Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thank you, Bing Crosby. I WILL count my blessings instead of sheep.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I mean, who doesn’t? But, I’m seriously ridiculous about it. I live about thirty minutes from the world’s LARGEST CHRISTmas store and I go there regularly. It is my happy place. There is no way you can be sad or down when you’re walking around that place. It is amazing. When I moved back home from Florida to help my dad when he was sick, I told my sister “If I ever go AWOL, look at Bronner’s. I’ll be at my happy place.”  I continue to do so when I get overwhelmed. Seriously, what isn’t there to love about Christmas? Except, “Black Friday”, you people should be ashamed. I love everything about the Christmas season. I love the lights. I love the cheer. I love buying gifts for my family. I love baking. I love cutting down a Christmas tree (no fake trees in this house, they just seem dishonest). Anyways, who can be sad when you’re celebrating Jesus birth? It is the happiest day ever! Without him we have no hope. Without him there is no joy. Without his birth, there is no Savior. Without, CHRISTmas, there is no Good Friday, NO EASTER, no resurrection, no eternal life! Scary to think. So, who is sad at Christmas time?

Me. I am sad at Christmas time. I never feel as alone, depressed, and scared as I do at Christmas. In my family growing up, we always had these huge Christmas gatherings. They were so loud and chaotic, they were wonderful. Except…except when they weren’t. Except when I found myself being fondled in the next room. Or when I was being groped during a picture.

Yes, the girl who LOVES Christmas, who will listen to Bing Crosby in July, she secretly dreads Christmas. Even now, it is hard to shake that fear, that apprehension. I am a grown adult, I have made sure he will never come near me again. Yet, every time I am in a large crowd or at a family gathering, I am STILL absolutely petrified.

Now, I’m pushing thirty. I still single and childless. I’m pretty sure I’m rocking a prune and two raisins where my uterus and ovaries used to be. (Ok, that was an exaggeration.) But I’m also so incredibly sad that I don’t have my own children and husband to spend Christmas with. I want to teach them the REAL story behind Jesus birth. I want them to sing all the best Christmas songs. I want to see their faces as they celebrate Christmas day. I want them to know that joy, the joy of the true meaning of Christmas. But, I don’t have them. “They” are not in existence. Every Christmas I spend single and childless reminds me the time is ticking by.

His actions are stealing my favorite holiday.  Every year, come October, I start getting really excited about Christmas. (I mean, let’s be real, I get excited about Christmas in July too. ) November it starts going into overdrive. I mean, I HATE November. It just gets in the way. I just want it to be December already so people stop telling me it is too early for Christmas music and decorations! Then, somewhere mid-December, I start remembering. I start reevaluating my life. I start focusing on all the wrong things. I start getting mad. I start feeling sorry for myself. I start getting afraid of something that I have made sure is certain to never happen again. I start panicking. And, because I’m still working on things, I think I have to hide it from my closest friends and family.  So I stuff it all down and try to fake it. Which, I think I do pretty well.

A few weeks ago, I was having a really bad evening. I was just really down and frustrated, exhausted and emotional. I hadn’t been sleeping well. I’d be tired, but couldn’t stay asleep. I would wake up several times during the night. It was too early to go to bed, which is all I want to do, because at least then I wouldn’t be awaking being all down, frustrated, exhausted and emotional. White Christmas happened to be on TV, and even though I own two copies of the DVD, I turned it on. It was the part where Rosemary Clooney can’t sleep and she runs into Bing Crosby and they have a snack by the fire. He sings to her, “When you’re worried and you can’t sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep. And, you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”

Ah, yes. Thank you Bing Crosby. That is EXACTLY what I needed to do. I could list here all the wonderful blessings that God has given to me in my life, but I won’t. I will only point out the most important. The ONLY thing that matters. The only thing that is strong enough, great enough, wonderful enough to make all this fear, frustration, depression, anxiety, anger, disappointment, apprehension, misery and sadness go away as if it never happened. CHRISTMAS.

Because of CHRISTmas, I have hope and assurance that someday my suffering here on earth will end and I will be in heaven with Jesus and none of this will matter. None of what happened to me will matter. None of the stolen Christmas gatherings. None of the ruined dreams. The prune and raisins will barely be a memory. The fear, frustration, depression, anxiety, anger. disappointement, apprehension, misery and sadness will be gone and what will be left will be better than any Christmas here on earth. Because when Christ does come again, when we celebrate his return, it will be an everlasting Christmas. More beautiful than a thousand lit evergreen trees. The songs we sing will be more joyous than Joy to the World sung in the Mormon Tabernacle. More sweet and loving than the Vienna Boys Choir singing Still, Still, Still. The angels won’t simple be atop the tree, they will be next to us singing along. We won’t be reading Luke 2, we’ll be talking to Luke himself. We won’t be unwrapping gifts, because the greatest gift of all will be right in front of us. And, the best thing about that Christmas? There will never be another November. We’ll never be told it is too early for Christmas music. Every day will be Christmas. And it will be Christmas day every day, forever.

