Updated: Dec 18, 2018
One of the many struggles I've faced since escaping an abusive marriage has been figuring out who I am. Everything is different now. I view the world through a new lens, definitely not the rose-colored glasses that I once looked through.
The carefree and joyful, trusting, flower-loving woman is no more. She has been long replaced with a cautiously optimistic, mostly pessimistic, anxious woman with trust issues.
I view myself differently and sometimes don't even recognize the woman looking back at me in the mirror. I've aged. I can see the result of years of emotional turmoil in my reflection. I can see the unsure nervousness in my eyes.
I feel like I can't even trust myself because one terrible decision to marry a man whom I thought was "The One" wreaked havoc on my life. The kind of havoc I never want to experience again. Ever.
I pine over the loss of my former self. I miss her!
Everyone around me is constantly commenting about how I've changed. I'm now called "Negative Nancy" or "Miss Pessimist". People avoid me. They tell me it's obvious I'm nervous all the time. They don't like the negative vibes I exude, even though not by choice.
I don't want to be in this negative place. I don't enjoy it, but I cannot seem to find a way out. Every fiber and trace of positivity was sucked from my soul by my abuser.
I have a hard time seeing the good in others. There are so many bad people in the world. I am leery of bad intentions and ulterior motives. Paranoid almost. Mean people confirm the paranoia.
I just can't get back to being her. To the woman who always believed in the good of others. To the woman who trusted without a second thought. To the woman who loved to laugh and sing. I so want to be her again!
Being abused by someone I loved deeply and permanently damaged me. No matter what I've done to bind my wounds, they keep bleeding through the bandages.
Trepidation keeps me frozen, unable to move and not knowing how to. Anxiety and depression are anchors tied to my body, pulling me under and leaving me gasping for air.
I'm a mess sometimes. I realize that, but I am hopeful that this journey will continue revealing to me who the Lord wants me to be.
I feel I've been planted here in this spot to grow and bloom with His grace. To trust that He will turn this new version of me into something useful for Him. That He will see me through the negativity and reveal hope so I don't feel so nervous all the time. That I will learn to rely solely on Him so I no longer feel afraid.
I am trusting that He will place the right people into my life to help me heal; to love me even on my worst days. I'm trusting that these people will remind me of who I am and help me see who I am meant to be in Christ.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1, we are told "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."
There is a reason for this identity crisis. He's molding me. He's preparing me for something great. I believe it with all my heart.