my broken heart

healing patterns with prayer and action

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Abba Father, in Christ I come boldly to Your throne and kneel to worship You.

You, who has protected me from death and the traps of the enemy. You, who uses His power perfectly to bring blessings to each of us in Your timing.

Abba Father, I just want to sit here and drink in Your presence. I don’t want to go back out there. And I’m sorry if my time with You these days have been stolen by my orphan spirit, she who cannot shake this overwhelming feeling of being unloved. It goes so much deeper than bad self esteem. But You know that.

I’ve been loved by You and I’ve disappointed You. Not really. Not the same way I have come to know disappointment. What I know of disappointment is a childish unrelenting resentment that holds a grudge and wants me to hurt until the person I disappointed has stopped hurting.

In my youth, there have been many who never stopped hurting.

I know now that Your disappointment is loving, and that Your discipline is loving. You show us the way because of Your awesome mercy and grace. And this is so far beyond the comprehension of our minds and our hearts.

Father, it’s impossible for You to hold a grudge when I’m turning from my sin. It’s impossible for You to withhold mercy. I’m beginning to have mustard seed faith in the fact that even Your wrath is graceful.

As a child, I was abused sexually, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I’ve often reacted in stubborn anger as an adult to having to deal with the pain of this trauma and how it effected the way my brain and heart and body work. I’ve often found myself stewing in resentment over having to heal. I’ve told my counsellors things like, “Why do I have to be the one to heal? Why couldn’t they do their work? Why do I have to carry all of their baggage and be the grown up?”

I feel like I’m trapped in a cycle of reacting. Still. Because there are still people in my life now that make the choice to lash out violently and maliciously on a consistent basis in response to pain.

Here’s the cycle: something that I do without malice or something that I have brings pain to people I love. They react by lashing out to hurt me – sometimes immediate and hammer-fisted, sometimes slow and cruel.

The hammer fist wants me to react big and loud – the louder the better – and if I don’t, hammer fist keeps pounding until I feel like I can’t take it anymore and react in some way, which finally sates the desire for knowing I’m in pain. As long as it outweighs hammer fist’s current pain, s/he is happy and can move on.

The slow burn never stops hurting and blames me for the pain. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who I am (which only means I am a person who experiences moments of non-pain).

Slow burn likes to subtly humiliate me. S/he likes to ‘win’ the ‘game’ of life by proving to others and themselves that s/he is better than me in all different ways – but especially ways meaningful to them.

In my childhood, I must have learned that getting slow burn back doesn’t work. And I must have learned that reacting doesn’t sate their sadistic needs to inflict pain. Because their pain never ends. And it never will. So, why should mine?

In my childhood, I must have learned to pretend it wasn’t happening. Because doing so gives slow burn the illusion of cover, of privacy, to do their thing. To survive in my home, I had to pretend I wasn’t being purposefully harmed when I was.

Otherwise, slow burn would feel like the plan was ruined. And since slow burn relies on outsmarting people, it wasn’t very smart to do anything that made the person feel like I was smarter. Ever.

This is how I’ve sinned. It says in God’s word that it’s a sin to suppress the truth. And now I see I’m still doing it. I’m afraid of getting hurt, Abba Father. I’m sorry that I struggle with faith in Your ability to protect me. I didn’t feel protected as a child. But I’m 39 now. And I’m asking for Your help to feel protected by You and to have faith in You.

I need You to bring me all in, Abba Father. I confess I’ve been trying to do this on my own. I confess what I’ve tried hasn’t worked. I confess I need Your help.

Please tie my hands so I cannot sin in this way again. Please take from me what I struggle to give to You.

Help me allow You to shelter and fill me with Your perfect love all of the time. Help me to not resist.

Edify Your will for my next steps, Abba Father. Give me the courage to take these steps. I can feel my body curling up, seizing up, not wanting to move forward.

Thank You for everything. The good and the bad, the joy and the pain.

God, as I was praying over sharing this prayer, Holy Spirit convicted me.

