Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Ashley Desormeau
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00088B
00:15 Welcome back, so we are talking with Ashley and talking
00:19 Ashley about the whole journey you've had as far as
00:23 coming to God and I got to be at the part of almost the
00:27 beginning of that.
00:28 You went to the Ty Gibson program with Acts, then God
00:31 started moving you in the direction of recovery.
00:34 You talked about right before the break is that one of the
00:38 bigger things that He asked you to look at was the hockey.
00:42 As you said you lived hockey, you have been playing it all
00:45 your life, you were good at it, and He is I want you to
00:49 walk away from this right now.
00:51 Yeah it was hard and you know when you came though, I had
00:56 already given up the hockey a couple weeks before and I
01:00 knew that was something I needed to do because I had felt
01:04 impressed by God and He had been actually working on it
01:08 with me for about four years.
01:10 Did you know it was because all of your time was here?
01:13 That this was what you used to cover everything?
01:15 I did but I didn't, I guess I did know that I was pretty
01:19 much addicted to it, but at the same time I didn't really
01:22 want to admit it because I loved it so much and actually
01:26 felt like I belonged and felt importance,
01:28 so I didn't want to walk away.
01:31 - so I didn't feel that anywhere else. - no exactly.
01:33 Then it was just a crazy ride after that.
01:37 So it is really interesting in what I saw was the fact
01:40 that I'm looking at you and knowing that right now
01:44 you didn't know who you were, or where you were,
01:47 when you locked down, or the last time you were really
01:50 in touch with yourself so I think I said to you some
01:54 thing like you need to find that little girl where ever
01:57 she shut down. You said I don't even know.
02:00 I had no idea, you know I had been thinking okay maybe
02:05 it was when I was a baby, or maybe it was when I was,
02:10 I had all these different things that
02:14 I thought maybe it was.
02:16 And let me just say for people that probably didn't
02:19 understand what I just said is that when I was little girl
02:21 about three years old, I know that at that moment
02:25 something happened in our household that I completely shut
02:28 off and I don't even remember years after that because I
02:32 just closed off just to survive.
02:34 I think that is what I was responding to, at what age,
02:38 at what time do you remember losing yourself?
02:42 I had no idea, I really didn't and I just kept praying
02:46 about it, I kept God okay where was it? I need to find
02:50 that little girl? And I really tried on my own.
02:52 I tried so hard to try and find her.
02:55 It was just not happening and it wasn't until probably
03:02 six months later, if not more when I was just laying
03:06 there and I could not sleep, just could not sleep.
03:11 I was like what is going on? I have to work tomorrow
03:15 what is going on? It was like two o'clock in the morning
03:20 at this point in time and I was like okay God I can't,
03:23 what's going on? Because I don't know what's going on?
03:28 He took me back to the moment when that little girl was
03:32 lost and I was sexually abused at one point in my life
03:37 and that was the moment He took me to.
03:39 He it was like, are you kidding me? I had completely
03:42 pushed it out of my mind, completely blocked it out.
03:47 The more I have tried to recover from all that and heal
03:51 from that the last year the more real it has been
03:54 to me that yeah that was it.
03:57 That was the moment I stopped caring about myself.
03:59 You started gaining weight? - I started gaining weight.
04:02 I started hiding food, I started to really submerging
04:05 into the hockey because it was like
04:07 I am not going to feel anything.
04:09 Like I'm going to focus my time in all my space in
04:11 something else because I am not going to think about this.
04:14 And you have to think about too is hockey is a very,
04:17 you come close enough, I mean if I can hit you with a stick,
04:20 it's a very like I can be aggressive and I can
04:24 be that and nobody is going to take advantage of me.
04:28 It's like I watched as you started to say this is what
04:31 happened and I watch this kid come up that really is
04:34 going to take care of myself and defend myself.
04:36 It's crazy because as I was laying there I said no I'm
04:42 not going to deal with this, I can't do this.
04:44 - it will kill me. - it's going to be the death of me.
04:49 And it was like God just whispered and part of the reason
04:53 why He showed me that too was because I had spent from the
04:56 time I was in college so much time on the Internet chatting
04:59 with men on different Christian sites and stuff like that.
05:03 It was really inappropriate conversations, but I felt
05:07 special, - I felt I belonged there even if it's just for
05:11 a moment - exactly, even if it is just this one guy that
05:15 says I love you and I'm oh really, yea like yea somebody
05:19 actually loves me, but they didn't.
05:21 It was just like they really didn't.
05:23 When did the cutting come into all this too.
05:26 The cutting actually was more in high school.
05:29 - 14 or 15? Yeah around 15 -16 probably.
05:34 Because I want to know to get a picture of this spin
05:38 that starts happening and that starts literally spinning
05:42 out of control and the more I spin the more I grab hold
05:45 of anything that is going to help me feel like I fit.
05:49 I spent a lot of time drinking as well and that came in
05:53 on a hockey trip and for the first time when I was 16.
05:57 Even though it was a long time before I drank again,
06:02 it slowly started to creep in and even though I wouldn't
06:07 say I was an alcoholic, but it did play in as another
06:11 distraction, as another thing to keep me from dealing
06:15 with what was really going on.
06:17 - Another Band-Aid - another Band-Aid.
06:19 You know and in recover sense, because we are talking
06:23 about recovery issues and recovery sense is that it is
06:27 like I don't want to feel, I don't want to be me, I don't
06:32 want to do any of that stuff so we just grab hold of almost
06:36 automatically grab hold of things.
06:39 That night that God showed me that I had to parent myself
06:44 and I had to say no it's okay it's just you and me and God.
06:48 That's it, there's nobody else here, we can do this.
06:52 I'm not being molested right now, I am safe right now.
06:55 - exactly and you know. - and it's time to look at it
06:59 for sure and it was I cried and I cried and I cried
07:02 which was good because one of the things I remember
07:05 telling you too when you were in McBride was that
07:08 I actually had for the longest time just this hardened
07:12 shell and wall so high that I never cried.
07:16 Even though I wanted to and should have been, there were
07:19 so many times where something sad would happen and
07:22 I felt it inside at a funeral and feeling so sad,
07:25 but not being able to cry, I just couldn't.
07:28 It was like what is wrong with me?
07:30 I am like messed up, something is wrong.
07:34 Even feeling that is like, and I hate the way our
07:38 addictions do us, because even feeling that now I feel
07:41 more abnormal and so something is really wrong with me.
07:44 Maybe I am crazy and I really believe there is a devil
07:47 that sits right on our shoulder and says absolutely.
07:50 Look at you, everybody else is crying,
07:52 what's wrong with you? Or everybody else fits in,
07:55 what's wrong with you? The more we spin the more we feel
07:59 like somehow something is horribly wrong with me and it
08:04 spins me again. - you know one of the biggest things is
08:09 part of the main reason is not just in a distraction from
08:13 that, part of the reason why I was doing the chatting and
08:17 stuff was because I was so lonely, I just felt so alone.
08:22 It was crazy and like I said before I never really felt
08:27 God's presence was really there and feel that year
08:31 you came and I heard Ty Gibson.
08:33 There were so many things coming up that made it,
08:36 so many things happened after you came to make God so real
08:38 to me that I knew that I was going to be okay.
08:41 You open up your life instead - I really started opening
08:43 up in one of the biggest things that was so hard was I had
08:48 to go on, that July, I gone to a friends house and had
08:53 a couple of drinks and came home and my dog was gone.
08:59 She was like my best friend, I felt not as lonely because
09:05 I had my dog. - I was really afraid for you during that
09:09 time period - it was so bad at once she was gone it was
09:13 like what has happened and I spent that whole weekend
09:17 drinking and not feeling anything.
09:20 I just surround myself with alcohol and then ironically
09:24 I had, it sounds hypocritical to me because I've been
09:27 having Bible studies every Sunday starting them and here
09:30 I was going to have a Bible study on Sunday and I just
09:33 spent all Saturday drinking, like what is going on?
09:37 I'm such a hypocrite and then it was so amazing.
09:40 - wait, wait I want to time out on that because
09:43 I love that I really believe that I am such a hypocrite
09:48 is right from the enemy's camp because what God says you
09:52 are so afraid, and you are so hurt, and these are the
09:55 things that always worked for you and you grabbed
09:58 hold of them again.
09:59 But God is yelling out to all of us addicts is it never
10:03 has really worked, it robs you of years and years and
10:06 years but to me when I hear messages now of hypocrite
10:10 and all that kind of stuff, I know exactly
10:12 what camp that's coming from.
10:13 God is so gentle, He's so gentle but that is what your
10:17 feeling is - that is what I was feeling at the moment.
10:21 Then that Sunday I was sitting there preparing for my
10:24 Bible study, about Angels was a topic that night.
10:28 Before anybody was going to come, the funny thing is
10:31 nobody actually ended up showing up that night except
10:34 for me and God and it was like oh okay.
10:38 What is going on? I was sitting there and writing things
10:43 out and all of a sudden it wasn't an audible voice,
10:47 I just heard this, like my dog would meet me at the
10:50 other side of the door, she'd see me pull-up and would run
10:53 inside and I would hear her running down the hall and
10:56 then I would hear her scratching on the door and
10:57 she couldn't wait for me to come home, she was so excited.
11:00 She was snuggle up with me on the couch watching TV or
11:02 whatever, she would follow me around like a little shadow.
11:06 So all of a sudden I'm sitting there I hear this Ashley,
11:10 I want to be the one that meets you on the other side of
11:13 the door when you come home.
11:15 I want to be the one snuggling while you are watching TV.
11:18 I want to be the one that's licking your face, or kissing
11:22 your face when you are having a hard time and holding you,
11:25 and I was just like whoa, where did that come from?
11:29 Like whoa. - the incredible intimacy with God.
11:33 Let it be Me. - I never really felt like God was more
11:38 real than that moment and I knew even though it was hard
11:43 that I was going to be okay.
11:45 In a sense how cool is God? In a sense He is saying
11:50 let Me take everything you have used for a security
11:54 blanket that really hasn't worked, let Me be that and
11:58 I will pour into your life the things that are real.
12:01 It is like, that exchange happens in our recovery and that
12:06 is what is the most incredible thing I think
12:08 about healing in our journey, is that
12:10 He says let that exchange happen.
12:11 You are now in a place where that is starting
12:14 to happen, how did He get you to look at
12:18 the whole molests thing?
12:21 It has been mostly in the last six months I would say
12:25 when it has really started to come up, because again
12:29 I ran from it to try and not have to deal with it.
12:35 You had a couple different incidents of molesting?
12:41 Yeah and it was hard because I've always felt not good
12:47 enough, always felt like ugly or whatever and the thing is
12:53 that is such a lie. - it is a lie.
12:56 I know that now but I was in so much time hiding behind
13:00 my baggy clothes, hoodies and whatever and try and
13:05 lose weight and I couldn't and stuff.
13:06 It wasn't until about six months ago that I realized
13:11 that I had found, really found that little girl and
13:16 I needed to not just recognize she was there but really
13:20 help her to heal, and love her and bring her up to
13:24 where I am now.
13:25 - let her grow up? - yes exactly let her grow up.
13:28 So a lot of my healing has actually happened mostly in
13:33 the last three months but it has just been crazy.
13:37 He has helped me to realize that, that moment it changed
13:43 everything and I started seeing everything differently.
13:49 In a negative way of course, like I always thought the
13:56 worse in stuff and that He's brought me to that.
14:00 - even during that time and for a lot of people don't
14:03 know this about you, at that time you had someone in your
14:06 life that was telling you, you are fat, you are ugly,
14:09 you're stupid, and so you are hearing that message.
14:12 - yeah I was hearing that all growing up in my teen years
14:16 and so that was the hugest part of the healing that took
14:21 place when you came because I had always been stuck in
14:24 this negative rut and could not get out of it no matter
14:28 what I tried. Even though I had the hockey I was still
14:31 hard on myself, because I would be like I could've scored
14:34 six goals in that game and found one thing that was wrong
14:36 I was dwelling on.
14:38 My team was like Ashley's good job and I'm sitting and saying
14:41 what ever did you see what I did?
14:42 Obviously you wasn't watching the same game as me.
14:45 I was so hard on myself. - it was amazing when we first
14:49 met, I could see that you put yourself down more than
14:53 anybody that I had met in a long time.
14:56 It was funny, I mean you were funny but you were slammed
14:59 every time you made a joke.
15:02 Yeah and it is funny because after I went home that night
15:06 from the anointing, He really, well even that night,
15:11 He said no Ashley you're beautiful and you're smart and
15:16 your Mine and I'm just like whoa, okay. It was crazy.
15:21 So now as you're stepping into healing, as you are
15:24 looking at these issues and some of them are really
15:28 difficult, without the things that used to work, not
15:31 saying you have a relapse because I know that you have.
15:34 You stood right back up again which I am so proud of you
15:37 with, but as I get looking at these things through the
15:41 eyes of God what has your journey been like?
15:44 My journey has been incredible, it has been absolutely
15:49 incredible, the last few months my eyes have been opened
15:53 so much to people around me that are going through similar
15:58 things and I never would have seen that before.
16:01 I was so stuck in the negativity that I only saw my stuff.
16:05 I didn't see anybody else, and it wasn't that I didn't
16:09 care, I always cared about people.
16:11 I just wasn't capable of it, I didn't care about myself
16:16 so how could I, you know, I didn't want to face my junk
16:19 so how could I focus and see anybody else's hurting?
16:22 In the last few months it has just been insane I have been
16:26 opening up and people open up to me.
16:29 God has been helping out in the youth room now. - and
16:32 you want to care about their hearts. - exactly.
16:35 And that is what is amazing. - exactly and now I am
16:37 working with these young people that are starting to get
16:41 to those places and feeling those temptations to do
16:43 things that I have done.
16:45 I feel like I need to give back and so now I am working
16:48 in the youth room in helping teach the Sabbath school
16:51 lesson and just be an honest with them and real,
16:53 I mean you have to be and before I wouldn't have been.
16:56 I would have just sat there with my mouth shut and
17:00 I would've said anything, but now our lesson quarterly
17:03 has been amazing too because it has been all about that.
17:07 All about emotions this whole quarter.
17:10 This whole quarter has been incredible so far.
17:12 Things will come up in Sabbath school with the young
17:15 people and they are asking real things about sex and
17:18 drugs like real stuff and I will just tell them
17:23 you don't have to do that you don't have to.
17:27 We live in a society, when you say that you don't have
17:31 to do that, we live in a society where everybody talks
17:35 about everything and have even experimentation
17:42 with sexual stuff, to be on the Internet and go to chat
17:45 rooms and talk about sexual stuff.
17:47 Same-sex kind of stuff is so out there and so okay if
17:52 somebody doesn't have a place to talk about that, that
17:57 is where we get in trouble. - exactly.
17:59 I'm not afraid of the discussion. - exactly and
18:02 I always just wanted people to be real with me growing up
18:08 and I always wanted people just to tell me things.
18:12 People told me things after I was an adult and I
18:14 thought if you would have told me when I was a kid
18:17 I wouldn't have been feeling all of this,
18:19 like are you kidding me?
18:20 Why didn't you tell me this when I was 13 and I would have
18:23 totally thought of it differently and done things
18:26 differently, so now I'm choosing now to let God take me
18:32 through this journey and let Him help me and fix me so
18:38 that I can help other people too.
18:39 I've had people come to me that I never thought even for
18:43 a day were hurting, I'm like they're always have a smile
18:47 their face and everything. And I'm like what? What?
18:51 So all of a sudden you're coming into a relationship
18:54 with God and experiencing the healing and the joy of that
18:57 and then reaching out and offering that to someone else.
19:00 That is the gospel, that is recovery.
19:03 We are going to open it up for questions which I think
19:05 it's going to be fun and so what I would like to do
19:08 because I know a few of you have questions and Pelicia
19:11 I know you wanted to ask her something so I'm going to
19:13 turn it over to you first and go ahead.
19:18 We do know I have been sitting here listening at you and
19:22 you are talking about all the stuff that has gone on in
19:26 your life and I would like to know, I have grandkids
19:29 myself and they are young, how old were you when you
19:33 started hiding and started doing things that you didn't
19:36 want your parents to know while hiding from them?
19:40 I was probably around 13. - 13. - when it started,
19:43 when I started hiding things, I started hiding food and
19:48 wearing baggy clothes and not really caring about how
19:52 I looked or anything really, you around 13 years old.
19:56 Did you ever lose interest in academics?
19:59 I did actually, started to grade 8 and 9 I did really well still,
20:06 but it was probably grade 10 when I would have been
20:10 around 16 when I started to not do so well in math and
20:14 that was always my best subject.
20:16 I was always really good in math.
20:18 I just didn't care anymore, I just didn't study very hard
20:22 in my first year of college I didn't do well either and
20:26 it wasn't until my second year that God had told me that
20:30 summer through a friend that Day Care was the road
20:35 He wanted me to go and that's when I actually started to
20:38 try a little more with the schooling.
20:41 But yeah academics was huge.
20:42 I have a comment for you too, I was just noticing as you
20:46 were talking about when God was talking to you and that
20:50 relationships were so important, your friends, our peers,
20:52 and everything and we are created for relationships but
20:55 the time you say God was speaking to you, He brought
20:59 things to you and He made Himself clearer to you is when
21:02 you were by yourself.
21:03 I think that is so important to know that we need to make
21:07 time to hear God talk to us and not be surrounded always
21:11 with people. - absolutely - I love that.
21:14 Especially when we start out in recovery and there is a
21:18 saying in most recovery program, we talked about all the
21:23 different recovery programs of this series.
21:25 But in most recovery programs there is a saying that the
21:28 best of what you have got you to where you're at.
21:31 It's got to be that we stop and decide to spend time
21:35 with God because God is going to bring us out.
21:38 Don't lean on your own under- standing, don't lean on your
21:41 own thinking, I even sometimes I'll shut my eyes and say
21:44 Jesus is that how you want me to think about this?
21:47 I stopped speaking at that point and I feel like Jesus
21:51 said sometimes absolutely not.
21:53 I love you or like I love to exaggerate, I don't know
21:57 if anybody has noticed that, I'd love stories and I love
22:01 exaggerating I'm sanguine and all that stuff.
22:04 I'll start to say something and I will hear the Holy
22:07 Spirit say don't go there because that's not true.
22:11 And it may be funnier, but it is not true so I think
22:14 that's those times where we actually slowed down and
22:17 are with God that are important.
22:19 Ashley something what police have said to me as far as
22:24 her having grandbabies and they are going into an age
22:28 when you were in all this stuff that started happening,
22:32 can you tell us some more about the things that were
22:35 obvious about you that somebody could have caught?
22:38 I think a lot of it was that I was the very bubbly happy
22:43 person before that, and I just had fun, I just had
22:51 a genuine smile on my face slowly it wasn't very obvious at
22:56 first, but slowly that joy started to leave my life and
23:00 I would stare down at the floor when I would walk,
23:03 or stare down at the sidewalk and not feel like
23:07 I was good enough, or not feel like things like that.
23:11 Other things were more obvious was hiding the food,
23:16 gaining weight, not caring so much about appearance so
23:22 much and I would just get out of bed, have a shower and
23:28 put my hair in a ponytail or just wear it down.
23:32 Like I never really wanted to be really beautiful.
23:35 Have you ever thought about one time this women came up
23:39 for prayer and we were at a woman's retreat and
23:42 she was coming up for prayer for weight.
23:43 As she was walking up I heard the Holy Spirit, not a voice,
23:47 just an impression of the Holy Spirit saying to me this is
23:51 a molested woman and her weight has protected her all
23:56 these years and if you pray for the weight and you don't
24:00 deal with the protection she'll get scared.
24:02 So I said to her can we pray that as you lose weight and
24:07 become more attractive and beautiful that the molestation
24:11 won't come up for you in the same way?
24:13 So the molestation was the issue, like right now you are
24:17 losing weight and figuring out who you are.
24:18 There has to be a little fear of that, if I lose weight
24:22 and am attractive, what if I draw that kind of attention?
24:25 It is not safe. - oh absolutely I did it as a way to
24:30 protect myself, as a way to not be hurt again.
24:34 I had trouble for so many years to lose weight that I
24:37 would always lose maybe 18 pounds and no more than that.
24:42 It was I just I couldn't figure it out and was so frustrated
24:45 with it and was so tired of being the fat friend or the
24:50 one with pretty face or just the one with the beautiful
24:55 voice, or the one that's good at hockey, or the one that's
24:59 whatever it happens to be, like the fun one and stuff.
25:02 I wanted to be beautiful, like really beautiful and it
25:06 wasn't until I started dealing with all of this.
25:10 Doing the dental work and stuff and everything is
25:13 starting, I'm starting to feel in really know deep down
25:19 that I am worth it.
25:21 Again, we didn't talk about the dental work, but even taking
25:26 care of yourself in that way you hadn't take care of
25:28 yourself as far as the dental work or any of that stuff.
25:30 You really did say I'm just going to be this hockey
25:34 player, I'm just going to be this one.
25:35 And if I am unattractive then nobody will hurt me again.
25:40 Even though I craved the male attention and looked for
25:43 that - on line - online and stuff - online so you can
25:47 take it there. - They couldn't see me - they couldn't
25:50 see you and they could hurt you because it was all in our
25:54 heads. - yeah exactly.
25:55 and it's really incredible, I guess the reason I want to stop
26:00 on all those points is it's incredible to watch your
26:02 journey, it's incredible to watch any of our journeys
26:05 where all of a sudden God says we are
26:07 going to strip everything and make it real.
26:09 None of the online relationships were real.
26:12 You had no idea, I had a girlfriend and I really hate to
26:14 say this because I probably might get fired but I had a
26:17 girlfriend that had a sex line that she made her living at.
26:20 She was 300 and something pounds but she could be on the
26:23 line and sound as sexy as ever.
26:26 She really did all that stuff, but she wasn't any of that.
26:30 So God says you know what? We are dying with what we put
26:34 around us as Band-Aids, I actually want to give you life
26:38 and like more abundantly.
26:40 I want your relationships to be real, I want your heart
26:44 to feel it, I want when you laugh to actually be a laugh.
26:47 And you know that is the thing that He has really been
26:51 working on me the last few months that I have been
26:54 doing the dental work.
26:55 It wasn't until November that I started doing it and like
26:58 I told Him I'm going - and I can smile now and smile big
27:02 and not hide my face anymore, and I told you earlier in the
27:07 day that I will walk by the mirror now and smile and say
27:12 man they look good.
27:14 It's crazy because before I just wouldn't, I would
27:22 hide my smile and hide my teeth.
27:24 And God is sitting there and you didn't even know it needed
27:28 to be addressed. - exactly until it was a whole week of pain
27:32 that I finally said it was enough.
27:34 - you have to go in? - yep.
27:36 You know we are really lucky that God just says you know
27:39 what I am taking you in, I'm taking you into recovery.
27:42 We're going to go ahead and take a break and come back
27:44 for the close, can you stay for the close with me?
27:46 - Yeah sure. - Okay good.
27:47 We will be right back and stay with us, I love her and
27:51 I love her recovery story I wanted to say
27:54 a few things about that.