There is Peace - Guest Post with Ashley Workman
I think of you often, because your existence brings me peace. You might be thinking, "how is that possible? You don't know me." And you'd be right, to a point. Doesn't our suffering make us sisters? Can we not almost immediately relate to each other, due to the fact that we somewhat understand what the other has been through? That's a beautiful thing to me.
Now, don't get me wrong. I would NEVER wish mental illness on even my worst of enemies. But, it's comforting to know I'm not alone in this journey. That's where you come in. You play a part in my healing.
"It's interesting, the dichotomy between healing the body and healing the soul. When we heal the body, it's always an inward effort. We're always paying attention to ourselves. When we heal the soul, turning inward doesn't work. And the triage of the soul is found in turning outward to other people.
"...Really, it's genius how Christ has laid this out for us. As one helps the other, the other helps the other back" (https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2015-05-003-lift?lang=eng&category=mormon-messages-2015).
I know the truthfulness of those words, and I know you can come to know for yourself as well. You see, my depression came as a delayed reaction to years of childhood trauma. I was sexually abused almost every night between the ages of 7 and 13. My abuser was someone I loved and trusted. Becoming sexually active after getting married at 22 years old brought all those repressed memories back to the surface. With the memories came doubt, fear, lack of self-worth, confusion, sorrow, and pain.
Thankfully, about 3 years later, I've become a strong woman, determined to heal in order to protect others from the suffering I endured. I am the Administrative Assistant for Prevent Child Abuse Utah, where I get to apply my passion to prevent this from ruining another childhood. I rub shoulders with the outstanding Board of Directors, many of whom are also survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I am part of their team to protect the innocent.
This and many other miracles testify to me that Father in Heaven watches out for each one of His children, especially during their times of deepest struggle. He loves you, and He weeps with you.
"Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever" (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/tomorrow-the-lord-will-do-wonders-among-you?lang=eng).
With love and understanding,