When you experience abuse as a child or an adult, your attitude about life can be very pessimistic. I begin to think there was no hope. I thought that no matter what I did the results would be bad. No matter how hard I tried, nothing good would ever come from it. Well, with an attitude like that I was right, nothing good would ever come from it. If I stayed in that place, there was no hope. What a horrid place to be.
This is another one of those places that built a wall between me and everyone else. I couldn’t see over it, and I couldn’t see around it. I felt trapped. It’s at times like that that I could see no reason for living. I hated myself. I read dozens of books by abuse survivors but couldn’t see a way out for me. I couldn’t talk to my therapist, what was I going to do.
In my personal life, I could not attend social activities like parties or group activity of any kind. I was unable to start conversations and was afraid of saying something stupid and embarrassing myself. Staying at home was a good way to avoid people. I only went out if I needed to shop. I wouldn’t look at anyone, making eye contact was torcher, so I avoided it at all costs. God, they might say something and then what would I do.
At work I was different, it was not personal. All I had to talk about was work. I could do that.
One day recently I was Thinking, and it occurred to me that I moved 48 times, 10 of them don’t count as it was when I was growing up, but 38 do, as I did it as an adult. I was just trying to put it all in place and figure out why it happened and why it stopped happening when it occurred to me, I had a mild, mind you just a mild form of acrophobia, I was afraid of being too far away from home. Anxiety is a form of acrophobia. It is fear personified. Well, that was me, afraid of everything.
I had to make sure that everything I needed was close to home. I had to be close to work, close to the grocery store, close to a shopping center. I was terrified for some unknown reason that I wouldn’t be able to get back home, so I had to be close. A worst-case scenario is I could walk home, and even that would not be good.
When I got a new job, and I lived too far from it, I would move closer, and that is one reason I always rented, on top of the fact the I couldn’t afford to buy. I could pull up and move at any time. Back in those days, it was easier to pull up and move whenever. Many places didn’t require a year’s lease, just first and last month’s rent. I became a master packer and unpacker and could do it in record time. 😊
When I discovered God and realized that he was there for me, that he was everywhere around me, I started to feel better out of my safe zone. I knew God was there to guide me and to keep me safe. And if something happened, he was there to lift me out of whatever mindset I was in so that I could get past it. God is my salvation, he was my leader my guide, my protector. He was everything to me because he was what was leading me out of this mild case of acrophobia.
I still didn’t venture far but am more comfortable when I did. I know God’s always there to let me know what I needed to know at any given time. Like I said in previous blogs I was learning to trust Him. But I still had not reached the point where I would go out in the world untethered from my home. I could not let go yet. On the occasion that I had to go out of my comfort zone, I would do it, unlike in the past I would not, but it was hard. I could not think about where I was going until it was time to leave and then focus only on one moment at a time. This was only part of the story, after discovering God something else wonderful happened. Technology!
When technology came, it was a thrill for me, it was like, oh my God, not only was God there to protect me, I have this 24/7 connection with the world too, with everyone around me. I can’t even put into words how wonderful this feeling was when I finally had a cell phone in my hand, it helped me tremendously. I wasn’t afraid to get further away from home. It freed me from my home, and I still felt safe.
My home was like my closet when I was a little girl. When I was upset, I would hide in the closet until I felt calm again. It was my safe place. No one knew I was there. When I grew up my safe place got a bit bigger, my home became my closet. My home was a safe place for me, a place where I did not have to worry about doing something stupid and embarrassing myself. I was out of the public eye, I was comfortable.
The cell phone enabled me to move further from my safe place, because I had contact with anyone I needed at any moment, at any instant. If something went wrong with my car, or if I needed help for any reason, no matter what happened I could connect with someone I trusted.
Technology is amazing, it freed me to go out in the world more. It freed me to work further from where I lived. It freed me to go shopping further than a mile away from my house. It just totally freed me. My car became a safe place if I was in my car and I had my phone I felt safe. With God at my side and a cell phone in my hand, I could go anywhere.
OK, what would happen now if someone took my phone away? Good question! I have been out in the world long enough now that I think I could live comfortably without a phone in my car. I have more confidence in God now, and nothing awful has happened since I got my phone, and if a need arose God would direct my path.
The cell phone is a nice convenience to have but we can go too far with these cell phones, and now it’s probably in my hand way more than it should be. When I’m sitting waiting for someone, I’m playing games on my cell phone. It enables us to do so much, during a conversation sometimes we need to understand a word, and we can just google it. When talking about movies sometimes we want to know the actor’s name, and no one can think of it. Just google the movie, and you have it. You can shop on your cell phone, there is just about nothing you can’t do on it.
Technology is amazing if properly used, and we don’t abuse it, and overuse it and make our world around it. Our world is out there, it is not in that cell phone, although it is a wonderful tool.
My attitude about the world and life has undergone a big change. I am no longer seeing it as a fearful place to be. I am more optimistic now than I was in years past. Life is brighter and more hopeful. I see a reason to live. I’m still not a big socializer, but I am interacting with a lot more people than I ever used to. I’m finding I have a sense of humor, and I laugh a lot.
Life is good, and I hope you are finding this out for yourself.