EP 151: How Do You Find The Words To Describe Your Trauma? Mark McNear

Diana Winklersexual abuse Leave a Comment

Many survivors suffer unspeakable abuse in their childhood and never tell another soul about it. It is very common to not have the words to even describe what happened to their bodies, their minds, and emotions. My guest Mark McNear is here to talk about his book Finding My Words: A Ruthless Commitment to Healing Gently After Trauma. Mark candidly talks about his painful childhood, the long term fallout from the abuse, what was it like going through rehab, and finding the words and the courage to tell his story. Join us for a powerful testimony of freedom in Christ!

Buy Mark’s Book here on Amazon:


Dr. Mark M. McNear is a Licensed Psychotherapist who has over thirty years of experience in clinical work through his private practice in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Northeastern Bible College, New York University, and Oxford Graduate School. Dr. McNear specializes in helping people who have experienced trauma in their life, as well as the maladaptive behaviors that spring forth from their woundedness. Yet, Dr. McNear doesn’t approach his clientele purely from a clinical perspective but as someone who also has experienced severe trauma in his life and the healing power found in Christ. In his recent memoir, Finding My Words: A Ruthless Commitment to Healing Gently after Trauma, Dr. McNear reveals he suffered a traumatic and abusive childhood. He suffered sexual abuse and physical abuse starting at the age of four and was repeatedly told he was stupid, a fool, and trash. Dr. McNear hid these abuses deep in his heart for many years – until they caught up with him.

Today, Dr. McNear seeks to help others find the freedom and healing in Christ that he himself received once he faced his own traumatic past.

In addition to his private practice, Dr. McNear has been a speaker to audiences nationwide. He has also been a frequent guest on nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, podcasts, authored articles, and Op-eds, and been a co-host panelist for a video series dealing with Christianity and Mental Health.

Mark’s experience is my experience. Though my childhood trauma and abuse left me with a lifetime of scars, it also did something else. It brought me to the God who loves me. And that changed my life and brought healing beyond measure. Whatever you’re going through, God has seen others, like Mark and I, through similar trauma to show you that if God can do it for them, he can do it now, for you.”

— Josh McDowell

It has been said that if we don’t transform our pain, we will certainly transmit it. Mark McNear shows us in this wonderful book that the opposite is also true: if we do transform our pain, we can pass on healing, wisdom, and grace to others. McNear, a professional helper, turns his pen on the pain, complexity, and beauty of his own story in a way that will capture your heart. He speaks with deep honesty about his trauma, but also about his recovery by the grace of God. Whether you are attempting to face your own trauma story or help someone around you do the same, I believe Mark’s story will be a gift and an encouragement to you.”

Nick Stumbo, Executive Director, Pure Desire Ministries, Troutdale, OR

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Mark McNear

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast, brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer, songwriter, speaker, and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help.

[00:00:26] Now, here is Diana.

[00:00:31] Hello, friends! Welcome to the podcast once again. I’m glad that you’re here. We had some fantastic guests in the last few weeks. We have another one today that I know you are going to love. I have just been reading, Mark McNear’s book. Just finished it last night.

[00:00:59] [00:01:00] It was very easy to read and very well written. Excellent book. I read a lot of books, especially about trauma. And I really enjoyed this one and I learned a lot.

[00:01:14] So we’re going to talk about his new book, Finding My Words, A Ruthless Commitment to Healing Gently After Trauma. And, so Mark McNear is on the show today. Really excited. Let me read his bio here.

[00:01:31] Dr. Mark McNear is a licensed clinical social worker and maintains a private practice in New Jersey. With over 30 years of experience in clinical practice, Dr. McNear now focuses on helping those who have had trauma, abuse, and addictions in their lives, sharing the hope of healing that he has realized in his own life.

[00:01:57] He graduated from Northeastern Bible [00:02:00] College, New York University, and Oxford Graduate School. In addition to his private practice, Dr. McNear has been a speaker to general audiences nationwide. He has also been a frequent guest on nationally syndicated radio broadcasts and podcasts. He has written for magazines and co hosted panelists in videos dealing with mental health.

[00:02:25] His new book, Finding My Words. A Ruthless Commitment to Healing Gently After Trauma is available on Amazon. So I am not going to delay any further. You’re going to love Mark. We had a great conversation and so I hope you enjoy this interview with Mark McNear. Welcome my guest today, Mark McNear. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.

[00:02:55] Mark McNear: Thank you, Diana. Thank you for inviting me.

[00:02:58] Diana: We’re going to talk about [00:03:00] your book, Finding My Words, A Ruthless Commitment to Healing Gently After Trauma. And we were talking before the show that I really enjoyed your book.

[00:03:12] Diana: It was so well written. It was easy to read. It only took maybe a week for me to read. And I thought it was a good mix of you telling us. The present, what was going on, and then mixing in your past trauma, and then also explaining what are the technical terms for what you were going through.

[00:03:35] Diana: I thoroughly enjoyed this one. So I’m glad that you’re here and we get to talk about it.

[00:03:40] Mark McNear: Yeah, my story begins about eight and a half years ago. I called, my doctor and asked her for refills and it became apparent to her very quickly that I was abusing the medication and so she didn’t hesitate to tell me, you need to go into rehab and so that kind of [00:04:00] started this journey, which then later on, gave birth to the book.

[00:04:04] Mark McNear: Yeah. Because, I talk about how hard it was to go to rehab, and the thing, Diana, that was really tough for me was that when the medication was going out of my system, the memories and the trauma of my childhood came back so strongly. And I had it, going through my mind a hundred million miles an hour, it seemed.

[00:04:24] Mark McNear: And then also with my body that I felt so, so, triggered. And so emotionally dysregulated. So take reader through rehab, not an easy journey, but it was a worthwhile journey for sure, just not being able to share my story, I didn’t have the words where, and that’s where the title of the book comes in, finding my words, I didn’t have the words to be able to share the things that happened.

[00:04:46] Mark McNear: In my childhood and I didn’t have the emotional regulation to be able to just sit and be able to share it. I was just too triggered emotionally to be able to get into it.

[00:04:57] Diana: I really appreciated you [00:05:00] describing what it was like going through rehab. It was so raw and tender and honest. I mean, you talked about the emotions and what your body was going through and trying to

[00:05:15] Diana: talk during the group sessions and the therapy. I have never been in rehab. Thank God. I never experienced that. And I’ve never heard anybody actually tell the story. What was it really like going through rehab? And I wanted to read this forward by Josh McDowell that you put in here.

[00:05:40] Diana: Mark’s experience is my experience. Through my childhood, trauma and abuse left me with a lifetime of scars. It also did something else. It brought me to the God who loves me, and that changed my life and brought healing beyond measure. Whatever you’re going through, God [00:06:00] has seen others, like Mark and I, through similar trauma, to show you that if God can do it for them.

[00:06:08] Diana: He can do it now for you. So that blows me away. How did you get Josh McDowell to do a forward? And yeah, he would be like on my bucket list to get here on the show. How did you meet Josh McDowell?

[00:06:24] Diana: It was near and dear to

[00:06:25] Mark McNear: his heart the topic of the book and sexual abuse, as that he was sexually abused. And he grew up in a very abusive home with a lot of domestic violence. So there were connections with him through the publisher and through one of the editors that I worked with.

[00:06:41] Mark McNear: And so she had connected us together and he had gotten the book and His ministry had gone through the book and read it, and then approved for the forward to be written. So that’s how that, it was a huge surprise. It was a real blessing to have him be part of the book. I was amazed.

[00:06:59] Mark McNear: Did you get to [00:07:00] meet him? No, I didn’t. He was actually, when he was in the middle of negotiating this, he was actually out of the country in Columbia. And so that’s how busy he is still at his age. He’s still going strong. And so I was, I just felt so honored and so grateful that he would be a part of the book.

[00:07:19] Mark McNear: And so that’s how that came about.

[00:07:21] Diana: That is a neat experience. I hope you get to meet him someday. That would be super cool. So let’s talk more about your experience at rehab. It took so long for you to talk about it, even in rehab, when you had to sit there in the circles, I suppose, the group therapy.

[00:07:41] Diana: Talk us through that. What was it like?

[00:07:43] Mark McNear: As the medication was coming out of my system, the memories were coming back and I could feel it in my body just being so uptight and so dysregulated emotionally. And then there was a couple of times where people asked me.

[00:07:56] Mark McNear: And I just couldn’t talk about it. I didn’t have the words. I had played it [00:08:00] through my mind a million times, but I just didn’t have the words to be able to communicate it. I talk about a friend that I had there a Christian guy that I called Brennan. It’s not his name, but that’s what I called him in the book.

