Growing up with an alcoholic, abusive father
Delivered from years severe depression, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness and the scars of sin
I was pretty happy artistic, energetic child who loved to play, read, write, sing and draw. Life for me as a child growing up, was pretty normal, but my early teen years, my dad drinking had turned him into a full blown alcoholic. He physically and emotional abused my mother for many years, hitting her on an almost daily basis and accusing her of all manner of things and calling her all sorts of vulgar names. Our house was filled with shouting, hitting and quarrelling most for the time, and I did not know what it was like to live in peace. Because of the abuse she suffered from my father, my mother was mostly always crying and unhappy and very strict with my sister and I.
Depression and suicide
As a result of growing up in such an unstable, chaotic home, I developed very low self esteem, fear and had no confidence whatsoever. I was scared of people, reserved and withdrawn. I didn’t talk much and did not like to associate with people. I coped with what was going on at home by shutting me away from people, not getting close to anyone for fear of being hurt. I escaped by watching a lot of TV, thinking a lot, writing my journals daydreaming and reading novels.
I was not really brought up in church. I always longed to know God, but my ideas about him were of this strict God I could never please who would send me to hell if I wasn’t perfect. I did not imagine him as a God of love. When I was 9, I had 2 dreams where the rapture had occurred and I was always full of fear of being left behind when Jesus came and ending up in hell.
At age 15, I was so hopeless and lost in such darkness that I did not want to live anymore. Life was too unbearable. I tried to commit suicide by taking a huge bunch of pills hoping to overdose and escape the hell I was living in at home. Luckily I did not die, and out of a fear of going to hell, I did not attempt suicide seriously again but felt stuck living while I wanted to die.
In boarding school in high school I was reserved, shy, awkward, and clumsy and loved to stay alone. Girls in my school called me “weird’ and “odd” because of my intense fear and awkwardness. I also bed wet through out high school and this made me feel like an even bigger weirdo than they thought I was. I had body image issues and hated everything about myself.
My father’s suicide and more hopelessness
When I was 16 my father tried to kill my mother one night, and the next day after intervention from my mother’s sisters and brother, they were separated .We moved to a smaller house which my mother could afford. I only saw my dad once more 6 months later in December, 1998.
6 months later on May 1999 when I was 17, my father committed suicide. I was in my last year of high school, and my mind was in such torment that I’m surprised I managed to finish high school and pass my exams.
My first 3 years of college went by in a blur. They were miserable years. I got involved in a relationship where I was introduced to alcohol and sex. Got pregnant at 20 and had an abortion. I also struggled greatly with OCD (obsessive compulsive Disorder), bulimia and more anxiety. I visited many different places for counseling and therapy, but I never really got any help for my depression.
I was constantly suicidal after the abortion and had a great fear of death and going to hell. Fear had so taken over my life that I was scared of leaving the house even to go to college. I would shut myself in the house for days with all the curtains drawn filled with misery. I would drink secretly in my room to numb the pain, but it only made things worse. Once I drank so much I collapsed and was rushed to hospital where I was admitted for 2 days on alcoholic poisoning.
I had always wanted to live for God but it was always so hard for me to make the decision because I felt so unworthy. One day in January 2003, after months of wanting to get right with God, sitting at home alone, I switched to Christian TV and after watching 3 shows, I repeated the prayer they said after the program and gave my life to Christ.
Falling back into darkness
In the year and a half to come I joined a church and focused on serving God and pleasing him. I gave myself to fully serving God in various ministries in the church. My life finally had peace and true joy. Everybody noticed the change in me because I was no longer sad and withdrawn. My mum and sister started attending church once in a while because of me.
However the change was short-lived. I begun again to struggle with depression and insecurity, and instead of staying close to God and looking to him for comfort, I walked away. I met up with an old friend and I ended up pregnant. I lost 25 pounds while pregnant because of depression and made two half hearted suicide attempts. I hardly ate. My body was weak; I became very thin and was filled with such severe hopelessness.
