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Kaitlyn reached out to me when I posted that I wanted YOUR STORIES and asked if I was serious.  ABSOLUTELY I’m serious!  2014 is about YOU having YOUR VOICE in order to give others HOPE.  I know it takes a LOT to not only have a voice but to also put it out there to share with the world.  Which makes sharing her story, and any others I have coming soon, that much more precious to me.  It takes courage and I am so proud to have this opportunity to share with you Kaitlyn’s story.

Side note, another exciting aspect of sharing her story is having her share with me that she heard me speak to her high school almost five years ago!  To know that she is still encouraged to follow along my journey is humbling.  SHOW HER SOME LOVE and let her know how amazing she is!

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KaitlynThey say that one moment can change your life forever, and it is true. When I was four years old I was molested by my mom’s friend’s son, and that moment changed my life forever. I didn’t know exactly what it meant at the time, but I did feel that it was something I couldn’t share with anyone, and I didn’t for a long time. For about seven years I kept silent and did horrible, unhealthy things to my body as some way to cope with the memory.  The more I reached the reality of it all, the more tempting it was to do these things to myself. I finally stopped these behaviors in the eighth grade. These actions made me completely hate myself. I confessed these sins and vowed to never practice them again. This left freedom, but also a great emptiness in my life. Actions that I had used to define me did not exist anymore. Things went downhill for a few years. I got little to no sleep, tossing and turning from flashbacks and racing thoughts. I became severely depressed and my only temporary escape was the few moments that I would have completely alone and to myself, where I would cry hysterically until I had nothing left.

It was when I was a sophomore in high school when I had said enough was enough. In the privacy of confession, I confronted my high school chaplain. I felt vulnerable and ashamed, but I needed help. I needed to really cope with the event, and forgive myself for the effects. The first meeting with him outside of the confessional was one of the hardest. I had to recount every horrible detail to him. I hardly knew this priest, and I was letting him in on every pitiful detail of my life. He coincided with a Catholic psychologist whom I could only meet with once without parental consent. The thing was is my parents didn’t know anything. My progress came to a halt as my next step was to tell them and that petrified me. I will never forget the day that my mom, dad, and I sat in Father’s office. This was one of my hardest moments in life. I couldn’t speak or look at them. Father had to take over the meeting as I was frozen in fear. They were about to know everything.  Afterwards, a huge weight was lifted, and we hugged in the high school hallway and cried. They had no idea; they couldn’t believe it.  It was the first time that I had seen my dad cry, and the first time my parents had a taste of the inner torment I had hidden from them for 12 years. Things at home changed drastically. My parents had a daughter who was hurting, and they did all they could to show love and support.

Problems worthy of attack are worth fighting back

After this meeting, I met with Father and the psychologist on a regular basis. We even pulled in my family physician. I needed healing, forgiveness, love, courage, and faith and I was getting it medically, psychologically, and spiritually. I wanted to attack this dark cloud from all angles. The journey over the next few years was a roller coaster; good times and bad. The spring of my freshman year of college though, things got really bad. I don’t know if it was the new environment that triggered it, but I was falling apart. I doubted God’s love and mercy; there was such a distance. I would look up to the skies and say, “How dare you to have allowed this to happen to me. Why Lord?”  I had uncontrollable thoughts and dreams that I felt even the devil himself would have been ashamed of. They tormented me; involved those I loved most. I woke up disgusted with myself. The dreams were so vivid and real that it felt like I had actually done these actions; I felt the guilt of them. I knew these things tormenting my brain were not of me. They killed me inside. It was at this time that it was decided the next step would be an exorcism for the relief of an obsession. I received the right of exorcism over six times. After the first series, I had never felt so free. God gave me two days of complete freedom; I got to enjoy the Kaitlyn without all of the baggage, the sin, the guilt, the hurt. It was pure bliss. But it ended, and there were more sessions to come. It was just this year that the sessions ended and the darkness of evil had completely lifted.

Romans 8-38,39_001

Where I sit now is tough. I have forgiven my molester and am just sort of sitting still for a while. I am being allowed to just be; not going backward and slowly moving forward I still have my struggles, and still have my therapies, but I am such a better person, a different person, a stronger person than I was 16 years ago. There is emptiness where my past was, and my job now, what I am fighting for now, is to fill it with God’s love. I was encouraged by my spiritual director (my former high school chaplain) to envision a white space, an empty pure space, where I ask God to enter and reside. It is a calm meditation for still such a busy mind. I need to completely let go and let God in. I don’t have to do this by myself. I am not defined by this. I have a voice. There is a reason for this journey.

Now I am putting my energy into something much more positive. I have one more year of undergrad, and then I plan to attend medical school. Nothing gets me more excited or my heart more on fire than the thought of helping people through faith and medicine.  I have so much support from my family, and those who have helped me on this journey. God is so good!

*~Kaitlyn is the oldest of seven children from Bismarck, ND. She is currently a junior at the University of Mary where she plans to graduate with a major in biology (pre-med concentration), as well as a minor in Catholic studies and chemistry. She hopes to attend medical school following graduation. Aside from school she likes being outside, traveling, photography, dancing, being with family, and playing with her pet cat, dog, and sugar glider.~*

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Thank you, Kaitlyn, for sharing your story.

If YOU have a story you would like to share please contact me at hopefulhearts333@gmail.com.

Show Kaitlyn some LOVE and leave her a comment below!

Blessings

Shannon

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