Thank You for illuminating the patterns that I have in responding to this pain.

You showed me that after a long tome suppressing the truth of being attacked by someone who needs to feel like s/he cannot be outsmarted, I do get to a point where I cannot take it anymore.

Somehow I say ‘no’ or ‘stop’ and this shows that I know on some level the person is trying to hurt me. The cover of being a loving person who wants the best for me is blown.

And when something shows me that this ‘round’ of torture is over, I gloat. I do. I rub it in his or her face. I do a little dance. I shine the light You gave me so bright, I’m blinding.

This is how I’ve not honoured Holy Spirit. I’m so sorry God. I want to turn away from this sin completely.

To truly honour Holy Spirit would be to shine brilliantly as You will, Abba Father.

Instead, I’ve been pleasing people, not You.

I’m sorry I didn’t recognize this sooner. I’m sorry for the ways in which these delays and my suppressing truth has hurt people I love and have loved. Please forgive me. Please help me know how to make amends with those who you will me to have a relationship with, or to make reparations to.

Please show me how to shine Your light within me as You will, Holy Father.

Help me move from these childish ways and boldly step onto the path You have made for me.

Thank You for Your unfailing and never ending love. Your love is never wrong. And I’m so grateful to have You in my life, that You are willing to bend down to meet me where I am.

I love You so much,

Jenn

getting right with God in the ways I’ve loved my birth father

forgiveness without reconciliation

God, O beloved powerful Sovereign

God who loves me and protects me and heals me, where do I go when I re-live the moment my “no” triggered a grown man into a violent rage? What can I do to wake into a happier day? Does this man take me back there?

I remember a dream where I was told to go into a room. It was a nice white room. I was told to wait for a man. In my dream it was the face of a man I trust but he was acting differently than normal. But I went into the room and waited anyway.

God, I feel lost and irritated and on edge and surrendered to Your will all at once. I don’t think it’s all mine.

Yesterday, I looked at a photo of my birth father and I said, “I am more powerful than you.” I’ve tried that before, but I didn’t really believe it.

Now I believe I am more powerful than him. There’s no doubt in my mind or my heart. And when I said it as I held my counsellor’s hand, I wasn’t afraid. I walked out of that office feeling light. I felt happy for the first time in a long time. I felt free. I could see the light at the end of this very long invasive dark tunnel.

Nothing could smack the brilliant smile off my face.

Until I was reminded that, even though one I love is more powerful than my birth father, she doesn’t know it yet. And she doesn’t understand how a left field impulse to take off her dress in the street could be harmful.

“I’m wearing my bathing suit, Mommy.”

On the surface, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. It might have even looked like I was overreacting.

But like pointing out a dog sweater after threatening to beat a wife with a marble dog figurine, there’s always more than surface going on. And this is where evil lives.

God, after the things I’ve experienced as a child, it’s sometimes difficult to let go of fears that my daughter would face something similar.

I grew up being controlled by a man who whispered commands into my ear using a voice that sounded like mine. He came to me in my dreams and my imagination as many different people and archetypes.

The man who raised me convinced me that abuse I experienced was all my imagination, and he did it before my brain was developed enough to distinguish fantasy from reality.

This abuse has created a fear in me that my daughter and others I love will also hear his voice as their own.

The man who raised me is driven by a need to be and feel powerful. I felt his response when I said the word ‘power’ with faith.

Because of the abuse, I am hyper-alert to sensations and states of his body, even from miles away.

He doesn’t get his sense of power through financial success. He doesn’t get his sense of power through physically overpowering people. He doesn’t compete with other men in looks, material gain, status connected to his true name, membership to MENSA.

He feels powerful when he has controlled a large group of people without those people knowing. His power comes through invisibility because it makes him feel smarter than others when he’s getting away with something.

He doesn’t even get his power through being published under his own name.

When I told him I was going to be published, a look I couldn’t explain crossed his face before he forced himself to grin and then vomit some encouraging compliment befitting a loving father.

