**Trigger Warning** to those who are struggling with this. This post is also graphic in nature, so please proceed with caution.
Before I dive into the blog, I want to define internal bleeding. Internal bleeding is defined as a loss of blood that occurs from the vascular system into a body cavity or space. It is a serious medical emergency and the extent of severity depends on bleeding rate and location of the bleeding (e.g. brain, stomach, lungs). It can potentially cause death and cardiac arrest if proper medical treatment is not received quickly. Also, internal bleeding can be caused by blunt trauma such as high speed deceleration in an automobile accident, or by penetrating trauma such as a ballistic or stab wound.
Wow, it can be caused by blunt trauma. This is what I want to focus this blogpost on as it relates to abuse. I believe that internal bleeding can happens physically, but also mentally, spiritually and emotionally. I don’t know if you’re familiar with a disco legend named Sylvester. He passed away in 1988 to AIDS. I first heard about him in 1986 (I was 12 years old). I saw a video and was thinking, “it looks like a woman and sounds like a woman.” I asked my father about it, and he said that’s a man. You could say that was a “what the…..” moment. But later in life, I found out some things about his life that I found very interesting. I will not address his homosexual lifestyle, his drug use, and the songs he created in this blogpost. However, I want to focus on his early childhood as well as his latter part of his life. I believe that many of you reading will be able to identify with his life in some way. So, let’s begin.
Sylvester had a rough childhood. His father was an adulterer and left his wife and the children. Sylvester found himself at church with a love for gospel music. At the age of eight, he engaged in sexual activity with a far older man at the church—at the time rumored to be the church organist—although he would always maintain that this was consensual, and not an example of sexual molestation. Sylvester was taken to a doctor after receiving injuries during anal sex with this man; it was the doctor who informed his mother that her son was gay. When the news spread through the church about his lifestyle, he stopped attending at the age of 13.
The first point that I want to bring up is that he didn’t call this an example of sexual molestation. This is a prime example of internal bleeding on a mental and emotional level. Regardless of what Sylvester said in that it was consensual, it’s still RAPE! When I look back at my life, I was molested when I was 10 and it went on for a period of 7 months. I didn’t know it was sexual abuse, but I told people “my uncle popped me in the butt.” It was like I was hit by a car and started bleeding internally on impact (mentally and emotionally). I would learn by a great pastor that it was called sexual abuse (I was 22 then), and he prayed with me and explained to me what it was I went through. I appreciated him taking the time to talk to me about it and that particular church is truly my family. Another thing that I want to bring up is the fact that no child can consent to having sex when they more & likely don’t understand the concept of sex. If you endured this (whether inside or outside the church), I want to apologize to you. If someone inside the church molested you (or had a title that’s church related molested you), know that is not a godly act, it’s a demonic act. God is a God of love and healing, not wanting to strip a child of their identity. There may be some reading that had parents who were devoted to God, but they allowed you to be molested. I can understand that your view of God may be warped as a result. Again, I apologize to you (it was not your fault, nor does God endorse that). I also understand that a child’s view of God can be warped even if the child didn’t grow up in church (granted, it can be warped even in adulthood if there was any type of trauma suffered).
The second point that I want to bring up is that the church ostracized him. Sure, it may have been a sin according to the Bible, but at the same time, where is the love that we are show to everybody? Because this incident happened, this definitely created some internal bleeding. This is definitely a failure on the congregation’s part. Sadly, there are many people in church sitting in the pews who are internally bleeding because they have been abused (physically, spiritually, financially and emotionally). And because the bleeding has not been stopped, they’re slowly dying and we can’t blame them when they isolate themselves and stop socializing with the church. Many in congregations have been so focused on their seats in the pews and have turned to legalism to promote their supposed holiness. If you are one who was hurt by the church (via abuse), I want to apologize to you. It was not your fault.
