Through the Eyes of a Friend

Through the Eyes of a Friend
That is me, Brenda J Wood through the eyes of Eleanor Shepherd

Eleanor Shepherd Award Winning Author
http://twgauthors.blogspot.ca
http://emshepherd.blogspot.com

The Interrupted Life VI – A Consequence of Sexual Abuse

The story I want to share of an interrupted life this month is a difficult one. There are so many people whose lives have been put on hold because of the devastation that has come to them through abuse of various kinds. One of the most pernicious seems to be sexual abuse, because it is often linked with an abuse of power that takes advantage of innocence. That seemed to be the case for my friend Brenda, who shared with me two significant interruptions in her life. Many of her own reflections about her experience of an eating disorder are detailed in her book Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Binging and Bulging Mind.
My friend suffered from bulimia for years as a result of being a victim or sexual abuse from ages 11 to 14. Before she even knew that there was a name for her condition, it was well established, as her way of coping with the emotional and psychological damage that she suffered.

The abuse that she received caused a numbing of her emotions, and she tried to fill the emotional void, with food. Her eating disorder did not mean that the food brought any satisfaction. She just kept stuffing it in to try to fill the void. Then she tried to get rid of it, so her choice of self-soothing would not be obvious to others.

Unlike many of the interruptions in the lives of others, both the abuse and the bulimia were not sudden interruptions in Brenda’s life, but rather subtly crept up on her. They became elements in her life that crippled her relationships with others because she was unable to experience and express emotions and thus grow into the person that she was intended to be.

Fear was the only emotion that she was not able to keep down and it came to dominate her life. Her reaction was to battle with it by attacking her own body through an eating disorder. She wanted to be able to tell them about the abuse and the toll it was taking on her life, but fear and guilt convinced her that nobody would believe her. In a way, she was trying to punish herself for what she was doing, as a result of the guilt that accompanied her abuse.

In addition to all this, her eating disorder also caused Brenda to undergo two bouts with cancer and a syndrome that causes her saliva glands to work overtime.

With the burden of her bulimia, Brenda struggled for years to finally regain a healthy lifestyle. It was only after she entered into a vital relationship with Christ, and grew in her relationship with Him, that she was able with help to gradually find freedom from her eating disorder and to allow her emotions to become a part of her life once more. Part of her recovery involved forgiving the one who had abused her, and although he had been dead for many years, it was only then that his power over her life was broken.

Many people suffer from the long term ravages of abuse and although it is difficult, I would not be surprised if like me, you want to be willing to listen to their stories and accept them wherever they are on their journeys. We do not want to pry into people’s lives, in a way that is unhealthy, but simply be ready to listen, if and when they feel safe enough to open the door a crack. Perhaps we can help them to more quickly recover the years that have been stolen from them by abuse. Maybe we can do this for each other and grow together. I think that was what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he told the early Christians in Galatia that they were to bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6: 2). This key can help us to deal with our own interruptions.

Horrible Habits

EVERYDAY CHRISTIAN

I am surely speaking to an orderly crowd with no bad habits showing in any way. Unfortunately, you are reading a writer who has quite a few she is still trying to overcome.

Our bad habits are travel agents for guilt as we struggle with them and our failure to overcome them. The trouble is that we love our bad habits, don’t we?

Ice cream is one of my weaknesses. I like it way too much, way too much for comfort, weight loss, and common sense. I fail to control that bad ice cream habit when I purposely drive by my favorite store that sells my favorite flavor (with chocolate sauce on top!)

I could take another street to my destination but somehow I enjoy the torment of driving past (or into) what torments me.

I say enough is enough. What can we do today to help ourselves overcome the thing that we hate and yet that we continue to do?

Me Too

Why don’t women tell? Because no one listens; because you get blamed; because almost all of us have been there; because people in power think they have the right; because when you tell people they don’t want to face their own truth.

My book, Meeting Myself, Snippets from a binging and bulging mind addresses what happened to me and the aftermath effects in my life. The latest news on this topic affects me all over again. This heinous crime harasses for a moment of time and then lingers for ever.

Smooth Talkers

These verses warn us about people who ‘smooth-talk’ their way into our homes. Today, it’s done through more than just the door. TV, internet, or phone all can help us lose our way if we are not careful.  (The July 11 devotional describes the smooth-talkers in depth.)

These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself “truth.” They get exploited every time and never really learn. These men are like those old Egyptian frauds Jannes and Jambres, who challenged Moses. They were rejects from the faith, twisted in their thinking, defying truth itself. But nothing will come of these latest impostors. Everyone will see through them, just as people saw through that Egyptian hoax.  (2 Timothy 3:6-9, MSG)

Prayer – Lord, give us grace not to fall for these deceptive ideas and their carriers. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

EVERYDAY CHRISTIAN

Still in Shock over this Review!! WOW

Book Review

Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite
“Meeting Myself” is a well-written 98 page book that will appeal to anyone fighting off inner demons by eating and to all those who may have done so since an early age. Author Brenda Wood has issues with food since an early age. She even recalls herself starting to eat her younger brother Larry’s chocolate Easter Bunny as well as her own as a four year old. Brenda Wood admits to having great inner anger at having been abused as a child. She doesn’t say what the abuse was or when, but the reader will surmise it wasn’t nice. Brenda Wood went from satisfying her fear of things and need for comfort by eating on to eating and then throwing up in the toilet which is bulimia. Even a happy, satisfying marriage did not cure Brenda’s demons until she took her Christian faith seriously and learned that God is with us in good times and bad times and proved it in her daily life.
“Meeting Myself” is a book that should be in everyone’s hands everywhere. Brenda Wood honestly tells the reader about her not always smooth path to controlling her eating binges, her bulimia. Brenda Wood is forthright in telling the reader how she would decide to walk with God and then lose her resolve and go on an eating binge. What she shares with the Christian reader is priceless in its honesty. On page 93 she writes: “Expose both abuse and eating disorder to the light. ..Keep telling until someone believes you.” She admits that she had great anger against her abuser, anger against the people who should have protected her from that abuse, and anger against herself. “Meeting Myself” is a book that will guide, inspire and keep the reader going when the dark clouds of life are overwhelming.