I recognize that look now. It was disgust. He was disgusted that I, his 23 year old daughter, had been offered a contract with a publishing house after applying for a grant. I didn’t even go through the normal labour of querying several different houses and agents with a finished manuscript. He was disgusted that my novel was going to be published when it wasn’t even that good.

Since then, he has been satisfied with power that came through the authority I gave him to read my manuscripts and criticize them. GraveYard Tours, for example, was too serious. He thought I should add some humour – even dark humour, something.

I’m sure now that his opinion perfectly aligned with one response I got from an agent I queried. She thought my characters were boring. She couldn’t care about them. They weren’t worthy of emotional investment.

I wondered last night why a man who holds the power to convince people to do things hasn’t been published.

He seems to have gotten enough satisfaction interfering with my attempts.

But more than that… it’s the real reason he didn’t start a cult (though he loves the power that comes with absolute control over people, and the thought of creating that kind of fevered desire in people to tell the entire world how amazing he is because that kind of influence alone would bring in money that makes itself).

If he put himself out there to a whole group of people, either through getting a manuscript published or leading a cult, he would be at risk of experiencing the same sensation of absolute powerlessness that led him to lose his shit in the eighties when his four year old daughter said ‘no’.

Once he loses credibility with that many people in a public space, it will be game over. Other groups would have just cause to doubt him and he couldn’t control the influence of one group over another. And he’s playing to win.

That’s why he runs more than one city at a time. It’s easier to convince someone they are crazy when someone else is singing fevered praises of the person who is hurting them.

He knows the subtle dynamics of large groups. If he is to convince large numbers of people that he’s trustworthy when he’s not, he needs to convince just one person who holds good standing with a large group of people. He sees those who blindly follow as stupid, and those who can be convinced to follow him as useful.

But if it takes convincing someone with a well established platform and follower count, then he is vulnerable to the loyalties that came to him through that one person.

He knows the loyalties of those who come to him through another lie with the other, not himself.

And he would be at the mercy of that one person. Because, for example, if that one person suddenly had a Jesus experience and was given a new heart, the people whose loyalties he bought through that single person are up for grabs. It becomes a ‘fight’ between himself, the person who brought followers with his reputation and goodness, and Jesus – or whoever the third person / being is in an individual situation.

My birth father once told me he used to believe it was necessary to influence a large number of people to impact the world, but now he knows its possible through only one person.

He cannot stand the idea of rejection, especially not at that level. He understands hearted people believe in limits of redemption. There are lines drawn that cannot be shifted, no matter how he re-invents himself.

In the past, rejection from one he counted as his own unconditionally caused him to trip up and act in violence, which leaves an impression that can’t be erased by any lie.

He was so powerless in that moment that he needed physical violence to control a four year old, even though he had changed his boundary and was no longer willing to resort to physical violence or overt violence to control. He didn’t suddenly become a good guy. That kind of violence leaves evidence. He has evidence of this truth and it was a lesson he didn’t think he needed to learn twice.

He told me that jail scares him. He was grateful when his grandfather paid for the best criminal lawyer in Toronto to buy him a second chance after one of those non-redeemable actions.

As a child, I felt responsible for his blind rage response to rejection and I’ve spent the rest of my life placating him. I’ve propped him up, carried him, shown him how to face his fears.

I’m sorry, God. I think I’ve done something terrible in placating this man. I fear my response to trauma has made him more effective at hurting people. I can’t dwell on that because it sets my anxious imagination on fire.

I’ve given him a false sense of power. And I’m terrified that awareness of this truth will break his brain. I don’t want to be responsible for hurting this man. I don’t want to be responsible for how this man hurts others.

If I had only found the strength to say no again… to run away and tell… to not believe his lies… to remember sooner…

Though my counsellor tells me I’m not responsible for the abuse I suffered and I’m not responsible for the abuse of others, it’s a painful truth to swallow and live in.

My heart and my mind keep wanting to go back. My child self still feels afraid. She’s still living in the only ‘safe’ place she was able to create, which was a fantasy that she could save herself and save others. A place where she wasn’t always in hyper-alert mode and she could have some control over her life. A place in the near future where the abuse was over. In reality, though, all I could do was placate a man who was in control of harming me.

Please take this responsibility away from me, Abba Father. It was never truly mine in the first place. But I felt safer propping him up and scaffolding his fragile ego. It is the manifestation of my freeze response to trauma. I tried to fight. Things got worse. I tried to flee. Things got worse.

Please forgive me for any impact this placating has had on people my birth father has been connected to in all directions of time, all over the universe, in each aspect of our lives and each particle of our beings.

I know that anything done without You is easily undone. And that only that done with You will be fruitful.

Help me make right anything that remains undone and waiting to be done in You, Holy Father.

Please show me how to love the people who have been affected by this placating the way You will me to love them. Help me know what love I have given to You that I should have given to those connected to my birth father. Help me love them.

Show me how to love my birth father the way You will me to, God.

Do in me what I could never do in myself, Holy Father.

Thank you for all you do. Thank you for this pain. Thank you for giving me the supernatural ability to follow Your will. Thank you for keeping me alive even when I struggled to truly believe in love and hope and being worthy. Thank you for having a greater purpose for my life.

Yours always,

Jenn McKay

you may punish me

fear release

TRICK ME AND CONVINCE ME LIES ARE TRUE ALL YOU WANT MAKE ME FEEL SMALL AND UGLY AND ANXIOUS CONTROL ME JAM A SCREWDRIVER IN MY IGNITION AND REV THE ENGINE WITH THE EBRAKE ON ALL FUCKING DAY LONG CONVINCE ME AT BIRTH THAT YOU ARE GOD AND AS I GET OLDER MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I WILL BE LIVING ON THE STREETS IF I DONT TREAT YOU LIKE GOD TELL ME JOKES LIKE THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOMELESS KIDS – HUSTLERS AND DEAD KIDS AND THEN TELL ME I DONT HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO HUSTLE BREAK MY LEGS IN THE CHARNEL GROUNDS AND LEAVE ME FOR DEAD MAKE ME FEEL RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PAIN AND THEN TELL ME HOW YOUR PAIN IS DEBILITATING MAKE ME PLIÉ AND SAUTÉ FOR YOUR FRIENDS

SEW YOUR CONFLICTING AND IMPOSSIBLE EXPECTATIONS INTO THE HEM OF EVERY JUMPER AND JACKET

TELL ME IM A BURDEN MAKE ME DO CHORES AND HUFF AND PUFF WHEN THE BASEBOARDS ARENT PERFECT LET MY TRY AT FOUR AND FIVE MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE IM PURPOSELY MAKING LIFE MORE DIFFICULT FOR YOU RAGE ON ME WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING PROVOKE ME IN THE CAR AT THE DINNER TABLE WALKING ONTO THE CN TOWER ELEVATOR LOCK ME IN THE BATHROOM WITH YOU FOR THE AFTERNOON WITH A RAZOR BLADE PRESSED TO YOUR SKIN TELL YOUR HUSBAND YOURE REALLY GOING TO DO IT THIS TIME AS HE TRIES TO OPEN THE LOCKED DOOR AND WHEN HE SAYS HE DOESNT GIVE A SHIT TELL HIM YOULL KILL HIS PRECIOUS DAUGHTER MAKE ME FEEL SAFE ONLY WHEN WE ARE IN PUBLIC BECAUSE YOU CAN MYSTERIOUSLY CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS AND CHOICES WHEN OTHER ADULTS ARE WATCHING BUY ME TAP SHOES AND THEN THROW ME OFF A CRUISE SHIP VISIT ME IN THE HOSPITAL AND IGNORE ALL OF MY SUFFERING BECAUSE YOURE BLINDED BY ENVY WHEN I ASK YOU TO BUY ME A NEW PAIR OF JEANS IN A SMALLER SIZE TELL MY AUNTS AND COUSINS THAT YOURE WORRIED ABOUT ME SIX MONTHS BEFORE YOU KICK ME OUT OF YOUR HOME BECAUSE WE JUST DONT GET ALONG ANYMORE MAKE SURE TO USE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF MY INSECURITIES TO MANIPULATE ME AND PROVOKE ME IN FRONT OF FAMILY AND DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO DISCREDIT ME TELL ME IN THE EIGHTIES THAT YOUD RATHER BE DEAD THAN PICK UP ONE MORE TOY OR LISTEN TO ONE MORE ARGUMENT KICK ME WHEN IM DOWN STEAL MY VOICE LOCK ME OUT OF MY OWN APARTMENT CRASH ME INTO A WALL DRIVE ME OFF A CLIFF INTO THE OCEAN ALL DAY LONG EVERY DAY FOR MY WHOLE LIFE JUST BECAUSE ITS FUN FOR YOU

