Forgiveness and Healing
by Rodney Calmes
Here is my story of how I survived:
"My mother and dad got divorced when I was 4 years old. Prior to then, my dad favored my brother and left me out, he took me on a job site and had me say that I was a girl to get others to make fun of me. I developed slower than most kids when I was young, and I had an uncle say "if I had a kid like that, I would kill him", and my dad laughed at that comment. My mother stuck up for me and said "someday, that kid will grow up and will become a real man, and you will eat those words." I did not understand what was happening at the time, but I was hurt later on when I did understand. When my mother divorced my dad, he immediately sent me and my younger brother who was 2 at the time to his parents house. I lived there from when I was 4 until I was 5.
My grandparents who used to strip me of all my clothing and spank me with a 3 foot stick until I could not feel the stick hitting my butt anymore. They did that in front of others who watched me get my butt beat and damaged. I got spanked like that for every little thing. I got at least one round spankings a day - which consisted of about 100 swats each from them if not more, sometimes up to 3 rounds like that in a day‘s time. I often got spanked until I had ulcers and my butt was black. I found that to be degrading and felt violated by that. By the time I left my grandparents house to live with my mother, my nerves were permanently damaged, and I had hardly any feeling left in my butt.
The emotional pain was so deep that I just wanted to bury that since I was 5 and never wanted to talk about it, but pretended it never happened. My mother tried to talk to me about it periodically and I would cry and could not get one word out. When I was about 6 years old, my mother said that I was going to my grandparents house, so I hid in the basement, and she tried to comfort me and encourage me that I was not going to my dad's parents, but her parents, and that nothing was going to happen to me. I had a good loving family when I went to live with my mother, and my step dad treated me and loved me like I was his own. When I was 19, I saw another kid have to pull his pants down to get a spanking, and I went into an emotional shock, I was shaking so bad, I could not get the keys in my car, so my friend took my keys and had me talk about it, I could not get one word out clearly, I was muted for a while. He had me stay overnight at his house until I could talk about it clearly and well composed. It took till the next evening for me to do that.
The emotional pain was then still very deep, and I tried to make myself feel better by trying to convince myself that I deserved it, thinking that I could make myself feel better about that. That lead me to believe that others should be treated like that. I realized that I was not going to like the person I become if I continued that.
I also felt that if too many people discovered that I was abused, that they were going to think there was something wrong with me. I though that I was no good for going
through that. I felt like I was not worth anything. I was also picked on often in school from grade school to junior high school, and I went through life thinking there was something wrong with me. I was not like the other kids, I was not good at the same things they were, but I was different.
I still had the scars my grandparents left and I was so ashamed of it that I was looking for ways to get rid of those scars without someone else discovering them. Those scars were barely noticeable at that time and I would have to point them out for someone to notice them. Then I got drunk one day when I was 22 years old and sat on a heater that had grates on it, and thought “good, now I can say an accident happened”, just to find out that those scars look like I got caned, and I did not solve anything by doing that. I became more self concious of the scars, and I got nervous about changing in public locker rooms. I just got over that now. Others had encouraged me that it is understandable that I did what I did. They told me that I have nothing to be ashamed of, it is a part of me.
I accepted Jesus Christ in my life and realized how much I was forgiven when I was 24 and when I was 27, I gave all this to God and asked him to help me to forgive all who wronged me, including my Grandparents, and those who picked on me in school and God helped me forgive them. Jesus went through more suffering to forgive me of all my sins than I ever went through, and realizing that, it helped me to forgive all who wronged me. The healing started when I forgave all who wronged me, and it felt like a huge burden was lifted off when I forgave all who wronged me.
God lead me to Romans 8:28 saying that God will work all things for the good of those who love Him. I had to have faith that God would do that for me. Now doors are opening for me to share this with others and help them heal. God has shown me that you can only combat abuse with kindness and love. Forgiveness is the only key for me to heal from my past. I have also learned that I am not any less of a person because of the mean things done to me, and there was nothing wrong with me, but there is something wrong with the abusers. I also realized that I do not have to answer to God for what people did to me, but they will. I will only have to answer for the wrong things I have done. I realized that God loves me and considers me precious to Him. God loves me even if others do not. I have nothing to be ashamed of because of what happened to me. The apostles and prophets were also mistreated by others, only because they did not deserve them. I also realized that those who mistreated me did not deserve me. I also learned that God created every one of us different, and no 2 people are the same. We all have things we need to learn and we all have things we are good at. Most important of all, showing love and kindness to those who hurt will greatly help you heal as well as the other person - that is how we combat abuse. I am now doing just that to help others who have been abused. Sharing our stories, how we came to forgive and what we have learned helps all heal from their abuse."
By Rodney Calmes
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