Blues Clues

Remember that kid show called something similar?

Well I am about to tell you the Brenda’s inner child version of blues.

Avoidance, tears, tears, self-pity, over-tired, not writing, tears……food abuse. ( I saya to myself, why not abuse food it has abused me for years!!)

I could go on but why bore you unmercifully…..

Anyway the good thing is that common sense eventally reared its head….and not a minute too soon!

Back on track

Proverbs 3:21-26-The Message

[ Never Walk Away ]  Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life;  don’t for a minute lose sight of them.  They’ll keep your soul alive and well,  they’ll keep you fit and attractive.  You’ll travel safely,  you’ll neither tire nor trip.  You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry,  you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep.  No need to panic over alarms or surprises,  or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner,  Because God will be right there with you;  he’ll keep you safe and sound.

Worry, Anxiety and Fear

Anxiety used to constantly wrack my body. I worried over everything from kids, to jobs, finances, and  eating disorders. I bought a ‘worry bird.’  You were supposed to rub this purple glass bird thing and it took away your fear. I did but it didn’t.

When I asked Christ into my life, I purposely decided not to fear anything, but instead to fear and reverence only him.

I just found this  interesting verse.

Isaiah 24:18- And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit (KJ).   What on earth is the ‘noise of fear?’

Noise is defined as unpleasant sound, an outcry, a complaint, a rumour, or meaningless data.

Fear is described as a feeling of anxiety, a frightening thought, or worry.

Apparently, the noise of fear is nothing but worry over meaningless data. According to this verse, many of us run from it and then fall into a big hole, a pit. That’s pit-iful.

I’ve lived in lots of pits. New opportunities present themselves every day. Right now, it’s widowhood.

Some might even tell you that I did live in a pit ….…..for a little while.

But I didn’t stay there and you don’t have to stay there either. No matter what your pit, God offers a rescue plan. Just reach up and he will grab you, lift you out and put your feet on solid ground. How do I know that? God said so and I’ve experienced it.

Psalm 40:2- He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand (NIV).

Prayer- Father God, thank you that your plan for us is better than any we hatch up on our own. Give us the courage to grab onto what ever you give us, by grabbing onto you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Meeting Myself Info

Click on this link and find all the latest about my new book…

I am blessed to have comments from award winning authors, Nikki Rosen and Michael Bull Roberts on the back of the book!

Meeting Myself will soon be available in several types of E books as well!!!

 

https://www.greatcanadianauthors.com/authors/113

Meeting Myself-the read

I didn’t want to….I couldn’t make myself do it….too busy crying from the minute it arrived at my house.

What’s that? Didn’t want to read my own new book? Cared not to see the words in actual print? No. Read it 100 times while writing, editing, preparing for book launch.

Worked myself into a frenzy of grief from 2:00 when it arrived, till 7:20 pm…..ate plenty to ‘comfort’ my heart. Here is news again for all…your drug of choice does not make your heart happy….

Anyway, finally at 7:20 common sense reared its pretty little head once more —-because the icecream was all gone—-and I picked up the book and opened to the dedication page.

For Ron, who walked with me every step of the way.

Ron read Meeting Myself: Snippets from a binging and bulging mind. Then I sent it into the Word Alive Press contest last summer. He died shortly after that and then a week or so later I got the winning news.

And the thought came to me that Ron knew that his job was done here. He’d seen me safely into healing and completeness. He knew that I knew that God has made all things in me well. He knew that bulimia and its related attacks had no more power over me. He knew I had the strength to carry on because I’d found the Christ, the truth of all life.

And then I realized that I’d better live like it…….

I Know…you don’t want to hear this

The new year is fast approaching…

I’ve been wanting to write about this for ages but the time never seemed right/write? :) You hear lots about being forgiven on my blog, but there is a lot to be said for FORGIVING.

For the past few years, I’ve been accused of something I did not do and it has been hard to just be quiet and say nothing.  The unfairness of the thing bothered Ron terribly and he was angry on my account.

God expects us to forgive. When Ron was dying, I asked him if he had been able to forgive and though he was barely able to talk by then, he uttered out a firm YEP! I told him that I too had forgiven the people involved. We found joint peace together.

So we forgave. and the wonderful thing is that forgiving gives peace and comfort and even relief.

As for the other people, I do not know. If they continue to hold a grudge, I am sorry for them. Unforgiveness affects health,well being, peace, comfort, conscience, emotions, blood pressure, diabetes and on and on.

So here is the thing. The new year is only a few days away. Wouldn’t it be great to start it with a forgiving attitude?  Maybe you were abused, or your family doesn’t treat you right or your boss was unfair or the banker doesn’t understand your problems or whatever. Whatever! Get over it. Give it to God and live free of the torment of the past. Find peace. God is just waiting to help you do that.

I put connections to Pat Day’s blog on the topic and will add one from Tammy Weins. They give more insite on the how of the thing…it is possible for you to forgive…….I pray you will.

Healing is a Choice – Review

by pattersmatters