The news seems as though it has no mercy. It’s constant bombardment of the dismal updates on this vicious disease is too much to bear. Another patient rushed to the hospital. Another victim died. Another family member or close friend is in critical condition. The texts keep coming in, screaming, to pray for yet another friend, fighting for his life. This all doesn’t seem real. It’s feels as though it’s a dream and we will all wake up to see the normal world we used to have. Life on all levels has come to a complete halt and nothing makes sense anymore.
For now though, I would like to call out to entirely different group of victims of this virus. The members of this group are all victims, without even coming into contact with the deadly disease. This group suffers all alone, without displaying any external symptoms, yet on the inside they are falling apart. Their heart and souls are broken into a million pieces. On the inside they are at the threshold of death.
To all of you who have been through trauma and abuse, this pandemic takes on a whole new meaning. I know that to be the case, as I’m a member of that group. I’m a silent victim of coronavirus. Although I’ve never met you all in person, my heart breaks for each and every one of you.
Having your sense of safety stolen from you as a child or teenager, teaches you that the world is not a safe place to live in. Having our boundaries breached by the very people that are supposed to love us and care for us, teaches us not to trust anyone. Having a childhood in which the sun didn’t shine and only darkness prevailed, teaches us that the world is indeed a dark place.
Some of you, like myself, have been through abuse, the types of which the world doesn’t like talking about. I am unfortunately very intimately familiar with all the shame, guilt and confusion that comes as a result. The feelings of being a bad person. Of being hated by God. The feelings of being all alone in this world. Being in our own quarantine, created by our abusers. We stayed in there because we knew that we were different than the rest of the world. Although we look the same, our inside world feels so different. We stay in that shelter buried in shame and guilt.
So I call out to you all, my dear friends, I know the news today is all so triggering for you. I know it’s making you feel unsafe again. I know it’s making you feel hated by God. I know you feel that God will punish you because you are a “bad person”. I know it’s bringing back horrible feelings and flashbacks of the times you’ve worked so hard to work through them and put behind you.
I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. Although it feels as though you are in your quarantine, all alone, without a human being in there with you. I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. I know the feelings. I know your pain. I know the agony that you are going through now. I know how much this all hurts and how your anxiety skyrocketed through the roof.
I want you to know that in addition to myself, there are many other victims out there that are experiencing the same feelings that you are. Your feelings and emotions are very real and valid. You almost paralyzing anxiety is normal. Many of you have been through fire. Very hot fire which was strong enough to mold and carve your heart and soul to become a sensitive and empathetic person. For people like us, the news stings us so much more. It hits us all so much harder. It’s not because you are weak, it’s because of your strength. The strength it took to walk through burning flames and come out alive has molded and shaped you into the person you are. You therefore feel things on a much deeper level. You feel pain so much stronger than others. This is not weakness in any sense at all.
Finally, I know at times like these, it’s so hard to see and feel God’s love and mercy. It’s so hard to see his kindness and compassion. Yet, I promise you with every fiber in my being, that God loves us all. Although we don’t see it and can’t fathom it, I know and believe that He loves us. There is a special place in God’s heart for the broken hearted. We are all in that special place. We lived our life broken hearted from the time our lives were stolen from us. We struggled everyday to stay alive and functional. God sees that all and loves us even more because of our efforts. I don’t know why we had to endure the pain that we’ve been through. I won’t ever know, but there’s one thing I can assure you, God has a master plan and although we don’t see it, He does and He know what He’s doing.
Perhaps we can look at it another way. Yes, we feel like we lived our entire life quarantined, perhaps we weren’t alone in that state. We had God with us because He promises that he is close to the broken hearted amongst us. Is there a better person to be quarantined with? We are quarantined with God himself. If and when the times get too hard to bear, or the news is too much for us, on top of all our own pain and trauma, all we need to do is cry out to God. He is right there with us. He is listening to every word and collecting every tear.
The guilt and shame, the feelings of being hated by God, is all our abusers voice that was so wrongly planted in us. Nothing and no one can truly take away that pure inner spark that’s deep within us and it is that pure spark, that remained ignited despite being smothered by our abusers, is why God cherishes so much. God is fire and we are fire and just like two fires become one when they are close, so too we are one with God, in that very special place in His heart!