By Nicole Marie Hilton, January 17, 2020
In order to fully heal, it is important to understand that there is a purpose in what we’ve gone through and that God, rather than abandoning us, has been supporting our life plan. This is necessary, because we cannot fully heal without God. When I have asked, God has led me to greater understanding of my suffering and a path to healing. He has also given me the support I need to walk that path.
I just wrote the first bit of God Loves Broken Things, Pt. 3 this morning. Then I went on my merry way to the Family History Center to volunteer as a Service Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
About an hour into my service, I noticed something wasn’t right. Ever since I had started my mission two weeks ago, I had discovered a new-found freedom when it came to my food addiction. It was manageable. It was so easy for me to meet my goal of eating only 1200 calories a day—something I have struggled for years to accomplish. But as I sat there at the computer, I became absolutely ravenous. I wanted to eat everything in sight. When the older couple who oversee the younger missionaries came around with a box full of chocolate bars, it took every ounce of strength I had to turn it down.
During my lunch break, I walked out—fake-smiling to everyone as I passed. Then I ran out to the car and drove as fast as I could to the grocery store. I prayed the whole time: “Heavenly Father, I don’t know what is going on, but my food addiction is completely back and it’s scaring me. It’s like a beast has woken up inside of me and has taken over my life again. I HATE this feeling! I can’t stand it! It’s like I don’t have control over my actions anymore or any sense of free agency anymore whatsoever! Oh please, please help me!”
I parked and walked quickly into the store, then made a bee-line to the bakery. I hovered around the cookies. Am I in the mood for a snickerdoodle? Or a sugar cookie with icing? Or one of these chocolate ones? The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder side of me was screaming caloric numbers at me, and I had an inward battle on whether or not to wave the numbers aside.
I finally settled on a raspberry frosted sugar cookie and a salted caramel chocolate cookie. I paid for them and rushed out to the car, taking a bite of the chocolate cookie while walking out of the store because I just couldn’t wait.
I sat there and tried not to sob while I bit into the sugary goodness. I recalled all of the blessings JJ had given me having to do with my food addiction. I also recalled the blessing he’d given me right before my mission, promising me that I’d be blessed with power to have more responsibility in my life. Well, that blessing had come true. Until today. Why? I couldn’t figure it out.
I called JJ. He couldn’t help me figure it out.
I went back to my mission and finished out my hours for the day, then I rushed home. I grabbed everything I could carry from the fridge, and ran upstairs to my room. By that time, I was shaking and crying. Then I was wailing. Then I was screaming—at my sweet mother (who hadn’t done anything. Who was, in fact, trying to help me).
JJ called me, and he asked, “What are you feeling?”
“I hate myself!” I cried, taking bites of an organic chocolate bar in between each sob.
“You hate yourself?”
“No…no I hate them!” Now I was shoving down shrimp.
“Who is them?”
(I meant the devils who seemed to be torturing me.) But then I realized there was a part of me who was trying to speak out. Who needed to say something. So I moved aside, and let that part of me speak out.
“I’m crying because…God hates me! He HATES me! He must! HOW COULD HE NOT?! Look at the evidence! God hates me!”
Then I realized—after diving into a protein bar—I’d written this morning about how, when I was 14, I’d gone into the woods and I’d uttered yet another prayer to God, who had been silent, again. During the darkest times in my life, no one had been there for me. I had been completely alone.
My 14 year-old self was crying out. That part of me had the belief that God hated her.
Then I did what I’ve learned to do so well. My older, wiser self opened up my heart and loved that angry sobbing 14 year-old girl I had become. Then, I (the older, wiser self) shared headspace with my 14 year-old self. I shared my memories with her, going through all the proof that God doesn’t hate us.
First, I reminded my younger self of one important fact, which I believe with my heart and soul. God is composed of both a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother—and they love me. I flipped through memories that attested to that fact.
Second, I shared with my younger self all of the blessings I’ve received explaining why God had to be silent for all those years. You see, His hands were tied.
Before this life, I believe I had entered into an arrangement with God, where He promised not to intervene during the hardest moments. And He keeps His promises.
This is an excerpt from a blessing I received, which I believe may be true for all who have been abused as children; it states: “Dear Nicole, I and your loved ones in Heaven love you. We really love you. We’ve been here with you, and We know you’ve been doing this all alone. Your childhood has been one of abuse and abandonment. We know this dear Daughter, and we are sorry that it was not a time for us to be able to talk to you, to be what you needed….We know you had to do it alone. And it was not ok; it was never ok. It was not something that I thought was good. It was not something I was Ok with. We in Heaven suffered right along with you, but with the extra suffering of knowing that we couldn’t help you.
“When a mother on earth has a tiny infant who is dying or sick, and there’s nothing that she can do, that’s how We felt with you. We felt the pain of knowing that it was not the time for us to help you when you needed it most. We knew that someday when you would be able to heal with Jesus Christ, that your Brother would be there, and you would find the healing. However, for us, it was difficult to refrain from helping you at the time, dear Daughter.
