Teresa S.

Teresa S.

from MO
Story #305
I am not sure where to begin, perhaps with the purpose of this story Yes, telling my story, helping, encouraging others struggling with addiction. Granted, this is different (I am certain every addict says that) In and of myself I am not bold enough to really go public as I am still afraid of the darkest part of me. But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That is certainly true and would be enough, but it is not my truth. This is an act of obedience to my Savior, met by trepidation and, a little resistance..... Nevertheless, yes Lord... for Your glory alone....

My name is Teresa. I have been raised in the church my whole life, by parents, who I have always known love me & want me. They are retired Pastors. I was always active in church, doing my part... Teaching, on the worship team, cleaning, serving, always willingly with a smile, but shyly, timidly. Boldness is certainly never an attribute that would ever be used to describe me. A servant's heart, compassionate, merciful? Yes. Through my teenage years I was the faithful obedient daughter, doing exactly what was expected of me, I never would think of telling my parents or any elder "no" or being disrespectful in any way. I still do not know all of the reasons why or how this good, church girl got so mired deep into a world of lies and literal bondage and slavery. And no other word for it addiction.

I wish my addiction was one as simple to confess and overcome the stigma of shame and blame as alcohol or drugs, not that those are by any stretch of the imagination easy, nor do I mean to say that those are easier to overcome. Addiction of any type is not! Without Christ, quite simply, it is pretty much, next to impossible. I wish it was as simple as pornography, or even sexual addiction, it includes both of these but unfortunately, delves into a much more insidious, deep, dark and dangerous arena. Into a realm that, until recently, it is likely much of the world knew nothing about and even still remains largely unknown and what is known is far from reality or seems innocuous. With the aid of Hollywood even this underworld of society is gaining in exposure and acceptance, a secondary character on CSI "Lady Heather", and more recently a blockbuster movie "Shades of Grey" are just 2 examples. At the time of the release of the movie, I would not allow myself to see it, I was afraid to. First it was too great a temptation if accurate, yet strangely I would have been greatly saddened even angry and offended if it was inaccurate.

This has been a vicious cycle not only for months, or years but decades. I started down this slippery slope some time after the church my parents had Pastored closed. I had joined a new and very large church where I could just be there anonymously (our churches had always been small or very small). While going there one of the Pastors gave a prophetic word from the pulpit, I knew at the time it was for me, I knew then to ask for help and told myself, no, it's not for you, it's for someone else. I can even still remember the message, "The Lord says.... You are involved in something and you think you are in control, can control it, but you are not. Stop now before you end up being humiliated." I ignored the warning, and ended up being humiliated in more way than one.

Initially, I was not very careful with the things on the computer, where I had things saved, histories etc.. And though I was an adult, I was living with Mom and Dad, and I got caught. I had stayed out all night, they started looking found emails, and rather than try to understand or figure out why, I was brutally told, I was severely mentally ill. So being the good "submissive" daughter, I tried to change, I mean, I knew it was wrong, I started going back to church again, but it was a superficial change. That first master, said my Dad was my master and I needed to grow up. So I went along for a while, my self esteem and self image and misery only worsening... Believing more lies... "You remember when you were serving that master you were "you" and happy, fulfilled, accepted ."

Got in deeper this time, not only did I find a new master, but he was married, which actually made it easier to hide as his wife had MS and since I am a nurse it was an easy excuse, needing to be over there to help out. This went on quite happily for a while, but of course, this too got found out, and this time, stomping my foot!!! I was an adult and I was doing what I wanted!!! I called master, he came and got me, & I moved in with them. This relationship was a master with 2 subs, his wife and I never did anything sexually. I lived with them for 3 months, once I moved in with them however, the relationship quickly disintegrated. It did end though before the formal ceremony, where I would have given him complete control of me.... body, mind, spirit, and soul. That significance does not escape me now. But at the end, rather than move back home I got my own apartment. Initially I tried once again to pull myself out of that lifestyle quite unsuccessfully, back online to the BDSM site looking again. I've lost count how many masters I've served. How many men I've been with. Back to BDSM, enormous guilt- this is wrong you know it. Back to church, enormous guilt- you're worthless God doesn't want you, He can't use you, you've failed so many times before, you won't make it this time either give up. The lies believed, utter despair & utter hopelessness felt, drowning in depression and loneliness with no one to talk to. I went to professional Christian counseling for a while made some progress. Went to my Pastor at the time, depravity and perversion he said, which of course, is true, I already knew that. I decided to be rebaptized. Cruised along great, moved back in with mom and dad for a better accounting.

