Victoria S. Hardy

Victoria S. Hardy

Monday, October 11, 2021

Old Injuries and Healing

God is good all the time even when we don’t understand His mysterious ways. And I fully admit I don’t understand, but I trust God. In the world of faith we don’t always understand what is good or bad, often what we perceive as bad turns out to be good, or even great, for us in the long term.


I am in the process of learning this lesson again. A couple weeks ago our very large dog (80+ lbs) hit me from behind, running full speed, and at my age and size it could have easily killed me, or at least seriously injured me. Thank God I only suffered a severe ankle sprain, a bit of whiplash, and bruising. At first I thought it was really bad, but I am finding that it is good.


I have been asked NOT to write about my childhood experiences to spare feelings. I have been asked to wait for the death of the perpetrator before I speak of the abuse and neglect I suffered as a child, and honestly that had been my plan as well, but sometimes God’s timetable is different than our own.


As I have struggled to learn to maneuver on my first pair of crutches, battling a nerve damaged and atrophied uninjured foot and leg, I have been thrown back to a time in childhood where I felt more than helpless, ignored, and unloved. The truth of that time is ugly, it almost defies belief, and it is hard to write or even think about, but God has decided it is time for me to heal the emotional, mental, and physical wound.


I have experienced about every emotion there is in the last couple weeks as I’ve been stuck on the couch unable to do for myself. Beside the feelings of helplessness, sadness, and fear, there’s also been abandonment, rejection, and heartbreak, all the emotions I felt at twelve years old when medical care was withheld from me for months. I do not understand why an adult would choose to withhold medical care from a child, or maybe I do, and what I see is so dark that I cringe even thinking about it.


Looking back on that time through the eyes of an adult, and a mother, it is worse than I’ve let myself remember, the cruelty and lack of empathy toward me hurts both my heart and my soul. The short version (because the full version is still very difficult for me to face) is that I slipped, barefooted, on the deck, unearthing a very large splinter that essentially shot into the soft spot under my toes and disappeared inside. At first I don’t think anyone believed me, even though I was crying, limping, and in awful pain. This happened in the last days of sixth grade, to my club foot (a birth defect), and I was made to walk to school anyway, as everyone has had a splinter before and didn’t act like a whining baby.


Within a week a knot began forming on the bottom of my foot, between the ball and heel, in the arch, and it was quite painful. I was limping, and I’m sure complaining, and the knot was obvious, but it was ignored. Day after day, week after week, the knot grew painfully, and I soon learned to not talk about it, and not to be showing everyone my “boo boo”.


As I understand it scar tissue had begun to encase the 3 inch splinter to prevent it from moving deeper into my system, and for the entire summer, from the end of May to the end of August I limped, the knot growing larger, my foot swelling, and it was ignored. Finally, the week before school started again I had surgery to remove the splinter, and the huge knot of infected tissue. The neglected injury was bad, and the surgeon had to scrape down to the bone to remove the mass, and I was sent home with strict instructions not to put any weight on my foot, as there was an empty, fleshless, hole under the stitches that needed time to fill back in.


It was decided that instead of crutches I would use an ancient office chair with small metal wheels to move around over the deep shag carpet, and as that didn’t work, I ended up hopping or scooting around on my butt. I have no idea why I wasn’t given a pair of crutches, but I wasn’t, and I was not to complain.


Given almost no recovery time I started seventh grade in the three-story building where the stairs were an absolute nightmare. I never received any physical therapy, and although I had gone to doctors for my birth defect previous to this, I never went to another “foot doctor” until I was an adult and could pay for it myself. Before the injury I could balance on either foot with my opposite leg in the air, afterwards I became the brunt of the clumsy and klutzy jokes, and I have fallen down more stairs than I care to remember, as my foot was no longer trustworthy or dependable. Only my big toe could move freely, and the rest of my toes only moved as a unit, up and down just a bit, and I lost a lot of mobility in the whole foot.


I have been aware of the physical loss for years, my inability to balance on that foot and leg, but my right leg, my tree trunk, took up the slack until a dog, happily running full speed, knocked me ass over teakettle. I have thought many times over the years that I need to work on the balance issues and lack of mobility, but never took the time to focus on it. Now, it seems, God has put me into the position to heal my left foot, and the accompanying soul wound that comes when a child’s pain, needs, and health are ignored for months by those who are supposed to love them. 


