What I Learned from Snakes in My Bed

What I learned from snakes in my bed: Overcoming fear related to childhood sexual abuse

When I was a child, I had a recurring dream of snakes in my bed! Often I begged my parents to let me sleep in their bed, or I slept with the covers pulled tightly over my head. As an adult, when I finally understood why my childhood bed wasn’t a safe place, I realized it had nothing to do with snakes (at least not literal ones). My fear was due to an older brother who walked in his sleep and visited my bedroom at night. Continue reading

My “god” had No Arms!

My god had No Arms: Overcoming a distorted image of God resulting from sexual abuse

As a prayer counselor prayed with me after my mother’s death, I remember how shocked I was to hear myself exclaim, “My god had no arms!” It came in response to a childhood memory of my mom accidentally scalding me as she washed my hair. Such words would normally never come from my lips, but obviously, the child in me felt unprotected. There were other times the god I thought I knew seemed to have failed me as well, like when I awoke at night to find someone standing over my bed touching me in ways that no preschooler should experience.  And of course, what does that little girl think when she hears a mumbled death threat not to tell anyone? Where is God in such circumstances? Continue reading