About 5 ½ years ago, I was dramatically healed, through faith and medication from bi-polar disorder that had kept me in bondage for almost half my life. However, there was at least a score of things—traumas in my life—that caused me to continue to live with a severe case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. For five years, the Lord made the burden of those traumas light on my back. I had no flashbacks or panic attacks.
Then events trranspired in the winter of this year to throw me back into the “Lion’s Lair.” I began to feel the traumas as though they were happening today, and I became less and less able to function in a normal way. I was being torn apart emotionally by the voices of my abusers that were somehow woven into my cognitions. There seemed no way to get rid of these voices. I was told by two therapists that people as severely abused as I was almost never got better.
Then, a week ago, I was climbing my staircase. On the landing is a Minerva Teichert painting of the Savior rescuing a black sheep. I don’t remember consciously looking at the painting, but as I passed it on the landing, I noticed that, as usual, my insides were tied in knots. For the first time, I thought to cry, “Why is this happening? Where does all this anxiety come from?”
Before I had reached the top of the staircase, the answer flew into my head. It was one word, and I never, ever would have arrived at it on my own. The word was: guilt. Light dawned. I had done absolutely nothing to merit this heavy load of guilt that was my constant companion, that always told me I wasn’t good enough, that I could never achieve because I wasn’t smart enough, etc., etc. etc. in every area of my life. I was carrying my abuser’s voice in my cerebral cortex and it was part of every thought, every decision. Inside I was nothing more than a frightened little girl holding up a big mask.
I had studied cognitive therapy intensively, and knew that voice was lying. I knew furthermore that it didn’t belong in my head and that its perpetrator was long dead. A clear vision in my mind and heart, reduced that loud and frightening voice to a little tiny white pill, the size of an aspirin. I pictured it on the sidewalk somewhere, and I brought the metaphorical boot of my faith down on it, gleefully crushing it into millions of pieces. It would never rule me again.
The change in me was so marked my husband and friends all noticed it almost immediately. However, I saw a long road ahead of me, tracing faulty cognitions about who I was and then forging new paths in my brain with healthy cognitions. This is usually the work of years. However for the next seven days I was exahusted with all the projects I needed to finish. But at the end of the day I slept hard. Once I woke because of a horrible flashback. The Lord sent the Holy Ghost immediately, slapping that memory out of my life and replacing it with the warm and loving presence of the Spirit. That is when I realized that the Lord was healing and redirecting my neuropathways while I slept. I got a sore throat, so during the weekend I slept the clock around, and yesterday, Monday, I woke up literally a new woman with a new countenance and a properly functioning brain. The years of work I saw before me had been accomplished while I slept. What remains is my own unique and true personality.