Being a new mom, with severe mental health issues, no confidence, depression and a lot of anger and bitterness at life and all my mistakes, despite having wanted always to be a “good” responsible girl, was not something easy for me. Being a mom did not come naturally because I had always secluded myself into this world where I was always alone, and it was difficult to now deal with having an innocent, helpless life be my responsibility. It took years for me to finally be at home and at ease with being a mum with God’s help.
My mother was also struggling with her own identity as a widow and alcohol seemed to be her only comfort. Added to it having to support me, jobless and with a child was not easy for her. It was very strenuous to our relationship since we both and bitterness and so much anger and a feeling of receiving the short end of the stick in life.
I finally was referred to a psychiatrist by my aunt coz she saw I needed the help. I couldn’t function. I was always tired and disoriented. The doctor prescribed anti-depressants for me, but I did not take them long because of the side effects.
In the years to come, I would get into many wrong relationships, make friends with the wrong kind of people because I was lonely, go out to clubs with my new “friends” something I never did before, started drinking quiet often, got addicted to wine, tried smoking weed, tried getting into all manner of stuff to get peace. I even thought I may be a lesbian and sought this lifestyle out, but even after trying all there was to try, I still felt lonely and alone, and I did not fit in any where.
My life was a big mess. I did my best to be a good mum to my daughter, because I did not want her to feel the same rejection I’d felt all my life, but being depressed and sad all he time, I could not really be good mother to her.
At the age of 27, I started to lose my mind completely. I was so tired, often sick, fatigued, hopeless and begging God daily to let me die. I knew if I didn’t make things right with God I probably would end up dead for sure. I didn’t have much of life left. I was so frustrated with my life, I had no peace. I started seeing a psychiatrist again because I was at my end. He diagnosed me as severely clinically depressed and also having social anxiety and put me on drugs. But I could feel God tell me it’s him I needed, and I could keep medicating and drinking but I would never have peace.
After years of rejecting God and trying to fix my life on my own I couldn’t run any more. On July 7th, a normal day, I went home put my daughter to sleep, I just felt the conviction of the lord so strong that night that I knew it was time to make things right. Right there in my bedroom crying like a baby, I confessed my sins, rededicated my life back to Jesus. I knew right them my past was over and there would be no turning back.
The bible says if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).That night I cried out to God sincerely and he heard me. Like the prodigal son in Luke 15, I came to myself and went back to my father and he received me with joy and rejoicing.
“he lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire.” (Psalms 40:2)
I started slowly working again on my relationship with God and leaning on his eternal love for me. He delivered me from my fear and depression and suicidal thoughts. I eventually went back to the very same church where I had served and fallen and got back into serving in my church again. I love serving the lord and ministering to people. I am a Sunday school Teens teacher and involved in the praise and worship ministry in my church. I love any outreach work that involves telling people about Jesus. I also love writing for the lord as an outreach and encouragement tool. God has given me a special love for the broken hearted, rejected, unloved, cast aside and hurt because that was my experience. I know there is healing for any situation we have gone through in Christ and I am open to sharing that love and provision to all. God has made my mess my message.
I also now have a blog which I use to share Jesus, articles and messages on various life and faith issues. My aim is to share Christ’s love, forgiveness, healing, and encouragement and hopefully express his Grace and Love in what I write.
Healing is a process, and it’s not been easy facing people and their comments and questions, but knowing God has accepted and forgiven me, I cannot walk head held low. There are so many burdens in my heart for the lost and the hurting and I know that everything I’ve gone through God shall use for his glory in turning many to him. I know that everything I’ve gone through is for a purpose.
God has taken my fears and hopelessness away and given me new life, and he will do the same for you if you let him, no matter what you have done. He is no respecter of persons.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. …” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)
You can get me through my email address:hisgrace82 at gmail dot com.
Remember Jesus loves YOU!