I have always lived in fear of something. I am not afraid of being attacked in the same way a soldier
must feel on a battlefield. I am not afraid of falling off a cliff, although I would be if I did not avoid
heights. I am not afraid of being struck by lightning because well, I’m just not. My fears stem from
painful experiences as a child and traumatizing experiences as an adult. I have been fearful of the dark
and of being alone. I am often fearful of going out by myself. I have lived in fear of being in the presence of my offenders and of men. I have lived in fear of sharing my story. Finding the courage to give
voice to my story and admit what has happened in my past has felt impossible - too exposing, too
shameful, too painful, too taboo.
I wish I could say I’m free from this bondage, and the wounds of being sexually violated are completely healed, but I am still raw and tender. Memories of my experiences return without warning. Sometimes these flashbacks will be so vivid that I feel as if I’m reliving them. I know that these flashbacks
represent a response, which, like nightmares, will decrease, as issues are resolved and the healing
process progresses. All forms of sexual violation involve a wrestling of power and I would even say
a robbery of the spirit and soul. I’m still on a journey of finding freedom and reclaiming the land that
Women who have experienced the pain of abuse or assault typically experience this as a traumatic
event, and a common reaction to this kind of trauma is fear. If you’ve been violated, you may hide or
keep people at extreme distances, afraid of being hurt again. Maybe you remain numb through adulthood. You may feel damaged, see yourself as a sex object, flaunt your sexuality, or descend into
promiscuity. You might respond to being violated with anxiety, depression, self-loathing, self-harming
behaviours, perfectionism, a need to control, eating disorders, or addictions.
The enemy doesn’t care how we react to the sinfulness of being violated as long as we don’t turn to
Jesus. The enemy knows when we find our identity, security, and dignity in Christ, we can live in vic-
tory. By taking back our brave, having the courage to be seen and face the day, and by giving voice to
our story we can inch closer and closer in our walk towards freedom.
TAKING BACK OUR BRAVE
By: Candace Maxymowich