Should I try to uncover my past?

Nov 30, 2016Q & A with Mary

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.



  1. Michael Winskie

    Awesome post, Mary. To a certain degree, we are all broken and will not be whole until we see him face to face. It’s hard to put the past behind. Sometimes, it taps you on the shoulder, as NAME says. Only Jesus can heal. All we can do is hold onto him, follow him, and trust that he will, indeed, work ALL things to our good and his glory. God bless you and yours. God bless NAME. Thanks for the good word.

    • Mary DeMuth

      That’s true. and thank you for the reminder that ONE DAY all will be blessedly healed.

  2. Sylvia

    Yes, it definitely resonated with me as well. There are painful hurts that have not been resolved in my life, and I want to determine how to proceed. God’s wisdom definitely aids is in that recovery, but if we stuff it down, I feel that I have experienced more health problems as a result. I had some abusive things that happened in college and one after with a narcisstic person. It’s hard but my brain won’t let go. I loved, loved your statement that sanctification includes healing. I absolutely agree with you. Thanks for the post. It really helped me as I profess my own hurts/abuse. Thanks, Mary!



    • Mary DeMuth

      Sylvia, I’m grateful this post helped you. It’s very hard to recover from a narcissistic person in our lives.

      • Sylvia

        Very much agreed. The Jekyll and Hyde is maddening!

  3. linda

    Wow…that letter could have been written by me at one point. I no longer see “that counselor” but I sure wonder about my identity. I was adopted…and when I have brought up searching for my mother, it gets shut down. Ohio has opened up those records and I will be getting my original birth certificate soon. I am not sure what this means to me yet.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Wow, Linda. That’s a huge thing!!!!! Keep us posted here on your progress.

  4. Susan G.

    Thanks for this Mary. Through any struggle or challenge we may have in life, we do first have to go to Him who made us, and ask how we proceed in our quest for answers we may have. We certainly are all different in our personalities and how we may perceive our healing or how we get there… I agree with you that counseling along with the guiding of His Holy Spirit is the only way to really know how to proceed on this difficult path.
    Bless you Mary as you guide others to finding wholeness in Him.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Thanks Susan. Yes, the Spirit is so helpful in this process.

  5. LucyK

    Thank you so much for your response to such a heart felt and genuine email, Mary. How brave of your friend to reach out to you and ask those questions – she really was putting her heart ‘on the line’, and indeed, it is very helpful to others. A great deal of what she, and you, say on this topic really resonates with me, and I thank both of you for your bravery. Warmly, Lucy.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Lucy, I’m grateful the post resonated with you, too. I had a hunch that many people have felt these things.