Should I try to uncover my past?


I recently received this email from a newsletter subscriber. I asked her permission if I could use her words because I believe her struggle mirrors all of ours.

She writes:

Hi Mary. I’m not sure if it’s okay to reply to this mail, but it really resonated with me as well as raised some questions.

First I want to say I’m praying for you. I get that place of “peace and turmoil” in regards to finding one of your abusers. I can imagine the array of emotions effecting your heart right now is somewhat overwhelming. I’m glad you found a piece of the puzzle…and pray that more is to come.
[Aside: through some help from investigative friends, I have possibly located one of the boys who molested me. Still working through the implications.]

I appreciated your prayer at the end. I’ve been in a season of weariness in regards to carrying all this past stuff for so long. I have isolated and it’s so difficult to get out myself out of that place. I want to, yet I don’t.

A couple things I would like to ask about.

You mentioned that your a broken person, and won’t be entirely whole until you see Jesus. I am in the process of uncovering my own “mysteries”. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and DID. I have many missing years and memories, as well as specific incidents with my abuser where large amounts of time are missing..times when I know what was started but not the hours that followed or what was done. I’ve found that many in the church/ Christian circle have said that maybe I’m not supposed to know, and have counseled me to “just out it behind me and move on”.

I hate that advice…do they no get that we would gladly drop “it” if we were able? I put it behind me and it consistently taps me on the shoulder, making it’s presence known in the form of dreams, triggers, and flashbacks. It’s not going anywhere and not letting me “move on”.

Have you been given that same advice in regards to your mission of uncovering some mysteries? If so, how have you processed that? Like you, I agree that I may never get full closure until I am able to remember some of the things I’ve had happen. Its not so I can wallow in it, but so I can face reality, work through it (I can’t work through what I can remember) and move forward.

My counselor often says that God wants complete healing for me this side of Heaven, and seems to not want to discuss the what ifs.

  • What if God has another plan and I won’t see complete healing from this?
  • What if His grace will be sufficient for me to walk with these broken places the rest of my days here on earth?
  • What if this is my cross to hear, but knowing I don’t have to bear it alone?

I know God doesn’t always heal those with cancer or other illnesses, and why would my struggles be different? I feel I’m desperate to find a way to live with my brokenness and yet be able to be present and engaged with my family and honor God in the journey, yet have no one to walk me through that, and I strongly feel that God has some pretty amazing things for me as I consider that possibility.

I also am struggling with all I’ve been learning these last few years about my identity in regards to what I’ve been diagnosed with.

When God looks at me He sees me as whole and complete. My brokenness doesn’t matter to Him. And that has changed my perspective in so many ways, good ways…..but my reality is I live with a lot of emotional pain and struggles. I feel broken, but also know my feelings aren’t truth, what God says is truth. So what is my earthly reality?

As children of God am I/are we broken? In light of what God says should I put away that thinking and all the plans and struggles that come with it to maintain and heal, or do I acknowledge those feelings and put them above what God says about me? I hope this makes sense. I feel I’m missing a piece of the identity puzzle as well, and just can’t seem to get my thoughts calmed in regards to this.

I’ll be praying for you, and thank you for praying for me and others who walk this rocky path of recovery.

Thank you,

Dear NAME,

Sorry for the late response, but I wanted to give it my full attention.

Yes, I have absolutely been given that same advice, and it falls flat on me as well. I think it depends on your personality, and I suspect yours is like mine. I’m an investigator by heart, and I am unsatisfied unless I can fully resolve something. That being said, I only recently “found” my abuser (dead), as I mentioned in the email. I’m emotionally ready to finish this work, but I’m not sure I was a few years ago. So maybe there’s something to God’s timing in the way we unearth what went on?

Then again, there is that verse about the truth setting us free. And I wholeheartedly believe it. If you can uncover things that will help you bring closure, then do that, as God leads you. I can say that finding my abuser has so far been entirely healing.

As to healing and brokenness, I think it’s okay to jive with Scripture in this. It talks of the tension of the now and not yet, and that all believers experience that tension. We are not as we should be, but we will one day be that. I do think it’s healthy to realize that positionally we are no longer broken in God’s eyes, we are his whole, beautiful children. But the sanctification process, also includes our healing journey. (I think sometimes we forget that. We think sanctification is more about disciplines or being less sinful. I believe it’s our movement, day by day, toward wholeness.)

I hope that’s helpful. I love your questions. I think they will be helpful to others.