Lessons From Elizabeth Smart’s Kidnapping

Keeping the line bold between abusers and victims over all types of abuse

Elizabeth woke to a knife at her throat and a threat to stay quiet or her younger sister, lying next to her in bed, would be killed. Terrified, 14-year-old Elizabeth went with her kidnapper more concerned about protecting her family than herself. She went on to have a sensational story of being married as a second wife to an evil, narcissistic psychopath who raped her daily for nine months. Finally found and rescued by the police, she went home to throngs of well-wishers and reporters rejoicing in her safe return.

Celebrations are proper and good in such situations. A child captive set free and returned to a loving family who never quit their desperate search for their daughter breaks all of our hearts. The sexual perversion foisted onto her makes our blood boil. It should.

Our culture understands kidnapping and sexual enslavement. There are many wonderful supports for survivors and great understanding from family and public alike. We want to read the survivors’ stories and hear about their struggle and strength. We are inspired to stay vigilant for our own family.

Imagine if no one had even known that Elizabeth Smart was missing. Then she turns up and tells people about what happened to her. Her parents scathingly accuse her of being a liar and the public tells her that kidnappings and sexual enslavement don’t happen. Friends turn against Elizabeth and she becomes an outcast to her family. She goes to church and hears over and over about how she hasn’t forgiven people in her life and is shamed that she isn’t happy and vibrant in life.

This doesn’t happen in Elizabeth Smart types of kidnappings and horror. But there are other sexual abuse genres (if you will) that turn out very much just like our crazy example. The situations I am talking about are as turned upside down from Elizabeth’s true abuse as can be.

I HATE the word “incest”, but I will go with it because it is universally understood. It is a neat and tidy word that explains raping and sexual viewing/touching. These are children who are sexually abused in the home. While people know that it truly happens, there is huge societal pressure not to discuss it and not to get involved in rescuing these children. There is huge family backlash if any abused child gets out of line, and if the child (or adult if they disclose later in life) doesn’t recant the abuse, the victim will get kicked out of the family. Then they sit in churches and hear about how unforgiving they are, shaming the victim instead of speaking out against the perpetrators. Many times, the perpetrators themselves are sitting in the seats.

Satanic Ritual Abuse victims are treated even worse. Most times they are taken to the rituals by their own parents where they are sexually tortured and horrificaly traumatized by death and blood of animals and sometimes humans. In this case, society says that SRA doesn’t happen and feel sorry for the poor family that had this horrible accusation foisted against them by their own child. These victims are also kicked out of the family and are seen as mentally crazy.

It is interesting to compare law enforcement and courtroom reactions to the three different types of abuse we are talking about today. In the kidnapping/sexual abuse scenarios, it is very obvious to society who the bad guy is, who the innocent victim is, and the perpetrator goes to jail for a very long time. In incest cases, many times they never even make it into the courtroom. If they do, it is hard to get a conviction with the blurred lines between perpetrator (but he is a pillar in society! He would never…) and the victim (if this was true, why didn’t she tell a teacher when she was young? She would have told someone!). Sometimes the defense will go so far as to say the victim made it up. If there is a conviction, there is not very much jail time at all.

In SRA it even more bizarre. The parents immediately turn the entire family against the victim if they speak out. They are either quickly recant, or they are outcasts from their family. The family turns viciously against the victim and tries to shame them in front of their family and friends. Society says that they don’t believe it ever happens. Churches don’t know what to do with the victims, and tend to think they are more demonically controlled and need demons cast out. Here not only is the victim made guilty, but their very spirituality is questioned.

Hearing the story of Elizabeth Smart gives me hope. If society can understand the kind of abuse that happened to her, then I believe incest will one day be seen in the same black/white view. Maybe one day SRA will as well.

If you are still reading this, I thank God for you. It is time that society gets educated on all abuses, not just the ones that make logical sense. Society not wanting to deal with or know about incest or SRA is unacceptable. Our churches need to step up and start helping the victims instead of shaming them.

I thank God that Elizabeth Smart was rescued. I highly recommend her book, “My Story”. As you look closely at how easy it is in her case to figure out who was the bad guy and who was the victim, I encourage you to extrapolate that to incest and SRA as well. We need to call out abuse and abusers. If they face what they have done here and now, not only will it alert others to their perversions, it will save those abuses from being thrust on other children. The only way to save incest and SRA victims is through education and prevention. You cannot prevent what you refuse to look at.

 

Coffee Break

I love coffee breaks! The process of the warm cup in my hand, the steamy smell wafting to my nose, and the calming of all the muscles in my body as my mind stills happens every time. It’s like an old friend coming over for a chat, but it is only me and my cup. Today I am looking over my life, my blog on how God is Good and how it all works together in my tangled life.

I know that in the blogging world, people like blogs with one theme. I love that too, and when I am in the mood for homeschooling, or current events or someone sharing their life it is easy to go there. But then you hit my blog, and it’s everything I do, think, and understand that will greet you. You never know what you will get, but you will always know where I am in life and what is going on at the time.

I realize that blogging is putting my life on display and that anyone can access it. It is quite terrifying in many ways. But I always come back to my love for God and the need to share how wonderful he is for whomever will grace me with a glance at my blog.

I know that there are many topics on my blog that make many people uncomfortable. There are those who do not want to hear about God, homeschooling, my life,parenting, teaching, my poems, or sra and sexual abuse. But I do hope that the brave that soldier through my posts are seeing that I am just a woman who lives my life knowing that whatever I am going through, God is with me.

I continue to love homeschooling. My 9th grader and I are having an enjoyable study in the executive cabinet appointees and Trump’s innauguration. My teaching English to Chinese students over the internet for VIPkids is a joy and is going well. Parenting is challenging as always. Health-wise I have been fighting cold/bronchitis/pneumonia for the past several weeks and it is really annoying. SRA healing has been quite difficult lately, unfortunately, and I struggle with how long the healing process is.

In the midst of all of these areas of my life swimming around in my head, I come back to the rock of my life: God. He calms my storm of thoughts and I remember how much He loves me and that even if I feel as though I am going through the valley of the shadow of death in different areas of my life, He is with me. With Him, I will make it out and do well.

My cup is about empty and it is time to get back to work. Thank you for being supportive of my blog and of me. I greatly enjoy my WordPress time and I hope that God blesses you in what you are dealing with today.

I Saw You

Finally accepting my little one inside.

I saw you the other day
Just a flash
A shock out of the darkness
A glimpse of the girl
I wanted to forget

I had seen your shadow
Stopping by
Over the years
But I pushed you away
I didn’t want tears

But in that flash
That moment suspended through time
That raw spot in my chest
Reached out to you
To understand

I did not want
To see you again
You disrupted my life
Time after time
Even as you were forgotten

That touch
Brief as it was
Opened the vault
I had sealed for eternity
Long ago

You sent another flash
And there you were
Bruised dirty alone
Forgotten
I had put you there

I looked long and hard
Your desperation
And I walked up to you
Slapped your face
How dare you

You curl in a ball
I stomp away
My chest bleeds
My head pounds
I hear you cry

I can’t sleep
The echo of your cry
The pitiful picture
You display
Takes my appetite

What is wrong with you
Leave me alone
Go away
I cannot deal with you today
Or ever

I can’t breathe
The pain in my chest
Reaches out
To the one
I can no longer leave behind

Another flash
I walk back
To the past
I will not hurt you
Anymore

You look up at me
Tears of the unwashed
Forgotten child
I look at your face
You are me

All you want
Is for me to pick you up
Accept legitimacy
You are the one
Who never lied to me

I take you back
To the present
The only place
I can keep you safe
Protected

Now you are washed
Appreciated
Loved and accepted
Believed
We are now we

When Words are All I Have

When your power of words escape you…

Words
Have let me down
Again

They
Are my only way
To express
What I feel
And saw
Yet cannot say

I
Craft them
Play with them
Twist them around
Be clever
But I cannot
Come
Close

Feeling words
So fickle
Their definitions
Uninspiring
Weak

Words
Leave me
When needed
Most
I am left
Bereft

Alone
Emotions intense
Will explode
Must express
No words
Come

Words
Cannot express
What I saw
What I felt
Not then
Or
Now

What
Can I do
They are all
I
Have

To sum
I cannot write
What happened
In any way
To understand
Because words
Have let me down
Again

There is a Line

A poem on the journey of healing.

By Lisa M. Meister

There is a line
I did not draw
Stark and bold
Toward it I crawl
There is terror here
It yanks me back
I will not make it
I will crack

There is a line
I can not see
I am lost
In great misery
I really can’t
Go this trek
I am hopeless
Suicidal wreck

There is a line
I am told
You can get there
My hand just hold
But hopeless am I
For what I know
There is no strength
For me to go

There is a line
I do not know
Why it’s there
Or what it shows
But I will work
Scratch and claw
Cry and weep
Give it all

There is a line
Behind I see
When I passed
Is beyond me
Silently
It came and went
I ponder it
What it meant

There is a line
Where terror shrieks
Or sun and peace
The other side speaks
I listen to both
I look into mind
I have decided
To leave past behind

There is a line
That I went over
It was just
One step closer
I watch the line
Grow far away
And live my future
Day by day

Rabbit Recognition Award

The Rabbit Recognition Award

Thank you, Lottie, for nominating me for the Run Recognition Award! Lottie runs a blog called Run Rabbit Run  which I highly recommend. She can be found at runrabbitrun.wordpress.com . Lottie is a survivor of Satanic Ritual Abuse and courageously and strongly blogging about it and writing a book that will come out soon called “Run Rabbit Run”, which I will definitely be buying.

It is hard for someone to step up and tell others that they are a sexual abuse survivor, but to say that they are an SRA survivor takes a lot of courage. Lottie has inspired me to be more vocal in my blogging world about ritual abuse and dissociative disorders. She is active on bloggers who are talking about sa, sra, and did, encouraging and instilling energy. She has a love of life and wants to share it with others.

Even if you are not a survivor, reading her blog will inspire you. Everyone has difficulties in life, and reading about what she has been through and how she has handled it will be worth the read to help you through your life.

This award is especially exciting because it is the first time I have been nominated for one! Hence, I have no idea how to run this or to place an award. So hang in there with me while I give this my best shot.

I started blogging in January for the first time ever. I have loved writing since second grade, took some writing courses growing up, and published an article and Sunday School Curriculum. Then I homeschooled four children and had no time. Now I have one child left to school and time to start something just for me. That is how I started, and that is why I post in so many different areas. I really enjoy the entire process and have met so many people that I greatly admire.

If you are a new blogger, welcome. The whole process is very overwhelming, but learning is a step by step process. Stick to learning one thing at a time and move on. You also learn so much by visiting other blogs, following them and getting to know them. But most of all, have fun!

MY NOMINATIONS:
These nominations are for the courageous bloggers I admire for their work with survivors of abuse and their healing:

https://emotionsoflife2016.wordpress.com

https://positivelypeculiar.wordpress.com

https://patriciajgrace.wordpress.com/

https://stillbeloved.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/trauma-restoring-faith

https://trippingovertypeset.com/

https://bethanykays.com/

https://writingandalcohol.wordpress.com/

https://ipbchigi.wordpress.com/

https://amourdreamer.wordpress.com/

https://tellingheavysecrets.wordpress.com/

https://brokenfingernails.com/

https://couragecoaching.wordpress.com/

https://tellingheavysecrets.wordpress.com/

https://fromthedarkintothesunshine42.wordpress.com/

https://brilliancewithin.com/

Congratulations all my friends. Many of you I have just met for the first time and fell in love with your blogs. Keep up your good work and thank you for caring so much about others.

 

Here goes, let’s see if I did it correctly…

 

You Have Got to be Kidding!

What do we do when we don’t see God’s big picture?

Everybody identifies with poor Gideon. There he was, fearfully thrashing his wheat in the middle of the night, minding his own business, when he had an encounter with the Lord. Then God got a little crazy, he called Gideon a “mighty man of valor”, and everyone knew that wasn’t true. Then God calls Gideon to get the Mideonites out of the land.

God must have known what he was doing, but Gideon didn’t. So he had a couple questions while he had God’s attention for a few minutes.

  1. Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us?
  2. Where be all his miracles which our father’s told us?

“But now the Lord hath forsake us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

Gideon had good questions. He didn’t understand what was going on in their country and why God hadn’t fixed it. He really was confused.

God doesn’t answer Gideon’s at all. He just tells Gideon what to do. God said, “Go in this they might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites, have I not sent thee?

God doesn’t always give us the answers we want. Sometimes we are angry with Him for not intervening. But God just doesn’t answer our questions:

Deuteronomy 29:29 says

“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God. But those things which are revealed belong unto us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of the law”.

