Nesting With The Earley Birds

Surviving Sexual, Emotional and Physical Abuse - While Finding Jesus on the Way

October 01, 2020 Shannon Earley Season 1 Episode 7
Nesting With The Earley Birds
Surviving Sexual, Emotional and Physical Abuse - While Finding Jesus on the Way
Nesting With The Earley Birds
Surviving Sexual, Emotional and Physical Abuse - While Finding Jesus on the Way
Oct 01, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
Shannon Earley

Hey Guys!
So - this was a difficult episode to record ; simply because there are many things that I am sharing that have caused me to feel shame and guilt for a very long time.  But - God can heal all things - and He is doing that in me.  It's a continual process - but I'm thankful it began so long ago!
Remember to share this with others to help and encourage them; to remind them that they aren't alone ; and to share the message that there is hope after abuse.
Thanks for listening!!

Show Notes Transcript

Hey Guys!
So - this was a difficult episode to record ; simply because there are many things that I am sharing that have caused me to feel shame and guilt for a very long time.  But - God can heal all things - and He is doing that in me.  It's a continual process - but I'm thankful it began so long ago!
Remember to share this with others to help and encourage them; to remind them that they aren't alone ; and to share the message that there is hope after abuse.
Thanks for listening!!

Hey friends, this is Shannon Earley, the hostess and creator of the Nesting With The Earley Birds podcast. I have told you guys before that I'm a Christian. But also as a Christian, there's something that we do, which is called sharing our testimony. So this episode, I am going to be sharing that with you, you'll learn what is a testimony, and you'll get to hear my
Warning, there will be some graphic content. And it could
be a trigger thing for
any of you that have suffered from any
abuse, or
rape, anything like that in the past, so I just wanted to
put that in the front.
But please continue to listen, because I hope that this will encourage you in any kind of way, because it HAS completely transformed my life. Thank you so much for coming back. Hey, dudes, and dudettes This is Shannon Earley hosts test of the nesting with the early birds podcast. I'm
coming at you from the comfort of my Honda
Odyssey minivan, which y'all know, when you ride this thing, you feel like a boss. I mean, at first, you're like, I'm never gonna go in a minivan because like, I like metal, and I like to be cool. And I wear all black, like me. And then all of a sudden, you're like, we have
1000 kids, I
think we need a minivan. And then you get behind the driver's seat of this thing. And you're like dang, I feel a niiice.
So Anywho, I'm sitting inside of
this thing, because it is one of my spaces that I have alone for the next 20 or so foreseeable minutes. So I wanted to share with you guys my testimony. And just a little disclaimer, again, that there is a little bit of things that you might want to have young ears not hear. If you want to let them hear, Go for it. I'm just giving you a heads - up a little warning. So my testimony is actually a little bit difficult to talk about. And it can be a little bit embarrassing, a little bit hard for me to share with you guys these things. But at the same time as a Christian like, I know, it's really important, you know, and it's a pretty-big-deal! And I just wanted to share with you guys maybe if anybody's struggling or whatever, just some encouragement that not only am I a normal mom, but I'm also a normal Christian. So anyways, my story, okay. So you know, I grew up in a family where my mom is from the northeast, she's Italian. And maybe I'm being stereotypical here. But the Italians that I know, they're going to tell it like it is if the thinking about the thing, and it's their opinion, they're going to tell you their opinion. And that opinion, as a matter of fact, is a fact. So you better just deal with it. So I'm coming from, you know, on that side, that background, and she is very opinionated about all things, good things, things that might not normally be said out loud. So I know that I definitely get her open my openness from her. And also she's really vibrant and outgoing and super high energy. She is a great hostess like she has hosted a gajillion parties in my lifetime. And she just loves to have fun. And then there's my dad, who his work ethic is insane balls like there's, it's just indescribable. He is such an honorable man, the kind of guy that like his word is his bond sort of dude. And growing up, I always very much wanted to please my dad. And it was such a big deal, which trying to make my dad happy actually translates to how I am as a Christian. I very much like I try to please God, I know that there's nothing extra that I could do. I mean, once you're a Christian, you realize, okay, Jesus died for you. That's it. You don't need to do anything else. You know, like Jesus is enough. He's the perfect thing. But I still do want to make God happy. And so that does, you know, continue forward with my life with him. But I did want to share my testimony.
When I was a 13 year old girl,
and I
was still riding the school bus, I still had a backpack and everything. There was a boy, much, much older boy who would meet me at my school bus stop and force me to have sex with him on a very regular basis.
Now, I'm here I'm
in therapy for this still
Well, not still, I should say I didn't go to therapy for like a really long
time, but I'm really just
starting to even unpack how
much damage these things have done. So talking about them, it's like, it's still hard for me not to mentally go there to the point where I can still feel certain sensations or like, you know, I remember oftentimes, the smell of things, or the way the leaves would rustle, like all the things, I would try to look at the trash that was thrown on the ground, all these different things that I would try to focus my mind on, instead of the actual act itself.
I still see those things when I talk about it.
Um, so he would
frequently, you know, wait for me, because he was not in middle school, he was in high school, actually about to graduate high school. And he would meet me there most days of the week. And then I would have to walk home. And I would walk home, and my mom would ask me why I was being such a bitch, why I was being so grumpy. But I would hear her talking about me and telling my
dad or my grandma,
that I was being just such a bitch, and she couldn't stand being with me. And, you know, she would tell me that I could tell her anything, but I would try it really slowly. I would kind of try it in a sideways way and say things like, you know, my friend just did XYZ, or my friend had this happen, and my mom would be like, Oh, what a slut! You know, like, don't, don't talk to her. And, you know, don't you ever do those things! And don't hang out with that girl! And then I was like, Ah, man, well, definitely, I can't tell her what's going on with me, you know, there's just no way. And so this abuse continued from this guy for a very, very long time. I did forget that not forget, but I forgot to talk about one of the other things besides sexual abuse, is emotional abuse, for those of you that don't know.
And they say that emotional abuse can actually leave
scars much longer than any of the other forms.
I tend to agree to a point, you know, in a way, sexual abuse is emotional abuse, you know,
it's such a sacred,
sanctified, like, act, it is very special. And in the right circumstances is a very holy thing. And God wants us to have sex, you know, he wants us to multiply. So when it's taken out of context, and it's taken out of the right age, or the right,
it can, it can mess you up for the rest of your life.
And I'm, I'm still dealing with it, you know, my husband is still dealing with it, it has definitely hurt me.
When I was older,
I was 18 and a half, maybe I was 19. I met a new person. And I was thinking, you know, the other guy, abused me. But this guy seems like he can protect me with all these things. Just so you know, repeat victimization is like a thing. If you are sexually abused, you've been sexually abused, repeatedly - having these things happen to you is very, very normal. So I don't know if that makes you feel better or worse. But it's completely typical for we people to keep making these decisions or allowing these things in our lives.
So anyways, the next guy I meet,
I actually moved in with him. And I again, I wasn't a Christian yet. So moving in with somebody you know, especially nowadays is just whatever you just do it, it's like step three
in the relationship, you just move in together.
Well, this person was basically a bodybuilder he was very, very strong. And this person definitely had a short temper. So I up to this point. I hadn't been physically abused yet. But this person, this person was the start of that.
You know if anybody has any criticisms for women that stay with abusers, or whatever it is, or they'll say, I can't believe she's with this guy, or she's not strong enough or she needs to, she just needs to pull herself up by her bootstraps and know what her worth is, guys, it's not like they go on a date. And the dude,
just straight out,
you know, knocks her down or punches. Right away, that's just not how it works. It starts very slowly, very slowly.
And this is exactly how
it worked with this guy. And they start by first isolating you from everything, everyone very slowly, and they'll do it in insidious ways. Like,
I don't think that we should, you know,
go to your mom's tonight because she actually, you know, doesn't care for you the same way that I care for you Why? You know, let's, let's just stay in tonight. Oh, honey, I will babe, I really need to go see my mom, you have
a honey, I miss you. I really need you please stay with me.
So it starts real slow. And then it starts to progress. Like, I don't know, why did you not call me? You told me you were gonna be at the store? Well, honey, I was at the store. But you were there for three hours. And you normally are there for one and a half hours, you know, and you you start being on the defense all the time, and it just slowly starts to get worse.
And worse and worse, until eventually the
only thing that you're doing is worrying about this guy not getting angry with you. And they love isolating you from your friends and family. Why? Because then they can have way more control over you. They love it.
And actually, at this time,
my mom and I have since talked and everything. But
at this time, she had thought that I didn't like her. She thought that I was mad about them for some reason, because when I if I did see them, I'd be real quiet. Or I'd stay really quickly. And I don't think anybody could really think to themselves, you know, but I bet my daughter's probably getting abused. And I'm just gonna continue to allow this to happen. Nobody is consciously saying that. I mean, if you are then that's a whole different story. But I think all of us have that friend that we're like, hmm,
ah, this
the the person she's with doesn't really treat her that great, or whatever it is. Talk to your friend ask her how she's doing! Anywho. So at this time, my mom thought that I was basically angry with her for some reason. And so then my mom was kind of constantly on the offense with me. So then her and I got in lots of fights. Because I just had nothing left in me I was being you know, used up all day long, all day long. And when it was time to see other people, you just don't feel right being out you feel worried about being away from the abuser you don't know at what point they're going to say is that you've been gone too long, you just don't know. So your whole life is just wrapped up in this gigantic bundle of stress. It's just awful. You're walking on eggshells, you're whatever.
the good news is that even
though this story sucks,
it did lead me to where I am today. So like for that I'm very thankful. Very thankful. Anyways, so the abuse started
long enough that
in a way, it's like if you give up and say that, you know this guy is treating you like poop,
well, then you have to go back home or
there's just this feeling I guess of shame kind of wrapped in with it too. And also this feeling of you just can't talk about it. I don't know there's just this feeling of even if I say this thing, there's just I don't know it's just almost unbelievable. You almost don't want to admit it to yourself to come right
out and be like I'm being abused.
because of this person
so this stuff is interesting. I'm not
actually able to talk about it as easily as I thought.
I really haven't even gone into detail about it except with my husband.
But anyways because of him. I now still do not have a tooth on the left side of my face. If you guys know anything about tooth implants, they are expensive. So I still don't have one over there. And honestly I get kind of embarrassed when I smile.
So anyways, as I was saying,
firstly, this is like the gajillion
time I've restarted this episode because it's not
only difficult but even though my kids know that I wasn't always a Christian and stuff. I haven't shared the full you know the details of the story. I think it's a little much for them right now. They know that mommy had mommy dated a boy before daddy and they were like what scandiless!
and that that boy was very mean to mommy. That's all
you really know. They don't know any of the details. So It's really hard
trying to run around my house and like,
get this done.
But I really want to get it done too like, I'm really excited to do this anywho. So, I had said that he was an abusive person. And just one example because I feel like for those of you that have been abused, you don't need me to go into detail about this stuff. That's not great. But basically,
for instance, one
night, I decided to cook him salmon, and he lost his shit, because of the type of plate I put the salmon on, or something along those lines,
and ended up throwing
the plate at my head and just
going crazy about it.
And I mean, when you
are outside of that situation, you're like, That's crazy. That's abusive. But that wasn't like the point where I was like, Ah, it is time for me to leave. Now. That definitely wasn't the point at all. I ended up crying to him that I felt so lonely and all these other things. So
he decided to buy me a dog a
puppy, and I was like, so excited. I couldn't believe he would do something so nicely. And I ended up getting this dog. Her name- I named her Molly. She was a mini Schnauzer. And it was the first time I had like my own dog. So it was very exciting. I got her as a puppy. Everything about it, I even researched a lot into what kind of dog I wanted. So I was so excited to get Molly.
the guy I dated started using Molly as the thing to keep me in check. So instead of hitting me, if I did something wrong, he would attack my dog.
And it was
just torturous for me torturous. And we had been living in an apartment complex at the time that had these beautiful walking paths all around these lakes. And so what I would do is just walk Molly, for hours and hours, like I would come home from work, get everything, make sure the house was cleaned everything done.
And then I would proceed to walk Molly
and I would get about 18,000 steps a day.
And you have to understand, like I worked in a business office. So obviously
I wasn't getting all those steps in there.
And people would come out and comment and say things like,
oh, my goodness,
you're looking so healthy.
Like, this is so great, like, what are you doing, and I'm like, Oh, I'm just walking a lot trying to get my steps in. But we also had this walk in closet, where if things are particularly bad, and I didn't want to go outside, because maybe I had just been outside or I don't know, maybe he was yelling so loud that I was so embarrassed and thought maybe like neighbors had heard or something, I would go into this walking closet. And it was a nice, beautiful long walking closet. And this one particular day,
and I was
hiding in the closet and I was scooching further and further back. And I hit one of those like hanging shoe rack things, you know, they're cloth, and they just hang from your closet to help organize your space. Well, I bumped into it and a Bible falls down. Now this was the time before like smartphones and stuff. So it wasn't like I just had time to kill reading a phone. I really would just spend a lot of time in there hugging my dog. But the Bible popped out. And so I don't even know how I got the Bible. I have no idea. But I decided I would just open it up and kill some time. Like I had nothing else going on. He was angry. And I was like Fine, I'll just read it. And I open up the Bible and for the first time in my entire life. I read the part the story where Jesus walked on water. And I know that like every single person that's not a Christian, every single person in the world has heard of this story. And there's all these different like, you know, things
we all know he walked on water. There's like,
whatever jokes about it, you talk about in a phrase like you would have thought he walked on water the way that people love them. So it's definitely used a lot in our language and in our culture and everything but I had actually never read the story myself. And in the story actually, he isn't just walking on these super chill placid Lake waves or anything. He there's a storm. There's a storm and his disciples, the men that follow him are freaking out. And they see this guy walking towards them and they think it's a ghost at first like they're terrified. And basically, Jesus walked through a storm to get to those guys.
there was a scene where his one of his disciples is like, I want to come out there with you basically and Jesus is like Alright, let's do it.
