You can get there from here: Courage!

I was a State's witness in a trial against a pedophile…the same man who perpetrated against me 38 years earlier…unfortunately, that man was my father…, even worse, he hadn't changed his evil ways. So now It was my responsibility and honor to help another young girl with my testimony as a corroborating witness. 

It was traumatic and painful . . .  both then and now.

In order to endure the pain, I needed help. In addition to prayer and lots of social support, I needed a therapist. Even though in the "now" I was less than a year from completing my doctorate, it felt as if I could never escape it … or him, he could always reach up from my childhood and terrify me into my frequently frozen in fear state of mind.…again.

When I was a child, I was trapped and I had few choices, but I had moment of clarity when I realized that instead of using my pain to create a worse reality for myself I could avoid things that would make me even more vulnerable (sex, drugs, and alcohol), so I did things that would strengthen me most of the time.  Still, daily I thought of running away and suicide, I told God, "you can't get there from here, you can't get to a good life, a good future." But God showed me a vision of what he wanted for me…and it was something I wanted for me to, I just didn't know how to "get there from here."

When I was a young mother in my 20’s I was still carrying this awful weight of broken heartedness while I was dealing with multiple children, disabilities (of my own, and my children), and even the eventual deaths of two children. I was at the brink of crazy, I felt like I was going to snap and never come back. I just didn't feel I could take it anymore and I knew I was moments away from losing my right mind. I didn’t want to take it anymore.  But in another second of clarity, I heard God say, "You CAN snap and let go of your sanity if you want to …or you can just NOT let go!" I got a quick glimpse of what my children’s life would be if I decided to break.  It was that simple, I said "I'm not gonna' let go."

I HAVE EXPERIENCED some terrifying nights…and then some comforting days. 
I've had a few falls…and then I get up. 
I've had some confusion, and then I get clarity. 
I've had some searing pain, some devastating losses…and then some miraculous recoveries

I don't have to let the craziness or pain take me. 
I don't have to cooperate, 
I don't have to participate in brokenness that perpetuates more brokenness and more depression.
I won’t HAVE depression, if I don’t DO depression.
I learned that a man cannot heal a broken heart caused by another man, only God can heal a broken heart 
I learned to put boundaries on relationships with people who are careless with my heart. 

IF YOU FEEL sad, you don't have to just sit there and take it.
DO something healthy that makes you feel better, hike with friends, volunteer for the less fortunate. . . 

  • get out of bed
  • go to work
  • go to church-participate in the community 
  • help someone else
  • act on your own behalf to build yourself a future
  • go to school, learn something new
  • Let a qualified person help you move forward (a therapist, pastor, mentor, someone who is in a place you would like to go).  Chances are good that you didn’t get yourself into your pain alone, so you will need the help of someone who is healthier than you to get yourself out of your pain.

God made a way for me AND I DECIDED TO TAKE IT.  I’m not any more special than you are, so you can move past your pain too. 

This is how I got from there to here:
I sang.
I prayed. 
I never used that knife on myself. 
I never used drugs. 
I abstained from alcohol especially when in crisis. 
I got good grades.
I avoided trouble, but was kind to troubled people.
I read positive books that helped me heal INCLUDING the Bible. 
I memorized verses that said good stuff about me…and my future. 
I got out of relationship with hitters, hurters, and haters. 
I went to college, got my dream back, got the skills and credentials needed to build my dream.
I ALWAYS get back up when someone (or life) knocks me down. 

I'M NOT BRAGGING on myself here, I'm bragging that God will always make a way "from here to there" for you, but YOU HAVE CHOICES TO MAKE AND ACTIONS TO TAKE TOO.

  • You must cooperate with God to get you from here to there. 
  • AND Yes, there is a genetic propensity towards mental illness in many families, as there is in mine. And yes, trauma CAN sometimes trigger mental illness
  • AND I realized that I also had a choice, and I did not have to cooperate with illness, and that I could foster my own wellness…and so I do. 
  • I say, "Not only no, but OH, HEEEEELLLLLL NO!" to mental illeness and other kinds of unhealthy lifestyles, then I just DON'T DO the things that lead to unhealthy and I DO the things that lead to healthy.
  • That is my part, the rest, God will do. 

AND yes! The man on trial was convicted. 
It's a strange kind of closure to a cycle of abuse, craziness, and the consequences of trauma.…and it is sad that the absence of his repentance brought about the need for this trial…

But you see, even pedophiles, make daily choices that get them from there to here.

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Dr. Angela Courage

M.A., Ed.D., CEO

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