Some questions God answers, and some He doesn’t. So when life is rough and you are thrashing wheat in the middle of the night so the enemy doesn’t find you, remember this:

God ALWAYS has a reason, and His reason is perfect. Just trust. Gideon did and look what happened to him!

Taken from Judges 6

I’m in the Furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

You are not in the fire alone. So who is with you?

Nobody can listen to the account of Shadrach, Meshac and Abednego without a feeling of great fear and trepidation.  If you had been standing up for God like they did,  you would have been thrown in with them. That furnace was so hot that the people throwing them in died from the heat. Shudder, shudder.

Being burned to death is one of the worst ways I can imagine dying, and that says a lot because there are really a lot of ways out there to go. But I digress. So they were thrown into the fire, God showed up and gave them a tour of the furnace, and the king told them to come back out so he could try to figure out why his evil plan to get rid of them didn’t work.

This is where God’s sense of humor comes in: Not a hair on their head was singed and they didn’t even smell like smoke. I can just imagine the look on the kings face.

My part comes in when I look at my life. Children that are abused are in that furnace. It’s not a great place to be and you certainly would rather not be in there, whether you are burning or not. Some people spend their whole childhood, and sometimes their adult-hood too in the furnace. Sometimes we don’t realize that God is walking around there with us, protecting us so that we will come out of it un-burned.

If you are currently in the fiery furnace, please know that God is there with you. You are not going to catch on fire and you will not burn up. God will get you out and love on you and work on healing you. And you won’t even smell like smoke!

 

 

 

Who Are You Mad At?

If someone snatches your purse, who would you be mad at?
After 9/11, who were you mad at?
When you have to go to the BMV, who are you mad at?
When you pay your taxes, who are you mad at?
If you are sexually abused, who are you mad at?
If you are an SRA survivor, who would you be mad at?
If someone shot and killed your family member, who would you be mad at?

We are diving deep here, but please try to stay with me to the end. All the questions above are completely different, yet uniquely the same.

Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Let us juxtapose Ephesians with this Scripture:

Romans 1:18

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness.

So let me tell you my thoughts and you can tell me what you think.

In the Ephesians verse, God tells us that we don’t wrestle with what people, regardless of what they do. That is how all the above situations are the same. They do differ greatly in intensity. We can spend a lot of time getting angry and bitter at a person, especially when rape or murder is involved, and you would be justified in that anger.

Romans tells us that God has wrath against man. This seems like God is telling us not to look at man as the cause of whatever has been done to us, but God can. But I do not think it is a contradiction.

We can be mad at people, but we have to understand that they have evil pushing them to do awful things. The person doing the awful thing is completely accountable here and before God for what he/she did. So if you were sexually abused or are an SRA survivor, please know that God hates what they did to you and they will stand before Him on it whether they “pay” for it here on earth or not. God is angry at them. But He wants us to know that we don’t fight the person who injured us. We are fighting demonic forces and powers that have made you a target because the enemy wants to destroy you.

Bitterness grows and makes us miserable if we stay focused on the person who did the harming. We need to make a shift to putting that energy from bitterness into fighting our real enemy: the devil and demons. We can still be angry at the person who did those things, but our focus will be spiritually fighting the enemy.

I have been sexually abused and I am an SRA survivor. I am angry with those who hurt me, but my focus is on fighting the enemy. We do that in prayer, in speaking what was drummed into us to keep silent, to help others out with their healing and in any way God leads us. That brings a healing that bitterness never will.

Who are you mad at?

Flashback

A poem about a flashback I had in front of a beloved aunt and uncle.

Silently
I sit in a darkened room
All alone with the pain
Knifing through my head

Silently
I flash through memories
Movies of time past
Ripping terror through my chest

Silently
Tears wash down my face
As confusion twists time
Stealing the present from my grasp

Silently
I hear the whisper
Voices filled with threats
Demonic hisses of days gone by

Silently
My eyes grow big
My body freezes
Violations testifying

Silently
I curl up on the floor
Back against the wall
Warily watching the empty room

Silently
I feel the floor
A wisp of air from the fan
Clutching of my Teddy

Silently
I see where I am
I have embarrassed myself again
Showed others my pain

Silently
I hate myself
They have no context
Insane they must think me

Silently
I throw my Teddy
across the room
Denying my comfort

Silently
Drying my eyes
Painting on a smile
Hopelessly walk out the door