So, thank you Bing Crosby, for reminding me to focus not on what I don’t have, but on all my blessings. The BEST of which is that baby born in a barn in Bethlehem. He is the greatest blessing.

Now sing we, now rejoice, Now raise to heaven our voice;
He from whom joy streameth Poor in a manger lies;
Not so brightly beameth The sun in yonder skies.
Thou my Savior art! Thou my Savior art!

Come from on high to me; I cannot rise to Thee
Cheer my wearied spirit, O pure and holy Child;
Through Thy grace and merit, Blest Jesus, Lord most mild,
Draw me unto Thee! Draw me unto Thee!

Now through His Son doth shine The Father's grace divine.
Death o'er us had reigned Through sin and vanity;
He for us obtained Eternal joy on high.
May we praise Him there! May we praise Him there!

Oh, where shall joy be found? Where but on heavenly ground?
Where the angels singing With all His saints unite,
Sweetest praises bringing In heavenly joy and light.
Oh, that we were there! Oh, that we were there!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Wake up, the whole world is sinful.

 If you think something like this can’t happen in your own family, you’re dreaming. I don’t mean to sound critical of you or your family. I don’t know each and every family that might have someone stumble upon this blog. But, what I do know is that if it can happen in my family, it can happen in yours. 

Not that my family is special or superior, (although, sometimes I think we think we are, subconsciously) we are your average lower to middle class Midwestern family. Each one of us was raised going to parochial schools, most of us straight through college. We all were raised knowing the Lord and with a firm foundation in the Bible.

There have been times when I’ve thought, “how in hell did this happen in my family?!” Well, even my family is sinful, horribly sinful. The devil found a weakness he could manipulate. The devil found a crack in a family member’s faith that he wedged himself into and polluted with his godlessness. That is all it took. 

How can you know if someone has abused a little one in your family? I have no idea. I was a master at hiding my fear and anxiety. No one knew. My grandparents suspected something was wrong, but I’m sure they never imagined this. Friends in high school and college could tell I was struggling, but they knew my family and I’m sure it never crossed their minds. I don’t blame them. You can’t police your entire family. You can’t protect them from the sinfulness of this world. The world is sinful. You can’t run away from that. 

So, what is the point of me writing this post? In the time since I started this blog, I have had countless people approach me, send emails, approach family members and say, “Yea, it happened to me too.” Not only are the victims people I know, some of the perpetrators are people I know. This breaks my heart and makes me angry. The devil has so poisoned our lives that no one is untouched by his deceit. I hate him with my whole heart for causing so much pain for so many. To use a quote from one of my favorite pastors, I want to shout, “Go back to hell, you bastard!”

Ok, angry time is over. We’re all allowed to be angry. We hate the devil, sin, and our sinful flesh…and the sinful flesh of our abusers. But, be careful; don’t let the devil use this to weaken your own faith. Because, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer.” (Disclaimer: don’t misinterpret the usage of “brother”, I’m quoting the Bible.) How much more elated will the devil be if he gets a 2-for-1 deal? First, he entices someone to abuse you. Now, he is using that hurt and pain to turn you away from God toward hatred for another one of God’s children. Instead, pray without ceasing for the person who did this to you. Pray that they repent. Pray that the Holy Spirit strengthens their faith. Pray, that when Judgment Day comes or we pass away, that these people will also be there in heaven, their sins forgiven. Yes, this is a bitter pill for our sinful flesh to swallow. But, no sin is greater than another. Even the murderer on the cross with Jesus was forgiven his sins. Jesus told him, he would enter paradise. Jesus forgives us all that we do; he forgives pedophiles and rapists too. True grace, how amazing. 

This is peace for me. Peace, that there is hope for the person who did this to me. I have forgiven him. He has forgiveness through Jesus. Thank God. He is my family and I love him. 

This doesn’t mean we have to be best friends with our abusers. This doesn’t mean we have to speak to them ever again. This would, no doubt, be horribly painful for us. I have no intentions of ever seeing this person again, but I pray for him daily. I pray for his family, our family, that there is forgiveness among all of us. I pray that one day we will all be in heaven together.

I am not a saint. I am not delusional. But, it hurts me to be angry. It hurts me to hate. When I pray for him, I am at peace. I have hope for him.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Job 33: 28 God has delivered me from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.

I’ve been taking a break, a much needed break. A lot has happened since my last post. I took a break from surviving to enjoy what was happening in my life. I made a conscious decision to put aside the fear, the anger, the anxiety, the disappointment, and let myself feel happy and proud. I stopped sprinting through healing. I stopped forcing myself to conquer something every day. I was exhausting myself and allowing more of my life to be tainted by my childhood. The spring of 2013 was going to be exciting; I didn’t want to miss it. 

I graduated college. I passed my boards. I became an RN. I started my career. I’ve helped people. I went out on a date. I met a guy. I got a new puppy. I started shopping for houses. I’m spending time with friends. I’m living life. And, it feels awesome.

There are still things that pop up, but I find now that I am allowing myself to be happy and enjoy life, I am more able to deal with momentary setbacks. God has blessed me throughout my life, but I rarely felt blessed in daily life. I felt cursed in fact. I was so petrified of the world around me; I could not see the day to day blessings. I would only appreciate them later. I was miserable. I was discouraged. I felt as though my life had been stolen from me and I woke up everyday hoping it would get better, to no avail. But not anymore, this “break” from surviving has actually allowed me to feel as though I did, in fact, SURVIVE.

Now, onto finding a balance between the two. I still have work to do, necessary work. I don’t yet know how, but I’ll figure it out. I’m not in a rush. I’ll take the bits and pieces as they come. I will face them with the confidence that they no longer have power over me. 

God has never let me go through all of this. As many times as I screamed and begged and was on the brink of doing something with eternal ramifications, he sat with me in those hours. He knew I would get through them, he gave me the strength. He held my hand. He guided me through to the other side. And, the other side is awesome. 

Last summer, I made the most difficult decision of my life. I was terrified that I would lose my whole family. I was terrified that this secret would kill my family. I was terrified I would not survive. I was terrified of facing my demons. I was terrified that my life would get worse than it already was.

But, it didn’t. None of that happened. Instead, I was showered with love and support. Family and friends, even some strangers, listened to my fears, calmed my nerves, sent me messages of love and strength. I was blessed. I am blessed.

Psalm 116

1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”

5 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.

7 Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.

8 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.

Praise the Lord.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Last night was rough.

In October I challenged myself to face one of my biggest fears stemming from the molestation. Men.

I have had very limited experiences with the opposite sex. In fact, technically, I have only had one “boyfriend” my entire life, and that was in the fifth grade…I don’t really think that counts. Sure, I have gone on a few dates, but they were few and far between. Usually, I ran away any time males came near me until I got to know them. In fact, it took one friend two years of professing his “love” for me to feel safe around him. If a guy so much as looked my way, I felt threatened and unsafe. I felt that I immediately needed to protect myself. HE WOULD HURT ME, somehow. As much as I’ve wanted relationships my whole life, I’ve been terrified of them much, much more.

So, when I started working through the molestation and its aftereffects, I knew that along with facing it, I had to move forward. So, I joined an online dating site. This way I could control who I communicated with and when. I could delete someone from my matches with one click. It was one baby step in the right direction. Since then I have actually made quite a bit of progress, but not without bumps and bruises. I cannot count the number of anxiety attacks I’ve had as a direct result of this “baby step”. Every step of the way has been anxiety stricken. Merely creating a profile took me two weeks, and then I didn’t make it official for another week. The first time a less than desirable guy contacted me, I slept with my switchblade in my hand. Navigating each of the different “stages” of communication has felt comparable to sitting in a room full of clowns-I hate clowns.

In fact, there were many occasions when I have simply prayed to God for contentment. I prayed to be content being single and alone my entire life, to be content living without the blessings of a marriage and children. In fact, I didn’t pray, I begged. I’m not sure what God’s answer is, but I can tell you I am not content with my current singlehood.

I have been navigating through these baby steps and coming down of numerous ledges, but last night was by far the worst. This is a bit embarrassing to admit. I have been communicating with a seemingly nice guy, who lives within driving distant, for a few weeks now. He asked for my personal phone number. After some good-hearted peer pressure from friends, I gave it to him. Then, I panicked. I barely slept that night. I can’t tell you what specifically frightened me, most likely because it was highly irrational. However, throughout the day yesterday, the more rational side of my brain was dominant and I was actually getting excited. I knew this was something I wanted. Then, it happened. He called.

