Thursday, April 30, 2009

it's (definitely) a....


but you already knew that. :)

we had our official ultrasound and the hospital today. she is growing right on schedule and is perfectly healthy! we are so excited!

"If Thou Endure It Well"

The following article is by Elder Marvin J. Ashton.

When tragedy, disappointment, and heartache surface in our lives, it is not unusual for many of us to become self-condemning and resentful. In the stress of the situation we declare, "What have we done to deserve this? Why does the Lord allow this to happen to us?"

Sometimes we spend so much time trying to determine what we did wrong in the past to deserve the unpleasant happenings of the moment that we fail to resolve the challenges of the present. Og Mansion wrote in his book The Greatest Miracle in the World, "If we lock ourselves in a prison of failure and self-pity, we are the only jailers...we have the only key to our freedom."

We can let ourselves out of such a prison by turning to the Lord for strength. With His help we can use our trials as stepping-stones. The keys are in our hands.

"I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." (D&C 82:10)

If we are offended and resentful, can we believe that He is bound to help us in our tragedies and disappointments? The scripture does not tell us how or when this commitment will be effective or realized, but His promise is real and binding. Our challenge is to endure. There will always be testing and trials along life's paths. Heartaches and tragedies need not defeat us if we remember God's promise.

A worthwhile attitude for all of us could well be, "Help us, O Lord, to remember thy love for us and help us to be fortifid by thy strength when our eyes are blurred with tears of sorrow and our vision is limited."

It is expedient for all of us, particularly those who may be weighed down by grief because of acts of misconduct or misfortune, to recall that even the Prophet Joseph Smith had hours of despair because of his very trying experiences in the Liberty Jail. Perhaps he too was entitled to question, "What did I do wrong? What have I done to displease thee, O Lord? Where have I failed? Why are the answers to my prayers and please withheld?" In response to the feelings of his heart and mind he cried out: "O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?" (D&C 121:1)

The Lord responded to him, as He does to each of us: "My son, peace be unto thy soul: thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. And if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." (D&C 121:7-8)

Monday, April 27, 2009

selling out

you may notice ads on my sidebar and below my posts now. that is because i am, in fact, selling out. i'm extremely strapped for $$$$ right now and we are worried about our housing situation. so i'm doing everything i can to earn a few extra dollars. so if you're feeling generous, i would love it if you took a few extra seconds to click on an ad. i earn a pitiful amount for every ad you click on.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

the make a difference award

this is an award i have decided to create. there are so many blogs out there that i think truly make a difference--bloggers who use their personal experiences to boost others up. those who spread awareness by sharing their stories.

i'm not going to make any "rules" for this award. i think this is an award that should be passed on to as few or as many blogs that have made a difference in your life. even if it's a small difference. even if i haven't awarded it to you, feel free to take it and pass it on.

i would like to give this award to a few of my fellow survivors of child abuse--those bloggers whose blogs constantly inspire me and help me to know that i am not alone.

marj aka thriver at survivors can thrive

grace at grace uncensored

mile 191 at come into my closet


mike at child abuse survivor

cassandra at determined to overcome and heal

sapphire dreams at hush puppy don't say finding me

ethereal highway

so thank you for your inspiring thoughts and journeys....i appreciate your courage in sharing your experiences!

Friday, April 24, 2009

it's (probably) a....


went to the doctor today and had an ultrasound. isn't this image just hilarious? it looks like she's got her little arms crossed and is glaring at us. "how dare you send those sound waves into my little cocoon?"

the little dear was being slightly difficult so it was hard to tell 100% if it's a boy or girl. (thus the probably.) the doctor was pretty sure it's a girl but there is still some question. our official ultrasound at the hospital will be in the next week or two once i get it scheduled so we should find out for sure then.

how fun! a girl! i'm going to love little dresses, and bows, and ruffles, and will just be harder since we have boxes of boy clothes and no girl clothes. one of each! how perfect!

life lessons from "my name is earl"

today is the day we find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. hopefully the baby will cooperate so we can see! little buddy had himself on display for the whole world, the doctor didn't even have to go looking. he put the ultrasound wand thing down on my stomach and there he was, announcing to everyone he was in fact a boy. this baby seems much different than little buddy already so we will have to see. if you haven't voted in the poll yet you better do it now! tomorrow i will be announcing the good news!

allergies have totally been kicking my rear the past few days. which is really weird considering i have never had allergies before. my nose itches, i'm stuffed up, my throat hurts and is full of junk and i just hate it. those of you who routinely deal with them, i have a new found sympathy for you.

life here just seems to be getting harder and harder. remember how my grandma was really sick? well she's still sick, but at least she is home. we found out a few days ago that my grandpa (on my mom's side) was admitted to the hospital. he was diagnosed with leukemia last summer. within the last month his white blood cell count has tripled and the cancer seems to be spreading very quickly. my parents made a spur-of-the-moment trip to see him, driving 11 hours or so to get there.

and things on the housing front aren't going well. our house still hasn't sold and we most likely won't be able to move where we originally planned, so we are stressing majorly about finding a place to live that we can afford and is in a good neighborhood.

stress. stress. stress. i could use a break every once in awhile, ya know?

last night though, we were watching that show "my name is earl" and he said something that really stood out to me. for those of you who haven't seen the show, it's pretty darn hilarious. earl used to be a petty criminal and did all kinds of stupid things to random people. he went to jail and saw some talk show on tv where they were talking about karma and decided he was going to turn his life around. so he carries a list of people he hurt while in his bad days around with him. when he finds them he apologizes for whatever he did and does what he can to make it up to them--thus crossing them off his list. anyway...last night the episode was about a preacher he had done a lot of bad things to--stole his organ, stole his tools, knocked him over in a port-a-potty, slept with his wife, and shot out the tail light in his truck. over the course of the show as he remembers these things he's done he tries to apologize and make it up to the guy. when the preacher finds out he slept with his wife he goes ballistic. but then when he realizes that earl was the one who shot out his tail light his attitude changed. it turned out that because of the tail light he was pulled over, then arrested for having all kinds of weapons and such in his truck (he used to be a gangster) and sent to jail. while he was in jail his entire crew was killed, and his life was saved. it was then he changed his life and became a man of god. so he forgave earl, realized it was earl's stupidity that had saved him, and came back.

at the very end, earl talks about how even though the preacher had lost his path, he came back. he said, "that's the beauty of having a path. even if you get lost and stray from it, it's always there waiting for you to come back." (not an exact quote but close enough.)

i really liked that. right now i'm not quite sure what my path is. ultimately i hope it's the path that will get me "home" back to Heavenly Father. i'd like to think it's the path i'm on. but how comforting to know that even if we stray, the path doesn't disappear. we can always find our way back and continue on our journey, no matter how bad things get.

isn't it funny how one line from a comedy tv show can get you thinking?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Turning Darkness Into Light

In what ways can I use what I have learned from my abuse to help myself grow and to serve others?

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.

We have all heard popular sayings like this, designed to encourage us and push us forward.

A piece of coal must go through thousands of years of heat and pressure before it becomes a diamond.

A beautiful pearl is the result of irritation and pain caused by a single grain of sand.

As survivors we often feel that we have had all the heat, pressure, irritation and pain we can possibly handle! But, if we allow ourselves to look back at all the things we've learned, the wonderful people we've met, our increase in compassion and understanding, and our slowness to judge those around us, hopefully we can honestly say that we are grateful for what we have gained. We must learn to turn the darkness of the past into light.

As we struggle to make something good out of that which is so wrong and ugly, we can find hope and peace in the following scripture:

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment. And if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." (D&C 121:7-8)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

is it fixed?

i put my blog back to two columns. those of you who have had issues, is it fixed? i had to mess around with the html for a bit so i want to make sure you can see everything okay without having to scroll down a lot! it sounds like a lot of you were having problems.

Untangling the Sexual Issues of the Adult Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse

this was posted on the child abuse survivor network a while ago. i have read it a few times. there is a lot of information in here that i think is really important for those of us who have been sexually abused, and i wanted to share it. it was posted by a therapist, william e. krill, who also has a website dedicated to resources for healers and caregivers of children.


Child sexual abuse is a devastating event in a child’s life, one that can continue to damage and confuse for a lifetime if left untreated. One difficulty the adolescent or adult survivor has is trying to understand the residual effects of the trauma on their sexuality. It is not always easy, with the emotional, psychological, spiritual, and thinking confusions that can result from abuse.

It is important for the adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse to get a clear view of what the boundaries of normal or average human sexuality are. The survivor is often suspicious that every sexual idea, emotion, fantasy, stimulating event or sexual behavior has its source in their abuse event(s). The key to separating out the effects of the abuse and what is not an effect of the abuse is to first understand and accept the difference between the abuse and healthy sexuality.

