I broke my silence…at 40.

A few months ago, I was frazzled by a situation which caused others to look at me with doubting glares and accusing words that began by a simple misunderstanding.

Not being understood and discredited stirred up deep rooted memories from my childhood of not being believed when I told a trusted adult that I had been abused. At 11 years old, my self-esteem immediately plummeted as my worth was devalued deeply beneath the open wound of keeping the abuse a secret. My humanity was denied access to protection. I suffered emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally, internalizing my pain, suppressing my feelings and silenced my voice.

I didn’t talk about it again, until I was 40 years old.

This recent situation, caused me to gravel as I continuously explained myself over and over again only to be looked at as if I wasn’t telling the truth.

My mind raced as my anger grew causing me to want to lash out at the ones who didn’t believe me.

The little girl in me was spiraling out of control, in that moment, I felt helpless.

Instead of using old self destructive ways of coping, I applied tools I’ve learned and communicated my feelings to those who misunderstood me, and I spoke my truth. We were able to clear up the confusion and move forward.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and unfortunately there are millions of survivors in the United States and around the World who are suffering from the affects of sexual assault, it is so important that we speak out against sexual assault and put an end to it.

If you are a survivor I want to let you know that, I believe you, healing is possible and there is hope.

National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Simply becoming…

Breathing deep the sweet fragrance of joy.
~ denise marie

Have you ever just let go?

Really let go of who you thought

you were to be,

to simply just becoming.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Celebrating a day in history…

Wearing pearls & Celebrating the History making of our Madam Vice President Kamala Harris 🖤🤎🤍💛❤️

I will not be silenced…

My voice matters.

My opinion matters.

My words matter.

My thoughts matter.

What I have to say matters.

How I feel matters.

My questions matter.

My disagreeing with you matters.

Standing up for myself matters.

Speaking up matters.

What I like matters.

What I don’t like matters.

Telling my jokes matter.

Telling my story matters.

My choice matters.

My dreams matter.

My disappointments matter.

My goals matter.

My style matters.

Being comfortable in my own skin matters.

Being confident matters.

Being unsure at times, matters.

Taking my time to process my feelings matters.

Being sad matters.

Being happy matters.

Being angry matters.

Laughing out loud matters.

My smile matters.

My quirkiness matters.

My “no” matters.

My “yes” matters.

Saying exactly what I mean matters.

Having boundaries matter.

Being kind to myself matters.

Being kind to others matters.

Practicing self-care matters.

Loving freely matters.

My brown skin matters.

Being myself, even when others say it’s “too much” matters.

Being free spirited matters.

Letting go of what I can’t control matters.

Liking myself matters.

Loving myself matters.

I matter.

~ denise marie

lean into his presence…

This week I was feeling a lot of anxiety. Between the pandemic, friends and family battling sickness, the loss of so many lives, the violence, the financial struggles of many, racial injustice and the chaos in our nation, I found myself struggling to hold onto my peace. My emotions fluctuating from sadness, to anger, to fear as I battled my own thoughts to bring my mindset back to a place of peace.

Then I heard a still small voice that said, “Lean into his presence.”. At that very moment I knew he was calling me to him.

One of my favorite lyrics in a song by Elevation Worship goes,

“In Your presence there is freedom
In Your presence there is hope
In Your presence there is healing
Love restores me, I am whole”.

In my moments of distress, I am learning as I lean into his presence, my anxiety surrenders to Him.

Lean into his presence.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

**side note**: I am a firm believer in Jesus and Therapy! God provides us with resources that if we are willing, can come alongside us and help us in our journey. My regular appointments with my therapist and support from my sponsor in Celebrate Recovery, are vital parts of my healing!💗

Time to soar…

So many wasted moments, overthinking, replaying the “what if’s” over and over again. Constantly talking myself out of doing something for fear of failing or waiting for the “perfect” moment to step out of my comfort zone.

I know many of you can relate to finding themselves waiting for just the “right” time as you hope for just one more sign from God that this is what I am supposed to do next.

If I can be blunt with you….Girl please STOP the madness!! (that statement is gender neutral) we have to put an end to allowing our own limitations to stunt our growth.