I am not 100% certain of all the reasons, but I spiraled down again, deeper still, as with any addiction it takes more and more to satisfy. This time all communication occurred on my iPhone, wonderful invention for hiding things, the Internet at your fingertips, easy access, no one has to know. My desires were now the darkest they had ever been, scaring even me, but not enough to stop. I was allowing more and more there was little I would say no to, little that was off limits. I was often told I was a dream submissive and asked why was I not owned. I began to almost feel like a split personality, living a dual life. One that was killing me, emotionally, spiritually, & physically. And likely would have, but 2 things happened, some might not have seen God's hand in them, but I know He was in complete control.

First, in 2010 I became pregnant with my son, and while I was willing to take chances with my life I would not risk his. Again I pulled myself out, back to church attempting to focus & be strong. Then I would get an email, I'd try to ignore, then give in telling myself I'm just curious, who wants me? Even though I knew better! Back in deeper still, at first only online contact, but I craved not just the sex, certainly those cravings were involved. But more the physical contact, even the pain from the beatings (seeing the marks, the bruises always made me feel wanted, needed, complete) It no longer mattered what degradation, humiliation, abuse, being a human footstool, or toilet... he would demand of me or who he demand I service, the only thing that mattered was that he was pleased and hearing the words "good slut" or whatever he chose to call me. This time I admitted it, I wanted to be kept chained, bound, caged, a true, real, complete slave, and not much would have been absolutely off limits my desires were getting more and more extreme, needles, knives, fire... And if not for Nathaniel, I know, I would have acted upon that, but I knew he needed me so I couldn't risk myself that way, one day though I promised myself.

The second thing that happened is that I got sick, very sick, I started having headaches. Severe, debilitating, send you to the ER headaches. The Dr's all said.... it's your blood pressure, lose weight, reduce stress, it's migraines. They just kept getting worse and worse and worse, I was in the ER almost every week, couldn't work, couldn't be a mom. Finally, my personal Dr admitted me to the hospital for intractable pain and to perform further testing. The first test, which is normally painless an MRI, was the worst pain I had ever endured, worse than anything any master had given, worse than childbirth, because of the headaches. The second, a lumbar puncture, you typically hear stories of how horrible those are, was an absolute breeze. The results... viral meningitis, I was in the hospital for a week. While there, I was visited by my current master, contacted many times by him. I was also visited by my Pastor's wife, at my request, I knew I HAD to END this cycle of destruction. I was scared, completely terrified. I wasn't getting better, the headaches were still there, I couldn't tolerate light or noise. My thought processes were not clear, I couldn't focus on anything, my memory was impaired at best. How could I provide for my son or even remotely be a mom? I had finally hit rock bottom. With nowhere to go but to God. But I had no one to talk to, if I really told anyone ALL I'd done, they'd hate me, shun me, despise me, no one could accept me after all this. The despair I felt and utter worthlessness I felt was palpable I was despondent. I was nothing, good for nothing, how could anything help? Even God? I had tried and failed so very many times, more times than I could even count. It would never work, why even try? The depression was overwhelming, the shame and now the sickness, faced with the very real possibility of permanent brain damage. As a nurse I was well aware of the risks of the meningitis. The problem was stress had always had me running away, not to God. This time for, whatever reason, I was determined to go to church when I got out of the hospital. This didn't mean I had stopped talking to my master, I hadn't, I just went to church. I didn't know why, as I couldn't stay upstairs in the auditorium. Even in my dark sunglasses and earplugs, the noise and the light caused excruciating pain. So I was downstairs by myself... physically, emotionally, and spiritually in a dark corner and in pain physically, emotionally and spiritually, completely broken. That's when God, quite literally, placed someone directly in my path, who refused to allow me to stay in the dark. Up until then I didn't even really know her, she is the associate Pastor at my church and had come searching for me. She asked me something along the lines of how was I doing, I told her why I was down there. I will never forget her response, it was so matter of fact, bold, and determined. "But that leaves you in complete darkness and that is unacceptable." I was dumbfounded, but felt a kernel of hope. She prayed for me, told satan to leave and took me by the hand and didn't let go, took me upstairs still not letting go. She stayed by my side through the entire worship service. I felt real love for once in a very long time, my battered spirit began to hope. I sat through service can't even tell you what the topic was. All I knew is God was working in me to get me to open and be willing to ask for help one more time. I knew Brenda was a licensed Christian Psychologist, I knew I couldn't allow myself to hesitate I asked to begin counseling. We started meeting weekly, it was bitter, very hard, at times the battle was exhausting and seemed impossible. One of the first steps was identity, you see I had none. In BDSM a slave is broken, has no rights. Depending on the master, the sect, the various levels, a slave may either simply, have to use lowercase with all personal pronouns & her name or she may not even be allowed those pronouns or a name. Be simply girl, slave, whore, it, meat, or worse. To display his ownership of her, she may have a simple anklet or bracelet or necklace. She may be pierced, tattooed or even branded, as cattle. She is often forbidden to sit anywhere but at her master's feet, not allowed on the furniture, may not even be allowed to sleep in a bed, but be kept in a kennel, as an animal. She does not speak without permission, does nothing without permission, not even going to the bathroom. iPhones learn, mine did, it no longer capitalized the word "I", this seems such a simple thing, but spoke to my state of mind, I was literally nothing, worthless, had been told that so many times, besides I had already believed it... And while I did not actually have a carved tattooed brand in my flesh, I had to have written on me master _______'s slut or whore or slave depending on his whim of the week, there always a reminder of what and whose I was. That's where "Hello, My Name Is" by Matthew West helped to restore my identity reinforcing that I am a CHILD OF THE ONE TRUE KING... it became a mantra... I was off work for 6 months from the meningitis, which gave me a chance to begin to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

