Amazing Grace: My Story {Part 1}

Amazing Grace--One woman's incredible story of childhood trauma, depression, self-destruction, and ultimately, redemption.  A must read for anyone struggling with hopelessness and dispair.The story I am about to share with you does not come without a lot of thought and prayer.  For quite some time I have felt God pressing on my heart to share my story.  I have, for the most part, resisted.  Oh I’ve shared a snippet here and there, but never really just laid it all out on the table.  To be honest, making myself that vulnerable has been far too scary.

I was recently challenged by another writer to write not just what I think my readers want to hear, but the things I have been too afraid to write.  It frankly scares me to death to know that sharing this story could change the way my friends look at me, or hurt the people that I love.  Even so, there is a part of me that knows it must be told.  Because for as difficult as it is to tell, it is ultimately a story of redemption and sweet, infallible, Amazing Grace, and if there is just one person who can find hope in the midst of great struggle, then it will be worth it.

I do feel the need to warn you that this story I am going to tell has a lot of ugliness.  It will be hard to write and perhaps even harder to read.  It is also too long to share it all at once, so I will be splitting it into multiple parts.  This is only the first part, so it doesn’t end well.  Please remember that it was a long time ago, and I am okay now!  Thanks for bearing with me.

Part 1: Falling

Eleven and a half years ago, I woke up in a panic, unable to breathe, with some unknown object blocking my airway.  The only thing that mattered was getting it out as quickly as possible.

I soon found out—as the alarms began sounding and my ICU hospital room instantly filled with a half-dozen stunned doctors–that the thing I had just pulled out of my throat was the ventilator keeping me alive.   I had just woken up from a coma that doctors had given me less than a 10 percent chance of surviving.

3 days earlier I had lined up 6 full bottles of prescription sleeping pills on my coffee table and downed them like shots, one after the other, washing them down with a bottle of Absolut vodka.

Against all odds, I survived.   But incredibly enough, that near-death experience was not a turning point for me.  In fact I felt nothing but disappointment that I was still alive.

I still had such a long way left to fall.

*   *   *

My descent into clinical depression started almost a year earlier, in the fall of 1999.   Hindsight is 20/20, and looking back it is easy to see the perfect storm that was brewing.  I was young—only 21 years old—married to a man I didn’t love, caring for my 14 year old adopted brother, and attending college as a full-time honors student.

The stress of those three things alone probably would’ve been enough to make most people crack, but it was little more than a casual conversation that put me over the edge:  My dad happened to mention in passing that a man we knew had recently passed away.

Perhaps I would’ve remembered anyway, perhaps I was destined for mental breakdown no matter what, but that one seemingly insignificant comment was the thread that began my unraveling.

This man who was now dead had been our babysitter.  He and his wife would stay with my brother and I while my parents travelled.  At the time, my parents owned a travel agency, so they travelled quite a bit.

This man was a monster who sexually abused me for 4 years, starting when I was 6 years old.  It finally ended when my 4th grade teacher noticed something was wrong—though I honestly don’t think he suspected to what extent—and recommended to my parents that they stop travelling for a while.

I never told anyone.   He warned me over and over not to tell, that if I did he would hurt my family and burn my house down.  So I never told.  Instead, like many victims, I found a way to block it out completely.  At least for a while.

As soon as I learned he was dead the memories started flooding back, in bits and pieces at first, then in vivid nightmares and flashbacks that terrified me during the day and kept me up at night.

I didn’t know what to do with it all, couldn’t fathom talking about it, and spent a lot of time doubting the memories were even real.  I thought I might be going crazy.  I stopped eating and barely slept, started staying out all night so that I wouldn’t have to face the demons inside.

Within just a few months I lost almost 30 pounds, developed permanent dark circles under my eyes, dressed in all black, and watched my grades slip from straight A’s to failing.   I couldn’t bring myself to care.

I ignored my textbooks and instead began reading nothing but existential philosophy—Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre,  just to name a few–and determined that God was nothing more than a figment of my imagination.

A God that was real wouldn’t have let those things happen to me.  I was too angry to even know I was angry so I reacted by rejecting my faith completely.   In the absence of God, however, life lost all meaning.  So I began planning to die.