At the beginning it’s a miracle I didn’t fall again trying to use crutches, and keep the weight off my right side, but I am slowly gaining some balance, and I’m feeling muscles in my left calf, ankle, and foot that I haven’t felt in decades. As I am beginning to heal the old injury, and the injury to my heart, mind, and soul, I am grateful that God has given me the opportunity to address them all. Healing can be messy, acknowledging the buried emotions from being neglected left me in tears for days, but things are looking up, thank God, and although I don’t understand his mysterious ways I trust Him implicitly.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Other Ten Commandments


Life is funny, isn’t it? For months now I’ve been praying for the world, the people in the world, and especially for the children, lost, abused, broken, and alone. I have asked God to shine the light on the ugliness so the good people on earth can truly see what hides in the dark crevices that is so easily overlooked. And as God moves in mysterious ways, he answered my prayer by saying, “You first”.


I am used to God answering my prayers in this manner, all the way back to the days of my cynical teens and twenties when I knew I had seen it all, and could no longer be surprised by the darkness or the actions of people. Even then, God would first show me the things I didn’t want to see, but needed to understand, and now with my faith stronger, He pulled back the veil in my own life. Ugly things hide in the dark, secret, destructive, things happen behind closed doors, and as I’ve prayed for the light to shine, He’d been giving me hints, but I was blind, or was simply too afraid to look.


My health has not been great this year, and as I try to live naturally I’ve cut out some things, added others, but that pain in my gut just wouldn’t go away. I was beginning to think it was the beginning of the end for me, and after my life it really wasn’t that bad of a thought, we all crave that sense of home, don’t we? But recently when I decided to cut someone out of my life, the pain stopped instantly, just stopped. It didn’t ease up and slowly get better; it just stopped when I told this person not to call me any more. Amazing.


I had noticed that the pain would ease up on the weekends, when I was not obligated to talk to this person, but the weekdays I was drained and in pain, and spending a scary amount of time in the bathroom, and often rushing to the bathroom the moment the call ended. Day after day I was getting sicker, and it simply didn’t occur to me that one simple, non-food, change could improve my health.


There are certain statements I’ve heard describe and define me since I was a little girl, I heard them so often that they became my own inner voice. The statements to me were often relayed with violence, with hair pulling and hits to the head, and after years I no longer fought against the words or questioned them. My mind just repeated them back to me as fact, constantly, and most especially when bad things happened, or when I was struggling to improve any aspect of my life.


The words told me I didn’t deserve a good life, that I was a terrible person, a person without conscience or soul. An ugly, selfish person, with no real worth, certainly no moral worth, and completely undeserving of any goodness in life. I was mean, ugly, awful, and nothing I could do or achieve could change this person’s words, still being repeated, or their voice inside my head that echoed their dark image of me. I was a dirty, crazy, whore, and no decent man would ever want a thing to do with me. I was dumb, slow, fat, ugly, without compassion or empathy, had no sense of humor, no one liked me, and I was impossible to love.


And for a very long time I believed those words, I lived those words.


Despite all the information and all the interactions with other people that showed me I was none of those things, I still, deep down, believed. I was told if I did something nice for another, that I had ulterior motives, and I learned to question my actions and myself at every turn. Why did I help that old person with their groceries? I’m such an awful person, I must be trying to get something out of it. Why didn’t I help that old person with their groceries? I’m such an awful, selfish, person…


I was trapped in a brutal war with myself and with my thoughts that surely didn’t come from God, but a far darker place where little girls are abused, shamed, and broken.


I’ve spent a long time being broken; I’ve spent too many years under the thumb of horrid definitions that were never true. I’ve spent too many years supporting lies that our family abuse only came from one source. And lately I’ve spent time pondering exactly what the word honor means.


In the Greek language honor means value or worth, in a literal sense. Honor was a culturally constructed evaluation of a person’s actions, which determined a person’s worth, as in their price, or value to the community. In Hebrew the word honor means to give weight to. And in English the word is defined as honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions.


I believe that I have met the obligation of that very important commandment, and I know that God doesn’t want me to hate His creation – me. I will now be honest, because these lies, secrets, and ugly dark words have no place in a God focused life. I asked God to shine the light into the dark places, and as often happens, God has answered my prayers a little bit differently than how I expected.


I also know that by going against the old, ingrained, rules and airing the family secrets, a different commandment from a darker place, I may lose a lot more than an abuser, and ugly words, but I’m going to trust God on this one. I’m going to trust that God will replace the darkness with light. I’m going to trust that God didn’t make a mistake with me, and I certainly know that He has saved this life of mine more times than I can count.


If God sees value in my existence, then my biggest sin has been in not believing Him. My prayers have changed a bit in recent weeks, and now I am asking for forgiveness for hating myself (His creation) for so many years.


There is a different set of commandments in abusive families, and I’m flipping the table on those evil, destructive, rules, and I will be turning my back on anyone who tries to enforce those rules on me. Here are the rules that no longer fit into my life:


1)      Image, and what other people think, is the most important thing

2)      Do not air the dirty laundry

3)      Everything you say and do will be held against you

4)      Your suffering is meaningless

5)      You must serve the king or queen

6)      Hypocrisy and gossip is the family language

7)      Direct communication is off limits, all information is disseminated by the king/queen

8)      It is always someone else’s fault

9)      You have no right to boundaries, feelings, choice, or individuality

10)  Do not think of leaving or you will be dragged through the mud and slandered



And I will close with a few bits of wisdom; insults are still insults even if you laugh when saying them. Gossip and slander are very destructive sins, even when spoken under the guise of concern. If you didn’t see it or experience it yourself, you really have no idea what the truth is, and to speak of and share secondhand and third hand “truths” makes you either deceived or a liar or both.


Prayers going out to all who grew up like I did, please know you are not alone, and that there is hope and goodness in the world for you. 





Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Child abuse, Sobriety, and Triggers


 In January of 2019 I made the decision to quit drinking, it wasn’t the first time I made that decision, and with the exception of one stressful, temptation-filled, night a few weeks later, I have been sober since then. Sobriety is an interesting place to be after my life, a slice of happiness, calmness, contentment, and innocence that I have never really experienced. 

    My problem with alcohol didn’t develop until my only child died, and I was severely injured by a surgical mistake a few months later, and while before that I was just a social drinker, after those losses it changed, alcohol because more of a need than a want. Something inside me changed, perhaps chemically, or perhaps emotionally, but for whatever reason, alcohol became my crutch to get through the days. 

    I didn’t tell anyone that I had quit drinking, I didn’t post a sober day count on the social medias, as I had seen how that works… sometimes announcing your intentions to the world brings all manner of chaos around, like a light turned on the in dark, the moths will come. So I quietly, secretively even, went about getting myself sober. 

    It was easier this time than the others, it was almost like God reached down personally to take all the longing, pain, and angst away, and I was doing an awful lot of praying. I felt light, clean, inspired, and uplifted, completely foreign to what I referred to as my depressed normal. And thankfully, after a lot of hard work, my life, and lifestyle, is set up to maintain and support a sober, healthy, life. I’m sure my way is not the way for most, but for me living simply, with nature and prayer, has given me a new perspective and a new life. 

    The thing about being given a new life, though, is that the old one is still there, it still exists whether I am participating or not, people gotta people, after all. 

    What never really dawned on me was that the alcohol was just another symptom of a deeper issue. They say addiction is a disease, and I do think there are some genetic components to it, but I feel it is mostly just a symptom, one of many used to avoid a deeper pain. 

    I realize now that I had been full on running since I left home at seventeen, running to avoid feeling some uncomfortable and ugly truths. Running like the devil was on my heels, piling fresh traumas onto the old. There was literally no calm oasis from ages seventeen to thirty-six, no time for my body and mind to relax, but going into a deeper level of thought, running was the only way to escape the deeply ingrained fear, shame, and hatred of myself. The pain all abused kids feel, I imagine.    

    When my son, Steven, died, I hit a wall. I couldn’t function, and then the surgery threw me so low there was nothing but the bed, my thoughts, and me, and that was a terrifying place to live. When I recovered physically, Chardonnay and Merlot were my new best friends. I had successfully gotten up on my running feet again without looking down into the deep abyss inside, I had simply shoved some more stuff down in the hole, and took off in a new direction. I am nothing if not resilient. 