As I said before some of those early days of recovery were very hard, I was still under attack on an almost daily basis. One such day I was actually at church, "why are you here, you don't deserve to be here, God doesn't want you here, how can YOU of all people expect to fit in. To be accepted, and loved, you are not even worthy to be in this place, you should leave now before everyone sees you for who you really are" I got up and left, may have even left running and crying, I certainly felt like doing so, and not looking back. I was going to go outside, but instead went to the bathroom, slid down the wall and broke. Then almost audibly I heard "Rahab" I'd known her story since childhood.. The harlot (I wasn't much different) and God had spared her. Then I was reminded of the woman brought out who the Pharisees were going to stone, and Jesus said let the one of you who has not sinned throw the first stone. God had spared her as well. I got back up and came back in to service. That night as I was researching these 2 women, the Lord showed me other things. Not only had he spared and forgiven Rahab for her many sins, SHE IS IN THE LINEAGE OF JESUS!!! That woman being stoned, she had been caught in the VERY ACT OF ADULTERY, a sin of course punishable by death at the time, Jesus told her he did not condemn her, go and sin no more. While studying these 2, a third God showed me... The woman who wet Jesus' feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, kissed his feet, anointed them with expensive oil. Simon the Pharisee, with whom he had been dining thought, if Jesus knew who this was touching Him, He would not let her, she was the town harlot and her sins were MANY, scripture tells us. Jesus told her, "I forgive your sins. Your faith has saved you, go in peace." Not only did He forgive her. But her very FAITH IN HIM saved her, and HE GAVE HER PEACE!!! (I was shown these last two pieces only while adding this section to my story) Faith which is the shield of our armor. At our weekly session that week Brenda and I discussed what had happened on that Sunday, I had remembered being surprised at the time that she hadn't followed me out. Come to find out, she had noticed, started to go after me and was told no, it was something I had to come to terms with on my own, the Lord was right, she was too for being obedient. I HAD TO CHOOSE, FOR MYSELF. BETWEEN THE LORD AND I.

Probably the hardest of the homework assignments I had to do, were the ones where I had to take the negative emotion I felt, like..."unworthy" find it's opposite "valuable" then find a scripture to match it- "Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:4-7‬ ‭MSG‬‬

I can honestly say that particular assignment brought me more grief, gnashing of teeth, mental grumbling, AND RELEASE!!! That first list I had to look up and research was lengthy... Took enormous time, dedication, concentration, determination, and energy. Yes, I said first list, as the weeks of counseling went on, other things would crop up, and with laughter in her eyes, dad gum her, she would simply say you know what you need to do with that negative emotion. I eventually did it on my own, without being told!!!! Now, I love the technique.

Recently I had a few weeks that were actually some of the hardest since before we started counseling, I came as close as I could come to going back without really going back, and I guess I did a little. Brenda and I hadn't met in quite a while, initially I had got to the point where I didn't need that touchstone as often talking briefly at church was enough. With work and Nathaniel, the daily grind of life got busy I let up, on my guard, my daily time with the Lord was long since gone. I was going through the motions... Ripe for attack. Then I lost my job. Those old desires started creeping in again, I felt myself starting to fall, to fail.. I'm not entirely sure of the timeline of everything that happened next. Brenda and I met, she while understanding was again, that bold, dynamic, forthright warrior I love so much. She looked me up straight in the eye and told me I had to decide was it worth giving up everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, was it worth giving up the freedom I had gained to go back into that world of bondage? At some point I had reopened a profile, reloaded yahoo messenger onto my phone and was talking to not one but multiple dominants, even went as far as an old master or two messaging me and talking to them as well. I did not meet anyone in person. Even what I did do didn't create in me the same euphoric high as it once had, it quite simply wasn't working. The week before Winter Jam was one of the hardest yet, I was up almost all night more than once reading stories I had absolutely no business reading. That Saturday night I had been up to 4 in the morning I know, because disgusted with myself I deliberately closed out the page. Deleted yahoo messenger and turned on Life 88.5. At some point after that Nathaniel crawled in bed with me, he usually wakes up about 6, I remember handing him my phone to play on, and turning back over and going back to sleep. Mom comes in about 8 or so wakes me up and asks if I'm going to church? Reluctantly groaning I crawled out of bed, and came to church. Every song that morning was about freedom. Living in freedom, that is not a coincidence.. I was almost laughing and crying at the same time. I began again asking forgiveness, thanking Him for pursuing me as He had. Worshiping, giving Him my heart. He said "I am the Master you have been searching for in all the wrong places, all the wrong ways. I want to be your Master, kneel before Me." I ignored this kinda arguing, You are Lord, You are... for more than 1 song. "Kneel" "Why won't you, you have knelt before countless masters, humble yourself and Kneel before Me, Your One True Master. I was so afraid worship would end before I obeyed, I knelt, "No, Kneel, completely" I fell to His feet, proclaiming Him as my One True Master. "Well done, daughter arise" That quick, that simple, yet that hard, and with ENORMOUS symbolism for me, particularly me. All the times of yo-yo'ing back and forth, I had never declared Him, Jesus, my One True Master.

I am still healing emotionally and spiritually and know there will still be struggles. Sometimes I might go for months, weeks without a battle, others it may be a weekly battle others, daily or hourly. Now I am not afraid or ashamed to ask for help and my friend Brenda is there always willing to stand in the gap to push & pull me back, as she won't let me fail.

I really am living proof.... THERE'S A WAR BETWEEN GUILT AND GRACE, AND THEY'RE FIGHTING FOR A SACRED SPACE. BUT I'M LIVING PROOF GRACE WINS EVERY TIME. NO MORE LYING DOWN IN DEATH'S DEFEAT NOW I'M RISING UP IN VICTORY. Another Matthew West song "Grace Wins" and my new mantra.

I took Brenda to Winter Jam and afterwards I knew, God was saying it was time to start telling my story. She had been lovingly "after" me for some time to do so. I tried initially and did it completely wrong as all I succeeded in accomplishing was reawakening memories that should have stayed dead. This time it's right, and a beginning, there is oh so much more to my story but maybe the rest isn't really important to tell, to write down, I do not know. If it is God will help me to write in a way that won't drag me back under... But I believe there is a purpose here to set others free and feel there may be parallels across other forms of sexual sin and addiction and other forms of bondage, not necessarily as literal as the BDSM world... I don't believe I am bold enough, warrior enough to really and truly go public yet.. My healing is far from complete, maybe that's an excuse, maybe fear. And maybe it's truth and not quite time for that part yet. I certainly know that in and of myself this freedom would never have happened, it happened through the kindness, love, mercy and grace of my Lord and Savior and True Master. Without Him, I would still be lost and bound and that life would have eventually killed me.

By Grace a Victorious Daughter of the King,

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” - ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:13-17‬ NASB

“The Spirit of GOD, the Master, is on me because GOD anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. GOD sent me to announce the year of his grace— a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies— and to comfort all who mourn, To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness” planted by GOD to display his glory. They’ll rebuild the old ruins, raise a new city out of the wreckage. They’ll start over on the ruined cities, take the rubble left behind and make it new. - ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-4 MSG‬‬.

This is the Message translation of putting on the garment of praise. Which Brenda counseled me to put on underneath, the full armor, because yes I have the tools to withstand those fiery darts (if I put them on), but that doesn't mean they won't hurt. I found this particular translation very interesting.