Question:

I was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused by my stepfather from the age of 13 until 16. I became pregnant by him at the age of 15 and had his child when I was 16. He continued his abuse towards me even after. I finally got the urge to report it, even if it meant my life -- that's how badly I was threatened.

I am now in my 30's. I went to a psychiatrist and he told me that I have Adult Attention Deficit Disorder because I lash out, I can't focus, don't finish tasks once completed, etc. I don't justify my behavior because of my past, but I also do not believe in medication because they make people worse off than they were before taking them. They just mask the symptoms, not the problem.

ADD does not run in my immediate family. The psychiatrist told me that my ADD and PTSD is the result of the trauma I've experienced. Isn't this all the more reason to stay away from medication? I am working on my issues, although extremely difficult with God's help. God only knows what a struggle it is for me. The biggest struggle for me is rage. What scriptures can I meditate on to help me deal with my inattention, anger, rage, quick temper, my being overly sensitive, my becoming easily upset, mood swings, irritability, saying things I don't mean later regretting have said them, my inability to focus, mood swings?

Are there any other Christian approaches to take that you are aware of, like support groups? I don't like the secular approach on things like this. They tend to blame a person's past on the way they behave. I am ultimately responsible for my own actions. Therefore, I need to take ownership.

Sin is sin. I don't have to allow my past to dictate my future. Look at Ted Bundy and his past. He was still responsible for his actions, despite his past. We are all born with sinful hearts, it's just that the evil behavior of others toward us brings out of our hearts what is already there. The solution to the sin problem is God.


Answer:

The abuse you suffered as a child is the fault of your stepfather and those who protected him in his sins. It isn't something you were responsible for happening. It should be looked at as an evil that was done to you but not by you.

If the ADD was triggered by these events, then understand that it was a response to cope with the trauma. Focusing on what was happening was too painful, so you learned to not focus. It isn't that you can't focus. Almost all ADD sufferers are able to focus very strongly on some things. Usually things that help you escape from reality for a while. You were not in a position to stop the assaults, so you raged against what you could not change. That anger found outlets in other areas of your life.

The best way to deal with bad habits is to conquer them one at a time. Let's start with your anger. To be angry at what had been done is appropriate. To remain angry is not appropriate. "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26-27). By hanging on to your anger, you rarely allow yourself to be cheerful. You end up lashing out at other people -- people who have nothing to do with the actual problem. By not allowing things to resolve, you give the devil a wide open door to tempt you into all sorts of bad behavior.

Therefore, the first challenge is to realize that the past cannot be changed. Being angry about the past wouldn't change it or change your future in a productive way. Your stepfather was punished for his crimes by men. He will answer to God in judgment. He will face the consequences of this crimes. You started the ball rolling by reporting him. Now it is time to walk away from it.

Paul said, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things" (Philippians 4:8). So when you find your mind drifting back to unpleasant times, purposely stop and start listing out all the nice things that have happened to you in the last few days. This works great for nightmares by the way. You start focusing on the nice events of the day and as you drift back to sleep, your mind finds new things to dream about. It also changes your attitude as you force yourself to see the good going on around you.