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Finding Hope Again Entry #4 The days seemed to pass rather fast, and soon a whole month had gone by. Jan had now opened-up her house to me so I could do laundry and use her computer for job searches. I had discovered that, all this time, she had lived less than a mile from me. Isn't it funny how we had always lived so close to each other, yet neither one of us knew the other one was there until the day she drove up to my house when she saw me on the porch? Our families soon became close, at least everyone but my older daughter Robyn. It seems that she has started going into a dark world of her own. She has chosen to keep Jesse and me at a distance, and in the times she did allow herself to pop in, she always left angry and with an emptiness in her eyes. I can see the friends of darkness taking over her heart more and more, and she seems to make all her decisions based on what those dark voices trick her mind into believing. In the beginning of this new journey that she and I were traveling on with each other, I would try every way I could to save her. I did this by showing her how she was making one mistake after another. I never once looked down deep into her heart like I should have. I just pointed out what her actions were saying about what I thought was in her heart. She would become even angrier with me and would always leave yelling at me and saying anything she could to hurt me, keeping up that shield of hers. Maybe the only way to help Robyn is to save myself. Let her see through me how we can make it out of this wall of destruction that has been built around our hearts and souls. During these last eighteen years of my life, everyone in my family (who were supposed to love me unconditionally) threw me out like yesterday's garbage…all because of one choice I had made. It was not a bad or hurtful choice, just a different choice. My father told me that, because of the decision I had made to bring Timmy into my life, I could no longer be part of his family. He said that, from this day forward, I would never have anything of value because I just lost my value for choosing that man. He also said that my own children were destined for failure and heartache and would never know any other family except me. We would be deserted by him and by God, and it would be entirely my fault. After my father said those things, and as life began to hit me, I led myself to believe that every word he said had to be true. He was a powerful man and, because of that, my mom and brothers also had to do as he said. With every bad thing that happened to us in the last ten years (and there was a lot), I always knew it was God saying, "I am leaving you behind, Sonja, for going against your own family and committing such an unforgivable sin." That is the way our family lived for those ten years, and the way I lived for the last eighteen years. I lost my husband due to the guilt I felt of what I had done to my parents. My husband was a good man, but I became ashamed of him because I blamed him for taking me away from my family, the ones that had brought me into this world. When you think about it, he was probably the worst victim of all in this whole mess. I have never been able to tell him how truly sorry I am for not believing in him more and for letting my darkness rob us of what could have been. I hope that, as the years have gone by and my heart has softened, he has seen that in me. For many years I also believed that my older daughter, who was born dyslexic, would never become anything of worth because God was going to make her suffer as part of my punishment. While I always fought for her to get all she needed in school, I did not let her be completely free with her mind and imagination so she could explore all her possibilities because I did not want to see her get hurt if she did not succeed. This was my way of protecting her, I thought, but it only brought my own weakness into her as she grew older. Ten years later, when my youngest daughter was born handicapped, I knew the minute the doctor told me she had spina bifida that this was also part of my punishment from God. Even though her dad was not Timmy, I still had the sins of my love for Timmy in me, and that would carry over into Jesse's life as well. I loved those two girls so much, and at the same time, I ached for them because I knew I was their failure in life from the very first breath they took. Only now, at this day and time, there is this family that has come into our lives. They see my children and me, yet they still invite us into their home…a home where I feel warmth and security as I did when I was a young child in my own home. Could I possibly ask this woman (who says she wants to be my friend and help me) to show me a way to heal my heart? Will she see anything in me at all and think I am worth the kind of commitment it is going to take for her to really help me the way I need to be helped in my heart and soul? That same night I was talking out loud with no one in the room but me, not really understanding who I was talking to at the time. I knew my heart needed to try to find the words to ask this new family to help me find a way to bring some light back into this darkened, hard heart that now lived inside of me. Entry #5 Throughout the last fifteen years of my life, I taught myself not to allow new people to get too close to me and share in the lives of my children and me. It was my job to protect them. I thought that, by keeping the outside world away, I was protecting them from more emotional abuse. Little did I know that, by doing that, I was bringing even more of my darkness into their young lives. They never got to have any kind of social life or to build friendships that might have been there to support them when I started slipping into my isolation as the years went by. As Robyn got older, she always had problems socially in school because I had sheltered her and not allowed those skills to be built into the foundation of her life skills. She has always given all of her heart to everyone that came into her life. Fast and furious was the way she let them come into her heart. Each time one if those people stepped on her heart, she would always let them come back for more. She clung so hard to each one and to every little bit of life’s pieces of love she could get, that it didn't matter what kind of emotional abuse came along with it. I have learned through Jan and Chuck that there is value in letting the right kind of people into your life because, through them, you can gain strength, trust, and even great support in the hard times. I just wish Robyn had allowed herself to stay in our lives so she could finally get to feel what it is like to have such wonderful people as Jan and Chuck in her own life, people who see value in you no matter what others have led you to believe about yourself. I am thankful that Jesse is getting the chance to feel and experience the things that I did not allow Robyn and me to have because of my fear of being seen and heard. In the past, I had trained myself not to say "I love you" all the time to the girls because I always felt like I was a punishment to them for all the wrong things that have happened in their lives. I realize now how self-focused I was back then. By allowing my demons to control every decision I made, I became selfish in the developing of my daughter’s lives. I now try to listen more to what they have to say and to even encourage them to try new things with people that, in the past, I would have kept away from them completely. Today, because I am surrounded by such a loving and spiritual family like Chuck and Jan who express their love so openly, I have allowed compassion to come back into my heart. I find myself becoming softer with the girls. Still it is hard to say the words "I love you" to them. I am getting closer, though, to being the kind of mother they need and should have had years ago. Robyn stopped calling me "Mom" when she was sixteen. She always called me "Sonja," except for the few times that she would allow that little piece of her heart that still holds a place for me to come out. Then she would call me "Mom." Robyn has managed to pop into and out of our lives on an ongoing basis. Although she still holds that wall up there between us, I do believe she sees that my heart has become softer. Who knows? We may find a way to get that connection to each other back someday. I have to believe that. I am thankful for this gift of value that my new friends have taught me to see again. Both Jan and Chuck have always made sure they were soft-spoken to me and my girls. I didn't know it at the time, but they were laying the groundwork to help me find a way to start my journey back to God. The great lesson in all of this is that love is the essence of a true connection with each other. If I can learn to love others in this world, then just maybe I can understand this thing that my friends are calling God’s unconditional Love.

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  • I'm healing hoves
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  • after 20 years of emotional abuse from my family, I have finally taken the steps to comeback to God's Grace and Love. I have been in recovery at Celebrate Recovery for two and one half years. These journals I will be adding from my first book are my encounters of my first two years of recovery. I am writing a second book Healing Hooves it will be a story about my 12 year old daughter who is wheel chair bound and how she found reached to great elements of success thru horse thearpy
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