The Trauma Survivor’s Guide to Healing from Sexual Shame

I was frozen.

It was nobody’s fault but my own. After meeting my ex-husband at 15 years old, getting married at 18 years old as a virgin, and spending almost 15 years in a tornado of fighting, making up, passion, devastation, gaslighting, feeling like I couldn’t breathe without him, all while resenting what he had done to me, I was a hot mess after I left him. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a broken reflection of a girl who just longed to be fought for and nurtured. I wanted to feel loved, but I couldn’t see that my view of love was completely warped.

I was also deeply damaged from years of being cheated on repeatedly. It opened the door to many spiritual attacks on my self-esteem and how I felt about my body. I already had deep-rooted body-image issues from developing quickly as a young girl and my body being subject to inappropriate comments, groping, and jokes from my peers. I hated my body for a very long time. It all came to a head when the final time that I had sex with my ex-husband was me being passed out and taken advantage of after he made me a drink as I was homeless with our children in a hotel room after leaving him. He also had stolen my debit card and left me there not knowing what happened when I awoke. I had never felt cheaper and more disposable in my life. I began to see myself more as an object of men’s desires or lust than someone who could be loved for who I was. I longed to be, but the desperation for attention and physical touch engulfed me because I was so lonely.

When people violate you in any way sexually, it is one hundred percent not your fault. There’s nothing that you could have or should have done better because that is blaming the victim instead of the person who was wrong. I could have not allowed my ex-husband in that hotel room, I could have screamed when that man in a bookstore exposed himself to me at 10 years old, or I could have gone to a teacher when that boy grabbed my breast, but at the end of the day, they were to blame. With that being said, I should have gotten the spiritual deliverance that I needed to break off the years of sexual sin that was done to me so that I could be free of any soul ties, trauma bonds, or demonic presences that came with it, but I didn’t even know that I had any.

I went on as a single woman and began to date men. I have heard many people say that women have a stage where they are sexually “free” after divorce, and it’s funny to me now because that “freedom” is so much more bondage than I could ever see. I am not judging anyone, and I went through my own stage, but in my journey, it caused me more pain than “freedom.” It reinforced that lie that the enemy had told me about being an object. It became my self-fulfilling prophecy. I thank God it wasn’t a long stage, wasn’t all sexual, and I learned relatively quickly that I had to heal differently, but I can be honest in saying that I didn’t fully understand what trauma had done to me until I had these encounters.

…and it’s funny to me now because that “freedom” is so much more bondage than I could ever see.

One night in particular, while I didn’t have my kids, I made the not-so-smart decision to meet a guy that I had been talking to through texts messages. We met in a public place, but it was dark and somewhat secluded. Not even minutes into meeting, he told me that he wanted to kiss me. I remember not wanting it. I stalled by changing the subject and asking him questions about his life. I remember feeling embarrassed deep down because I thought this guy truly wanted to meet to get to know each other intellectually. It wasn’t the first time that I thought, “someone who finally sees me for me,” only to realize that I was disposable. A short time later, he came in to kiss me again. I felt guilty and scared to say no, so I allowed it. He began to touch me all over my body, and I didn’t like it, but I also didn’t stop it immediately. I finally made up an excuse as to why I had to leave before it went any further than that, but I left feeling more than anything shocked that I couldn’t muster up the courage to tell him that I wasn’t comfortable. I couldn’t blame him because I allowed it. I suddenly had a huge revelation in my life.

Because of my trauma, I realized at that moment that it was incredibly hard for me to tell a man, ‘No,’ because of an intense fear of them.

I was scared to disappoint him, hurt his feelings, or worse, have him get angry at me. Looking back, I felt responsible for that with my father and ex-husband, who abused me, my entire life. It was in that moment that God spoke to me ever-so sweetly as he does that I didn’t have to be afraid anymore. I felt so ashamed of myself at first that I couldn’t speak up, but as my Comforter began to fill my heart, the shame turned into relief and gratitude that I was able to finally break off one of the many lies that I had believed. I wasn’t responsible for any man or woman’s happiness, feelings, or emotions other than my own. I had put those on the backburner for so long for other people, even this guy that I barely knew! It was time to nurture me.

Because of my trauma, I realized at that moment that it was incredibly hard for me to tell a man, ‘No,’ because of an intense fear of them.

I ended up texting that guy the next day that I felt it went a little too fast too soon. He acted very offended and even put me down, but this time, I was equipped to handle it. I cut off conversation with him for the most part after that exchange. I didn’t feel bad about it, either. If he wasn’t there for me as a person then I didn’t need him to begin with, and I sure didn’t need to worry about offending him in that. It wasn’t too soon later that God brought me a man that loved me correctly, and we were married the following year.

This is something that I have never fully shared publicly because it’s a very sensitive topic to me that I am still walking through healing. It isn’t just the moments of being single with men. It started as a child, and at 36 years old, I am finally able to share more about what God has revealed to me in the last couple of years. Many women (and men) walk through this and have no idea about the spiritual aspect of it. They don’t realize that they may need deliverance of the horrible acts done to them. I thought it was “dramatic” to think that way and belittled what I endured for a long time. That’s how Satan isolated me from my healing. We must speak out against what has been done to us and realize that we never have to accept it again. I am not an object, a body, or disposable. I am a child of God. He knit this body together in my mother’s womb, and it deserves the utmost respect.

I am not an object, a body, or disposable. I am a child of God. He knit this body together in my mother’s womb, and it deserves the utmost respect.

If you need healing or deliverance from sexual sin or acts done against you, start today by asking God to reveal your worth in his eyes to you. Ask him to show you spiritual bondages and ties that need to be broken. Ask him to take all shame away. Little by little, you will heal and mend.

You are worth it.

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