I was recently listening to some old albums when I came across a song by the band, Flyleaf, called “This Close”. The lyrics that struck me are:
I don’t know who I am anymore
Not once in life have I been real
But I never felt this close before
I’ve been looking in your window
I’ve been dressing in your clothes
I’ve been walking dead, watching you
Long enough to know I can’t go on
The way that I interpret these words in my own life is that I will watch what Jesus does and give the appearance that I am a believer, but I really don’t know who I am or how to truly act as Christ would.
As a survivor, we do an awesome job of acting. We watch what others do, sometimes mimicking them quite well. We dress the part of a person who has it all together, giving others the impression that we don’t need anyone or anything to make our lives complete. However, on the inside, we are the “walking dead”, either through having our emotional life ripped from us or from years of shutting away our feelings so that we are nothing but empty tombs.
Although I have grown significantly, there are still so many areas in which I need to improve. First, as a believer, I need to act like Jesus did. He loves everyone, regardless of the social standing, gender, political views, religious affiliation, etc. Rather than putting on the outward appearance, I have to let Jesus dwell within me so that I can not only know who I am, but I can also act as He did. Next, as a survivor, I need to be real with others. I need to let them know when I’m hurting, struggling or in pain. Also, I need to share the joy, happiness, and sweetness of life with them. I want to share my life with my fellow survivors so that I can learn to be a better man for all of those around me. I believe that will help repair the emotional damage that the trauma of sexual abuse left upon me.
Wherever you are at in your journey of recovery, please know that there are many others out there who are scared to share the emotional life. Be brave and know that you are never alone.