In my darkest hour, I turned to Him; it saved my life and it can yours too!

I am 23 years old and think my story can touch anyone's life, if anything can. To get things started I want to begin where I've been most recently in life and then I will cover the rest of the details that are also very important in the significance of my mind blowing story. Back in September of 2012 I started having flashbacks that came out of seemingly no where, just week after being saved at a county fair while working. Which triggered my anxiety levels to go through the roof. For 2 weeks I didn't eat, I didn't talk about what was going on because I didn't think anyone would understand what I was going through until it wasn't going away and I reached my breaking point. I called my mom and was crying uncontrollably and explained the best I could, who lives in Wisconsin which is 12 hours from me. I finally decided I had to go to counseling as soon as I could, because I was contemplating suicide because the flashback would not stop, and I knew that wasn't me. I saw a counselor who referred me to a partner of hers, in which, they both diagnosed me with PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. In between appointments, I couldn't stand to be alone in my apartment so I stayed with some family friends for a few weeks, where I barely slept, was plagued by nightmares and still was barely eating, maybe once a day. I lost 30 pounds in a month, I went from a 175 pound male fitness model, to a slim, ill looking 140 pound man. I was living in a fog, day in and day out and if I wasn't I was wishing I was. During the second week of my PTSD journey, in my darkest hour, something spoke to me and said "go to church, you need to be there" I had no idea where it came from, but I listened and went. Now in my walk I know it was the Holy Spirit, I didn't at the time. I continued going to church, crying through sermon after sermon. The new youth pastor at my church agreed to meet up with me once a week for 6-8 weeks to help in my walk with Christ, and I couldn't be more thankful for that man and his family. I was baptized on November 11th 2012, and recently became a member of our church, my girlfriend also recently go baptized on February 17th of this year. I'm determined to write a book, and to get it published to touch the lives of those with stories similar to mine and to give them somewhere to turn. I'm also learning to play the guitar to play in worship, I just feel a need to, although I've never taken up an instrument before.

So for the rest of the story; the deep part that added up to the here and now and the love I have for Christ and the amazing people He has placed in my life. Ill start from as far back as I can remember, at 3 or 4 years old my father wanted to go out so he took us to a babysitter who took us to another babysitter, whose daughter ended up sexually abusing me while sleeping that night. After that I spoke up about it but was never helped from my parents who didn't realize the significance of the event, or knowing the impact it would have on my life thereafter. From the ages of 4 or 5 until I was 12 my brother and I were in foster care 3 times, for a matter of around 4.5 years and was months, maybe even weeks away from adoption. Grew up in a house, obliterated with drugs, alcohol, domestic violence and thin to no boundaries regarding sexual activity. I recall acting out as a child, in a facility for my anger and behavior problems twice by the time I was 8 for a total of 6 weeks, in which still, no one pin pointed sexual abuse. I acted out in other ways also, which was also in extreme relation to my abuse, kids learn from those in charge, and the knowledge they gain from those experiences in life, in an unsafe environment, they have boundaries that are far from correct. I turned to sports and exercise in middle and high school once back with my mother, distance running and football mainly. I was hospitalized my junior year of high school for self harm, which wasn't the first incident to date, still sexual abuse or prior abuse was never touched as a cause, with bouts of high anxiety and panic attack every so often with no real known reason. I was the first to graduate high school in my immediate family, I went to school to be an EMT and a firefighter and work a full time job also, have been living on my own since I was 19 in a state where I no longer have any family. I became addicted to fitness and working out, which felt great but it was far too often, and without much rest if any. I was working 64-80+ hours a week between both jobs not including the fire department for a 6 month span before PTSD finally surfaced, since then, I've spent hours reading books of both PTSD and sexual abuse, my goal is to write a book and to reach those in need and touch their lives, give them somewhere to turn, when I know how difficult it can be without anyone having been there before who I could turn too. The Lord is laying it on my heart to do so, I found it in my heart to forgive my abuser and parents for lack of care and nurturance on March 10th during service and in the past few day feel like a million dollars; and will continue to get better, almost feels abnormal to feel normal.
But it is always in His timing, not ours; and His timing is never late, no matter how long it may seem to take. He has a bigger plan for us than we can ever imagine if we trust Him. I owe all of my progress to my Lord and Savior and will do all I can with his blessings to reach those who come from similar backgrounds and to help them OVERCOME because that's what He was about and still is. Feel free to contact me and God Bless.
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