Cathy (Stories)

I was raised by 2 missing parents, as my mother took care of my physical needs only. I was emotionally abused and abandoned by both. My mother was critical, judgmental, and her eyes would reveal the anger that was trapped inside, but she rarely showed this anger. When she did, she threw darts with her words. It was always short and quick, but those darts were thrown straight for the heart and she was an excellent shot.

I was born with the job of making my parents happy. Everything was all about them because their mental illness caused them to play the role of the child. Appropriate displays of emotion were not received well by my mother because it made her uncomfortable. She told me many times that she couldn’t cry. When I expressed my hurt feelings, there was no comfort – just blame. My parents never thought of me first or the consequences that I would have to face because of their decisions. They were more important in their eyes. In order to receive their love, I had to fit their form, therefore, I never learned what unconditional love looked like.

One of my earliest memories was when I was 5 years old. I became sick and the doctor gave me penicillin. The shots gave me hives, and when I took the liquid form it always came right back up. Instead of calling the doctor, my parents forced me to take it. My mom would come with a spoonful of medicine in one hand and give me the pan to hold to throw up in. Of course, I didn’t want to take it, so I would cry. Because this display of emotion made her mad, she and my dad would gang up on me. My dad would go put his jacket on and threaten to take me to the hospital. That really scared me, so I took the medicine.

These kind of things went on all my life. At 17, I got saved and started going to a different church. My mother felt threatened any time I started showing independence. Shortly thereafter she told me that she didn’t love me as much as she used to. Later, she denied that she would ever say anything like that. Neither parent ever took responsibility for their behavior.

I was a very angry child and grew up into the same kind of adult. The slightest little thing brought anger. I became outspoken and would shock some of my friends (all Christians) at the things I said. Yet, they never wanted to hear anything negative about my parents or what I was going through. When I married at the young age of 20, I expected my husband to meet all the needs that my parents didn’t. I went from pastor, to counselor, to seminar, to books for years. In the 80’s, I went through 2 years of depression and became suicidal. I started seeing a psychiatrist that had me on so many pills at one point, I could hardly stay awake.

Although I stopped going to church because I just couldn’t feel anything anymore, Psalms became the only part of the Bible I would read. Because of something I read the night before, I decided to go to church the next day, and God miraculously delivered me from that depression. When I was prayed for, I could actually feel something loose from the bottom of my feet and fly out through the top of my head! That was an amazing experience! However, I still felt that I needed help to deal with my anger. In 2004, I decided I couldn’t live with it anymore. I knew the counselor I chose had to be a Christian, so I contacted Life Way. God matched me up with a wonderful Christian trauma counselor that was able to help me. I spent 6 years with her learning and dealing with my anger. I needed somebody to help me sort through all the issues my parents had placed in my life. God gave me wonderful visions of what His unconditional love looked like, and my life was changed. To this day, my therapist continues to help me as issues arise, due to the lack of life skills my parents gave me.

I have learned that no matter what your issues are – YOU CAN TRANSFORM!

My mother died in 1999, and I only grieved for what could have been. I have 2 sisters – one I haven’t seen since my father’s funeral in 2003. My other sister and I did pretty well until last summer when my parent’s legacy finally broke that relationship, too. Of course, I wish my family had been different. The pain from this dysfunction that comes in having a relationship with them can be so toxic and debilitating that I am relieved to remove it (not them) from my daily life. Unless God restores these relationships, I may never see them again, but I’m okay with that.

I heard about the MD ministry through Rivers Crossing Community Church last fall. When I heard about it, I knew it was something I needed to check out. What has been so amazing about this class is the people whom I have met and the support I’ve received. I never dreamed that God would bless me with people who actually can relate to what I’ve been through. I can’t explain what a blessing it is to finally have friends that understand and support me.

I have decided to become a mentor in this ministry. I want to share what I’ve learned and give people the hope and support that took me so long to find. Just to know somebody understands is so comforting. It makes the heaviness I feel from not being loved by those who were supposed to love me the most, a lot lighter.

I know I will always be on a journey, but each step towards healing I take, God improves my life. I know I can never change my family or my past, but what I can do is continue to walk toward health and God.

“….but one thing I do (it is my one aspiration): forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the the (supreme and heavenly) prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.” -Philippians 3:13 (Amplified)

Your past is always present when you carry it with you.