    You can only run so long, though, you can only stay so busy, and I know how to stay busy… Thankfully God has been quite gentle with me this time, no bruises, no concussions, no open wounds, no terrible tragic events, just a strong, loving, man, gardens, flowers, trees, water, and animals. And you know what? I still didn’t look; I buried the abyss under a hundred things to accomplish everyday, and knew I was healing and on the right path, still blind, but not self-injurious besides a few pulled muscles. 

    I always thought the word “triggered” referred to some entitled kid who became offended by a flag or a sign or a statue, it was never a part of my vocabulary, but then a text came, and I looked at the word triggered in a new way. It’s funny how your body reacts sometimes, long before your mind or emotions catch up, and I suppose that visceral physical reaction has saved my ass more than a few times in my life, but it’s different when there is no real, physical, threat. 

     I had an anxiety attack, followed by what can only be described as a complex posttraumatic syndrome event. There was nothing to fight, nowhere to run, but my body sure reacted, and I’ve learned that the word triggered is more of a psychological term to describe the reawakening of repressed traumas. Suddenly the rug was pulled out from under me, and I wasn’t just peeking down into the abyss, I was swimming in it. 

     Repressed memories are not forgotten memories, it’s more like the memories are all there, you just don’t look at them all at the same time, you look at one, occasionally, if you have to, and avoid the others. You compartmentalize them; you divide them into smaller, manageable, pieces, and set them back in the furthest corners, out of sight, out of mind. And once they are placed on the shelves, way in the back room of your mind, you slam the door, lock it, and turn forward while putting on your running shoes. 

     For the last weeks those memories, all of them, have made themselves known, in what could be described as vibrant flashbacks, or what is definitely known as nightmares. I’ve not been tempted to drink them away, though, which is a real blessing. Suddenly, it seems, God has given me the strength to face them head on, and deal with the issues that have kept me in self-destruct mode for all of my life. 

    What I am finding is that a lot of the definitions I’ve used to describe myself are not my words, and are not the truth. I feel like I’m unburying the person I was meant to be, and burying the person created through violence, brain injury, dissociation, trauma, and fear. 

     I also know that the world doesn’t accept personal change well, those flapping butterfly wings disturb the darkness in the universe and in people, and I know by speaking openly I will be inviting chaos, and I pray that I am indeed strong enough, but it is time… It is past time for me to start the healing process. 

    My life seems to have been divided into sections, eighteen years a child, eighteen years a mother, eighteen years a grieving, suicidal, self-destructive, mess, and I am really beginning to look forward to the next eighteen years. Things are looking up, but first I just need to turn on the lights and trudge through the abyss for awhile. 



Sunday, August 15, 2021

I Do Not Consent


I’ve spent the last fifteen years stepping away from medical practice, sick, scarred, and in daily, constant and changing, pain, I said screw it, enough is enough. I was tired of being poked, tested, and drained by the medical experts, who always had multiple vague answers and lots of pills and surgery. Medical “care” had left me at death’s door, mildly schizophrenic, suicidal, fat, weak, dependent, broken, and scared. And it dawned on me when my doctor wanted to do more, and more frequent, tests on my colon, suspecting (or perhaps praying for) cancer, that they were going to kill me. 


It dawned on me in a complete moment of clarity that it was insane to give any person so much control over my life. It was insane that I allowed any person who I spent mere minutes a year with to instill such fear and sickness in me. It was insane that I was listening to people I don’t know, and I was only getting sicker and weaker, and still going back for more. Doctors are human beings who spent a lot of time in school, and they are human beings with the same issues as everyone else. Going to medical school does not make one a saint or a genius, and it was all ridiculously insane how much control I had given them over my life and my health.


I spent my years from birth up to age forty-one listening to doctors, I took the pills they prescribed me, had the surgeries they recommended, and frankly, always felt poorly. Being born with a birth defect I encountered surgical intervention at an early age. I spent a lot of time with doctors over the years, had a lot of surgeries, a couple horrific and debilitating, and my son developed a neurological disorder at 9 years old that required surgical intervention many, many, times. So many surgeries, and some in such quick succession, that I literally lost count. Through the years I have seen the best of doctors, and the absolute worst.