But, I didn’t answer, I couldn’t. I simply stared straight ahead for a good thirty minutes, like a spooked deer.

My sister knew what was happening the past few days. She has been with me every step of the way. So when I called in tears, she wasn’t surprised. As we talked, I cried and cried and cried. I went to my safe place, the bathroom. (That was the only “safe” place when my abuser was around. Since then, I have always gone into a bathroom when I got anxious.) I was literally curled up in the corner of the bathroom sobbing. I was terrified; full-fledged panic attack style-chest pain, sweating, hyperventilating, room spinning, etc.

What frightened me so much? Well, for one, getting what I have always wanted…yes, that is scary. Also, I am constantly afraid that men want what I don’t want to give them. Let’s be realistic, that is true for the majority of men, especially godless men. (Sorry guys, but we know what is on your mind.) This guy is not godless though. He seems like a very nice, God-fearing man. So, rationally, I know I do not need to be afraid of him. In fact, I wasn’t afraid of him. But I can’t get that thought out of my head. Deep down, that wasn’t what was happening. I have worked hard and come so far, I honestly didn’t see this coming.

When people would ask me if I felt guilt or shame about the abuse, I would retort with a resounding “NO, I was a kid!” I was so proud of that. I knew it wasn’t my fault. But, what I didn’t realize was that I did feel guilty when I was young and that feeling has stayed with me to this day. I felt guilty because someone I loved wanted something I wouldn’t give him. I stopped him because I didn’t want him to touch me anymore. I loved him, he is family. I felt guilty because I disappointed him. In fact, I have a very early memory of abuse that has bothered me because I can’t remember the whole picture. I can remember the end of it and that is it, but I have never forgotten the feeling I had. I felt like I had let my abuser down. I felt guilty about that. I realize that sounds a bit ridiculous, but it is true, and, a quintessential component of child sexual abuse. I never thought I fit that mold, but it is absolutely true.

I remember feeling special because this family member paid attention to me. I liked that attention, I craved it. I am the youngest of four and was always the annoying baby sister. But, not when I was spending time with him, I felt special. That feeling was exploited by his sinful desires. My world was ripped apart. I was torn between wanting that attention so badly, wanting to keep it, wanting to do anything to keep him close, but knowing deep down inside that what he wanted me to let him do was horribly sinful. God wouldn’t let me be taken over by that sin, He gave me the strength to stand up to Satan and his evil schemes. So, I shouldn’t feel guilty, in fact, I stopped him from sinning against me any longer. I should be proud, I should not feel guilty.

As my sister and I talked, I came to this realization and, literally, the fog, disorientation, and terror melted away. She repeated over and over again that I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do and, more importantly, I don’t have to feel bad about that. This is MY life and I make the choices.

Moreover, God is with me every step of the way. He has commanded his angels concerning me to guard me. He will never leave me. Since He is for me, who can be against me?  I am not that scared little girl anymore. Not only do I have God on my side, I have the strength He has given me, physical and personal strength. By God’s grace He has given me the ability to see right from wrong, to see sin when I am faced with it. Putting my trust in Him, I have nothing to fear. He makes my paths straight towards the plans He has for me. The Lord is the stronghold of my life. He is my light, my salvation. He is my guide, my comforter, my Redeemer.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sometimes, I’d just rather be in heaven

I beg and beg God to take me home. I don’t want to deal with all this anymore. I just want to go home. I spend days and days stuck in this rut, somewhere between knowing that God has me here on this earth for a reason and feeling like I can’t do it anymore, like I don’t want to do it anymore. I look at all that is before me and I am overwhelmed and frustrated. I am sad, worn out, and angry. I don’t know how I can fight my way back. I can’t keep it all together anymore. Sometimes I can’t even find a coherent thought in my head (a dangerous situation since I’m in my last semester of nursing school and have the responsibility of keeping people alive.) I don’t know if I have the strength. I want the peace and joy of heaven.

Oh, sweet and blessed country, the home of God's elect!
Oh, sweet and blessed country that eager hearts expect
Where they who with their Leader, have conquered in the fight
Forever and forever are clad in robes of white.
Jesus, in mercy bring us to that dear land of rest
Where sings the host of heaven your glorious name to bless.
The Christ is ever with them, the daylight is serene.
The pastures of the blessed are ever rich and green.
There is the throne of David; and there from care released,
The shout of them that triumph, the song of them that feast;
To God enthroned in glory the Church's voices blend,
The Lamb forever blessed, the Light that knows no end.