We (ME 🙋🏽‍♀️) are more than capable of accomplishing anything and everything we set out to do, it doesn’t have to be prefect or even “pretty” our greatest work aka call is done authentically messy, real, honest, laced with plenty of vulnerability and above all else…Gods grace.

It’s time to silence the lies which keep us bound, stand on faith and soar.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Inhale the sweet fragrance…

As I inhale the sweet fragrance of self acceptance,
my joy emerges.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Painting imperfectly…

As I am healing, painting has become one of my relaxing pastimes that completely allows me to free my mind and release anxiety.

The need to control every stroke of the paint brush diminishes, as I am no longer self-critical or try to aim for perfection, instead I embrace my vulnerability as I trust myself to just let go. ~denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

The rise…

The rise from depression and anxiety has been a feat in itself. The ebb and flow of the uncomfortable highs and lows of not being able to describe the exact reason for that particular moment of heaviness or the fast pace racing of my mind.

At times my faith seems stronger in the midst of my “fog”, its in those vulnerable moments where I find myself surrendering as I read the words from my favorite book, the verses of hope in my bible seem to jump from the pages, as I grasp onto each message of truth. Its in my realness that I realize, I no longer am depending on my own ability to overcome, but I lean into a deep longing and yearning for the transformation of my heart by the one who calls me his own. The abolishing of “fake it” till you make it or pretending to be “ok”, these strategies no longer work in the midst of my authenticity.

As I grasp the uneasiness of healing from trauma and line up my thoughts and actions to truth, moving forward…my life will never be the same.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

**Artist Credit: Painting called “Rejoice” by monicastewart.com

 

 

International Women’s Day is everyday…says this survivor.

Being an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape at 14. I lived most of my life in a fragmented mindset, pieces of my identity hidden behind the shadow of what I only allowed others to see. The secrets were suppressed and the key to that pain was locked away.

The bondage placed upon my life at the early age of 4, was meant to be a death sentence of everything good that my Mother and Grandmother stood for and the love they so lovingly wrapped me in, was now blemished. The curse had been passed down through generations and as much as they tried to protect me from abuse, I experienced this unmentionable pain in the hands of people they trusted.

Years of flashback and triggers haunted me as I covered up the pain through perfectionism, people pleasing, an eating disorder and many other coping mechanisms. Trauma after trauma tried to keep my mind in a self-denial pit of defeat. Blurring my decision making and accepting unhealthy boundaries.

On the outside I appeared to have it ALL together, picture perfect is what some would say. But, on the inside I felt scarred, damaged, worthless, unloveable and broken.

I was lost.

When I chose to face the truth and feel the pain, it was excruciating, literally debilitating and heart wrenching.

I wanted to put it all back in the pretty little box that I secretly kept hidden in the crevices of my heart.

But I couldn’t…the truth was exposed and I had to make a decision, either I was gonna fold or I was gonna fight…and I chose to fight for my freedom.

What does fighting for my freedom look like?

Everyday making a decision to do the next right thing…..in spite of depression, anxiety, ptsd, wanting to isolate, low self esteem, doubt, fear or self sabotage.

The next right thing looks

like…..accountability, intensive therapy, an eating disorder program, Celebrate Recovery: 12-step Christ centered recovery program, reaching out to others who I trust when I need support or a listening ear, prayer…lot’s of prayer, self-care, journaling, spending time with my husband, kids, granddaughter and our dog, walking preferably near salt water with the beach under my feet, fresh air, essential oils, laughter, whole food, supplements, chocolate, reading, drinking water, sipping my cup of coffee in a pretty mug, finding joy and gratitude daily…even when it’s hard and learning to love, accept love and give love.

Above all else, my relationship with God through his son Jesus is how I am learning to view myself through His Word, promises and truth. I am healing.

These are some of the tools, resources and support I have used and some I am still using to help me walk in my freedom.

Everyday I celebrate “international women’s day” as I cheer on other women who are locking arms with others who are overcoming tremendous battles (some in which others may never know about) and are taking one step at a time to courageously become liberated from what tried to destroy her.

My name is denise marie and

I AM no longer held captive…by my childhood secrets, I AM free.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive