Pain Points: Abuse

In my book, Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption, I shared my life story in a vulnerable and transparent way. I felt that the reader could better relate to me if I was willing to be brutally honest. The “pain point” I want to focus on in this blog is abuse, which many of us have experienced, whether it be physical, emotional, or sexual.

My father was a renowned psychiatrist and many people looked up to him not only at the hospital where he was the superintendent but also throughout the country as well. His public and private personas were not the same, and this was especially confusing as a child.

Behind closed doors, he was physically and emotionally abusive to me and my older sister. I wrote about the abuse in more detail in my book, but suffice it to say, it was hard to pretend in public that we were the “perfect family.” That was definitely not the case.

For me, it greatly affected my self-esteem, and since I was not allowed to openly express anger or hurt, those feelings turned inward and I became depressed. I went into denial for many years about the abuse and idealized my father because he was highly regarded by so many, and I could see all the good he was doing for the mentally challenged. It wasn’t until many years later when the past abuse got triggered that I came to terms with what really happened and sought professional help to process and heal.

This later allowed me as a therapist and life coach to empathize with clients who also have experienced abuse in their backgrounds. Most people who have abuse in their past feel shame and sometimes blame themselves. It’s important to remember that you are never to blame for someone else’s abusive behavior towards you. It is a violation of your personal boundaries and is never acceptable under any conditions.

If you are struggling in your present day, I highly recommend you seek professional help so you can “face it, trace it, erase it, and replace it.”

When we see ourselves through the eyes of our loving Heavenly Father and know that He identifies with our suffering, this gives us hope that His desire is for our total healing and restoration.

I am deeply grateful for the Lord’s intervention in my life, and now I am no longer held hostage to my painful past. My hope is that you will experience this freedom in your life as well.

John 8:36: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Here for you,

 

Jane “Goldie” Winn, MSS

Author of Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption

Click on any of the following links to buy my book; thank you!

Amazon

Amazon Kindle

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Pain Points: Anxiety

In my book, Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption, I share my life story with transparency and vulnerability. My hope is that the reader can be encouraged that with the Lord’s help we can heal and move forward to a life of freedom and joy. One of the “pain points” in my life was anxiety. There were so many challenging issues in my life, and fear usually was  the motivating factor. I couldn’t stop worrying about what might happen in the future. Sadly, I made many poor decisions because I allowed fear and anxiety to dominate my thought life.

In my private practice as a therapist and life coach, many of my clients presented with anxiety. I was able to empathize and provided my clients with helpful homework assignments. One of the most successful exercises was to ask the client to write down every “what if” scenario that was causing concern. For example, “what if I don’t get the job of my dreams,” or “what if I can’t pay my bills next month.” As you can image there can be many “what if” scenarios in life.

I tasked my clients with writing out a list of all the “what if” scenarios and then instructed them to cut the paper so each scenario was separate. I suggested they design a “what if” box and place all the pieces of paper in that special place. Once a week they were to spend 30 minutes going over every “what if” scenario and then surrender each one to the Lord. Once it was surrendered, they could not take it back. You might ask, did it work? I’m happy to report that indeed it did! Once we externalize our inward anxieties and get them into the open, we give the Lord permission to take these concerns away from us and place them in His capable hands.

The Lord gives us much guidance in His Word for coping with anxious thoughts.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

It’s paramount that we stay in the present. Anxiety takes us into the future and the world of unknowns, which we have no control over. We only know we have today. I always “prescribe” what I call the anti-anxiety portion of Scripture to my clients: Matthew 6: 25-34.

Verse 34 sums it up beautifully: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

The reason why the Twelve Step program for alcoholics and addicts is successful is because it totally focuses on taking it one day at a time. It is easier to commit to not taking a drink or drug just for today than for the rest of their lives.

Will you trust the Lord that He has all your tomorrows safely tucked away?

 

Here for you,

 

Jane “Goldie” Winn, MSS

Author of Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption

Click on any of the following links to buy my book; thank you!

Amazon

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble

 

Pain Points: Depression

I wanted to begin talking about pain points that I experienced in my life and wrote about in my autobiography: “Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption.” When I was a child, I suffered from depression, and my mother always said I would carry around a pocket full of tears wherever I went. In our family of origin, we were not allowed to talk about our feelings, so I buried them down deep into my subconscious mind. Anger turned inward is depression, and because anger was definitely not acceptable, I became depressed. I remember there were times I wanted to die, and at times it felt debilitating. But I was good at masking my depression, and I escaped reading Bobbsey Twin books and pretending I was in a different family. I also slept a lot and wrote in my diary what I was really feeling deep inside.

When I came to know Yeshua (Jesus) as my Messiah in 1974, He immediately gave me the gift of joy. I knew it was a miraculous sign that Yeshua was real as the transformation was unbelievable! The joy of the Lord truly became my strength. However, there were times even in my life as a Believer that I experienced depression during rough patches. I have since learned that even though this Scripture is true, we can get triggered in our present day life and need to protect our vulnerable past hurts: 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” (NIV)

I liken it to someone who may have diabetes and needs to make sure the disease is managed by taking insulin, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise. Otherwise, the disease can flare up.

So how do we manage our triggers with emotional illness, you might ask?  It’s different for everyone, but for me, I needed to set appropriate boundaries and not allow emotional abuse in my life ever again. I surround myself with positive people, stay grounded in the Word, have accountability partners to come alongside me when necessary, and most importantly, daily prayer. Another very important principle is to stay grounded in the present. Depression likes to take us back into our past so we can obsess with “if onlys”: “if only I had done…, if only I hadn’t done…”

We only have today, and that is where we must stay, in the gift of the present.

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

Here for you,

 

Jane “Goldie” Winn, MSS

Author of Rainbow in the Night: A Journey of Redemption

Click on any of the following links to buy my book; thank you!

Amazon

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble