To conceal…to hide; withdraw or remove from observation; cover or keep from sight.

I have hereditary dark circles which have gotten darker due to off and on years of stress and health challenges. Daily I cover these blemishes with concealer so others will not see the dark pigmentation under both of my eyes. This is very similar to the “covering up” of my story due to shame.

Those same fears kept me in a constant cycle of performance based validation as I placed my value and worth in what I did for others and how I “appeared”. This warped view of my identity, made me feel like I was never enough.

I settled for unhealthy boundaries, suppressed pain from my childhood trauma and had a hard time acknowledging the depths of the current pain I was experiencing in 2015. I worked very hard to make people believe my life was “ok”. Until I found myself emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually in a dark space.

Covering up the pain of my past revealed itself in other ways; just like dark pigmentation will not always be able to hide underneath the concealer.

Almost 3 years ago, I wrote the following poem during a time where “covering up” was no longer a possible option:

I was attacked

at the very core

of my being and

was told to end it.

That I was not going to

live past the depression,

the anxiety and the tremendous

amount of pain.

The lies, and self hatred

tried to overshadow every ounce

of hope and faith

I previously held onto.

Even though I walk through the

darkest valley…

Fragmented pieces of the

memories came flashing

back as I tried to piece them

together and make sense

of the realization that these

were not nightmares but

factual suppressed recollections.

I will fear no evil…for you are with me….

It was too much!

I felt as if I was literally being

ripped from the inside out.

Every part of my body ached

as I exposed the truth and

walked through the dark

murkiness of my past.

You protect and guide me,

and I find comfort as you console me…

In my despair,

I wept, as I released the pain.

You are repairing all the damage

that was done to me,

and restoring the deepest,

most real part of me.

Lord, I am standing in my truth as I walk in my freedom. My strength and hope comes from you. (*Psalm 23)

These last 3 or so years have been a time of growing closer in my relationship with Christ, creating healthy boundaries and actively participating in: intensive outpatient therapy, trauma therapy, Celebrate Recovery; a 12-step Recovery program, and learning how to live my life intentionally authentic as I am healing layer by layer.

Today, I choose to continue to walk with courage and speak my truth, as I shine His light on the darkness that kept me bound. Daily continuing to overcome and let others know that with God, you have Hope.💗

~ denise marie

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

#nolongerheldcaptive

She found her identity…

She found her identity in Christ’s Truth.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”.

– John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

From the first touch…

Self expression through writing has been a hobby & passion of mine since I was a little girl. In this picture, I was approximately 5 years old and was writing a poem. The following self expression explains why I am sitting there with a blank stare filled with so much sadness.

From the first touch, my life was forever changed. I could no longer see through the innocent sparkled filled eyes of a little girl, but rather the a darkened, blank stare that narrowly dilated my carefree view of this world. This false interpretation of safety and love from a man, quickly devoured my heart with lies of how my life was to be.

The depths of the overwhelming sadness that overcame me, could never be explained in order for you to understand how deep that violation not only hurt me, but changed me. All because of…that first touch.

The “first” touch led to many incidents of being molested by several people through the age of 12 and then raped at the age of 14. I held this secret until I was 40 years old. By finally sharing my story, it is helping me heal from the pain of the abuse.

Words That Are Silenced Are Lethal Secrets To Destroy You Soul, Speak Your Truth.

In April, I turn 50 years old, a half century! I want to encourage others that they too can be “no longer held captive by childhood secrets”. By safely sharing your secret with a trusted friend, family member, teacher, therapist or writing it out anonymously, this powerful act of courage, is the first step to being free from shame.

~ denise marie

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