IS IT ALL GENETIC?
Most recent photo from 2009
I am a 59 year old woman, 5'3" weighing 210 lbs. I was raised by my dear Mother, who is still alive and just turned 80 this week. When Mom married my Dad, he was healthy and normal. Six years into the marriage, when I was only 5 years old, my Dad was removed from our home and committed to a VA Hospital for Schizophrenia. Mom now had to find a job to work and sustain us. Dad never came back to live with us. In 1972, I blindly married an abusive young man who had just graduated from Bible School. During the next 25 years, I was physically, mentally, financially and spiritually abused. We had 7 separations along with periodic marriage counseling. Nothing stuck! In 1985, my then husband, threw a temper tantrum at a stock car race that we attended every week-end with some friends. We were both asked to leave the stands and not return to the track until further notice. That was the incident that triggered all my anxiety attacks. Even the difficult marriage, up to that point, I was not taking any medication except for high blood pressure. From that day forward, I began to experience these attacks where my stomach would tighten up and I could feel this all the way up into my throat. It went on for weeks until I saw a doctor who put me on Ativan. It helped alot. For the next 10+ years, I took these pills as needed. In late 1996, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I believe a physical encounter with my X-husband may have been the cause of the cancer spreading from my left breast to my lymph nodes. He had held me down on the floor and pressed his knee into my left breast. While I was crying and screaming for him to get off of my breast, he just laughed and spit in my face and all the usual things he did when he was angry with me. In Jan. 1998, I had a lumpectomy and chemo/radiation treatments over the next several months. While recovering at home for 5 weeks, I began to plan my final separation. By May, 1998, I was moved out and never, ever went back to this man. I believe my past history may explain some of the reasons I have such anxiety and on-going depression today. I did remarry later and have a sweet and wonderful supportive Husband now. Yet, I still can't seem to get totally well.
Thanks for sharing. I'm sorry for the hurt you feel of missing out on your father and having a first husband you wanted to miss out on completely!
I encourage you to walk thru some of this with a wise and godly counselor. In the meantime...
I just finished digesting 2 Cor 1:3-11 which is a very good chew. I invite you to chew on it too.
I'm also re-reading the book Don't Let Jerks Get The Best Of You: Advice For Dealing With Difficult People by Dr. Paul Meier and was reading his chapter on abuse. It may be an insightful read.
Another great read is "Changes That Heal: How to Understand the Past to Ensure a Healthier Future" by Dr. Henry Cloud. Excellent book to help you walk through past pain. I recommend anything by Dr. Cloud.
You ask if ill mental health is genetic - It appears it could be genetic and researchers are still trying to pinpoint this. Yet, I think often life choices and the way we deal with stresses can be modeled and learned. We learn from our childhood and how we were parented or lacking in parental love.
I'm sorry to hear that your first husband did not take the Bible training to heart. There's no greater love than what is found in Christ (John 3:16-21). Too bad there are those who destroy what He stands for and disgrace Him.
"Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."(v.20,21)
Thank God He is a God of grace and forgiveness. The only way we can give others grace and forgiveness is to ask Him. You cannot move on without asking for His help.
Grace and peace to you,
PS. Find mentors and hope here: