Charlene reveals her testimony of how Discovering MErcy helped her out of a ritually abusive childhood and violent marriage into a new world of identifying triggers, living life from her heart and feeling God's love. (3:53)
I was raised in a Christian family, my father was an elder in the church and he began sexually abusing when I was 3 and into adulthood. I endured abuse from my older brothers as well. I attended the same church throughout my childhood, and I accepted the Lord as my savior at age 4. I wanted him to save me!
When I was 12, the church had a class for all the girls my age called, “How To Be a Lady”. The class started out with things like, how to sit properly, how to walk properly and how to properly eat at a formal dinner. Then it changed, the men and women of the church were brought into the class and “taught” us 12/13 year old girls how to have sex properly.
We were filmed for pornography and the class continued until we were ready to become escorts/call girls for wealthy men and politicians for formal events. I grew to believe that Jesus would never love me, that I was shameful in His eyes. I felt that I was worthless and deserved to be treated poorly. These thoughts set me up to marry an extremely abusive man.
Over time during the journey of healing with Discovering MErcy, I came to understand the meaning of Trauma Based Mind Control. I was SHOCKED to learn that Trauma Based Mind Control meant repetitive trauma a person endures that causes them to be submissive to another person in their thoughts, will and choices.
Many people would even say that they “came out of” that type of trauma, the truth is I GREW UP in that type of trauma….I was never without another person controlling me. My nervous system developed in trauma, which means I was ALWAYS triggered and on high alert. All relationships with others were developed in trauma. I did not know that I LIVED out of a posture of defending myself.
Discovering MErcy taught me about me. I found out how dissociation protected me as a child, and I’m thankful for the gift of dissociation. But they spent time with me to explore the beliefs I held on to that caused me pain... The kind of pain that anchored me in the same defensive structure that I had built as a child.
Over time I learned that even though I had pushed feelings away and lived in a defensive posture using dissociation... I actually was feeling emotions. I learned how to identify those emotions, and feel those emotions without dissociating from them. I also was able to identify the belief I had about myself (which was ‘I will die if I feel this emotion!’) that tricked me to stay captive rendering me powerless but learned to NOT feel due to dissociation.
I am now able to know when I am feeling overwhelmed. I am able to do self-care to help myself to process emotional situations. Disappointments that happen in relationships no longer are devastating to me... I understand when I am feeling the emotion of shame I can identify the emotion, and allow myself the time to explore the emotion and what I believe about myself.
I am human. I feel emotions. I have had losses. But I have learned to identify what I feel, lean into the pain of what I believe about myself because of what I lived through. I have my own mind and will back. I know my heart, live out of my heart and can share my heart with others.
Through the ministry of Discovering MErcy I know what it is to be human.
I know what it is to be loved.
My history doesn’t define me, my heart does.
And my heart radiates a unique resemblance to God as his Glory radiates through my healed scars of trauma.
Learn more about Getting Started with Discovering Mercy.
Discover How to Adopt a Heart like Charlene to continue her path in healing.