The sexual abuse that the child experiences is only sex in the sense that this is the vehicle of the crime that was committed against them. Of course, the child victim, depending on their age, may be unaware of the nature of a healthy sexual relationship, or the facts of sex prior to their abuse experience. The sexual abuse thus damages their view of sexuality, making learning healthy sexuality a great challenge. The adult survivor needs to clearly differentiate between healthy sexuality and the crime that was committed against them as a child.

Confusing this process are the details and experiences of abuse. Not all sexual abuse is experienced by all children as traumatic or even without physical pleasure; some children learn (mistakenly) that sex between themselves and an adult is a means of genuine care, love, and affection. Only later, when they discover that most adults and children in the world do not have sex together, do they feel betrayed, embarrassed, guilty, shamed, and abused. In contrast, if the sexual abuse was forced (rather than manipulated) and painful, the child may integrate these aspects into their understanding of sexuality and later, as adults, may seek out sexual situations that re-enact some aspects of the abuse. The survivor may then feel guilty over this. Even if this is not the case, the adult survivor may become negatively reactive to any sexual situation that even hints of aggression.

Some survivors are able to engage in sexual behaviors without a multitude of triggers and only have a few triggers, but other survivors find that there are many triggers that make their sexual lives a minefield of stress reactivity. Again, the condition of the abuse becomes key in understanding and treating PTSD reactions surrounding sexual behavior. If as an abused child, the adult was manipulated and coerced into their abuse, they will likely be reactive to any hint of this in their adult sexual experiences. If their abuse was forced, even normal, healthy sexual aggression (do not read abuse) may be triggering to them.

Many survivors have a difficult time understanding or coming to terms with the fact that many of the sexual behaviors that they experienced in their abuse (or even did not experience in their abuse) fit well within the ‘normal’ range of human sexuality. Their sexual partners may find the survivor’s reactivity to the multitude of triggers, or refusals to engage in particular sexual behaviors quite frustrating. In cases where an adult survivor has a committed partner, it is often a good choice to have a period of time where both the survivor and partner are in treatment together.

When a survivor experienced abuse (emotional, physical, sexual) from a family member, the child frequently ‘fuses’ the abuse to the natural feelings of love for the abuser. This of course, left untreated, leads many survivors to re-enter abusive relationships in their adult lives. Many adult survivors become quite disturbed that they discover that they seek out aggressive or ‘rough’ sexual experiences, and always equate this as a direct result of their abuse. While this may in fact be true, it is important to understand that aggressive sexual behaviors do fall within the normal range of human sexual expression. Either way, the survivor must come to peace with their entire sexuality, both the healthy parts and the parts that developed in response to their abuse. Sorting this out and re-claiming their sexuality as their own is a challenging process, but one that can be done to lead to a fulfilling and healthy sexuality.

Monday, April 20, 2009

layout issues?

it has recently come to my attention that with the recent changes to my blog layout (i went from two columns to three) some of you are having difficulty reading my posts. please please leave a comment and tell me if you can see them okay or if you can't. if you can't, now is the time to speak up! i need to decide if i should change it back or not. thanks!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

23rd Edition of the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse

the new blog carnival is up, over at child abuse survivor. i have two posts up this time around, and there are a whole bunch of other great ones. go check it out!

how many of you wore blue yesterday? i was surprised to see that our local sizzler had a fundraiser for the children's justice center, and that the city park put up american flags and signs about stopping child abuse. what a great thing that our communities are rallying to stop child abuse!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Opening Volumes of Happiness

I think I may have shared this quote before, but I think it is so important that I need to share it again. Read it over and over, and really think about what he is saying to you.

"If you feel there is only a thin thread of hope, believe me, it is not a thread. It can be the unbreakable connecting link to the Lord which puts a life preserver around you. He will heal you as you cease to fear and place your trust in him by striving to live his teachings.

"Please, don't suffer more. Ask now for the Lord to help you. Decide now to talk to your bishop. Don't view all that you experience in life through lenses darkened by the scars of abuse. There is so much in life that is beautiful. Open the windows of your heart and let the love of the Savior in. And should ugly thoughts of past abuse come back, remember his love and his healing power. Your depression will be converted to peace and assurance. You will close an ugly chapter and open volumes of happiness."

Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, May 1992

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

wicked cool!

last night hubby and i had a real live date. as in, a date without the baby. i know, right? crazy!

and guess what we did. we saw the musical "wicked."

it. was. AWESOME.

fantastic. amazing. thrilling. astonishing. beautiful.

the curtain went up and the music started and i got tears in my eyes. the production was flawless. the actors perfect, the sets perfect, the costumes perfect, the music perfect. it might sound as if i am gushing and pretty much it's because i am. if you ever get the chance to see it, then go. don't hesitate. just go. trust me on this one, you won't regret it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

wear blue on friday, april 17th!

as you all know, this month is child abuse awareness month. i'm sure many of you are wondering what you can do to promote awareness in your communities. here is a great answer: wear blue!

this friday, april 17, is "wear blue to work day." if you don't work, wear blue at home. wear it to the grocery store. wear it in bed. walk down the street in a bright blue shirt. if you can't wear blue because you have to wear a uniform to work, wear a blue ribbon. make sure to tell people why you have chosen to wear blue.

get your friends, your family, your coworkers, everyone you know to commit to wearing blue on friday as well. the first step to stopping child abuse is taking a stand, and letting others know what's going on. the simple act of wearing a blue shirt and telling someone about it spreads the awareness of our cause.

so leave a comment, let me know you'll be wearing blue. show support for our children, for our silent victims. blog about it to let your readers know about this important cause. feel free to copy the picture above to put in your posts.

we CAN make a difference, one person, one child, at a time!

Monday, April 13, 2009

national child abuse prevention month

april is national child abuse prevention month. i realize it is a little way into the month and i apologize for posting this late. but regardless of what day or month it is, it is important for all of us to recognize the abuse that happens on a daily basis, all around us, and do everything we can to stop it and prevent it. blog about it. join awareness groups. tell your friends. spread the word. if we all get involved, we can make amazing progress.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

happy easter!

tomorrow is easter.

i know that for a lot of survivors of child abuse, holidays can be really bad. full of triggers, and hard to deal with.

i am so lucky in the fact that i don't have that. i don't really remember any abuse taking place on a holiday, although i guarantee that most of those holidays (at least before the age of 10) were spent in the company of my extended family, and therefore my abuser. holidays are a fun thing for me, not a day full offlashbacks and triggers. for those of you who have a hard time with holidays....i'm sorry. i wish i could take it all away from you.

yesterday we went to my in-laws to dye hard boiled eggs. today we will be doing little buddy's easter with his basket and egg hunt once hubby gets home from work because tomorrow we will be going to my parents' for dinner.

even though it's fun to dye eggs, and fill them with candy, and go for easter egg hunts is so fun, it's important (at least to me) to remember why we have easter. on easter, Jesus Christ was resurrected, rising from the dead to overcome mortality. i believe that this really happened.
from the first presidency's easter message (of the LDS chuch):

At this Easter season of hope and renewal we testify of the glorious reality of the atonement and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The empty tomb brought comforting assurance and provided the answer to the question of Job, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14).

Because of the Savior’s resurrection we will overcome death and become the beneficiaries of His mercy and grace. In a world of trouble and uncertainty, His peace fills our hearts and eases our minds. Jesus is in very deed “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

We give our sure witness that Jesus is the Christ. Though He was crucified, He rose triumphant from the tomb to our everlasting blessing and benefit. To each member of the human family He stands as our Advocate, our Savior, and our Friend.

Friday, April 10, 2009


i don't even know how to describe what i'm feeling right now. frustrated....hurt...numb. numb is a good one. like i am so tired of the emotions rolling around inside of me creating chaos. so i just want to shut it all off and push it into a corner of myself and forget it's there. unfortunately that doesn't work too well, especially with me.

i'm listening to my cat snore and my son breathe. he is taking a nap, i have the monitor next to me. every once in awhile he will shift his weight and adjust his position, then sigh. i can't believe how perfect he is, how beautiful he is, how blessed i am to have him. and i feel so inadequate. why would god send me such a wonderful child when i don't feel capable of being a good enough mother to him?

i feel less than capable a lot lately. i feel like a failure as a wife. i am constantly saying and doing stupid things to hurt my husband's feelings. i'm not supportive enough, i don't give him enough attention. i create more problems than i solve. often i sit and wonder why he is still here putting up with me. i wonder if one day he will just get fed up enough by being hurt by me and not come home. like he'll wake up and realize that there's got to be someone out there that will love him better than i can.

i feel damaged. i feel ruined. i i was scarred so badly in my childhood i'm not worth anything as an adult. i have no business being a wife and a mother when i don't even know who i am or why i am here. how am i supposed to teach my children to love themselves when i don't love me?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Let It End With Me

This article, in the September 2001 Ensign, is from a woman who grew up in an abusive home. Her name has been withheld.

After an abusive upbringing, I was determined to stop the cycle of humiliation and violence.

When I was a child, our home was a battleground, rarely safe, rarely peaceful. Our family's daily interpersonal communication consisted mostly of ridicule, sarcasm, and criticism. Approval and warm feelings for each other were nonexistent, as were words of courtesy and apology. We did not listen or have discussions. Instead, we became proficient in arguing, fighting, name-calling, accusing, and faultfinding.

Looking back, I see that our family appeared healthy on the outside. Our parents served in Church callings, and we children were well behaved and knowledgeable. The rest of the world saw accomplished scholars, talented musicians, and capable artists. They did not know that each of us felt isolated and worthless. They could not see the shame and embarrassment our parents felt because we were not perfect. I never even considered telling anyone about our treatment at home, even when my mother dislocated my jaw by hitting me.

In our home, family prayers, family home evenings, and Church activity coexisted with physical violence and emotional battering. Upon arriving home from church, it was common for everyone from oldest to youngest to receive a sound thrashing. How could a family live such a paradox?

Despite my difficult upbringing, I had a testimony and made it my goal to rear a righteous family in the gospel. As a young wife and mother, I diligently did everything I knew to reach my goal, but it was difficult. Something was missing. I often found myself feeling impatient and critical toward my husband and children. It seemed I could never remember in time to stop my harsh words or refrain from striking a child. I felt guilty and unhappy with myself.

As my married life continued, I increasingly sought out positive influences. My sweet, patient mother-in-law became my role model, and I tried hard to emulate her. I read the scriptures daily, and, as I became more acquainted with them, my desire to be like the Savior grew stronger. Occasionally, I would experience the sweet feelings of the Holy Spirit. I yearned to feel its influence constantly, but I couldn't. The contrast between being with and being without the Spirit became more obvious to me.

One Sunday in Relief Society, the lesson was about becoming more Christ like. My desire to become better had become intense. When our teacher gave us personal questionnaires designed to get us thinking about how we could become more Christ like, I took it home, determined to complete it. The first two columns were easy to fill out -- a list of things I wanted to change in myself and then a list of specific courses of action to make those changes. But when I tried to tackle the last column, the struggle began. I had to list my strengths and good points, and I honestly could not think of any. Tears flowed and frustration mounted as guilt surrounded me. I prayed urgently for help, and finally I talked to my husband. He reminded me of some of my strengths, but I could hardly hear his encouraging words as the battle raged inside me. Conflicts about myself tormented me. It was several days before I could face that handout again. Yet in spite of my insecurities and fears, I was determined to be open and honest, no matter how much it hurt. As I struggled to think of my strengths, the realization that I was Heavenly Father's child suddenly surfaced and calmed my pain and tears. I realized that as a child of God I must have inherited some positive characteristics from Him. My pencil began to haltingly fill out that final column, and with the Lord's help I finished it. It was a major victory for me!

As the years unfolded, my husband was my guide as he constantly encouraged, taught, and loved me. We worked together to create order and promote harmony in our home. I was a willing but slow student because many of the gospel's teachings were foreign to my experience. For example, I had to learn to recognize and accept kindness before I could become kind inside. In the scriptures I read that "the Lord God hath given a commandment that ll men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing" (2 Ne. 26:30). As I thought about having the pure love of Christ in my heart and life, I realized that obtaining charity is a journey and that I was finally, consciously, embarking upon it.

I believe that my desire to be obedient to the Lord was one of my greatest gifts as I went through my soul-wrenching changes. Though my understanding was limited at first, I feel like I was blessed simply because I was trying so hard. It seemed that as soon as I learned one lesson, other lessons came as quickly as I could handle them. I knew I couldn't do it myself and humbly admitted that to the Lord and begged for His help. He tender mercies showered me. Help came in unexpected ways, and I began to recognize the Lord's hand in all things. Hungrily I partook of the scriptures, books, tapes, lectures, classes, and anything else I could find that gave me positive information and assistance. When I went for some professional therapy, I made some major behavioral leaps.

Gradually I was able to replace old attitude and habits. I began to love myself. Peace came even through my struggles. Slowly, as I became more loving and gentle, I could feel everyone in our home following my example. As my self-control has improved, I find that I am enjoying being a mother and feeling the Holy Spirit in our home.

It feels marvelous to know that one of the blessings of my repentance, and of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, is to have a home that is safe and peaceful. And now as a parent, I can say that our home is not a battleground.

Cornnut is an art lover and an advocate for child abuse prevention.
She loves being a wife and a mother. Check out her personal blog, Picture of Experience .