It seems almost ridiculous now, but my then-husband was oblivious to it all. We were leading separate lives and barely speaking.  He had no idea anything was wrong.

My college advisor was more astute.  She encouraged me to see a counselor to talk about the depression she could see was eating me alive.  I refused.  She knew I was on the edge and attempted to intervene, but there was nothing she could do.

On March 9th, 2000 I tried to kill myself for the first time. I was involuntarily committed to Forest View Psychiatric Hospital in Grand Rapids.  After a month of refusing to talk to anyone about anything, I finally told my psychiatrist about the abuse.  By then she had already guessed.

Sexual abuse is sinister for so many reasons, but most of all for the deep sense of shame it creates in its victims.  We blame ourselves.  We are shamed or bullied or threatened into silence until we can’t tell for fear WE are the ones who are bad.   Then we don’t tell for so long that when we finally do, no one believes us.

I can tell you from personal experience that the worst thing you can ever say to someone who tells you they’ve been abused is “I don’t believe you.”  That deep sense of shame is compounded and becomes so overwhelming you will literally do anything to make it go away.  Even so, I don’t blame those closest to me for not wanting to believe it was true.  Even now I don’t want to believe it was true.

I spent several months at Forest View and then they let me out.  I wasn’t better but insurance—even good insurance—only lasts so long. I separated from my husband, got an apartment of my own, and attended “classes” at the hospital during the day.   I had gone from full-time college student to full time crazy person, and I was failing that too.  I hadn’t been on my own more than a few weeks when I lined up those pill bottles.  My first suicide attempt had been full of rookie mistakes; this time I was playing for keeps.

My therapist was the one who saved my life that night.  He called to check in and when I didn’t answer, he immediately called 911.  They made it just in the nick of time. The fire department broke down my door and found me barely breathing.  My heart stopped in the ambulance, and though they managed to revive me, my family was told to say good-bye, that even if I did survive, which was unlikely, I would most likely be permanently brain damaged.

But I didn’t die and I wasn’t brain damaged.  I had just experienced nothing short of a miracle and I was too depressed to see it.

Instead I got worse.  I began to self-harm, cutting my arms, burning my legs, and experimenting with any kind of risky behavior I could find. Physical pain took my mind off the despair, but the relief was only temporary. I spent another year in and out hospitals as the doctors tried one anti-depressant after another.  Nothing worked.

I spent 6 months at McLean Hospital in Boston in in their highly acclaimed Women’s Treatment Program.  I was not a model patient.  I continued to self-harm, which was against the rules, and ultimately they kicked me out of the program.

Finally, desperate and out of ideas, my doctors recommended electroshock therapy and for almost 3 months I was anesthetized three times a week so they could attach electrodes to my head and zap my brain.  Thankfully I don’t remember much of that.

Almost two years to the day after my first suicide attempt, they finally gave up and sent me home.  Of course by then I didn’t have a home anymore.  I was divorced, bankrupt, and completely alone.

I had finally hit rock bottom.

{Read Part 2: Clouds Lifting}

 If you are suffering from depression or PTSD, please know that you are not alone.  It is so hard to see the light when you are in the midst of the darkness, but it doesn’t mean the light isn’t there.  If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, there is help available.  Please talk to someone as soon as possible–a counselor, pastor, doctor, or friend, or call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Pin It

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Printing a coupon or ordering a product through this link may result in a commission, which helps pay for the cost of running this site and keeps the content free. Read my full disclosure policy here.

{ 95 comments… add one }

  • Elizabeth February 29,

    Tjank you for sharing the beginnings of your testimony of amazing grace <3

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Thank you Elizabeth

      Reply
  • Patricia s February 29,

    Thanks for sharing your difficult moments, I know you will inspire and help others!

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Thanks Patricia

      Reply
  • Samantha February 29,

    I am in awe of your courage for sharing!

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Thank you Samantha, that means a lot.

      Reply
  • Michele February 29,

    Thank you for sharing your story Ruth. You don’t realize how many people you will help with sharing this. So many people are hurting and scared and often times don’t know what to do. Praise God he brought you out of this situation and that you are sharing this so that others can be healed as well.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Thank you so much Michele. My only hope and prayer is that it does help at least one person.

      Reply
  • Emily Jenkins February 29,

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are beautiful person that shines with life. Your story of amazing grace will reach so many, giving them the hope of surviving depression.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Thank you Emily

      Reply
  • elaine February 29,

    Sending you big hugs! that took alot of strength and shows what a strong person and incredible mother you are. Your girls are very lucky :)

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Thanks for the hugs. :-)

      Reply
  • Brandi February 29,

    Thank you for beginning to share your story. I find you to be very inspiring, brave and courageous and I think your story will not only help so many but it will definitely change lives!

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Thank you Brandi

      Reply
  • Brenna February 29,

    Ruth, I am a therapist in a women’s community corrections program. These women have horrid stories of abuse, subsequent trauma, and deep emtional wounds. Most are active drug addicts who have lost rights to their children and have criminal histories longer than a roll of toilet paper. After reading your story, I plan to print it each week and have them read. I believe it could be the inspiration they need to get their lives back on track as you so bravely did. Thank you so much for being courageous and selfless. You will help many I am sure!

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Brenna, thank you so much for sharing this with me. If there is anyone that can be helped by hearing my story, then it was worth sharing.

      Reply
  • I completely understand.. February 29,

    Your story is soooo much like mine. I still can’t tell anyone about it. No one that i am friends with here in FL at least. I fear that they will look at me like I am not the person they know. I am still the person they know, my past does not change who I am NOW. It is what made me how I am now. I so wish we could get together and talk. We live only a couple towns away. I just fear talking about stuff because it brings back the sadness I think I left behind. I am a born-again-Christian and Jesus saved me from so much and put joy into my life. A joy I never thought possible before. I took took bottles and bottles of pills. once in Bible college and 2 times before that. I was admitted to a hospital in CT and was there for awhile. The doctors say they have no idea how I survived the attempts. I know, but they wonder. When I had my first child I got PPD real bad BUT, having children is what stopped me from ever attempting suicide again. I had my 2nd child soon after and I loved them so much. i will do anything to protect them from monsters like my mother’s 3rd husband. I think it makes me paranoid and over protective but I don’t care. My mother didn’t anything about what happened to me and my sister and I will NOT allow that to happen to my kids. I will never try to kill myself again because if I leave them, I won’t be here to protect them from the monsters. I know God is here but I also know HE doesn’t want me to take my own life. he gave me these kids to care for and I woudl be not doing my job if I left them voluntarily.

    anyway, I feel your pain. I admire your courage to speak out. I am sorry this happened to you. We can try and try to put this stuff behind us but sometimes the memories creep back anyway. I have those days and I hate them. I am a stay-at-home mom and have a 2 yr old as well as an 11 and 12 yr old. I am home all day alone and it gets to me sometimes. I love church because I get to get out and see people. (as well as the great preaching!! :) ) I do have friends but they don’t understand what i went through so I won’t share. I just try to put on a smile.

    I can private message you my phone number if you want it. it’s a 941 number.

    anyway, thanks again for sharing. I completely “get it!”

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      I’m so sorry to hear your experience was so similar to mine. I can honestly say, though, after sharing my story this week and experiencing the amazing love and support of my friends–even the ones who were completely shocked–that you might be surprised. I definitely know how hard it can be to share. Thanks so much for sharing with me.

      Reply
  • jennifer w. February 29,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is always so encouraging to hear from women who have been through so much, yet find the strength and courage to find a path to happiness and comfort.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Thank you Jennifer.

      Reply
  • Cassandra February 29,

    I applaud you Ruth. For your triumph, faith, and willingness to share despite yourself. When you share yourself, I feel the WANT to share my own story. Although it is not entirely my own, it has effected me every day of my life. My mother has a story similar to yours, and I know without a doubt she would be proud of me for sharing that with you and your readers. MY envolvement in her story is who I AM because of her. She overcame the pain and the struggle and I was made to NEVER want for anything my entire childhood. Your girls are SO very blessed to have you for their mother. I can say that because if you are even an ounce similar to my mother, I KNOW they are so very fortunate. They will know this when they are old enough to understand this story, and I pray that YOU know this too. Have you ever seen the movie Spanglish? The last line in that movie sums my life to this day. “My identity rests firmly, and happily on one thing. I am my Mother’s daughter.” My mom taught me an amazing lesson; live for your children. They are the ones that matter the most. She lived for my sister and I. What more could I have asked of my childhood. Much love to you and your family Ruth. God has blessed us both with families to love unconditionally.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Cassandra, this comment made me smile. Thank you so much for sharing this story!

      Reply
  • Angie Matthiessen February 29,

    God Bless You Girl!!! I am in awe and thankful to call you friend!

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Angie, I too am so thankful for our friendship. Your prayers and support have meant the world to me & when I see Jesus shining through you I am reminded that God definitely has a plan.

      Reply
  • Jenny@ADropintheBucket February 29,

    This must be so hard for you to share, I can’t even imagine…although I can just a bit because I have stories and thoughts that I would like to post but am too afraid for my family and close friends to read. Thank you for doing this. I am sure you will inspire and encourage many people to share the stories or find help if needed.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Thank you Jenny, I hope that is true. I wish you the best in finding the words & courage to write the things that are on your heart too. :-)

      Reply
  • Kristi February 29,

    Amazing grace and amazing courage from an amazing woman! God Bless you and your family!

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Thank you Kristi

      Reply
  • Alaina February 29,

    Thanks so much for sharing. You are truley Gods Princess. One of my favorite verses is 2nd Corinthians 5:17 and Psalm 103 please read and be encouraged. Blessing to you.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Thank you Alaina.

      Reply
  • edie February 29,

    I’m so proud of you, for sharing your story, for being brave and courageous, for leading others to healing by your very own pain. I’m so thankful for you friend. You are beautiful and so generous. Your willingness to go those broken places make it okay for us to do the same.
    All my love,
    edie

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Oh Edie, my dear friend, thank you so much for your encouragement. I couldn’t have done it without you. xoxo

      Reply
  • Von L. February 29,

    Wow, God gives great courage, doesn’t He?! This is my first time to your blog (came from Edie’s site) and what a story to read. Thank you for your vulnerability – I can’t imagine this was easy for you to share. God bless you! “… and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor ” Isaiah 61:3

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Thank you Von

      Reply
  • Amanda Kay February 29,

    I look at you and I see Christ. What a beautiful person you are and I can’t wait until a great cloud of witnesses can hold you in their arms with joy and say “well done”. Thank you for sharing, from someone who’s been in the valley (and still struggles at times).

    With great love, Amanda

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Thank you Amanda

      Reply
  • Kristen March 1,

    Ruth,
    You are so courageous to share your story and also to let Christ in to transform your life and bring beauty from ashes. You have no idea the lives you will impact and the hope you will give by being willing to share. May the Lord bless and keep you.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Thank you so much Kristen

      Reply
  • Laura March 1,

    Dear Ruth,
    In South Texas there is an expression in Spanish which is ‘muy brava’. Very brave.

    Stories of grace begin exactly as yours did. It is all in God’s perfect timing. His best servants – the servants who help us- as in you- all have hard stories to tell.

    Thank you.

    I wrote you an email about another matter before I read this post. Please forgive the shallowness of its content.

    Laura

    Reply
    • Ruth March 2,

      Laura, I didn’t receive an email from you. Do you know what email address you sent it to? Would you mind re-sending? My email address is ruth@livingwellspendingless.com.

      And thank you for your kind comment. :-)

      Reply
  • Rachel March 1,

    Ruth. 1st of all thank you for sharing your incredible story. I always look forward to all your blog and hot coupon tips. It’s the highlight of my day. I am so sorry you had to go through all that. But look despite all that I am so inspired about how much you have accomplished since then. I am so glad you pulled through.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Thank you Rachel. I’m so honored that my little blog is the highlight of your day–that’s so nice! :-) Reading that was the highlight of MY day!

