This journey has been real and definitely worth the time and every dime. When I came to Shelter from the Storm© in January 2019 I was an emotional wreck. I was angry. I was enraged about how my life was still being impacted, from ineffectively coping with sexual abuse, 40 years later. When I came I was desperately seeking answers, resources, strategies, non-judgmental support, a safe environment where I could learn the tools I needed to take back control over my life from the continuous cycles of bad choices I continued to make while trying to hide and numb the deep feelings of shame, guilt, low-self worth, anger and pain from the sexual
After 30 years of ineffectively coping with my childhood sexual abuse and a hand full of failed abusive marriages and relationships, life had finally taken its toll, my fight was gone. I had lost my fire, my passion, my style and slowly but surely the enemy was trying to steal my confidence and identity of who I was in Christ Jesus, a beloved daughter of the King, who is fearfully and
I knew and understood that the sexual abuse and neglect I experienced as a child had stolen so much from me, my innocence, my boundaries, my confidence, my trust, my self-worth, my joy, my inner-peace, and my zeal. I wanted to take my power back and gain control over the impact the sexual abuse had over my life. BUT I realized I did NOT know how! After all the psychotherapy, counselors, and medications for anxiety and depression, I knew I needed more. I needed Shelter from the Storm©. I needed to know that I can have “hope and healing” from the impact of sexual abuse over my life. I needed to forgive my abusers and co-abusers, not for them, but for me so I could accept “God’s love and kindness towards me”. I needed to tell my truth so that I could be set free. I still needed to know that I was worthy to have God lead me and comfort me.
Graduating from the Shelter from the Storm© curriculum gave me the knowledge, courage and power to assign my abusers and co-abuser total responsibility for the sexual abuse. I no longer carry around false guilt and shame for a crime I did not commit. I choose to believe God’s truths about me. I am clean, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am able to forgive my abusers and co-abuser, because God has forgiven me, so I can forgive others.
Shelter from the Storm© reassured me that I don’t have to ignore or hide behind religion to numb the pain and the trauma of sexual abuse. Shelter reassured me that I have permission to feel my anger and hurt. Shelter helped me to identify and set healthy boundaries for myself. I do not cross other’s boundaries and I do not allow others to violate my boundaries. Now I am able to
build healthy relationships with trustworthy people because I can trust myself and others and because I am loved, I can risk loving others.
Because of Shelter from the Storm© I am no longer a defenseless sexually abused victim. I AM an armed-Living and Thriving overcoming sexually abused survivor, that is dedicated to a lifelong process of learning and taking responsibility for my own healing by doing the work. I came to Shelter From the Storm© for only one semester in Spring 2010. I dropped out and didn’t complete the process and didn’t do the work. Ten years later, I am a graduate, living and thriving as an overcoming sexually abused survivor. I can truly say “The Shelter of the Storm©” works when you DO the work!
I would like to say thank you to the entire shelter from the storm family, our awesome facilitators, my amazing sponsors and all my shelter sisters for life. Because of all of your support, those affirmations I quote are no longer just words. I longed to feel, BUT now they are a new reality I embrace each and every day.