This is a topic I don’t like bringing here, but have found little help elsewhere.
My entire childhood was one filled with abuse (of every kind) and one devoid of any love. I grew up thinking if only I was a better kid, everything would be okay. I couldn’t reach the right level of ‘good’ for that to happen. I lack a sense of direction, totally, and seem only to be in survival mode most of the time. I have tried therapy through out the years, but much of it seems only to make things worse. (I don’t want to dwell on the abuse and neglect of my childhood)
I was baptized when I was approx. 9 years old. (Of my own volition since I had no family that attended church, and my own attendance was intermittent). Like many things in my life there was no real follow through. I had no clue what God wanted of me except to ‘be good’. I gave up on Church, but still believed…with the Protestant notion of OSAS.
As I became older I sought comfort in relationships (most short-lived), and other things.
I don’t trust. I am fearful. I don’t want to suffer anymore. I am tired. I don’t know how to live a life that is constructive or helpful to others, but do try to wing it. I have extreme difficulty making friends (I am very isolated), but that really does have a lot to do with the life I lived, and the choices I made, after reaching adulthood.
I am trying to make a full confession and be in Communion with God and the Church, but many things have caused me more fear, and I have been unable to do so.
I am tired.
I don’t know what to do.
I am praying (intermittently) and asking for prayers.
I am seeking spiritual counsel through the Church, but no one seems to have the time.
Or maybe I am asking too much?
I fear hell, but almost feel it is an inevitable outcome. And somehow, I am the one making that choice? I have hope at times, but it quickly dissipates.
Now I am watching family members suffer, and giving up on God (gee, wonder where they learned that from) and it is more than I can bear.
I read that children DO suffer for the sins of their parents. (the story in the Bible where Jesus is asked about the blind man, and who sinned that caused the blindness? Though it was a case of non-sin on the man’s or parent’s part, it showed the commonly held belief that a person could suffer from the parent’s sins) and that has only added to my feelings of inadequacy and guilt.
Why should a child suffer for what I’ve done?
I have read books about psychology where Catholicism is integrated into the therapy.
It caused me even more despair and feelings of hopelessness. It made God seem more out of reach than ever, and had even more cynical views on human motives than I do.
I know that even if I make a full worthy confession, I will mess up because I don’t know how not to, and fear rules me.
I sincerely don’t know what to do.
I am not in a state of grace, but have thought at times that I was. (I was involved in some sinful activities and through prayer, especially saying The Hail Mary during times of temptation, have been able to not go back to that sin).
I am very tormented, but have been informed that since our journey starts here… well, the torment is a sign of my eternity.
I really don’t even know what suggestions or advice I am asking for, just tired of suffering and seeing the people I love suffer, and know that some would be better off without me. (I won’t take my own life though, as for me I know better than to do that).
I really wish someone could help me.
And if not me, then my family.
We are seeking counseling, but are limited geographically and the therapists tend to be very secular and ‘modern’.
Any help, advice, prayers, suggestions?
I hope this doesn’t become a consistent theme with my posts on here…
This is a topic I don’t like bringing here, but have found little help elsewhere.
Do you have a spiritual director?
Remembering you in my rosary today…God bless you and much peace.
I am sorry to hear this. Abuse is something that takes a life time to overcome, and there is no easy answer.
That you are getting counseling is a step in the right direction. That you are aware of your own difficulties is good. All I can say for now is hang in there. Suffering does not go away, and it is hard to accept, but we can use it for our own growth and the benefit of others with the right focus.
May I suggest a simple thing: Each day offer what you are now suffering for a child who is suffering that they may endure, or a couple that is struggling in a marriage…etc. You don’t have to know them, just offer this in general to God for someones intention that might be suffering like you did. Then let it go.
I did a lot of this as a child, and as an adult. It did help to associate what I might be suffering with the ability of God to make use of it for the benefit of others. Keep on with the counseling, and take some time everyday to post here and hear what others say.
You have to take it day by day, not stay in the past and live only in the present. I will pray for you about this.
**God is close to the brokenhearted!!! **
You’re in my thoughts and prayers!
What an enormous amount of grace God must have been pouring out to you! How amazing that despite such grim obstacles you recognized the need for Christ, the importance of baptism, and the requirement to do good!
I too suffered years of abuse. Some of that abuse came at the hands of a member of an order of sisters. This person told us daily that we were evil and would go to hell. We were beaten and made to kneel in prayer for long periods of time. Many years later I developed PTSD and began having terrible panic attacks which made it impossible for me to attend Mass for fear of God’s judgment. While our situations are not the same, I do understand the fear, hopelessness and desperation you describe. Is there anything “bigger” than God to fear?
So much heartache you take upon your own shoulders! Is it possible that your own experiences have affected the religious views of your children? (I assume that is who you mean by your family.) Sure. All of our experiences, for good or for bad have made us who we are and help to shape our behaviors. But, there are SO many other forces out there that also contribute! You have done the best you could under enormously difficult conditions! And GOD DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!
