Pt III – It’s time to heal.
Wounded people wound other people.
Most of us would be terrified if we had someone following us, recording every thing we did wrong, pursuing every person we’ve wounded in an effort to expose, discredit, and slander us. I know first hand what it’s like to have helped severely mentally ill people and addicts desperately trying to get another fix, to end up with persons who were consumed with jealousy towards me, who exploited these women, even taking them to my supervisor, egging them on to make gross and outlandish accusations in an effort to get me fired. Yes, you read that correctly. They not only did it once, but three times! I was faced each time with either taking matters into my own hands and seeking revenge through corporate avenues of grievances, the press, or internet, or forgiving them and releasing them of the offense. I let it go, but it was not easy at all and the incidents resulted in me experiencing the symptoms of complex trauma.
God used it to reveal areas in my heart He was wanting to heal.
We’ve all done a lot of things we aren’t proud of and are downright ashamed of. Imagine what it would be like having an obsessed stalker watching your every move, intimidating you daily, posting anything and everything they could find wrong that you do online, literally making a living out of exposing your faults and creating false allegations to gain attention.
Imagine how it felt to help people that turned on you after you had a falling out with them. That they were hell bent on hurting you, getting revenge, and “setting the record” straight with all your faults, hypocrisies, and mistakes you made. Let me add here that from my education and experience of working with survivors of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking that a vast majority of them have a set of behaviors that is identified by professionals as borderline personality disorder. The most common thing these persons do is turn on care givers. I suspect that I’ll be blogging about this in another post. Experiencing people like this served as the catalyst for me to go to graduate school to study mental health counseling. I wanted to better understand why the population I had a calling to help would do the the things I experienced them doing.
It is devastating when someone you have opened your home, resources, and changed your lifestyle for, turns on you. I had a professor in my very first grad class joke about how if any of us wanted to work with that population (borderline personality disorder) that we needed to prepare ourselves for the fact that they would turn on us, spread rumors about, and try to viciously discredit and slander us. I just about fell out of my chair! I had heard the diagnosis many times, but had not understood what the behaviors were associated it with it. I was about to find out and be equipped on how better to help these individuals.
It was her and I’s connection that began nearly 20 years when I discovered her online, added to the favor God gave me with her, and my ability to better understand and work with persons who have suffered severe mental illness as she had, that allowed me the privilege to be a part of her inner circle during her last 6-12 months of life. No, I wasn’t her counselor. I was a sister in Christ, co-laborer in ministry, and friend armed with not only the professional experience now of working with persons similar to her, but also empowered by the Holy Spirit to extend unconditional love to her.
She experienced a lifetime of people turning on her. Even a “normal” person would have been worn down by this level of rejection, abandonment, bullying, slander, and defamation. It was the perfect storm to trigger unhealed wounds, mindsets, scripts, and cultivate unhealthy coping that is embedded with mental illness.
Exploiting someone’s mental illness should be against the law. Bullying is wrong anyway you look at it. There is no doubt in any of our perspectives of Shelley Lubben (1968-2019) that she started experiencing complex trauma early in life. The lifestyle she engaged herself in both in and out of the porn industry created even more trauma.
Some complex trauma survivors will be deeply impacted, evidenced by wide-ranging behaviors, all their lives. And no one should be judging them as weak, or making them feel they are not ‘good enough’, or comparing them to others. Fact is that 1 in 10 persons, in a one year time span, will experience the symptoms of mental illness. It’s commonly triggered by severe stress, anguish, loss, and pain. The last thing a mentally ill person needs is other people ruthlessly attacking them; what this person needs is trauma informed care. Bullying and persecution have the potential to result in suicide and it’s happening every day. Suicide occurs when a person is unable to cope with the stress of life anymore. (Note: I do not know whether or not Shelley committed suicide. Only God knows. I did know her well enough that I’m confident that in her last cognitive thoughts before she fell asleep, that she was talking to Him. She talked about Him the majority of the time. He clearly was in her heart.)