Who would rather be here than there?

I look back at my 29 years of life and see how my dreams and hopes were put on the back burner while I was busy surviving. I wonder if I have missed the opportunity to be of use in this world. I wonder if the little injured girl inside me will ever get to see and experience all the joys and blessings of this world. I wonder if she will ever get to do everything she hoped and dreamed. She deserved better than what she got.

It is all just too much. It is unfair. It is infuriating. It is debilitating.

I don’t want this anymore.

Then, again, right when I am at my breaking point, a reminder:

Ecclesiates 7:13-15 “Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked?  When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.”

And, here, another:

1 Peter 1:3-9Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Sigh, thank you, God. As much as I yell and scream and doubt and disobey you, you never let me down. You never let me go. Instead, you fulfill your promise and send me peace. John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

So, renewed and refresh, I awaken to a new day.

Psalm 121:1-2

“I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”

I can do this. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13


Sunday, January 20, 2013

“You have no right to look with contempt upon yourself when God has taken such an interest in you.”

I am a survivor. I am a survivor of sexual abuse. But that is not all I am.

Some days I feeling like I’m failing, like I’m letting him violate all over again. It is hard to be happy and cheerful and confident while working through all this garbage. I want to move on. I want to be happy. I want to be content. But it is just so hard. I want to be able to forget again. I want to be able to wake up and think of something else. I want to stop focusing on everything that has been taken from me. I want to see the good in life instead of the bad. I want to be able to live life unafraid of what is lurking in the darkness.

 I feel violated. I feel defeated. I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to move on. Surely this cannot be all my life has to offer. I know this is not true. Yet, often times, this is how I feel. I wake up and look in the mirror and see a big sign stamped on my forehead, “Victim: Violated, Wounded, Defeated, Dirty, Disgusting, Ugly, Weak, Vulnerable, Failure”.

Needless to say, I have a bit of a self-esteem problem today. Days like today, I want to stay in bed. I want to avoid the world. I want to erase everything in my brain and just go blank. I want to forget. But, the devil won’t let me. He keeps creeping into my thoughts, making me doubt, making me focus on all the negatives in my life, making me forget who I really am: a dearly loved child of God. Peace.

“You have no right to look with contempt upon yourself when God has taken such an interest in you.”

Who am I to feel disgusting, ugly, weak, wounded, defeated, failing or vulnerable? When God looks at me, he doesn’t see that, he doesn’t see some disgusting lump of wasted life. He sees his dearly love child.

 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:31-34

Though on my own, because of sin, I AM defeated, wounded, violated, dirty, disgusting, ugly, weak, vulnerable, and a failure, because of JESUS I am victorious, strong, beautiful, pure, safe and loved.  

Selected verses from Lamentations 3:
7-26 He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
he has weighed me down with chains.
 Even when I call out or cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer.
 He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
he has made my paths crooked.
 Like a bear lying in wait,
like a lion in hiding,
 he dragged me from the path and mangled me

and left me without help.
He drew his bow
and made me the target for his arrows.
 He pierced my heart
with arrows from his quiver.
I became the laughingstock of all my people;
they mock me in song all day long.
He has filled me with bitter herbs
and sated me with gall.
 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.
So I say, “My splendor is gone
and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.”
49-58 My eyes will flow unceasingly,
without relief,
until the Lord looks down
from heaven and sees.
What I see brings grief to my soul
because of all the women of my city.
Those who were my enemies without cause
hunted me like a bird.
They tried to end my life in a pit
and threw stones at me;
 the waters closed over my head,
and I thought I was about to be cut off.I called on your name, O Lord,
from the depths of the pit.
You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears
to my cry for relief.”
You came near when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”
 O Lord, you took up my case;
you redeemed my life.”

Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


What is Unagi, you ask? Well, Ross Gellar tells it best. He developed his Unagi while studying karate`. (You should watch the episode, it is hysterical and cleverly titled, “The One with the Unagi.” But, for a quick background, and also so you get the tone of this post, view this youtube video of the Unagi least to 3:30 minutes. ) Anyway, to summarize Ross, “Unagi” is a sense of awareness about one’s environment. If you have Unagi, you can sense danger coming your way. I have a hefty dose of Unagi.

As I have mentioned before, in an almost paranoid fashion, I am constantly scanning my environment and assessing those around me for threats. It is involuntary, it is Unagi.

That feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is wrong? Unagi. That unease when you meet someone new and they creep you out a bit? Unagi. The three bears had Unagi. They knew someone had been in their home, in their chairs and beds, and eating their porridge. Ok, so they had more evidence than just their Unagi.

When I was living in Florida, my already hyperactive Unagi was in overdrive. Everyone creeped me out. I didn’t trust anyone. Then, while working at a restaurant, this huge guy would not leave me alone. When he wasn’t staring at me from his perch at the bar, he was following me around the restaurant. Then he came in repeatedly asking for me and trying to find out when I worked. Several times he refused to leave unless I talked to him…um, yeah, like that was going to happen. My Unagi really didn’t like him. Even more creepy was when he showed up with a girl who looked eerily similar to me…

Some months later, I had just gotten home from work around 930pm and was talking to my sister in her bedroom (she’s a teacher, they go to bed early). I heard a noise at the door. Knowing my Unagi was sensitive, I shook it off. Then it happened again. My sister asked if I heard it and if I locked the door…um, of course, who did she think she was talking to? Anyways, she went to sleep and I hopped in the shower. Shortly thereafter, I was watching TV when I heard a noise at the door like someone hand grabbed the doorknob and inserted a key. I ran to the door and punched it, denting the door. (Yay me!) But, when I peered through the peep hole, I saw nothing and no one. I thought I may have gone crazy. I grabbed a can of wasp spray and dared whoever it was to come back and try to mess with me…but nothing. My sister didn’t really believe me when I told her the next day. Aah, salmon skin roll. I can’t blame her; my Unagi is much more sensitive than hers. For the next several weeks, I slept with that can of wasp spray by my bed and a light by the door-The Light of Unagi to be exact. Weeks went by and nothing happened. Then, when my sister was visiting her now husband out of town, I returned home from a graduation party around 10pm. I was talking on the phone with my mom, when I walked in the door and got an instant spike in Unagi. Something wasn’t right, but I didn’t want to alarm my mom, so I blew it off. About 30 minutes later, I was on the phone with a friend in Michigan when I heard the sound again at the door. Recognizing it immediately, I told her that I thought someone was trying to get in. She was yelling at me to get something to hit him with, when I saw the lock turn open. I ran to the door, and a nearly unrecognizable voice from somewhere deep inside me yelled, “GET THE F*** AWAY FROM MY APARTMENT!!!” I hung up and dialed 911. The poor dispatcher had to stay on the phone with me in my panic until the police officers arrived. Who, by the way, knocked on the door without identifying themselves…uh, yea, like I’m going to open the door. They found no signs that anyone had been there but mentioned that the complex had a voyeur and had a rash of burglaries in recent months. Awesome. I called some friends to come pick me up so I didn’t have to stay alone there. The next morning they returned with me to make sure there were no recording devices in the apartment, which there were not. I had to fight the feeling that I was crazy, that my Unagi was too sensitive. I know what I saw, I didn’t hallucinate the lock opening like that. It was awful, I couldn’t sleep for months. In fact, I don’t think I slept even after we moved to a new second story apartment. I still left the lights on during the night and a TV on while I was gone to convince said threat that I was not alone. I also developed the usage of “The Rock of Unagi.” The Rock of Unagi was a little rock that I would put in front of the door in a very particular place, one that couldn’t be reached from inside the door. If that rock was moved, I knew someone had been or was at that moment inside. It gave me great comfort. There were no other incidents that I know of. I chalk up the lack of incident on both occasions to the efficacy of my Unagi.

My Unagi helped me again when I noticed a man following me around Walmart. He literally followed me everywhere in the store, through checkout and out into the parking lot. It was daytime, so I wasn’t too scared and my Unagi had prepared me for action. This girl has no flight in her, I fight. And, I was ready to fight should he attempt to touch me. He ended up following me to my car and commented on the appearance of my derriere. He was on the receiving end of a few terse words. Other than that exchange, it was a nonevent. Thanks to my Unagi, I was prepared for him and I’m sure the look on my face told him to F*** off. My Unagi had saved me again.

All joking aside, I do believe that those of us who have been violated in some way, whether it is sexual abuse, robbery, stalking, have an increase sense of awareness of our environment. We are on alert for threats, we don’t want to be violated again. Some days it drives me crazy, other days it is an invaluable tool. I like to think that am working on developing my Unagi to a point of maximum effectiveness without hyperactivity. I am aware of the environment around me, but I am less fearful than I once was. Progress. I also have the confidence that if someone were to mess with me, I’d most likely rip them to shreds. Which is a good feeling.

I love my Unagi.