You need to know that this is common to ALL OF US. It is part of the HUMAN CONDITION. We will ALL mess up, ALL the time. EVERY time! The measure of our love is that we keep coming back to Him. The measure of God’s love is that He will forgive us ALL OF US, ALL THE TIME, EVERY TIME! Isn’t that an amazing and powerful thing?
If God is willing to forgive you every sin, who are you to declare He is wrong? That is what we do when we insist we are unforgivable. We are suggesting we know better. We don’t!
Another amazing gift! The Holy Spirit is SO close to you! He is leading you to do right things even when you don’t realize it or know what those right things might be.
I don’t know who told you that or what their intended message was, but i thoroughly disagree! Do you know that Blessed Mother Teresa suffered utter TORMENT during nearly the entire time of her ministry in India? She had been blessed with an extremely close relationship with God wherein she felt His actual presence and heard his Words to her. Then, one day, that was gone! Her suffering was monumental and constant. She too, despite all of the good we all recognize that she did felt that she too was inadequate! Can you imagine? But she also thanked God for this because it was perfecting her faith. She trusted God implicitly and knew that she would one day be with Him in heaven.
Her torment was NOT a sign of eternal torment and neither is yours. God does not work that way. He does not punish the bad and reward the good here on earth. You were abused by evil people who used their free will to choose to harm a precious, perfect, helpless child. YOU DID NOT DESERVE TO BE HURT.
Ask to take part in your parish’s RCIA program. This would help you increase your understanding of the faith. You need to learn all that you missed out on.
Take some classes at your church. I decided that I needed to throw out the God of Vengeance and Evil that I was taught by the sister. I am SLOWLY but STEADILY discovering the Real and True God who loves me and wants the best for me. I am learning to distinguish between actual sin and my overly scrupulous preoccupation with what I viewed as my CONSTANT sin. I am creating a new picture of God. These classes were a start.
You use words like intermittent to describe your attempts at prayer, your attendance at Mass and other attempts to become a healthy Catholic. ATTEND MASS. PRAY WITHOUT CEASING! Do not quit! I like this verse from Mark 9:24
“I do believe, help my unbelief!”
You are in my prayers. PM me if I can be of help to you.
I am grateful to you for your witness.
I am also grateful to chefmomster2 as well, as she ministers with love and understanding to you. She has words of understanding and wisdom.
I only have my prayers for you, which I offer to God with humble heart.
Please Lord, this is your child.
She is suffering to the point of torment.
Her cross is crushing her to the ground, and yet, with the help of your mother, is able to persevere away from her sinfulness.
Grant her PEACE oh Lord, and give her consolation, that she may strengthen and truly
know your love
Through Christ our Lord
Thank you, Marlap!
Pleasevtry to find a Spiritual Director who will help you. Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you strength, fortitude, guidance & direction.
Blessed Mother, please intercede for us.
Hold the sorrowful, strengthen the fearful,
mother and love the weary, abused, neglected
or forgotten among us,
give your aid to all needing help or healing,
assist those who are sick, in pain or suffering,
be with those needing peace,
console the lonely or brokenhearted,
comfort the lost or hopeless,
guard the unborn,
pray for those who are dying or who have died,
soften those with hardened hearts,
enlighten those who do not yet see truth,
help us be brave enough to let our hurt and anger go,
show us the way to do the right thing,
protect those who are in danger,
and guide us from every evil.
May all who keep your sacred commemoration
experience the might of your assistance.
Amen :gopray: **
It is difficult to overcome a background where you experience these kinds of things. I would encourage you to continue counseling, maybe even a Christian counselor if there are no Catholic counselors available or if the counselors are too modern. If you haven’t already read these books, I would recommend “Healing the Unaffirmed” and “Feeling and Healing Your Emotions” both by Conrad Baars, who was a Catholic psychiatrist. The books may give you some insight into what you have experienced.
I have suffered from abuse in the past as well. You are not alone.
The outpouring of grace from God that you have received in how you have found the grace and the courage to endure what you have endured is incredible. God is truly with you, although it may be hard for you to see it.
Do not be daunted by your fears, God finds you immensely lovable although you may see yourself as less so.
Perhaps your loss of a sense of direction means that God is trying to take you where you need to be. Surrender to God and let Him guide you. And continue to pray and ask for the Holy Spirit’s consoling embrace.
I will pray for you as well.
Thank you. I need the prayers, blessings and peace.
I also need a spiritual director. They’re hard to come by these days. (Everyone has a hectic schedule)
Thank you especially for the Rosary.
May God bless you and yours.
Thank you so much. I have offered my suffering, and for that I’m almost thankful to suffer (strange as it may seem to some) But lately it seems to be affecting my life and the lives of those around me very much. Also I haven’t found a good confessor yet who has the time for a general confession. (I had many years of sins before becoming Catholic, and unfortunately, some after, it has been a vicious cycle and fear has played a role in it)
Thank you for reminding me that I can offer it though.
