This piece by Mercy Survivor Grace conveys a dilemma many Mercy Ministries survivors face – facing Mercy triggers that can invade daily activities and spirituality. This piece was originally published on her personal blog and can be viewed at To The Light.
I’m working on another post on God’s Creative Power, but in the meantime, I have a question for fellow Mercy survivors in particular, but anyone else is welcome to answer as well.
Is it difficult for you to hear/sing songs that remind you of Mercy?
Sometimes we sing Hillsong songs in praise chapel at my school. Mostly, as long as I prepare myself, get it in my head that they very likely will come up, I can deal with it. But if I forget, and one catches me by surprise…I freak out. I honestly want to plug my ears and run out of chapel. (I actually did quickly get out of chapel once!) Sometimes I just can’t deal with it.
This morning, for instance. I’m not going to make a habit of putting my current personal struggles up here for all to see, but occasionally there’s something that I feel all right about putting up. We had praise chapel with the orchestra this morning — those are always my favorite ones, they’re amazing! But the second song was “Lord, You Are Good” by Israel and New Breed. Not Hillsong, but the only time I’ve ever heard of them is at Mercy, so the same association is there. And it just went downhill after that. Not that they’re bad songs, I think I’d love them if I didn’t associate them with Mercy. But every song after that was either Hillsong, or something that sounded an awful lot like Hillsong. Just a little ways into it, my legs were shaking so bad that I had to sit down. Fortunately, I carry a couple of little things in my pocket to hold onto if something like this happens. I decided to focus on the orchestra, and when I was listening for them, I didn’t hear the words as much. I just kept telling myself stuff like, “It’s okay. You’re 22 years old. That was 3 years ago, and you never have to go back there again.” Even though logically I know all this, when I’m in an emotional flashback, it helps to ground me. So, made it through the rest of praise chapel sitting down, talking to myself, holding my little rock, focusing on the orchestra. Whew! And I’m still shaking — my counselor last year told me that that’s just the body releasing energy after a stressful situation, so now that I know why it happens, I’m not as self-conscious.
Anyway, I just wanted to see if anyone else can relate to that — if it’s a fairly normal thing for people who have been through what we’ve been through. And I just wanted to share my experience, because I know there have been a lot of things that I thought were “just me,” until a fellow Mercy survivor mentioned them. So hopefully I can let someone else know that they are not alone, and reassure myself at the same time. =)