PUNCH ME IN THE HEAD WHILE IM SLEEPING KICK ME OUT OF BED WITH YOUR ARMS AND LEGS RECORD ME SNORING AND PLAY IT AT THANKSGIVING DINNER STORE YOUR ANGER INSIDE MY BELLY SIT BACK AND LAUGH AS YOU WATCH ME GET SO UPSET IN YOUR PLACE WHEN A FRIEND THREATENS TO EXPOSE YOU TAKE EVERYTHING I EVER TOLD YOU IN CONFIDENCE AND TWIST IT AND USE IT TO MAKE ME LOOK LIKE IM THE ONE WHO LIKES TO HURT PEOPLE TELL ME NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE ME POUR WATER ON THE STEPS IN FEBRUARY WATCH ME FALL AND LAUGH SO LOUD THE NEIGHBOURS CAN HEAR MAKE ME BELIEVE IM NOTHING BECAUSE YOU HATE YOURSELF AND YOU CANT HANDLE ANYONE YOUVE GIVEN CLOUT TO EVEN BEING PERCEIVED AS MAYBE BETTER THAN YOU AT ONE THING EMOTIONALLY BLACKMAIL ME INTO BECOMING YOUR GIRLFRIEND BY TELLING ME AFTER BEING BEST FRIENDS WHO SPENT EVERY DAY TOGETHER FOR A YEAR THAT IF I DONT SAY YES YOU WILL NOT BE MY FRIEND ANYMORE PROVOKE ME WITH AN INSULT YOU KNOW HURTS ME NO MATTER HOW CHILL I AM TO PROVE TO OUR FRIENDS THAT YOU ARE BETTER CHEAT ON ME BUT TELL EVERYONE A FRIEND IS IMMATURE WHEN HE GETS CAUGHT CHEATING ON HIS GIRLFRIEND TEACH MY DAUGHTER TO TURN AWAY FROM ME AND TELL ME I AM DISGUSTING WHEN I START SMOKING AGAIN TEACH HER I HAVE NO VALUE AS A HUMAN BECAUSE I HAVE A BIRTHMARK ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF MY FACE TELL ME IM BEING DRAMATIC SAY NOTHING WHEN I ASK YOU TO TELL ME YOU LOVE ME WITHHOLD SEX TO PUNISH ME TELL ME TO RELAX COME HOME ‘LATE FROM WORK’ A LOT LIE TO OUR FRIENDS TELL THEM THAT I DID EVERY HORRIBLE THING YOU DID TO ME TEXT ME ON BOXING DAY TO LET ME KNOW I SHOULD HAVE KILLED MYSELF BECAUSE NOBODY WOULD CARE IF I WAS DEAD EVEN THOUGH I NEVER TOLD YOU I WAS FEELING SUICIDAL TELL THE POLICE I KILLED SOMEONE KNOWING I DIDNT BECAUSE YOU KNOW MY MOTHER WAS KILLED BY HER FATHER AND YOU KNOW AN INVESTIGATION WILL UNEARTH TERRIFYING MEMORIES AND FEELINGS IVE BEEN “RUNNING FROM” FOR MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS TELL ME IM A CUNT WHEN YOU ASK ME TO MEET FOR DROP OFF FIVE HOURS EARLY IGNORE MY CALLS WHEN YOU JUST DONT SHOW UP ONE SUNDAY BECAUSE YOU LOVE TO PUNISH ME TELL ME YOU WISH I HAD DIED INSTEAD OF YOUR MOM BLAME ME FOR EVERYTHING YOU HATE ABOUT YOUR 9-5 JOB BREAK INTO MY DREAMS AND FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ME BUT TELL ME IM ACTING CHILDISH WHEN I TRY TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT WHY I CANNOT GET ALONG WITH MY PARENTS TAKE ME TO COURT BECAUSE YOURE INSULTED SOMEONE AS UGLY AND FAT AND WORTHLESS AS ME LEFT TELL PEOPLE I WONT LET YOU SPEND TIME WITH YOUR DAUGHTER EVEN AFTER YOUR LAWYER FIRES YOU BECAUSE SHE FOUND OUT YOU DONT WANT MORE TIME WITH YOUR DAUGHTER BUT YOU DO WANT AN AGREEMENT THAT MAKES IT LOOK LIKE YOU WILL SPEND MORE THAN THREE DAYS WITH YOUR CHILD IN THE SUMMER OUTSIDE OF TWO WEEKENDS A MONTH REFUSE TO GO TO MARITAL COUNSELLING EVEN THOUGH I BEG YOU SPEND FIVE YEARS IN OUR TWENTIES EVADING A DECISION ABOUT MARRIAGE BECAUSE YOU DONT BELIEVE IN IT BUT THEN YOURE NOT SURE BUT THEN MAYBE YOU DO WANT TO GET MARRIED BUT THEN YOURE NOT SURE AGAIN IF YOU BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE ITS JUST A PIECE OF PAPER WHATS THE DIFFERENCE ALLOW ME TO SUPPORT YOU FOR NINE YEARS AS YOU PURSUE YOUR DREAM BUT EXPECT ME TO WORK THROUGH HEART PROBLEMS AND SEVERE DEPRESSION EVEN WHEN YOU FINALLY GET A STEADY PAYCHEQUE TELL PEOPLE IM A GOLD DIGGER TELL OUR DAUGHTER IM A BAD MOM BECAUSE I CANT AFFORD A CAR SHIFT INTO REVERSE AND TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE BRAKE WHEN IM STANDING BEHIND YOUR CAR