The third and final point that I want to make from Sylvester’s story is the justice piece. If he suffered injuries as a result of the abuse, the question now becomes “why wasn’t my molester arrested?” It’s a legitimate question. Some cultures will sweep that under the carpet and say “what goes on in the house, stays in the house?” That concept will cause internal bleeding as well as collateral damage. Some families will protect the molester and side with the molester either for monetary gain, or a hidden agenda (and yes, church leaders who know there’s a pedophile doing acts like this will tend to protect the pedophile). For the church piece, that’s a failure on the leaders part. A big failure on church leaders part is that many of them are not even listening to the Holy Spirit as it relates to the flock. As a result, many of them have sheep in the congregation bleeding to death. That is a tragedy. The congregation has a lot of hurts that are unresolved because of legalism, judging spirits, divisive spirits that are hindering the church from operating effectively. The church walls are no different from the human body. If people are dying inside the church, how can they live and be all that God can be? If people aren’t physically healed from the blunt trauma suffered, how can they successfully live? They will die physically.
Let me say two additional things. Here’s the first thing: For a parent to neglect their child, reject their child or abandon their child, that will on impact cause internal bleeding emotionally, mentally and possibly spiritually (and yes, that is abuse). I am sorry that you had to experience that. There may be questions in your mind such as “does God really love me?” If this is you, see this blogpost -> http://mayneman.blogspot.com/2015/10/if-god-really-loved-me-why-was-i-abused.html
The second thing is this: If the internal bleeding isn’t addressed when it’s first noticed, the ramifications could be costly. For church leaders to embrace wrong thinking and wrong living when wounds aren’t healed, that actually causes people to die prematurely (which I believe was the case of Sylvester – he died to AIDS). His final church was the late Rev. Walter Hawkins church (and they welcomed those ostracized by society – which is commendable; but if the truth isn’t going forward and healing isn’t expressed, then it’s a serious problem)!
As I wrap up this lengthy blogpost, I want to ask you if there’s a compartment of your life (that’s painful) that you haven’t opened up to God (and yes, this applies to anyone who has suffered any type of trauma in your life)? That’s a question that I want you to think about. The beauty of God is that He will get our attention either by revelation or by a situation. Now every situation is not your fault, some might be (especially if it’s sinful). But know that His love for you has not changed nor will it ever. If you were wronged (like I was as I was molested), it’s not fair and you are so right. Know that He does NOT cause evil (let me say that again); He does NOT cause evil. However, He might allow it so He can bring good out of it. The key now that you survived it is to surrender to the process of healing. If you know Him, you will do it – He wants the broken pieces of your heart and spirit (along with the negative thoughts you’ve been saying to yourself). If this segment of this blogpost isn’t for anybody, it’s definitely for me.
Also know that there is a difference between where you are and where God wants you to be. I know that your pain has caused you to be depressed, and has probably put you in a state of disconnecting in order to protect yourself. I understand that’s where you are, but you have to ask this: how will you change? You could go to a positive thinking seminar, have a mantra where you say/quote things, etc. The end result is that you’ll change some mental things and get some viruses out of your mind, know that it won’t last nor be sufficient for what you really need. Keep in mind that I’m in the same boat as many of you who are reading this, but know that we’re going to heal together. Now this is going to sting, but you need to let God take over. But He can’t take over until you let Him; you won’t let Him until you love Him and you won’t love Him until you get religion out of your life.
You have to look deep into your heart and want freedom from the pain you suffered and any internal bleeding on an emotional level, mental level, physical level and spiritual level more than anything else. How many of you desire that? I don’t know about you, but I want freedom from it! One ticket to freedom, disconnect from people who are a hindrance to your freedom, who want to sweep the carpet from under your feed to destroy your God-designed future, and those who are focused on themselves (who are not feeding your spirit, but just want to promote themselves at your expense).
Because you have been through something traumatic causing internal bleeding on the levels mentioned above, the enemy might have caused a lid to be put on you causing you to say “you won’t go any further.” If the enemy can cause you to focus on every mistake you made in your life, there’s a strong chance that you will punish yourself. (If you happen to be punishing yourself for the mistakes you've made, please see this blogpost -> http://mayneman.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-dangers-of-punishing-self.html) The God that we serve doesn’t care of the mistakes you made, His love will never change (just receive His love). It’s not His will for you to stay in the struggle.
He wants you heal you from the internal bleeding and abuse. He’s asking you, “Will you be made whole?” I pray that you’re able to shout, “YES!”
The Mayne Man