Friday, October 8, 2010

Stories of Recovery: Transformed

Submitted by Anonymous; Tell Your Story, Anonymously if needed at

My story is one of God's transforming power, on both the inside of my heart and the outside of my heart. Over 2 years ago I recommitted my life to Christ. Wounds from my childhood influenced choices I made as a young girl, as a young adult and an adult--wounds that started in my mother's womb. My parents were expecting, the heart beat was strong and thus the thought was they were going to have a boy. Two months premature they received identical twin girls. My parents unintentionally projected onto me the boy they never received. This began in my mother's womb, and at a very young age I began to learn how to perform to feel valued, to be recognized, to obtain affirmation in order to not feel rejected or alone. I became my Dad's buddy, his helper and an "affirmation junky." He taught me how to play sports: basketball, baseball, golf, football. I even received a complete football uniform, helmet, shoulder pads and jersey on my 5th Christmas--my identical twin sister received a doll with all the accessories. I quickly became a "tom-girl", playing with the neighborhood boys. I wore more masculine clothing and was not really interested in wearing dresses even though my Mom did try at first. As I moved into Elementary school it became harder for me to relate to the boys and somewhat difficult to relate to the girls, so I started to become an "introvert" and isolate. My identity had been violated.

Read the full story at

Friday, October 1, 2010

Treasures of the Soul: The Keepsake of Boundaries

By Guest Author Eli Machen
This is the first article in a 5 article series about Boundaries. (from our Late Summer 2010 newsletter)

Let's spend a little time on boundaries! The key to learning boundaries is in understanding the purpose and use of boundaries. If we understand this, then applying boundaries are much easier.
I call these the "Treasures of the Soul: the Keepsake of Boundaries".

So the first treasure we will look at is our ability/power to think what I think. Now we have been given the ability to think since childhood, yet often we have had that ability stolen from us.

Often we have been told what to or not to think and shamed when we had a thought that some adult thought was silly, wrong, or even child-like. When we are children of course we will think childlike, that is natural. And even today when we are thinking that something seems wrong with reality, or at least something someone else says is reality, we have been shamed into giving up our thinking and capitulating to someone else's way of thinking. The danger in this is that we often gravitate into systems, relationships, or marriages that we allow to think for us, or tell us what to think.

And we remain dependent on them to think for us.

It is time to take back our ability to think, at times even being wrong with that ability - it is okay. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes with the way we think; there is everything wrong with giving up our ability to think all together. That renders us at the mercy of the thinking of others. I don't know about you but if I have to live this life of mine, then I will do it with my own thinking. This by no means indicates that I don't test my thinking out with someone I trust and respect, I do! I run my thinking past my sponsor, counselor, spouse, clinical peers and mentors in business. However; when I walk away from that conversation it is clear to me that the decision is mine and my thoughts are mine, because it is my life that it effects.

I am reclaiming my life one decision and thought at a time.

Read on our website at
Eli Machen holds a Masters of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Connecticut. He has 25 years of experience working with clients, leading intensive workshops, and presenting at conferences and training seminars. Along with Mark Laaser, Eli conducted the first workshops for male sex addicts starting in the early 1990s. He has worked with Bethesda Workshops since the program's beginning and is the key leader for the Healing for Men and Healing for Spouses workshops. He and his wife live in Ashville, North Carolina.