[00:08:11] Mark McNear: And he was wonderful because he was, I would say, the first one that I took a risk with and started talking about things with. And he was very open and very filled with grace and encouraged me. He said, I remember him saying, when you get out of here, just find somebody. If you’re not comfortable now, that’s fine, but just find somebody to be able to share your experiences with.

[00:08:31] Mark McNear: So it wasn’t right away. Even as I got out of rehab, it wasn’t right away. It took time. It took a few years to be able to get to the point where I could start sharing. And feeling more comfortable. Not a hundred percent, but feel more comfortable in my body sharing the things that.

[00:08:46] Diana: And we talked about before the show that the experiences that you had you didn’t share them very graphically in the book which I appreciated because.

[00:08:57] Diana: Some people can’t handle [00:09:00] reading details of other people’s trauma, but can you share that with the audience what your childhood was like and maybe just a little bit of what you went through?

[00:09:12] Mark McNear: Sure. So, I grew up with my mom and my dad and an older brother and an older sister. I was the youngest in the family.

[00:09:20] Mark McNear: And so, there was a, just a lot of tension in the home. My dad had some real problems with anger, which you’ll see, which the viewers will see when they, if they read the book. But one of the things I talked about that was really painful is When I was about four years old, my dad had forced me to eat carrots, and I didn’t want to eat the carrots, and I ended up vomiting, and he became furious with me, and he picked me up, and he threw me in the garbage, and he said, stay there, you’re a piece of garbage, that’s where you belong.

[00:09:48] Mark McNear: And so… That was not an easy thing to go through, and a lot of it I don’t remember. I don’t remember it clearly, but I do remember that it happened. So from the age of [00:10:00] about four to about the age of seven, I was sexually abused, and I talk about that in more detail in the book, and just how painful that was, but also it was painful when he stopped because I felt abandoned by him.

[00:10:14] Mark McNear: And I convey in the book that I believe that happened, that the sexual abuse stopped at the age of seven because our family went through armed robbery in our home when it was June when I was seven years old that happened where men came in with guns. Two of them stayed upstairs with us.

[00:10:34] Mark McNear: We were asleep in bed and we never woke up. And then the other two were downstairs with my mom and my dad and my aunt and uncle. And they were there for about an hour and they took a lot of money. My dad had a pretty big safe downstairs and they had a lot of money that they took. And they took And they took rare coins and that.

[00:10:52] Mark McNear: So, I talk about that and then I talk about the fact that, the house really kind of, the household really kind of fell apart after [00:11:00] that. That my mom began drinking. He had really severe anxiety and depression and probably would be diagnosed with PTSD or complex PTSD. My dad became very paranoid and was just obsessed with finding out who had entered the home and who had robbed us.

[00:11:19] Mark McNear: And so he I talk about a couple of strange stories in the book. I talk about my dad breaking a wall out in the basement and then giving us forks and knives and spoons, utensils to dig out a room. And he gave us a bucket to put the dirt in. So, so a lot of bizarre things like that, that I’d had a couple of counselors that I had worked with that really encouraged me to write the book because of the strange things that happened throughout my childhood.

[00:11:47] Mark McNear: There was a lot of a lot of tension in the home. Even when there wasn’t anything going on, I think that I learned, my body, my, my nervous system learned to wait for the next thing to happen. [00:12:00] And so it’s been a hard road. And I think I convey that in the book that it was a hard road, but it was really worthwhile.

[00:12:06] Mark McNear: The Lord has really been with me. In such a real way and I can see my wife Debbie points out that, it’s really evident to see how the Lord has guided me step by step, got me into counseling and then got me into another type of counseling and got me into group counseling, just different things that I needed at the time, but I’m still in counseling now.

[00:12:25] Mark McNear: And I’m a big advocate being a licensed psychotherapist. I’m a big advocate of it, but also with the healing that I have experienced. I’m As a result.

[00:12:34] Diana: There were so many times in your book that I was so angry, I wanted to reach out and rescue you from what was happening.

[00:12:44] Diana: You talk about your faith. How did you meet God on a personal level?

[00:12:52] Mark McNear: Diana, that’s a great question. I talk about this a little bit in the book the car accident that I had where I got really [00:13:00] injured badly and ended up in the hospital for about 30 days. And so after that, I got out of the hospital and still wasn’t feeling great.

