As a teenager, it seemed as if many areas of my life were shadowed by the dark clouds of the previous abuse. There were many days that I struggled with the hurt little girl within.
My senior year of high school, I was popular, outgoing and friendly. A good student who strived to be a leader amongst her peers. I seemed to always smile and would not allow anyone to see my flaws. But away from school, I found myself lonely, crying out for attention from older males and would easily find myself in many short-term relationships. I was never satisfied and would either be taken advantage of or would be the one who took advantage of the person I was dating. The repeated friction of pressure and irritation from the unresolved hurt of the abuse caused layers to grow as a strong callus wall around the perimeter of my heart. Underneath the perfect image, was a little girl who feared rejection and lacked self-esteem. My ultimate desire was to be loved, but I pushed away, and would not allow very many people to be close to my heart.
Since then, I have worked incredibly hard to not allow the abuse to overshadow my desire to love others and to accept the love others. Through my relationship with God, through counseling and support from family and friends, I am learning how to trust others, how to create boundaries and how to reveal the “real” Denise.
By being transparent, it has given me the opportunity to meet many young women who have also been the victim of abuse. Our struggles and stories are very similiar as we strive to reach our complete healing.
I recently was listening to a song by Rascal Flatts, called “Stand”. It said, ‘Cause when push comes to shove, You taste what you’re made of, You might bend ’til you break, ‘Cause it’s all you can take, On your knees you look up, Decide you’ve had enough, You get mad, you get strong, Wipe your hands, shake it off, Then you Stand, then you Stand….
Today, let’s join hands and meet on common ground, declaring that this is our Day to Stand.