Sunday, April 5, 2009

return home

i'm back from our little trip. the funeral was very nice, and it was good to see some of hubby's family that we rarely get to see. it was freezing cold, though, and really windy, which was too bad because the graveside service was really short because of it. little buddy got an adorable new suit to wear. everyone just adored him. i mean, how could they not? he is the cutest baby in the world. (even though i'm biased it's still the truth. :) ) i was surprised at how well he did on the trip. it's about a three hour drive. the way up he stayed awake and was really good until the last 45 minutes or so, when i think he was getting sore from being in the carseat for so long. we stopped and let him walk around for about 15 minutes and then he was great. the way home he slept the entire time. we purposefully had him miss his morning nap so he would sleep in the car.

although it was nice to get away for a few days, stay in a hotel and have a little vacation, i am glad to be home. little buddy had to sleep in our portable crib, and he didn't like it very much. it is smaller than his crib and when he tried to stretch out he couldn't. he slept much better last night than he has in a few days. he also won't sleep if he can see us, so we had to hang up a blanket between our bed and the crib using giant push pins. pretty much genius if you ask me, although it made our already small room much smaller. i do miss the cable tv, though. i watched reruns of project runway and man do i miss it. oh well, it saves us tons of money to have regular tv instead of paying for cable. we got to go swimming too, which was fun. i was slightly put out i could only put my legs in the hot tub (oh the joy of pregnancy!) but it was fun to see little buddy in his swimming suit. he didn't care for the pool too much but he had fun walking in circles around it.

poor hubby had to go back to work today. i know he enjoyed his week off with us. i enjoyed having him home, too. but it's back to the grind this week!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Becoming Whole Through Repentance

As a victim healing from abuse, what role can repentance play in the healing process? Have I taken the steps needed to repent of wrongs and sins in my life?

"Repentance involves recognition of our imperfections, remorse for having strayed, restitution where appropriate, and resolve that the transgression will never be repeated." Royden Derrick, Ensign, May 1989

In the process of healing we often turn our thoughts to those who have wronged and hurt us. It is easy to pint our finger in blame towards those who sin against us, yet we sometimes fail to recognize our own faults and misdeeds.

The healing process requires that we not only forgive others, but that we also take a careful moral inventory of ourselves. When we see a need to repent, we must take the necessary action to correct our mistakes. If left unchecked our sins will grow and become bitter pains in our thoughts and in our hearts. "Sin is like cancer in the body. It will never heal itself. It will become progressively worse unless cured through the medicine of repentance. You can be made completely whole, new, purified, and clean every whit, through the miracle of repentance." (Richard G. Scott, Ensigh, May 1986)

In April Conference 1986, Elder Richard G. Scott said the following. "If you, through poor judgment, were to cover your shoes with mud, would you leave them that way? Of course not. You would cleanse and restore them. Would you then gather the residue of the mud and place it in an envelope to show others the mistake that you made? No. Neither should you continue to relive forgiven sin. Every time such thoughts come into your mind, turn your heart in gratitude to the Savior, who gave His life that we, through faith in Him and obedience to His teachings, can overcome transgression and conquer its depressing influence in our lives." (Ensigh, May 1986)

As abuse victims, we often have poor models for behavior growing up. We have a lot of psychological trauma that permeates every aspect of our lives. Many times we do not know how to handle certain situations appropriately, and often our thoughts and behaviors are negative toward ourselves and others. Because of the hurt we have been through, we hurt others--intentionally or not. Many abuse victims turn to drugs, alcohol, violence, and other addicting behaviors in an attempt to self-medicate the pain they deal with.

I have found that I have a number of things to work on. I have a lot of anger that stems from the abuse I endured. It is difficult to find an appropriate way to handle my hurt, anger, and frustration, and often I lash out at those I care about most. I also have the urge to run away from my problems. When I feel I cannot handle a tough situation, I want to crawl in bed and hide--or get as far away from it as possible. In the process I have hurt many people, most of all my husband, my parents, and my siblings. It is a daily struggle for me to overcome the negative habits I have learned. They are so deep-rooted within me I sometimes feel I can never change.

But like Elder Scott said, sin is like cancer. And, like the process of healing from cancer, it can be very long, frustrating, and painful. There may be relapses. But with the help of the Savior we can be made whole, and send our cancer into remission.

I know that it is possible to change. There have been many things I have learned to change over the long years of repentance. It may take a lifetime and beyond to completely remove the negative effects of abuse, but it is possible.