“Nicole, thank you for telling us how you felt. Thank you for reaching out to us. That young part of you who was so alone is now learning too late that there is help. As you learn this, you’ll find that it actually is not too late to heal. We will turn these experiences and your childhood into that which you wanted it to be for you. You wanted those experiences to make you stronger. You wanted them to give you wisdom and empathy for so many others. That is already happening, but We know that you sacrificed for that to happen. We would never dismiss this. We would never dismiss the significance of your being alone so young.
“This is why I generally give certain protections to children until they are older. But some premortal spirits, for important purposes that are eternal, have chosen to allow themselves, while very young, to be subject to torture, pain, and punishment from the dark side. When this happens with young children, it is because they have sought a greater role which was approved in the pre-existence. It is not a random or thoughtless choice; it is not a grasping for straws. But those who have chosen this path do so with great wisdom and great knowledge of its purpose.
“There is great, great purpose in it. But regardless of the purpose, the broken childhood is real. And We wish to heal that part of you and to hear that part of you. We give it great significance, and we experienced it with you.
“All those who have harmed you and contributed to Satan’s programming on this side of the veil will have the opportunity to see the contribution they made to the dark side’s purpose, and to see clearly the role they played in your trauma and your pain. All will be made whole. and they will love that little girl and see her for who she was, that she was a heroine, and that this was her choice so that she could be of service to the greatest amount of people.
“We honor all parts of you. We love all of you, and you can be one in your Savior Jesus Christ. He knows what each part of you has been through. He knows what all of you have been assigned to do. He knows all your tasks and priorities. He can make you whole. He can bring you into one and bring the Atonement into your life–all of your lives. He does not need to squash anyone down or make anyone go away. For He loves all of you and has experienced everything you have experienced along with you. He has felt your suffering completely—100%. He has healed you 100% and has won your salvation, your exaltation, and your healing already.
(Jesus Christ): “I, as your Lord and Savior, take and accept your burden so that it may be Light, so that you may help others with their burdens by introducing them to Me, by pointing them to Me and to our dear Parents in Heaven. This is my most important work. This is the work that consumes Me. This is My work and My glory, to heal those who have been harmed by the actions of others and even by their own actions, to point them to the Light of Heaven.
“This is what I do, and even as you’ve joined me, this is your future, too: to love, to understand, to hear, and to give fruit, love, and understanding to those who have never been understood before, who never believed they would be healed, to give them hope in Me and in Heaven.
“….Don’t forget that you still need much healing for yourself. That means to love yourself, to recognize the important roles that the different parts of you have played. To love them, understand them, to forgive and to all come to Me. I am how you can all become one. I love and understand each of you.
“I bless you with the ability to soften your own heart and mind toward yourself and to feel Heaven, again, and to feel Our love. I do so in my name, Jesus Christ, Amen.”
After I shared all of this knowledge with my 14 year-old self—that part of me who walked into those trees and knelt down to pray, and who didn’t get any answers—I felt her relief. And I felt her assimilate into me. We became one. My ravenous appetite was gone.
To all those who are struggling with DID, or with PTSD or any kind of trauma, remember: when you are triggered and afraid, be kind to yourself. Don’t turn inward in hatred and shame, thinking I’m better than this! I’ve got to be stronger than this! The truth is, you already are being the best you can be, and you have been stronger than you know. Remember: whatever you know about yourself is extremely important, but how you treat yourself is the most important.
Second, be patient with yourself—and learn how to express yourself in a healthy manner. The pain I went through today used to take me weeks or even months to process by myself. Afer JJ and I met, it would take me half a week. Now, a year later, it takes me an hour or less. You’ll get better with time. Memories or programming will come up when you are ready to deal with them, and if you do it with understanding, forgiveness, and with God, you get stronger, and the dark side gets weaker.
Third, if you have DID, when pieces of yourself come up from the past, love those pieces with all you’ve got. They are the reason you’ve arrived where you are today. Listen to them and address their concerns with as much understanding and love that you can. Teach them with patience, and learn how your system wants to integrate or heal in some other manner.
Fourth, don’t discount what God is telling you. If there is anything—ANYTHING—that lifts your spirits, that makes your heart swell and expand, that provides hope for your soul…cling to that. Don’t let it go. Write it down. Adopt it as your own. And RE-READ IT OVER AND OVER. Program yourself with the good stuff! Don’t listen to what those idiotic unseen dark spirits are telling you, who constantly badger you night and day. Every time you are on the right track, they’ll be there to dissuade you. You’ll learn to recognize their influence. When they fight you hard, you’ll know you’re onto something. Did you read that blessing up above? Did any sentence bring hope to your heart, or expand your mind? Did you hear a still small voice say, this sentence is about you? If so, notice if thoughts of doubt increase over the next hour. Notice that those are the dark ones. After you learn to be sensitive to when they are messing with you—after you catch onto their game and you fight back even harder—they will have failed.
Fifth, I leave you my blessing. If you are a victim of any type of abuse from the dark side, my heart goes out to you. I don’t know who you are, and I’ll probably never meet you in this lifetime. But we have a sacred bond of suffering. There are some things you truly need to go through in order to understand. I pray that you will be able to feel the love of Jesus Christ, and that you will ask Him to reach into your life and transform it, as He is doing to mine.