Tuesday, July 21, 2009


"If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream." Martin Luther King, Jr.

We were about the same age. Both of us stuck on a locked pysch ward. Me - to serve out my sentence for drug possession; her - I don't know. They said she was an attention seeker. She didn't look any different than anyone else, but one morning, she poured lighter fluid over her body and lit a match. Her shrill screams, the smell of burning flesh and the sight of the flames engulfing her terrified me. Once medically stable, they threw her in an isolation room. I didn't get that. Why did they punish her? It was a pretty desperate act just to get attention. Why couldn't they just give her the attention?

They didn't know I had been raped or beaten. They didn't know I had been told so many times I deserved nothing and called horrible names. All they knew is I couldn't stop hurting myself, or shooting dope or throwing up. So they pumped me full of pills or tied me to the bed like an animal. What they did was instill more hate inside me. And all that hate made me hurt myself even more.

You can't force anyone to stop self-destructive behaviour. Stopping comes only from feeling safe, feeling accepted, feeling cared about.

It's like the story of the sun and the wind. They had an arguement to see who was stronger - who could make the man take off his coat. The wind blew and tried to force the coat from the man, but only when the sun shone it's warmth, did the man remove his jacket.

The warmth of God's touch cut through my pain, my hate, my fear. It didn't happen all at once. It took time. Time for me to feel safe. Time for me to trust. First, He broke the hold of the drug addiciton. I stopped shooting dope but I still wouldn't eat and I cut myself all the time. I used to scream at God, You want to kill me? Then go ahead. Do it. I don't care. Do it already! I dare you to kill me. In the gentleness of His love, He overlooked my attitude.

Hope. I want to reach out in gentleness like God did for me.
Maybe what I lived can give hope to others who live in the dark.


Andrea said...

I am praising GOD for HIS penetrating power in your life. He broke through horrific pain and filled those places with love. You, my friend will be used much. You have a willing spirit and a gentle heart. It is likely God is using you when you do NOT even know it.

Blessings and prayers, Andrea

Just Be Real said...

Sarah, I am blown away by this touchnig post. It has touched me, and I come in agreement with you that it touches others. Thank you for sharing!

Lisa Marie said...

You are doing so much for those who read your blog. You are giving us hope! Thank you!

Wanda's Wings said...

Sounds like a story of hope.

Terri Tiffany said...

Where did she get a match and lighter fluid in that facility? That makes me wonder what kind of place it was!

Epiphany said...

I have read every one of your posts and this is by FAR the best I've read. It is beautiful. Every part of your love for God shines through.

I am so grateful you got through this, and I really do hope I can learn through your experiences how deep God's love is for me too.


Debbie Thorkildsen said...

Keep sharing. Use your voice through whatever means works for you.

I'm so proud of you for sharing.

Wanda's Wings said...

Hope is such a needed thing after severe abuse.

valerie lynn said...

Sarah, you are truly touching lives by writing your life experiences. You may never know whose life you have touched but God knows. Keep writing your story my friend. Keep sharing hope to those who feel there is none. God bless you and I love you.

You are one beautiful woman with one powerful story to share. I pray God continue to strengthen you as you write your story.

Grace and Peace

Mike Golch said...

this is a powerful posting.I can relate.

Finally Free said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. It touched my heart. I am so sorry that someone hurt you so deeply.

I am so thankful that God's love is healing you. I know God will use your story to light the path for many who are still lost in the dark.



Faith Hoffen said...

That is so true. I can empathize with you, Sarah. Hang on to the blessing of hope!

Faith Hoffen

Denise said...

I use to be a cutter, I am so proud of you for speaking truth here.