The only reason someone would be driven to victim shame and bully, like Shelley was, is because of unforgiveness and/or demonic possession. Somewhere along the journey of life, they were also likely deeply wounded and traumatized, possibly by Shelley, but instead of letting it go, moving on, and releasing the judgment, they became obsessed by seeking vengeance. Her stalker gained a following of persons wounded by her including family members, coupled with Christ hating bashers excited to jump on the band wagon of hate, bullying, and relentless malice. She tried hard to walk in forgiveness and even not exposing the stalker or persons she loved that turned on her for years and years, but her posts in the last year were evidence of the manifestation of fear, anxiety, betrayal, and deep woundedness. She was a profoundly anguished person, even desperately turning to social media for help on how to handle the stalker, as well as creating heart breaking posts reflecting loneliness, depression, despair, abandonment, desolation, and a distraught desire for friends.
All of us can learn from her life, as well as all who turned on her.
We need to forgive her and them and move on or we can get stuck in the grieving process. It’s our decision. Please remember though, that thinking that you won’t end up like her is a lie from the pits of hell. Ending up like her is exactly what satan wants to do to you, too.
Forgiveness is giving up the right to hurt back.
Instead, we can choose to allow God’s grace to use the situation to make us more like Christ. That means dealing with what’s in our hearts, the good, ugly, and bad. We can choose to filter our memories through the Word of God and to focus on the things that were good, lovely, and positive that she did or fixate on the sad, embarrassing, and disgraceful things. Don’t get me wrong here, the need to validate our feelings of hurt, betrayal, rejection and abandonment, and even anger do need to be addressed. However in the context of the healing process, don’t get stuck there.
“TO EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 AMPC.
If you’re still hurting, let the Word of God minister to and heal that pain so that you can transition into a new season and ultimately fulfill the destiny that God has for you. Know that you’re not alone and that your pain is not wasted when we allow God to use it to refine and heal our hearts. It’s critical though, that we #embracethejourney rather than resist it. If you need help, get it. Please, just don’t get stuck because it has the potential to take you down a painful, destructive path for you and for those around you.
Pain leads us back to God’s protective boundaries. Psalm 119:71 says it this way: “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Nothing gets our attention quite like pain.
If we’re to be healed, we have to get to the root of what’s wrong. In essence, pain is the beginning of healing. Healing may not mean the pain goes away entirely. It means that it grows into a purpose. Either way, pain is a gift. It’s meant to keep us from further harm. The problem is that when we get so focused on pain as “a pain,” we fail to see how it can actually help us.
I’ll close with this verse from the story of Joseph, one that I often return to while processing grief, suffering, and pain. It answers the questions of why does God allow people to hurt us.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive, [as they are this day.]” Genesis 50:20 AMP
I’m available for those who may find themselves stuck and wanting help to process the stages of grief. Please feel free to contact me and/or to share your stories of overcoming the bad and ugly things that have happened in your life. Know that you are being prayed for, that you would heal and realize that you are loved, cherished, and have a purpose beyond the bad things that’s happened to you. God will give you beauty for ashes, if you allow Him to.
Finally, I’m going to provide to you a list of resources, including the crisis and suicide prevention contact info, scripture references and a link to the stages of grief that have helped in the journey of healing. I do hope that you will realize that it’s time to heal.
In Christ’s lavish love and amazing grace,
National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255
“How God’s Goodness Can Restore You”, Rick Warren.
“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMPC
“And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 TPT
“All praises belong to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he is the Father of tender mercy and the God of endless comfort. He always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial. We can bring them this same comfort that God has poured out upon us. And just as we experience the abundance of Christ’s own sufferings, even more of God’s comfort will cascade upon us through our union with Christ. If troubles weigh us down, that just means that we will receive even more comfort to pass on to you for your deliverance! For the comfort pouring into us empowers us to bring comfort to you. And with this comfort upholding you, you can endure victoriously the same suffering that we experience. Now our hope for you is unshakable, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings you will also share in God’s comforting strength.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 TPT
“Instead, continue to rejoice, for you, in a measure, have shared in the sufferings of the Anointed One so that you can share in the revelation of his glory and celebrate with even greater gladness!”
1 Peter 4:13 TPT