Come on out.
And as the disciples are Walking at first he's really like courageous, and he's walking on water. And then he looks down and he gets terrified and he can't believe he's doing it and he starts to sink. And he's terrified that he's going to drown. And Jesus grabs his hand, pulls him out of the water and is like, Hey, man, by the way, guys, I'm absolutely paraphrasing, I please hope that you know that. But anyways, Jesus is like,
Hey, man,
you started to fall because you weren't looking at me. You were looking at the water you were walking on basically the circumstances in your life. And I'm when I read those passages about how he came through the storm for his dudes, his disciples, it was like a bolt of electricity went through my head, and down
through my feet.
It was the craziest feeling. And I prayed for the first time of my life. And I said, Lord, if you can get me out of the situation, I'll follow you the rest of my life. I was 21 at the time.
I don't know later on, I learned, this is called a foxhole conversion, as in men in war in danger, whatever would pray these things like get me out of this, I'll follow you forever. And a lot of times these conversions don't stick. But for me, thank God, it has stuck. I don't know why he's letting me still follow him like this. This is awesome, though.
Anyways, so the very next day,
I get off of work early.
And oh, by the way, the guy I was dating at the time, he said he was a Christian. And he would read the Bible every day, actually, when he got home. And then he would go either roll a blunt, or a gravity, bong, something like that with weed and get super high.
So this was the first
experience that I really had living with anybody
that identified as a Christian.
And he would take the time to come home, open up the Bible, he would pray
and immediately get high and beat me.
So it was very, it was a very confusing message. Very confusing. Anyways, so I was already used to him smoking pot, but the next day I come home,
and I got off work early. I didn't let him know. I
didn't think I I don't know, whatever. I didn't let him
know. And I go in, and he's there. And he was wearing
my thong underwear,
sitting at the kitchen table,
and smoking crack.
And this feeling
of dread. And Doom fell over me my feet
stuck into the kitchen floor.
And I knew he was gonna kill me.
I knew it.
he is scared me to death guys.
The very next day, he had this
unexplicable I mean, we know what it is now.
Am I right? It was Jesus.
Anyways, this unexplicable invitation to go visit
family that actually lived out of state.
And this guy that I was with never left me alone, ever, ever, ever. And he was going to go visit with his family, which was like, Yes. So I called my my parents and I said for the first time, Mom, Dad, please, please come and help me. Come get me out of here. Dude, my dad at the time I told you about his work ethic. For some reason he was randomly off work that day. And in the work that he does him and his friends carry guns. him and his friends come over in like 20 minutes. They all have pickup trucks. guns. They're not redneck though. That's exactly what it sounds like right now. They're just really doodlee dudes that come over. You guys. We emptied my apartment, from soup to nuts in four hours time. In the meantime, I don't know who was like the narc that told on me to my ex at the time. But he hears about us moving out. And then he comes with a friend and starts just doing real sheisty things just to prove like you're not bothering me, this is fine kind of thing. Anyways, I get to my parents house and I slept in a bed and for the first time I slept and slept and slept I ended up sleeping for a full 24 hours. And when I woke up the next day, I felt completely different. I had a peace and a calmness and a sense of security that I just it is completely I there's no way I can explain it to anybody that hasn't experienced it. But I knew 100% through all of the things that happened, that it was 100% God that I had prayed and he had answered so mightily and so loudly, there was no way I couldn't talk about Him. And there was no way that I would ever confuse how everything happened. Now my life since then it's not been perfect. But it has been a life that I have lived with purpose. And it has been a life where I'm able to understand that people have their own baggage that you might not know by looking at them at all. So I'm going to end this today. And I will continue the story to let you guys know the ways I have seen God walk and work in my life. But I just want to remind you never know what somebody else is going through. You have no idea.
It's not your job to judge them. It's your job to love them.
All right, dude, so I'm signin' off. Remember, God totally loves you all the time.
Hey, friends, thanks for getting to this part of the episode. If this encouraged you have any questions or comments, please
reach out to me.
I actually officially have an email address for podcast stuff. It's [email protected] And remember, Earley is E A RL E Y. You can follow me on Facebook, which is also Nesting With The Earley Birds. We have a public page and you can also just follow me on whatever listening platform you're listening on. Please share this with people. Please subscribe and let's continue to grow these numbers. Thank you so much.