      Reply
  • Michelle March 1,

    It is wonderful to be able to look back and see where the Lord has brought us from through His grace and mercy. I ask the Lord that He reminds me to pray for you this week as you tell your story.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Thank you Michelle

      Reply
  • Barbara March 1,

    How brave you are. May God bring light out of darkness for those who might need it through your story. Blessings on you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Thank you Barbara!

      Reply
  • SJ March 1,

    Ruth, I’ve been reading your blogs over the past six months and I can tell you, you are an amazing, dynamic, and courageous woman. I hope you remember that anytime you are feeling down.

    Reply
  • josie March 1,

    THank you for sharing your story, you are very brave like everybody has said. I am sure it will change a lot of lives, will inspires all of us…May God continue to bless you and all of your family!

    Reply
  • MIDE March 1,

    I cried twice today. Once while reading the updates from Samaritan’s Purse ‘Operation Christmas Child’ and now as I read your story.

    Reply
  • Michelle March 1,

    Thank you for being so open and honest with everything in your life! Your openness and honesty about the good, bad and the ugly will help bring healing and wholeness to so many broken people! You are helping to fulfill Christ’s mission to “preach good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, release from darkness for the prisoners…” Isaiah 61:1-3

    Well done, sister!

    Reply
  • Heather March 1,

    Thanks for being transparent, you are an amazing woman! I am blessed to call you my friend <3

    Reply
  • Amy @ Pounds4Pennies March 1,

    Ruth I have been following you for sometime. I understand about depression. I go through it from time to time myself. It is when things seem outside of my control. Right now my house is a complete mess, I am four weeks behind on cutting coupons and I feel like I am not the best mom right now either.

    However, I do know I have a wonderful husband and two great biological children and I know I will continue to get things in order and things will get better. I know now that I may get REALLY down, but things will get better.

    In my youth, I thought that was the end and it would never get better. Now I know to stick it out for a bit and all will turn out good. It is just a slump. I do have many more good days than bad days. So that keeps me going. Thanks for being so brutally honest with us readers, who are here for you whenever you need it.

    Reply
  • Melissa N March 2,

    You know Ruth after my own story of amazing grace and reading and hearing so many testimonies (yours and others) no one will ever be able to convince me that there is no God. He is here, He is with us and He has truly has amazing grace and redeeming power! Thank you so much for sharing! This will be used to reach others!

    Reply
  • Lori March 2,

    God bless you and your family. You are in my prayers.

    Reply
  • Erin March 2,

    Ruth,
    Thank you for sharing this story. I do know where you are coming from as I was sexually abused by a family member at the age of 5 and sexually abused regularly by any male who seemed to come my way; cousins, sons of baby sitters, ect. The abuse finally ended when I was 13. However when I was 16 I was raped by a boyfriend when I was on strong meds which made me sleep alot for an illness.

    A lot of bad things have happened in my life beyond the abuse and I honestly feel I could fill a book. When I was 23 and had been married for 2 years and had 3 children I went into a deep panic and anxiety filled depression. I became a hermit for 6 years. I did not leave my house! One year of those 6 was spent in my bedroom in my bed. I only got up to feed my children and to do bathroom things. My husband and kids had to live with a monster! I was mean, cruel, physically and verbally abusive. I wanted to die.

    Luckily, in 2008 I began to snap out of it and take my life back. I began going out of my home. I began going out of my town, I began going out of my state. I am calm, I am happy, I am now a good mom to my 4 children and a good wife to my husband of 12 years.

    Your story is going to be a ray of sunshine to many people, Ruth. I know you will help many find their way back!

    Reply
  • Angela March 2,

    I started reading this post on my phone at Sam’s Club the other day. My girl’s asked what was wrong, so I didn’t finish it then, and read the whole thing later. But the whole time I was shopping, I kept thinking about your story and the actual woman I met last week. By the time, I got in the car, all I thought was “Thank you, LORD!” I already know how this story ends! You are an amazing woman!! Thanks for sharing with us.
    Hugs,
    Angela

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Thank you Angela. Believe me when I say I am just an ordinary girl through whom God has done some extraordinary things. It was so nice meeting you last week! xoxo

      Reply
  • melanie March 3,

    Ruth, you amaze and inspire every one of us with your testimony. You definitely have a powerful testimony and I’m so glad God has used you to share it with others. God bless you!

    ~ Melanie

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Thank you Melanie!

      Reply
  • Steph March 3,

    I am a new follower of yours and I was led here for your “spending less and living well” (well, I got it backwards) and I want to thank you for sharing who you are with your readers. I know this is a tough thing to do – expose your deepest secrets and nightmares with total strangers but God has led you to do this now (even if He has been prompting you for a long time – it is still NOW) for a very good reason. You will not only be blessed but there are others (friends, family, followers, etc.) who really NEED to read your story. I will be praying for you and your family and God bless you.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Steph, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I definitely love using coupons, but ultimately the “spending less” part is just a small piece of my puzzle. I’m so happy to have you here.

      Reply
  • Coupon Carla March 6,

    Ruth, if you were my neighbor, I would come over and give you a great big hug right now. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can only imagine how hard this was for you to post on your website, but I am so grateful you had the courage to do so. I am positive your story will help others who have the same thoughts and experiences that you had. God Bless You always and keep you safe. After reading your blog for quite a while now, I know for a fact that you are one of the sweetest, caring persons I know. xoxoxo

    Reply
  • brooke March 9,

    Wow Ruth, you are one strong woman. Thank you for posting, you should be proud to be you:) God Bless you and your family, forever.

    Reply
    • Ruth March 12,

      Thank you Brooke.

      Reply
  • Patty April 5,

    {I love you.}

    Reply
  • latoya@a peaceful crib September 19,

    I’m so glad that you decided to share your testimony. God prompted me to share my story about depression and I can relate to your not wanting to tell this story. This is so encouraging because today my posts went live about a part of my testimony that I even prayed my mother had forgotten about and I was tempted several times to delete it. I’m just so thankful for God’s grace and exceptionally glad that more Christians are telling about their plight with depression. It’s not an easy thing for others to understand so I do feel you and I’m very encouraged. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Rebecca Rae October 3,

    Dear Ruth,

    I was lead to this posting via a friends post of your post on taking away your kids toys, which I loved. I have not been blessed with any children as of yet… however, I have plenty of family and friends who do and I will be sharing that post with them. I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. We all have one. We all have demons. But it’s folks like you with the courage to share that help so many more than you may ever know. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Jenny Lawson and her blog, The Bloggess? She’s helping bring voice to depression and self harm, just like you. The more light shed on the subject the harder it is for folks to live in the dark. Thank you.

    Reply
  • " or you can let the public and the court system decide your guilt. Whereas all of us under 50 weren't doing the dirty work back then March 22,

    Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would really
    like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my readers would appreciate your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

    Reply
  • Barb@Baby Signs April 5,

    This is a really amazing testimony from the heart. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing – thank you.
    ~Barb

    Reply
  • real estate in aptos April 16,

    Those people are perhaps not well aware that most vehicles today already rely greatly on
    computer software and electronics. This is often a serious consideration, especially in families with history of diseases that require long-term care.
    Real estate prices and property rentals on Balboa Island
    in Newport Beach are out of reach for most budget travelers, but the beaches and the sights from the
    pier are extremely affordable.

    Reply
  • club promotion April 26,

    A lot of beneficial elements listed here and seriously didn’t have a clue in relation to almost any of this until now so cheers for the information

    Reply
  • Latanya May 18,

    I’m now not sure where you are getting your info, however good topic. I needs to spend some time studying more or understanding more. Thank you for fantastic information I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

    Reply
  • sharon Jolly May 18,

    I feel you are telling my story. Exactly my story. I am still in that dark hole. Can’t manage to see any light. It’s so long, I feel all alone even surrounded by family and friends. I don’t trust anyone. And yes, I do have a therapist. Thanks for sharing. Its like knowing someone out there understands what the world don’t.