In our society we tend to idolize our medical providers, and that comes from a lot of television programming. Exactly how many medical dramas, soaps, and comedies have there been over the years since everyone put a flashing box in their homes? And how many were on radio before that? They are the miracle workers and heroes that we all respect, when they talk, we listen. And some doctors truly are miracle workers and heroes, but they are few and far in between, and the system is set up to weed them out. 


The truth is that pharmaceutical drugs, and medical “care” are the second and third cause of death in this country, and literally hundreds of thousands of people die every year due to their direct influence in our lives. Medicine is a business, a multi-billion dollar business, and buyer beware.


We have been trained, programmed, to believe that doctors are benevolent. We are trained, programmed, to ignore the giant corporate machine that doesn’t make money if we are healthy. We are trained, programmed, to be sick, to ask our doctor before we do anything, to think and worry about our health continuously. We are trained, programmed, to believe that a stranger in a white coat knows more about our body than we do, and we allow them to commit almost any atrocity on our person in the name of good health.


It is my belief that doctors are wonderful in emergency situations - broken bones, car wrecks, head injuries - yes, you need a doctor, but in that moment of clarity I decided to remove the middle manager between me and my health.


It wasn’t easy as I wasn’t starting from a fresh slate, and I was injured. I could even say I had been brutalized by a surgical mistake for which no one was liable as I had signed my rights away listening to medical advice, so I had to figure out my healing and recovery on my own. And it has been a long, hard, journey to bring myself back to health.


Not only have I gotten the pharmaceuticals out of my life, I removed fast and processed food, sodas, alcohol, fluoride, MSG, dyes, harsh cleaning supplies, and toxic soaps, lotions, and cosmetics. I cook from scratch everyday, and have removed most unhealthy carbohydrates, breads, white potatoes, chips, cereals, etc. And I started researching things for myself, and experimenting on myself. As I had been letting the medical establishments practice on me my entire life, I found I was a much better doctor to me than they had been.


Stepping away from the scheduled routines of medical poking and prodding changes your perception of those events. I didn’t realize the power the medical community held over me until I was so ill by their mistakes that I couldn’t even get out of bed and go to the bathroom, tubes and bags carried my waste away, and the only movement I could make without excruciating pain was turning my head.  I have never been as weak, sick, and broken as when I put my health into the hands of another, and I shudder to recall giving my strength and power away.


I learned my lesson, though, and I stay away from medical “care”, but now I am being told that I have to accept medical practices in my life, and in my body. I have to take their drugs due to a virus with a 99.5% recovery rate, I have to take their drugs in my blood despite the fact that I have had the virus, recovered, and am now more protected than the shot takers.


I am being threatened that if I don’t partake of their medical sorceries (aborted fetal RNA and chimpanzee adenovirus, to list a couple ingredients) then I may not be able to travel or as some have suggested, go to the supermarket. I am being told that I am ignorant and dangerous, and that I do not understand the science of being healthy.


Well, I do not consent. I’ve worked too hard on my health to become a guinea pig for Big Pharma. I do not consent to a witch’s brew of dead babies and monkey shit (*tips hat to an acquaintance) as well as other unknown agents and chemicals to be injected into my blood. I do not consent because I have seen first hand the damage the medical mafia can do to the body, and I keep a delicate balance after the injuries I have overcome.


I do not consent to allow man (and the world) to come between my spirit, my health, my mind, and me. I do not consent because this body is mine, and mine alone, and as a survivor of sexual abuse it took me a long time to reclaim my body, and I won’t now be needle raped by some perceived authority figure. I do not consent to going backward.


I do not consent because I am made in the image of God, and I am not going to trust man to begin making alterations to that creation. I do not consent because we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 


I do not consent because in the last fifteen years I have grown to see the pharmaceutical makers as witches standing around a cauldron, tossing in the strangest, and most disgusting, ingredients. When I discovered that the sorcery the Bible warned us to avoid comes from the root word pharmakeia I was not really surprised. And reading this passage in Revelation makes a lot more sense to me now than it did in the past: “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (phamakeia - Strong’s concordance #G5331) were all nations deceived.”


I do not consent because I place my faith in God, not man.