God bless you.
Yes, I often wonder how much worse I would have been had it not been for that Baptism. It was a grace wasn’t it? Thank you for refreshing that perspective for me.
I am sorry you went through that too. It must be very difficult when the abuse is at the hands of Religious. I was often thankful that the abuse allegations with the priests didn’t happen until after my conversion (I know it sounds terrible to put it that way, yet I wonder if I would have been able to see through all the media blitz about it to the truth of the Catholic faith)
I suspect I have ptsd as I tend to be hyper-vigilant about certain things, and very distrusting.
Yes, it has had a negative effect. I am so scared when I go to Mass. There is pressure to receive Communion, and I know I shouldn’t, so I just end up not going. That is difficult to explain to a adolescent. I am also very self-condemning and isolated. It is noticeable.
Truly though, I did live a horrendous life before my conversion, and in my selfishness hurt many people (not physically) but in terrible emotional ways. Many at the church I attend are aware of my past, and it doesn’t help. I honestly deserve that, but would like to be an example of someone who (with God’s grace) can overcome. Not for me, but for the sake of my family… and in the hopes of attaining heaven.
As for the other forces out there, yes, wow, I never dreamed we would be blitzed by so much ‘immorality’, yet even that I have to look at my own past and consider how I contributed. (not in a self-condemning way, but in a realization/accountability way).
Now that to me IS very surprising. Some people seem to have such a good handle on ‘not messing up’ O.o
It is part of the HUMAN CONDITION. We will ALL mess up, ALL the time. EVERY time! The measure of our love is that we keep coming back to Him. The measure of God’s love is that He will forgive us ALL OF US, ALL THE TIME, EVERY TIME! Isn’t that an amazing and powerful thing?
I hate to say this, but here goes, I trust God, but not the embarrassing look Priest. So I guess trusting God means trusting He’ll give me the confessor I need. (just dawned on me:))
I couldn’t understand that one at all. I was not in a state of grace, but so wanted to stop the sin. I thought God didn’t help people who weren’t in a state of grace, and though I realize I was repentant of a sin, I still wasn’t… hmmm, I did try to make a good confession after that.
I talk myself in circles. Sometimes convincing myself all is okay, then feeling condemned. My problem with scrupulosity is that it is of the nature that strains out a gnat and swallows a camel. I’m not exaggerating. Part of the problem with my former confessor, is that he forbade me to confess any forgotten sins, and I do remember sins (mortal) that weren’t confessed. Also, as I mentioned in another post, when he didn’t wear his stole for my general confession (a scheduled appointment) I ‘chickened out’ of confessing a few I did remember. In other words, I knowingly withheld. Not all of this is the fault of my past, but my reluctance to confess fully. It does frighten me to reveal all of my soul. It really does.
My torment has a great deal to do with my not confessing well. I want to, but I am so afraid.
I think I will take RCIA again, it could be very helpful. I will check with my Church to see what they have to offer as far as any other classes go. Thanks for those suggestions.
As for the pray without ceasing, and Church attendance, I pray for the ability to pray, and am very worried about the upcoming Easter vigil when one is required to take Communion. I don’t want to fall into the sin of presumption with a ‘wait’ attitude, but I also know I need a good, patient confessor (even harder to find this time of year), and I need to be truly prepared to reveal all. Could you please pray particularly for that ? I want to be reconciled, I truly need God, and my family does too.
Thank you for all of your help, and your gentleness. I really can’t handle being berated at this time, and you come across as truly compassionate. That is very encouraging to me.
May God bless you and yours always.
PS, I don’t have PM’ng on yet (that paranoid thing), but would like to take you up on that in the near future.
Prayers are so needed. I have poured out my heart on here, and it is possibly the biggest step towards a proper Reconciliation that I have ever done. (It isn’t easy coming on here and saying I haven’t made a worthy confession) The prayers are strengthening me and I credit the prayers for any blessings I might receive. I hope to return the favor someday. (I will pray for all now, but you know, that state of Grace thing…, I don’t know if they’ll be heard, but I will pray anyway)
And yes, Chefmomster2 has been very helpful, as well as everyone else.
God bless and keep you.
Thank you very much. I really need a good confessor or Spiritual Director. Right now, I feel that it is the only thing holding me back. (that and I am waiting for a good book on how to make a proper, complete confession)
Direction is something I’ve always lacked. Always. Just never knowing how to live life but day by day getting by. It may seem ideal to some, but not the way I do it.
God bless you.
Thank you for this. I am making a copy and will pray it too. For many.
May God bless you. soft smile
I will check out those books. Thank you so much for the suggestions.
The counselors have me concerned due to their somewhat ‘agnostic(?)’ views. Maybe agnostic isn’t the proper term, but more like a ‘what does God have to do with your healing’ kind of thinking.
May God bless you and yours.