I MAY STAY DOWN I MAY HIDE AND MY LEGS MAY CRUMPLE I MAY PULL OFF THE HIGHWAY I MAY SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE TOO AFRAID OF PEOPLE TO BE WILLING TO TRY TO LOVE AND BE LOVED AGAIN

BUT I WILL NOT BREAK AND IM NOT THE ONE YOU HAVE TO FACE WHEN ITS TIME TO ACCOUNT FOR YOUR CHOICES

YOU MAY BEND MY WILL AND THREATEN ME YOU MAY HIDE IN MY LIGHT AND MANIPULATE ME INTO PROTECTING YOU BEFORE I KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING YOU MAY SYPHON MY LIGHT AND TELL EVERYONE ITS YOURS AND YOU MAY EVEN CONVINCE ME BUT YOU CAN NEVER BEND GODS WILL AND YOU CAN NEVER THREATEN GOD AND YOU CAN NEVER STEAL FROM GOD AND YOU CAN NEVER TRICK GOD

AND REGARDLESS OF HOW YOUVE USED ME AND TRAINED ME TO BEHAVE, I AM NOT NOR HAVE I EVER BEEN JESUS OR ANY OTHER INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, SO I WILL NOT BE STANDING BESIDE YOU WHEN YOUR JUDGEMENT DAY COMES