had my first PTSD episode. Waves upon crashing waves of horrible traumatic flashbacks of being brutally raped by my very own father flooded and overtook my entire being. I was lost in my childhood past and I could find no route of escape. Then when I thought I was fighting back against my abuser, I was in reality fighting off my wife and two of my best friends who were just trying to help and comfort me. Then in the aftermath I had to try and deal with the guilt of punching my wife and nearly choking to death two dear friends as I lifted them off the ground and pinned them to the wall by their throats.
Episodes like this frequently invaded my life until I started having some breakthroughs in late 2011. However, by then it was much too late to save my marriage of 30 years. I don’t blame my ex-wife. She hung in there for a good long time, but in the end how do you stay with someone who actually threatened your life several times because of his mental illness? When I was lost in the flashbacks it put me into severe survival mode. All things became very base and primal and all I knew to do was to try and fight off the abuser; who in reality was only in my mind. My life was reduced to continual shame, guilt, sorrow, numerous suicide attempts and fits of pure rage towards whoever dare step before me. In my mind I was six year old Christopher fighting off his dad and other abusers. However, in real life I was a 45 year old 6 foot tall and wide Christopher who weighed over 325 pounds, fighting off everyone who tried to love him. In the end I scared everyone away, except Jesus. And by the grace of God alone my children were always kept safe and loved.
In the quiet times Jesus always came to me; offering me total forgiveness and healing…reminding me of who I was in Christ, in spite of my affliction. I spent most of the past 17 years in seclusion, hiding in my room for the safety and welfare of myself and others. Jesus never gave up on me though..He always showed up in my lucid moments and told me I would make it through the deep dark pit to total freedom and healing on the other side.
So here I am now right smack dab in the middle of a miraculous healing. PTSD left a wide damage path behind me, but I am happy to report that practically all my relationships have been restored to a place better than they were pre-1999. All things in the right time I guess? I still would not trade the brokenness of the last 17 years for anything else. Jesus was with me through the long dark storm and I am now closer to Him than I ever have been. In my brokenness I have become a much better person. I am no longer angry, immature, and selfish to the extent I was before. Christ has done a complete rework in my heart and mind and today I am truly free in Him like never before. I now know the great depth of His grace, mercy and love. As I sit here I am now reminded that the very first thing love is…is patient. I know firsthand that Jesus will never leave or forsake us; no matter what we ever say or do. For a few years there I was little more than a large, frightened, fierce animal, but today I am once again a child of The King and brother to all. I have discovered that in Christ we lack nothing and whatever you think you may lack Jesus will make up that difference.
Kirk Out !
P.s. I know I have shared this post here a few years ago, but I just felt that someone else out there needed to hear this story of true redemption and healing today. Jesus has afforded me a chance to start my life over again post PTSD. For the first time since 1999 I now have potential romance in my life and just perhaps a grand opportunity to spend the rest of my life with someone who loves and accepts me as I am; warts, blemishes and all. Even if that is not the case I know now that I can be content and blessed being single the rest of my life. Because of Jesus my story has a chance at a very happy ending. I now know that it is NEVER too late for ANY of us to be blessed beyond our wildest dreams by Christ. If you are struggling please do not give up. Jesus is the Lord of second, third and fourth chances and more. Our God is all about healing and redemption. HE will meet you right where you are and mend whatever needs to be restored. Trust Him? I did and that made all the difference in the world.