God and Sexual Assault

Taking Time to Grieve

The hurt and tears.

Right now I feel depleted. I don’t really feel like writing, but I feel I am supposed to. I’m not sure where this will lead, but I’m trusting God to speak through the words.

Yesterday I had an encounter that really shook me. Well, let me back up. I have been wanting to start volunteering again at an elementary school to work with children. I really miss teaching.

I’ve mentioned before that no matter where I go in this community I face my past. Well, yesterday I came literally face to face with it. After discussing with a principal whom I used to teach with that I would like to volunteer at her school and filling out the required paperwork I was asked to go to a brief orientation for volunteers.

It crossed my mind a few times that I might run into my former principal. The one I worked with when the district fired me because I had to go on disability. When I lost the job I had dreamed about and worked for my entire life. The job I had a Master’s degree in. But the chances of running into her I felt were slim because though she’d moved to the main office building what reason would I have to run into her?

So I was slightly anxious just to go out to a meeting as social interactions still do that to me – part of PTSD as most of us know. I made my way down the hall to the meeting room and when I got there I opened the door and came face to face with my former principal. It took me back almost 9 years to that day, March 10, 2010, when I had to hand her my keys in the hallway at my school – former school – and leave. Where I was given a keychain as a parting gift after almost 11 years of teaching. Talk about a kick in the gut.

Losing my job was one of the huge losses from remembering my sexual abuse and rapes. As if enduring years of them wasn’t enough. I honestly thought I had grieved my job and the loss until yesterday. I was as cordial as possible and made it through the meeting, barely and left. Breaking down in my car afterwards ending up at a friend’s house who let me talk it through.

There is so much for us to grieve. We need to allow ourselves to do it. Grieve the innocence lost to the abuse and rapes, the childhoods, the family’s we thought we had, and for some of us the ones we wanted to have and because of recovery lost as well. To the other losses such as being able to work; our jobs, functioning in daily life, financial security. Friends we thought were friends who left. So much loss.

Allowing ourselves to grieve is needed. Cry. Scream. Write. Talk to your therapist or someone who you trust will understand. Don’t stuff it down. Let it out.

Above all trust God with it. He more than anyone understands what we have lost because of our trauma. He understands the hurt and tears. The pain.

So today as I’m home alone I’m still grieving. In self-pity at first even as I began writing this. However, now I’m asking God for the strength to continue through this day; this journey. To walk me through more of the grief, and continue to help me heal. I pray you can do the same.

© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.

2 comments on “Taking Time to Grieve

  1. Hello, Susan. I am really sorry that you are feeling so depleted right now. This is a really brave thing to post about. I hope you give yourself the time you need to grieve and heal <3

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