    Reply
  • BB June 17,

    I believe you. When my PTSD flared, last year, I remember sitting there for hours, staring emptily at the backyard. I wondered for hours if I should check into a mental hospital or if the entire slew of memories that left me so hurt was even real. I had to have imagined it. No one could be that cruel to a little girl. Surely, as I grew older and was abused by more men, I had made some choice to make it happen…? Even more frighteningly, how could I have nigh forgotten for years? And why were the memories still so cloudy? But I remember the steps I took slowly healing and walking away, and I remembered silently facing the fear, still keeping it a secret, even from my loving husband. I believe you, because I know how hard it is to face the truth.

    Reply
  • なめけず July 10,

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the finest sites on the internet. I am going to recomm

    Reply
  • Bonnie Edenfield August 12,

    Thank you for sharing this difficult story. I went through some abuse as a child, but nothing to the extent that you did. It damaged me for years & caused me to make many bad choices. It was only because of God’s grace & love in a women’s conference that I was set free of the pain. After that, it was a continual growth process to discover who I was (and am) in Christ. I believe God is using your story to give many women hope. God bless you!

    Reply
  • Melissa C. August 19,

    I am currently going thru a very difficult situation and have gone thru treatment this past year for PTSD. I feel as others do such gratitude to you for sharing your story. There is light at the end of these dark tunnels.

    Reply
  • Mara August 23,

    I feel like I’m reading an autobiography in some ways. You are incredibly brave and are truly a vessel of God’s Grace shining down. Be very proud of what you’ve created and what you’ve done with your life. I know you haven’t done it alone, and I know that you know that too- that God chose you to be a blessing to others. Keep it up!!

    Reply
  • Allison August 30,

    Thank you so much for writing this! I Know that pain not as severe of a depression as yours but none the less the pain. Could have written this myself babysitters husband had done the same to me and my sisters although his wife and our parents knew which seems to be harder but have gotten through it just watch my daughter like a hawk.

    Reply
  • paulaj84511 September 10,

    thank you for sharing. There are many, many of us who need to be reminded we are not alone, and we WILL get through this.

    Reply
  • DeLissa Jean September 15,

    Your amazing grace is amazingly beautiful. As a nurse I fear that I will not have enough empathy for my patients with depression. Although there is only so much I can do for work within 8 hours. I am always thinking of my patient’s and hoping and praying that they will find peace within themselves. I am proud to have read your story and will bring it to the bedside with me. You are helping me understand a little more. Continue your journey of amazing grace…

    Reply
  • Alicia September 26,

    Ruth,
    By now you must realize how unalone you really are. There are so many of your sisters out here in the world who have experienced the shame, guilt, torment and depression of childhood sexual abuse, reaching far into our adulthoods, yet who have been showered by His amazing Grace and able to look up, and see light through the darkness.
    I was 8 or 9, possibly 10. I don’t remember, specifically. But I do know that upon hearing of my brother’s death, I felt like he had been given a ‘free pass’–death instead of confrontation for what he had done–the downward spiral began. I didn’t tell, really tell—and heal—for fourty years.
    But the beautiful thing is that today, I am healed. Healed of the guilt, the shame, the torment, the secret, the PTSD. Healed by the grace of a God who adores me. And oddly enough, that ‘little thing’ of me getting molested as a child was the final piece in a bigger puzzle, and became the catalyst for my husband of 21 years, upon finally understanding why I was me, accepting Christ.
    Your story? It’s not a little thing. It’s a piece of the puzzle that makes you YOU. And someone out here will read it, and it will stike them as familiar…and they will find comfort in that.
    And, perhaps, who know? Even find the meaning of Grace.

    Reply
  • Bekah Pogue October 24,

    BRAVE- that’s what you are! What a noble, vulnerable way to step into the uncomfortable and share your story. No doubt it will bless many. Praying for you as you seek Him for strength and the words to encourage others. xo Bekah

    Reply
  • Rebecca November 8,

    I was just happy to read your ideas. But sharing your story blesses me. I still feel so close to the edge sometimes. I’m trying and I’m grateful. A person must have love and they must have support.
    Thanks

    Reply
  • Mel November 12,

    I am sitting here in work and in tears. I stumbled across your blog today looking for tips to declutter my life and then saw your story. I feel in someway a higher power brought me here and I wanted to thank you. I have been struggling silently with depression and seriously contemplated ending my own life or atleast taking self harm further then simply some cutes, and this is just a beacon of hope. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup November 13,

      Mel, I’m so glad you found my blog. I’ll be praying….hope IS possible.

