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

 

 

When enough doesn’t seem to suffice….

When enough doesn’t

seem to suffice,

and shame comes flooding

in like a vengeance

with it’s futile attempt to

keep me bound.

I lean in…

to its liberating way

of stretching me

uncomfortably in the

direction of healing.

the peeling back of

each layer that exposes

a raw area of my heart

that I wasn’t quite ready

to expose.

I lean in…

and take a deep breath

as I stare at the

woman in the mirror,

embracing her with

words of love and

complete acceptance.

~ denise marie

**Artist credit:

Briahna Wenke @artbybri

http://www.artbybri.com

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

#nolongerheldcaptive

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

She fled from the misrepresentation…of herself.

She sat there within the fear

of her own limitations,

looking away…

afraid of the image that

stared back at her.

She hid and continued to shrink,

until her soul cried out for more.

~ denise marie

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

Art credit:

https://www.artbybri.com/

@briahnawenke

#artbybriahna

#nolongerheldcaptive

Hidden scars…I wanted no one else to see…

Shame

hid itself

distinctively

behind

pride,

causing

a skewed

perception

of my

self-image.

The mask

I wore so

comfortably

became

my idol…

my false

sense of

identity,

which so

easily covered

up the scars,

that I wanted

no one else

to see.

~ denise marie

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

#nolongerheldcaptive

**Artist credit: Painting by Briahna Wenke @artbybri

Beauty defined…

Her outward

appearance

does not define

her worth,

for she has

the ability to

see beneath

the surface to

the foundation

of her inner

strength.

She draws

wisdom,

from this

place within,

deciphering

truth from lies,

trading insecurities

for her crown

of beauty,

and upholding

hope over defeat.

~ denise marie

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

**Art credit: @artbybriahna https://www.artbybri.com/

The cause to become….

She abruptly

stood up

and heard the

clashing sound

of the chains

that fell

from around

her waist,

this bondage

was no longer

welcomed to

take up residence

amongst her being.

There in this space

is where she

released the

unconscious

questioning

of who she

thought she was,

to consciously

becoming aware

of the truth,

of who she is.

She honored herself

and rendered

her freedom.

~ denise marie

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

**Artist unknown

Layers upon layers…

As you bravely,

peel back,

each layer,

revealing

the deep roots

of secrets that

have gracefully

been hidden

beneath the pain

of stories untold.

There in this place

is where you have

remained concealed.

Surrender,

and allow

His light

and grace

to heal that

sacred space

in which you’ve

kept hidden.

~denise marie

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

**Artist Credit: Briahna Wenke

artbybri.com IG: @artbybriahna