Through my journey out of being a victim, into becoming a survivor, I sought encouragement everywhere. This blog was created because I couldn’t find any one source that fit with my beliefs and issues as an abused LDS woman. Now that I’m recovering I want to provide it for others. My support was cobbled together from many resources.
I believe that learning best occurs when we use as many senses as possible. Learning to be healthy, to care for self, to survive and thrive, is a long process. Emotional heart learning is the most difficult, all the more need to use multiple senses. This post is about the places I found support that I could hear.
Part of your listening support should also be real people. There is no substitute for hearing your name spoken aloud in a compassionate tone, from someone who can follow it up with a hug.
Hope For the Brokenhearted is a FREE audiobook: This book does not dig into your past. Instead it presents practical answers to the problems and struggles that survivors of abuse and rape are facing in the present. It does this by taking you to the Bible-to specific references that deal with your personal struggles. You will learn what God’s Word says about you, suffering, this world, and how to live a fulfilled life.
I often listened to this audio book in the car. Listening to the radio filled my heart with anguish as most of the songs are either romantic or despairing over breakups. Instead, hearing quotes from the Bible about how God viewed my situation helped me apply the scriptures to my life in a way I couldn’t on my own, early in my healing. My head was too crowded with the distorted gospel principles my abuser used against me. Some of the ways the verses are interpreted may not be entirely consistent with LDS theology, but the discrepancies are slight.
This is the resource that helped me believe that God doesn’t want any of his daughters to be mistreated – and that meant me!
Codependent No More by Melodie Beattie: How to stop controlling others and caring for yourself…With instructive life stories, personal reflections, exercises, and self-tests, Codependent No More is a simple, straightforward, readable map of the perplexing world of codependency-charting the path to freedom and a lifetime of healing, hope, and happiness.
You might not be codpendent, or you might be. I don’t know. This book taught me how to care for myself. It taught me that taking care of myself is not selfish, it should be my first priority. I’m not talking about getting a mani/pedi once a week and flying to Hawaii to “find myself”. I’m talking literally taking care of myself – eating, sleeping, resting, being loved.
Did you know that being loved is a human necessity? If a baby is not loved it will die, even if it is getting all the nutrition it needs. We adult women are no different, especially when we are giving so much of ourselves to family, work, and church. If our love reserves are not being filled by our partner in life, but instead depleted through abuse, we will quickly find ourselves emotionally bankrupt. This is otherwise known as depression. To recover from abuse and become a survivor you must care for yourself. It will feel awkward at first, but eventually you’ll feel God confirming that he cares for you and he wants you to do the same. This book was empowering to hear before a marriage counseling appointment, or eventually, meeting with my lawyer.
LDS Addiction Recovery Program meetings: Listen to actual 12-step Addiction Recovery Program meetings and hear members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have struggled with addictions find hope and recovery through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
In the above description you’ll see, “Hope and recovery through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” That is what I was looking for. I listened to these podcasts with my ear attuned to how I can apply the atonement to my pain and difficulties. Soon I forgot that the people I heard had major addictions. My heart opened to them as I realized that the pain they felt was similar to mine. Often people turn to addictions to cope with destructive events or situations in their lives. We are also trying to deal with destructive situations in our lives. Addicted or not this podcast is worth your time. It added to my testimony of the atonement to hear these sacred stories of recovery.
Enduring It Well: A deeper look at some of life’s real challenges and features real people who have endured or are enduring trials well. Guests Wendy Barlow and Jerilyn Radman have both experienced heartbreak. They talk with W. A. Christensen to share their story of healing and staying positive while experiencing marital problems. Special guest Dr. Kent Griffiths, an LDS licensed marriage and family therapist, also joins the conversation to add professional insight.
All of these episodes are worth listening to, although I advise listening in moderation as it can be overwhelming emotionally for someone already heavily burdened. The specific episode linked is about dealing with divorce as an LDS woman. There are many more episodes that could be helpful; dealing with depression, forgiveness, eating disorders, etc.
If you find these helpful leave a comment to let me know. Or if you have a favorite supportive listen share it in the comments.