by Linda Pittman
“I’m damaged for life”
“My life is ruined”
“I can’t forgive myself”
“No one could ever love me”
Statements without hope. I used to believe those things, once upon a time.
I wanted to hope for a better life, but getting to that better life seemed impossible. I hated my life full of misery. Every relationship was a nightmare and I felt like I was ruined forever. I hated my body, I felt isolated inside as if I could never let anyone get all the way to my heart. I had a constant yearning for what I had lost as a child and no way to get it back. I was needy, so needy it scared me. I didn’t have a clue on how to get there from where I was.
But then I listened. When I listened to other abuse survivors’ stories of their suffering and how they came through, it give me the hope that I too could get better—that I wasn’t sentenced to a life of damage, pain and longing for that something I could not even name.
That little bit of hope was like a seed that was planted in my spirit. Each new survivor who came forward brought food for my little seed. A famous celebrity, a beauty queen, a famous writer—they began to share their stories with the world, one by one. In sharing their stories, sometimes I could relate, sometimes I couldn’t, but they nourished me.
The hope grew so big I couldn’t keep it in any longer. I told my story. First I sent it out like little tentacles, feeling, searching to see if it was safe to risk keeping it out there. When others believed me, my hope grew larger. I found myself in the midst of many others searching and tentatively testing their hope. I was not alone, there were so many like me. I was astounded at their numbers! I actually belonged somewhere. We were like a secret group of gardeners, sharing our gardening tips and tools.
I have been busy tending this garden. My hope has grown into a beautiful and breathtaking flower—its petals formed with each secret shared. It is a unique creation unlike any other flower.
My gardening friends and I are not hopelessly damaged; we are creators of beauty in a world that was once barren. Now, we’re the scatterers of seeds from our beautiful flowers to start new little buds in others. Just like what has been done for us.
My Fight for Life is Fueled by Hope
Having experienced healing from sexual, physical and verbal abuse, Linda Pittman has found joy in encouraging others in their healing journey and tells people that it’s never too late to start. She’s been married to her husband for twenty-one years and has four adult children.
Does this resonate with you? Please join in by leaving your thoughts and feelings about this topic and don’t forget to subscribe to the comments.