Juliet Mcdonald: Since The Day I Cried

A moving personal account of how one woman found healing from early childhood abuse and her continuing journey.  Trigger warning: child abuse.

Someone said to me the other day that they were interested in how some people survive trauma/abuse and come through it a stronger person, and others remain victims their whole lives. I think there must be many reasons for the way we are affected by what happens to us in life. I can only tell my own story of how early childhood abuse affected me for the rest of my life.

The abuse that happened was over by the time I was 3 years old. The fear and insecurity it generated stayed with me for the first 25 years of my life. I lived as a victim. I tried to commit suicide 3 times when I was a young teenager. I then made the decision that death was a gift that I didn’t deserve, so I longed to die, but felt I had no right to. Because I couldn’t die I longed for the next best thing. I longed to be shut away somewhere where I would have no contact with another human being. I longed to have no responsibilities, to never have to make a decision about anything ever again. I wanted to be housed, fed, looked after while doing nothing to contribute towards this.

I didn’t know it then, but I was heading fast towards having a nervous breakdown. After 25 years of keeping all my emotions inside, never letting anybody know what was going on in my head, it was hardly surprising that I was ready to crack right open.

Then someone stepped in, call it what you like: God, the universe, fate, destiny. It came in the form of a new friend who had recently moved in to the village. Her husband had previously suffered a serious nervous breakdown. She recognised the signs. She and her husband saw beyond the wall I lived behind and understood the pain that needed to come out.

She and her husband took me under their wing. I ended up living with them for a while. They took me to people they knew, who took me through a process of healing they called ‘Healing of the Memories’. This was brought about through prayer, talking and a process like hypnotherapy. It was extraordinary. The first thing I experienced was a profound all-encompassing love. It broke down the wall I had always lived behind. I cried like I had never cried in my life. Every tear was cleansing and healing my soul. For the first time in my life I felt joy, love and peace infusing my heart, mind and body.

From there it was a process that lasted almost a year of going back through my life and reliving each painful, hurtful, memory. But it wasn’t simply remembering these things, it was reliving them with a different outcome and with understanding, love and forgiveness. Each session brought a profound peace and tranquillity into my life. This happened in my 25th year, but it didn’t end there.

It was the beginning of a wonderful spiritual journey that has changed, grown, developed over the past 40 years. I have learnt to love, to express love, to accept love. I have learnt to accept what is. Most of all I have learnt to forgive. That has been a long hard lesson, that has taken most of the last 40 years. So many amazing things have happened over the past 40 years. It would take a book to recount them all, and each have helped me through the process.

This spiritual story is something I would love to share. But it is also something I am wary of sharing, as I would find it difficult to share it with someone who didn’t understand it, who ridiculed it or made light of it. It is MY life, MY story, it made me who I now am. It made me grow from that scared, introverted, unfeeling, unlovable, little girl and young woman, into someone who is confident, outgoing, empathetic, forgiving, loving, kind and happy, happy, happy!

5 Comments

  • Liz

    I just wanted to say thanks to Juliet for this story. I believe people like you are an inspiration to others, offering hope that life can change and highlights just how important the people around us are. Sometimes we can feel helpless, or not want to interfere with other people’s lives but this goes to prove that we need each other and even our neighbors can help us. Liz

    • juliet

      Hi Liz thank you for your comment. I have discovered throughout my life that the people who surround us are always there for a reason. I have met so many wonderful people who have made an impact on me and helped me along that path of healing. Often these people have no idea of the impact they have had on a person’s life. Like a neighbour I had when I was around 5 yrs old. She did nothing special, she just regularly invited me in to tea with her daughter, and I experienced a calm, loving home. It was a haven for me and I have never forgotten the peace and tranquillity I found there. She would probably be astounded to hear that over 60 years later I remember her with love and gratitude just for being herself, a kind, good neighbour.

  • James Poulter

    Wow what an amazing story! Definitely worthy of a book. I understand what you say about sharing your spiritual journey, but at the same time I think it could be really helpful for other people – I do believe that the spirit is at the heart of all recovery. Well done, and I wish you all the very best. Peace.

    • juliet

      Thank you James. I have had so many wonderful spiritual experiences through out my life, it really is a shame to just share them with the very few people I have shared them with. If I thought my experiences could help other people open up to the possibilities of healing and transformation through a spiritual path I would happily share them. You have given me the encouragement I needed to start telling this story. Thank you !

  • Bumble

    Thank you for sharing your journey. The frank and compassionate way you speak is inspiring. It illuminates a path many of us are walking and the more of us carry that torch the lighter we will be.

    It’s an unfashionable stance to take, but I have faith in humanity. It’s often dismissed, but there’s beauty in serendipity.

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