I have been abused, what do I do?

There are many different types of abuse. Mental, physical, spiritual are the 3 main categories.

Sometimes the person being abused is too young to be able to say anything and because they trusted the person they were with, did not realize what the abuse was.

At other times, the person feels helpless. They do not know what to do. They may love the abuser, they may feel violated and do not understand what to do when this happens.

Heavenly Father has never approved of any violation of any of his children in the past, in the present, or in the future.

As a matter of fact, until I realized these words were really true, I allowed abuse in my life: “I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father and I am to be treated that way.” At one time, I wrote these words on a board by the front door and changed who was either a daughter or a son for my children so that they understood that they were special people as well. This is very powerful and is very encouraging.

After realizing that I was being abused, I began to go back to the scriptures and praying to Heavenly Father to help me realize the extent of the abuse. I had no clue how bad it was until I was out of the situation. I had pictures that were taken of me during the abuse time of my life and then much later, I had other pictures of other events taken of me. I found that I had become an old woman. That I was a middle-aged, overweight, dumpy, did not care about life, woman. I had lost all personality and did only what needed to make it through the day. I took care of my family, but had no joy.

I found someone who would help me find who I was to be. She was a great counselor and also guided me to become one as well. She guided me almost daily because she also knew that I was a daughter of God and was willing to help me find my way to true happiness within myself. I do admit, I tried to go to my bishop for help, but at that time, he was not able to understand what my need was. This experience was totally alien to him and he had a difficult time supporting me. I realized this, was not angry with him, but did go find help where I really needed it.

Each day after realizing that I was abused, I began to see how it affected me. I began to realize that each thing that was told to me, each thing that was done to me, was false. I began to stand up for the very little things and change them. Then each of the bigger issues I began to stand up for. This progressed until I was able to stand up for myself again. The important part of this experience, was to blame no one, not the abuser, not the bishop, not my family, not my friends(or who I thought were my friends),not even myself. For when I blame, it creates more negative feelings and does not allow any healing to happen.

I realized at this time that I had a right to live. I had a right to be. I was an important person and should be treated as such. I can give love, I can receive it, but I had the choice to do so.

I also found that when I forgave my abuser, whether it mattered to them or not, it did to me. I also found that if I forgave someone, I did not need to allow them to continue the abuse. I had to stand up to them. I had to accept my feelings about them. I knew in my heart that I loved them, but that I had to let them go. They did not have the right to hurt me. This was a part that I had to learn on my own. No one had ever taught me this.

I had empowered myself! I look at the pictures that were taken later and I find that I look much younger, much happier, much more at peace! No one believes that I have teenage children. They really did believe that I am my children’s older sister. I act young, I feel young and I look young. This is just a side effect on my letting go. The main part of this is that I have loved and I have begun to love myself once again.

I know that with the support of the scriptures, the comfort of prayer, the knowledge that Heavenly Father really does love me and that I am not alone are all important keys to healing that which was taken from me.

I found that I have strength. That only I allow others to affect my feelings. I can love and it has taught me what true unconditional love really is.

Follow the councils of our leaders, they really do love us and wish the best for us. The hard part was, was that I was not receptive to their councils until much later. I did not even realize that they were really in tune with what may really be going on inside of my soul. I did not hear them. Try to listen to them. They do know us.