Living In A Pain Identity

pain idenityDuring the past few years, I have had to come to some hard conclusions about how I have been living my life. You see, even though I write about what I have had to endure, I have still worked very hard to live as though it never happened. Every week in my therapy sessions I have to come face to face with my past abuse and the direct effect it has on my life today, yet once I walk away from that session I forget it all and pretend it’s not true.

Pain has been a big part of my identity, but I have not been able to see it. It has ruled my life and led me to live out of fear, panic, shame, rage, bitterness, and malice. Pain has been a daily struggle for me that has left me flattened and unable to function, yet I still try to deny it’s existence in my life because accepting the pain was accepting the truth about the horrendous abuse.

Once I became a Christian I learned how to cry out to God for help in the midst of my pain, but when He didn’t take it away, I blamed Him for abandoning me. I learned how to stop crying out to Jesus in my pain because from what I saw He never came through. Instead, I began to rely on myself and what I could do to make the pain stop. It became this vicious cycle of feeling pain (whether physical or emotional) and looking for my own solution to fix it, whether that was finding the right prayer, helping dissociative alters, getting outside help, or even finding a way to become numb to it, I was on a never-ending quest to run from my pain.

You keep track of all my sorrows.
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book

Psalm 56:8

Even though I have been running from my pain, I have also been embracing it by using it as a weapon and a shield to protect myself from the outside world. I have known so much pain that it became like a constant companion; always there for me no matter what. When the pain became overwhelming, I just embraced it and then turned it around to lash out on everyone around me.

My pain has hurt so many people around me, and I have used it to isolate myself from the world at large. It is very easy for me to be vulnerable as I write on my blog, but those words can be left behind and forgotten over time. It takes a lot of strength to look at my pain and admit to myself that I have allowed it to become a crutch and ruler over my life.

I’ve needed pain like a lifeline because in the absence of pain all I have known is emptiness. A feeling of being lost in isolation. Complete numbness to everything around me. It’s the only way I could survive. I have used every coping mechanism the mind can produce in order to survive my everyday life as a child. The abuse was so intensely terrifying that I wet the bed daily until I was six and sucked my thumb until I was 8.

For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value.  It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

1 Peter 1:18-19

My home was not a safe place. My family was not safe. They hurt me and did unspeakable things to me. I never knew when the abuse would come. It could come at any given moment, and so I always had to be prepared for what I might face. I developed ways to cope with fear by learning to go into deep places in my mind where I created alternate realities so I could feel safe.

So might call this daydreaming or fantasizing, but I was daily constructing worlds away from my reality. I would check out completely at school and I struggled greatly to understand what was happening in the classroom. I didn’t hear the lessons taught so I was often confused and because I was too afraid to ask questions I always had poor grades.

Terror is a very hard thing for the mind to deal with, especially for a young child, because it chemically alters your brain. Fear overrides most of your normal ways of thinking and responding to the world at large and you cling to any place of safety you can find. Yet when the abuse happens in your own home, where does your place of safety come from? A normal child would find safety in the home with the parents, but for me, every attachment to my parents was attaching to fear and abuse.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
 If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

Psalm 139:7-12

So I learned to quickly attach to pain as if it were my mother and father. I knew pain so intimately, and I learned to find comfort and solace there. When you are a ritual abuse survivor they use mind control programming to attach you to spirits and other people through torment. Through conditioning, I learned several things. One was that if you do what they ask the pain subsides or at least becomes more tolerable and two I learned that you can actually control the pain through witchcraft. Both lessons came with the power of the spirits I was connected to.

I have been connected to countless demons and fallen angels throughout my life, as well as various people that live in my city and are high-level occult leaders. Each of these beings was set up with the purpose of keeping me bound into slavery through fear and using me as a source or hub of power and control. So when I felt emotional or physical pain, it was an opportunity for the programming to take over and control me.

There have been various types of mind control programs set up in me, but the most powerful ones for me have been to stay focused on my emotions and operate out of them. For instance, when I feel pain, I become afraid, so I then try to control everything around me using witchcraft and the powers of the entities I was connected to. If I felt unsafe, rejected, or unloved, etc. I would have the same reaction of trying to connect with these outside power sources to control my surroundings with witchcraft. If you have seen the movie ‘Firestarter’ then you have a good image of what I was trained to do. However, instead of using fire, I used witchcraft by connecting my emotions to outside power sources.

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

Psalm 46:1-3

The programming had a two-fold purpose in both embracing pain and hiding from it at the same time. I would run from the pain by retreating to my inner world and allow my dissociative alters to come forward, connecting to the outside power sources to manipulate my surroundings with witchcraft. I have had to realize that all these years of denial of the abuse and pain has been the crutch that allowed this vicious cycle of retreating and doing witchcraft. I had no idea I was even doing witchcraft because I was a learned behavior that was ingrained by ritual abuse.

The only way I was able to face these hard truths were by holding tight to Jesus and understanding that this is not who He created me to be. He did not create me for a life of pain and fear, but to be an overcomer and a fighter. God’s plan for me is to bring light into the dark places of this world, and I had to start by bringing His light into the darkest places of my soul. I have been terrified to bring Jesus into these dark places, but when I did I saw Him restore my soul and return pathways to joy that once led to pain.

It is never easy to face our pain, and it is even harder to admit that it’s not something we can handle on our own. Only Jesus Christ has the power to fight the evil lurking inside our souls and He has already been working to heal us without us even knowing. He can do even greater work when we partner with Him in the process.

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6

Can I say that I do not do witchcraft any more? No, I cannot. What I can say is that I can see when I am beginning to go down the path of pain and giving it the power over my life and that is a huge first step. I am daily working towards changing my life by professing God’s truth of who He created me to be. I am a child of God, bought with the blood of Christ and redeemed for His purposes. I am a fighter and an overcomer who is living by the strength of Jesus and the grace of God who is my protector, provider, and Father.

One step at a time I am walking towards freedom and healing, and I am doing it all with the love of Christ as my armor. We cannot heal deep wounds of trauma that affect our daily lives without first surrendering to Christ and then walking with Him into the truth. It is only the truth that has set me free, and without it, I would be lost without moors.

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32