      Reply
  • Christy November 15,

    Just wanted to say thanks for your story and I am glad that you are okay and that you have a brave spirit to reveal the information to everyone. God will Bless you for your words of encouragement.

    Reply
  • Hadiza January 20,

    Thank you. I just found your blog and I honestly am so proud and amazed at people that share their stories without holding back. You give the rest of us courage. I’m glad your life has turned out for the best and I hope you never have a reason to cry anymore. God bless you. Xo

    Reply
  • Terri February 18,

    Ruth: What a powerful story of God’s amazing grace and love for us all! No matter what we’ve done or how far away from God we try to stay – HIS amazing love is always there…..waiting for us. Thank you for sharing your story of love.

    Reply
  • Patty O March 1,

    I, too, embrace you for your courage in writing about these painful events and I am so happy to hear how far you have come from those stormy days. I, too, was sexually abused as a child. My offender was my brother. I’ve posted two stories on my blog about parts of my journey. I felt I hit rock bottom when suicide actually started to make sense, but I didn’t actually go through with it – in my mind I didn’t have the courage to. I’m still struggling through PTSD therapy with a very good therapist – and yes, he says I suffer from excessive shame.
    It seems my body wants to give out at the same time as dealing with this (and other stressors). I’m doctoring now to try to find out why it’s doing the things it’s doing (heart, hearing, off balance, shortness of breathe, muscle weakness, blah, blah, blah).
    Anyway, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your strength and honesty. If you’d like to read my stories, just visit my website, look in the category ‘Challenges’ and find “One Cha-Cha Step at a Time” and then “I Thank God for You”. I may add more as time passes, we’ll see. I try to keep my blog light with funny stories, but I do get serious when I feel God’s calling me to write it.
    Thank you – you truly are a gift from God.
    Patty O

    Reply
  • annemarie March 6,

    thankyou for sharing your story i also had a breakdown about 10years ago caused by traumas ect also miscarring 4 babies after that and also bevearment through loosing my nearest and dearest, but i praise God every day for his love and strenghth because i would not have got through with what i went through without him even though at time i let my faith slip. i still suffer with G.A.D and depression but its maintained through a lot of hard work and making sure also to get rest when needed ect and gods help and love x x x x x

    Reply
  • Loonita April 6,

    Ruth, this morning before starting work, i was flipping though pintrest when i found one of the pins you posted about children, and link after link, got to your story, COULDNT STOP, i read all 4 parts in tears and in hope of God’s work.
    I really thank you for answering God’s call to post your story, and i Thank God of his work in your life and ask him to use all the pain you went through to redeem others.

    Can i ask you, as you have 2 daughters, how do you protect them, or make them aware of sexual abuse. i come from a society that doesnt talk about this and will never admit it.

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup April 9,

      Hi Loonita,
      Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words.
      My husband and I are very vigilant about who our girls come in contact with. We also talk with them in an age appropriate way regarding their bodies and what is acceptable and what is not (good touching/bad touching etc.) We have tried to create an open line of communication that encourages honesty and assured them that they can always come to us not matter what the topic. I hope this helps.

      Reply
  • annaj May 22,

    I, too, found this post after reading about the kid’s toys after reading about living simply like our grand parents. I am awestruck that I would come upon your story and read the death of the abuser is what triggered the memories. Thank you for being courageous enough to write this post. When I remembered after the death of the man who violated me – and confronted my mother – I lost my entire extended family and my mother for the umpteenth time. Im sorry for you pain, so sorry, but so helped to have a sister who believes me.

    Reply
  • Kathleen July 5,

    Hi
    Wondering if I can share this on my web show? Also in my meetings with women whom have similar stories to bring comfort and healing???
    Kathleen

    Reply

Leave a Comment