For years I lived with the fear of being seen. Having been beaten and bullied as a child by both my parents and later held in a cult for six months and raped, I lived in fear, trusting nobody. In my mind, people were to be avoided. I saw everyone as an enemy that wanted to hurt me. I hated them and I hated me. The people in my world taught me, - I was bad, wrong, good only to be used, abused, hurt. I became angry, very angry, a fighter. Having nowhere to put that rage, I turned it on myself.
My body became the battleground for my self-loathing. I tried to make myself disappear by becoming so thin I could hardly stand without feeling dizzy. I was freezing all the time. I dressed in black, covering my entire body even in the warmest summer weather. I cut my arms and legs until I couldn't stand the pain. It was a way to numb out and not feel, except then, I cut myself again to feel, to know I was still alive. I felt nothing. Only anger. Only fear.
Then something happened. One day, God broke the chains that held me so tight in their grip. I don't know why He chose me. Some of my friends died by their own hand or by accident. I lived on the edge like them. Their fate should have been mine. But He touched me. Freed me. Poured out His grace, His favor in such a gentle way - I was no more deserving than they. Sometimes I wonder, why me? Mostly now, I'm just grateful.
God showed me I need people. Safe people. I need them to heal. They mirror who I really am. They help me grow in self-confidence and freedom. They reflect the healing power of His love to me. All the abuse took place in relation to others. In the same way, I have learned healing comes in relation to others.
From the moment He touched me, I felt safe in His love, His presence. I opened up to God. I trusted Him. Then He asked me to open my heart to another, and then another and then another.......
Opening my heart to others wasn't easy. I resisted. I struggled. I felt His patience, His gentleness, the warmth of His love prompting me, reminding me I wasn't alone.
Sometimes I still experience the fear of being seen and the need to hide. I get ansy being with people too long, especially when I'm tired.
I will keep opening my heart to others. Something magical happens everytime I do. The fear of being seen diminshes a bit more. The need to hide isn't as great.