[00:13:08] Mark McNear: And I remember getting a book by Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking, and he yeah. And he talked about in that book, he talked about, getting a Bible. And underlining passages that talk about faith. So I did that. And so the other thing that he talked about in the book was, to get get the Bible and then to go to church.

[00:13:30] Mark McNear: And so then I started attending church and I was attending on Sundays, Sunday mornings. And then there was a special evening service on a Saturday night. And there was a guest speaker, and he spoke on going the second mile. And so I don’t know, it’s definitely see the hands of the Lord.

[00:13:48] Mark McNear: I went forward and accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior at that time. I don’t think I knew fully what I was doing, but God knew and led me. And then, shortly after that I really felt a call [00:14:00] into ministry. And so I went to Bible college. And then through my time of being in Bible college, I went into counseling, personal counseling, psychotherapy for depression and anxiety and just the emotional dysregulation that I was feeling.

[00:14:17] Mark McNear: And so, that was really helpful to me at that time. And I felt led to go into training for being a therapist.

[00:14:24] Diana: Wow, I love that. I love that you independently had a faith, a belief in the Lord, a relationship with Him, independent of anybody else and all the crazy stuff that you went through.

[00:14:37] Diana: I like hearing people’s faith stories. You mentioned your car accident. Was that when you had the surgery and you were triggered?

[00:14:48] Mark McNear: Yeah, that was one time. And then there was a time I talked about even earlier in the book where I had a really bad stomach ache.

[00:14:56] Mark McNear: And as a result of that, needed to have [00:15:00] surgery. And so I needed to be prepped for surgery, and so I talk about, how hard that was for me being somebody who was abused sexually, and then to have a male nurse be prepping me for surgery.

[00:15:13] Diana: Yeah, you had to be shaved.

[00:15:15] Diana: Yeah. I can see how that can be really traumatic. I’ve had some medical trauma. So I can relate, but what do you call that?

[00:15:25] Mark McNear: I think that I was just really triggered, it not only was bothersome to have that done, but it also brought back memories of earlier abuse.

[00:15:34] Mark McNear: One of the things I talk about in the book is that I really have found through this journey that the past is not the past when it shows up in the present. And so, so many times we’ll be going through life, especially with people who have suffered from trauma and will be triggered emotionally by something and we won’t necessarily be able to put it together fully.

[00:15:56] Mark McNear: There’s definitely this emotional uprising in our body and our [00:16:00] minds. And as a result of that, Mike, I talk about that, you can look at what’s happening today and when you have a really strong emotional reactions, there’s a good possibility that something happened earlier in your life that you’re reacting to.

[00:16:14] Mark McNear: And one of the things I talk about in the book, I shared with you just now and with the audience, the idea that I was thrown in the garbage. As a result of being sick from carrots. And I talk about in the book, and this would be a trigger really clear indication of a trigger.

[00:16:29] Mark McNear: I’m 28 years old. I go to a wedding with my wife and they have steak and they have potatoes and they have carrots. And so I didn’t even think about it. And so I just stabbed a carrot and put it in my mouth and began to gag right away. So that would be an example of, a traumatic response.

[00:16:49] Mark McNear: That comes as a result of a previous wounding or trauma.

[00:16:54] Diana: I don’t think I would have even eaten those carrots. You you physically reacted to [00:17:00] that. I want to read a part of your book. Here in the book. You were told you were stupid, a fool, and trash. I heard it when I shared my ideas or dreams for the future. I heard it whenever I took initiative to do something I had not done before. I heard it when I said I wanted to take flying lessons. I heard it when I wanted to wear a tuxedo for my 8th grade graduation.

[00:17:29] Diana: I heard it whenever I had a different idea or opinion from my dad’s. Not surprisingly, my dad’s words took away my initiative in life. and undermine my sense of personhood. A lot of emotional and psychological abuse there.

[00:17:48] Mark McNear: Yeah I think that looking back at the story now and looking back at my dad, I realized my dad was really traumatized as a kid.

[00:17:55] Mark McNear: And I don’t know the specifics of it, but it’s clear in the way that he treated [00:18:00] me. So, it was that I was never quite sure what to say or what to do around my dad because it was such a ridicule. I can remember getting excited about taking flying lessons that I was too stupid to be able to take the lessons.

[00:18:15] Mark McNear: That I really wasn’t fit for doing something like that. When I talked about wearing a tux in my 8th grade graduation, he had some really negative comments about that, too, and, said that I was a fool, and that was a common thing, that he would often call me a fool, or he would google his eyes at me, things like that, and so, I think that I became very apprehensive and very anxious.

[00:18:38] Mark McNear: As a result of that, and, to this day, and I talk about it in the book, I still struggle with issues of anxiety, not as much as I did, and certainly not as much as I did 10 years ago. I’ve really grown in that area, but I still have issues with struggling with anxiety and depression and, flashbacks, things like that.

[00:18:57] Mark McNear: You were still

[00:18:58] Diana: pursuing the [00:19:00] Lord, and you pursued God after your rehab was over. This was the most interesting part of you growing up and coming out of rehab. You had to learn how to play. What was that like?

[00:19:15] Mark McNear: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think that there wasn’t a lot of play encouraged as a kid.

[00:19:22] Mark McNear: We were always on guard, to see if my dad was in a bad mood, things like that. And so, it’s something that I just needed to learn how to do more, and so I’ve been doing that more with even like things like coloring. I’ve been doing a lot of mindfulness coloring with colored pencils and that has really helped me just to be able to relieve a lot of the stress in my body and it’s something that You know, you just can’t read about, you have to do it in order to experience it and to derive the benefits from it.

[00:19:53] Mark McNear: And so just like little things I’m doing to kind of, enjoy life more. I just was out [00:20:00] in Wyoming. Two weeks with my daughter Emily and my son in law Brandon, great trip, like we went to Yellowstone National Park, different places, so like learning how to play, learning just how to enjoy and allowing my body to just calm down from the tension that I often feel in my body.

[00:20:20] Diana: I love that, and I hear a lot of survivors that I work with their childhood was robbed from them, and they didn’t have time to play ball, or to play with dolls. The Barbie movie was just out, and they didn’t have a Barbie, they didn’t have a bicycle to ride on, so, I’m glad that you’re taking time to, to play and all the stuff you didn’t get to do as a child you’re getting to do now.

[00:20:47] Diana: Yeah, I

[00:20:48] Mark McNear: saw a quote the other day that said, and I’m going to paraphrase it, it said something along the lines of, trauma is not only what happened to you, but it’s also what didn’t happen. The things that you didn’t [00:21:00] experience because of the violence or because of the abuse or because of the domestic violence that you experienced.

[00:21:08] Diana: I wanted to switch to your wonderful wife here. Yes. She has been your rock through this whole thing, it sounds like. I like what you said about your wife that when you were in rehab, she wrote you a letter of all the hurts that you inflicted in your marriage. So, maybe talk a little bit about your marriage and…

[00:21:32] Diana: What is that like to have that dynamic of you have your own pain, but then your family is also in pain as well?

[00:21:41] Mark McNear: I think that I did, let me go back to the letter for a minute. Debbie wrote a letter of impact and that was really powerful. She had mailed it in and my daughter, Emily had mailed a letter in too, where what we did is we sat in groups and we had one guy sit and read it to us.

[00:21:58] Mark McNear: And we sat and listened to it, and I [00:22:00] can remember that I just cried the whole time with both letters because it was so painful to hear of how my behavior impacted them. And so, I needed, after I got out, I was determined not to talk to Debbie or Emily about changing, that I was going to show them.

[00:22:18] Mark McNear: And so that, that was my goal. I wasn’t going to talk to him about being sober. I wasn’t going to talk to him about being clean. I’m not going to, I just, I’m not going to talk to them about changing my behavior. I’m just going to do it and let them see it. And I think that’s something that was really helpful.

[00:22:33] Mark McNear: It took time. It definitely took time for me to change and to work and still changing and still evolving and still recovering from the trauma that I experienced. But no, Debbie has been God’s send for me, just so, so, powerful and it impacted me so deeply, her love and her grace, and, doesn’t mean that she didn’t set limits and doesn’t mean that she was not aggravated with things, but, just the, just the [00:23:00] message that she, she gave me that we’re going to get through this, and, same thing with Emily I have been able to restore that relationship.

[00:23:07] Mark McNear: I think that I had a very close relationship with Emily. When she was born and for the first few years, but as my addictions got worse, I think that I pulled away and really isolated and wasn’t there as much as I could have been.

[00:23:21] Diana: I like hearing happy endings that you were able to restore relationships because a lot of survivors, as they wind up with a destroyed marriage or their kids don’t want anything to do with them.

[00:23:35] Diana: I mean, so I’m glad to hear the story that. You are on a journey on the path of wholeness.

[00:23:43] Mark McNear: Yeah, and I know that there’s so many stories, being in the field, I know that there’s so many stories where marriages don’t work out. I was determined to work on it, from my point at least, and I didn’t realize how much I had been traumatized, and so this has been a growing and a learning and a humbling [00:24:00] experience for me to look at it and to say like, there’s a lot of things that you’re not living by your values.

[00:24:05] Mark McNear: I wasn’t living by my values, and that I was always uptight, and I was always grumpy, and that, and I talk about that in the book, that, I just really needed to work on emotional regulation, and that’s something that I continue to work on daily, through self care. And through self soothing.

[00:24:23] Diana: Now, you are a psychotherapist. I forgot to ask you, what exactly is a psychotherapist? What is the difference between that and, like, a psychiatrist?

[00:24:32] Mark McNear: Well, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor that prescribes medication. Sometimes they do therapy but not often. I’m a licensed clinical social worker, and so I, I went and I have a kind of unique background.

[00:24:44] Mark McNear: I had a Bible college background where I went to be a pastor. And then I spent an extra year there, studying counseling, and then I went on to get my first master’s in social work. And then I went on from there to get another degree in counseling and then my [00:25:00] doctorate in counseling. And so I work with people, just helping them.

[00:25:05] Mark McNear: Right now I specialize in things like addiction and trauma and abuse. But, I mean, it’s talk therapy, but it’s also helping them a lot with their bodies to be able to relax their bodies. Different exercises that I work with people to help them to be able to relax their bodies that have been traumatized are really uptight.

[00:25:28] Diana: So you’re in New Jersey, right?

[00:25:30] Mark McNear: Yes, I’m about an hour west of New York City.

[00:25:34] Diana: So are you taking new clients? You’re licensed in New Jersey, I assume?

[00:25:39] Mark McNear: I’m licensed in New Jersey. And so

[00:25:41] Mark McNear: I have been seeing clients in New Jersey and then also have been doing some coaching. With some people that have reached out to me, so I have been doing some counseling, like psychotherapy, and also some coaching. People who have read the book, and who, I’m allowed to coach them and work with them, so, yeah, it’s really opened up[00:26:00] like, so many facets for me, I have been speaking, I’ve been doing a lot of podcasts, I have been seeing clients and doing counseling and coaching, and also doing some more writing, I wrote the book and now I’ve been working on some articles, just articles about being grateful for your story, things like that, that have been published.

[00:26:18] Mark McNear: So it’s been exciting, it’s been an exciting journey, it’s been a good journey, hard journey, but a good journey.

[00:26:23] Diana: I like that you put discussion questions in your book. Is that like, if you were to do this as a group?

[00:26:31] Mark McNear: Yeah, I mean, people can do it individually. At the end of each chapter, there’s a few questions just to kind of, look at the chapter and kind of reflect on your own life and growth.

[00:26:41] Mark McNear: And so, we put that at the end of each chapter and it’s, I know that there’s some people that have done it in their churches as a group. And I just heard of a counseling center that all the counselors were reading the book and they were going to do it as a group and then answer the questions at the end.

[00:26:58] Mark McNear: And I know people who have done it [00:27:00] individually. So, it works well for individuals and also works well with groups.

[00:27:04] Diana: Yeah, I think my church would probably be up for that. We do a lot of book studies and maybe I’ll take that to my women’s ministry department. They’re always looking for new books to go through.

[00:27:19] Diana: you talk a lot in the book about community because you were so isolating of yourself and didn’t want to talk to anybody about your story and your pain. Why do we need community to heal? Why can’t we just do this on our own?

[00:27:35] Mark McNear: That’s a great question. I use a quote in the book by Dr.

[00:27:40] Mark McNear: Ted Roberts that we get hurt. By individuals and we get healed by hanging around with individuals and being in groups. And so that is something that I learned really quickly, in, in this process that the one in others, scripture talks about the one in others, bear one another’s burdens and confess your sins to one another, things like [00:28:00] that, to love one another, to care for one another.

[00:28:03] Mark McNear: And so, for me, it has been because I think that I had a pretty isolated childhood. And learned to isolate well, and that’s not something that I’m saying is positive. I’m saying that I’ve learned it, but it wasn’t, it’s something that I had to unlearn. And so, just being around other people is really helpful for me to be able to share my story for them to share their story with me.

[00:28:25] Mark McNear: I’m in a men’s group. That’s really helpful. For me, I think that being able to discover more about yourself and asking the Lord, to give you insight on areas of your life that need changing, is really exciting for me. And so, yeah, I have a great church, a great group of people there.

[00:28:43] Mark McNear: Many of them have read my story. And so they’re familiar with it. I’ve been able to get close with some of the guys there, and it has been really helpful for me and in my recovery and just in my walk with the Lord.

[00:28:57] Diana: It is terrifying for a lot of [00:29:00] survivors to, one, go into a church again, and two, being in a group and exposing, they feel exposed, as you eloquently stated in your book.

[00:29:13] Diana: I have a group called Mending the Soul that I lead once a year. And a lot of these women have never told a soul about their story. They have men’s groups too with different facilitators. But it’s terrifying for them to be in a community in the beginning. They have huge trust issues just like you did.

[00:29:38] Diana: I mean, how do you get over that hill?

[00:29:41] Mark McNear: You get over it by doing it. And doing it slowly and not having people push you. I was going to say that story work is so powerful and I have found it to be so powerful where people can sit around and, they can tell their story without people, critiquing it without people saying, the past is the [00:30:00] past, forget about it, or that was a long time ago, just to have people that are sitting there and just listening.

[00:30:06] Mark McNear: and being invested in your story, not critiquing it and not being critical in any way, but just hearing it. It’s such a healing it’s such a healing vehicle, story work and having groups of people. that are able to tell their story. I think it’s something that, Jesus certainly did in telling stories, people moved toward and wanted to hear them.

[00:30:26] Mark McNear: And I think that, story work, as I said, is really powerful. And there’s a lot of really good books out there on story work and working with your story. And so that’s been exciting for me to do. Exciting for me to encourage my clients to do.

[00:30:40] Diana: I like that answer.

[00:30:42] Diana: I know I bounced around a lot.

[00:30:45] Diana: Through your book and through your story, was there anything that you wanted to talk about that we haven’t covered so far?

[00:30:53] Mark McNear: I don’t think so. I think just going back to that statement that I made that it’s been a really hard journey, but it’s been really [00:31:00] worthwhile. And I think one of the verses that I talk about a lot it’s one of my life verses is Romans chapter two.

[00:31:08] Mark McNear: And verse four, it is the kindness of God that leads to repentance, or it’s the kindness of God that leads to change. And in this journey, I have time and time again, I have experienced the kindness of God, the mercy of God, the grace of God, that he has been loving and has invited me, to spend time with him daily.

[00:31:32] Mark McNear: And even that has really changed for me, the way that I view God, I can tell you today that I experience the love of God in a different way than I ever have in my life, and I’m not afraid of Him that I know He’s there for me. And that’s really something that has been really special for me to experience in my walk with Him.

[00:31:52] Diana: Thank you for sharing that. When you say, I’m not afraid of God. That’s a very real thing. I was afraid of [00:32:00] God. My story is quite different than yours, but I was afraid to leave because I actually thought that God was going to punish me if I left my abuser who, I thought the fire and brimstone was going to come down in the wrath of God.

[00:32:15] Diana: And that was that way for a long time. And I’m not afraid anymore because, like you, I’ve found that the grace of God and the mercy of God. Abuse affects how we look at God so much. We can’t really see God’s mercy and love and grace and he’s got a plan for us and he is grieved when we are suffering.

[00:32:40] Diana: This has been a great conversation. Can you tell the folks how they can get in touch with you, how they can get your book. Yeah, they can for the book, they can log on to Amazon, and it is Finding My Words, A Ruthless Commitment to Healing Gently After Trauma. They can put my name in, Dr. Mark [00:33:00] McNear, and it comes up.

[00:33:01] Diana: If they want to get in touch with me, if they want to email me, they can go to my website, which is markmcnear, M A R K M C N E A R dot com, and there is a section there to contact me, and I will be glad to get back to them if they do email me.

[00:33:16] Diana: Awesome. All that will be in the show notes. Thank you so much for coming on and talking about your story and your book. Definitely keep in touch.

[00:33:26] Mark McNear: Yes, I definitely will. Thank you.

[00:33:28] Diana: God bless you.

[00:33:29] Mark McNear: Thank you.

[00:33:30] Mark McNear: Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast. If this episode has been helpful to you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You can connect with us at DSW Ministries. org where you’ll find our blog along with our Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel links. Hope to see you next week!

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