Warning: This post is not for young eyes or if you are disturbed by my stories…oh and it’s long…because that’s just the way it is…Oh…and PLEASE don’t ask me to talk about this with you in person … It took a psychiatrist 10 years to get me to talk about this … I will if I feel called to do so … otherwise, just continue loving me.
There’s a post that’s been rambling in my head for months. I’m terrified to write it. To put the words on screen. To show you the raw scars that have kept me bound. I’m so afraid. But I’m growing stronger. And I keep hearing my Jesus say “Do not be afraid.” So, I’m going to just be brave and share. Share the painful soul wound. The one that people just don’t talk about when it comes to sexual abuse.
When I was 12, my parents began to see signs of my abuse. At this point I had pretty much been abused since about the age of 7 by the neighbor boy. I had at the age of 8 connected the abuse with the pleasure that came from a certain behavior and somehow had connected that with being loved. This particular issue twisted my psyche to the point that I didn’t understand that I was not a sex object.
So, by the time I was 12, I equated being abused with being loved. It was the only language I understood. It was an obsession. If I was scared, hurt, angry, upset, depressed, anxious…that was what I turned to. What can be a normal and healthy part of a human’s development physically, mentally and sexually became an unhealthy, pathological drug.
Of course to complicate matters, there were the misguided adults (other than my parents) who were trying their best to keep me from being a stumbling block to the boys. Boys, who at this point, were the only ones who loved me.
So…back to the story. At age 12, my father discovered my obsession. He was angry (I thought), and I was immediately spanked. I remember praying he’d quit hitting me. I knew at that moment I was crushed. Then, the most awkward moment of my life occurred.
My father, who I loved. Who I would wrestle with. Who I sang crazy songs in the car with. This man placed me on his lap. And wouldn’t let me go. And rocked me. And I knew then, what was happening. And I can’t tell you what happened…because the words are too hard to type … nothing “horrific” other than I knew…what was happening to him…And I couldn’t move. Every living piece of me tried to crawl into the darkness. I begged for my mom in my head. But, at the same time, I prayed she wouldn’t come into the room. Because then she too would hate me. I wanted love. Just not that type of love. Especially from my father. I was embarrassed…and I wanted to die.
That was the day I decided that I was a very bad girl … a sexual girl … the type of girl that you wanted to keep away from your sons and your husbands. I did awful things that made my father want to love me in a way that fathers shouldn’t. I knew that if I went to church they’d know…and they’d say I was ‘one of those girls’.
So I began to hide. I refused to wear clothes that fit me. I refused to brush my hair. I refused to let people hug me. And I always answered, “I’m fine. I’m ok. Nothing bad happened.” whenever wise adults figured out something had indeed happened. I told myself that what happened, was ALL in my imagination. That because I was such a bad, sexual child, I imagined the pleasure my father had displayed while refusing to let me go…
Ok. Breathe….Breathe…that’s the hard part of the story…
Around this time I was introduced to the Playboy magazines…which both fascinated and horrified me. Because I had lived the images. This only confirmed what I knew to be true…that I was one of those girls.
The wound that I wanted to show…was the wound to my soul. The one that caused me to give up authority over my own body. The one that allowed boys to molest me from the age of 13 until my husband put a stop to it all. You have NO idea what it’s like to know that you’re a 16-year-old and still can’t say no to those older and those younger. Because you have no strength. You have no voice. You have nothing that says … THIS IS WRONG.
The thing is that some people, who don’t understand the psychological abuse that always coincides with this type of abuse, believe that girls who are sexually ‘active’ …who flirt with boys…who let them touch them..are whores. That they are incredibly sinful, need to repent and need to pray that God will forgive them.
The thing is that I was VERY modest. I wasn’t the girl wearing the too short skirts and the too tight tops jumping into the dark with every boy who walked by. I wore BIG clothes. I tried to hide every curve…because God didn’t answer that one prayer: PLEASE don’t make my body attractive. I tried for the most part to make sure that boys and men didn’t notice me. I didn’t want to be the cause of them losing their spiritual state. (I won’t even begin to comment how absolutely ridiculous I now find this.)
It’s a complete miracle that my husband even noticed me. It’s an even bigger miracle that he loves me and has survived 21 years living with the aftermath.
It’s not easy, being this transparent. It’s very vulnerable. After all, I just basically said I was a slut as a teenager. Which, actually isn’t true. But, that’s the perception we have of teenage girls. That if they wear short skirts and kiss boys, they are sluts. We ignore the ones who hide behind too big clothes, dark makeup and acne and dismiss them as rebellious or under the influence of the devil.
Just a note, I realize that a good portion of the people are not like this…and do not believe this…but it is pretty common among the population I grew up around.
Did you know that the statistics say 1 in 4 girls will be sexually abused in their lifetime? I don’t think that statistic is correct. Last year 8 women sat around a table and talked about this. Only TWO could say they had not been sexually abused. The statistic in reality…is WAY higher.
This is a sad reality. One that I am doing every thing in my power to stop. One that I am pouring my soul into. One that will not be my daughters’ story unless you kill me first.
THIS is why I am willing to be transparent … to show you my wounds. Because you need to know. You need to know that it’s not always the actual act of molestation that damages these children. It’s the words. It’s the WORDS people say.
When I began to think that my husband liked me I had an experience that almost made me run completely in the opposite direction of ever pursuing a relationship. We were in an after-service fellowship. A group of people were sitting around the table talking. For some strange reason we ended up talking about sex. Because you know, that’s what you should talk about at church. Really edifying. This one older guy made a comment. “I don’t think that you can have sex before marriage, and have your marriage be blessed. If you’re not a virgin, you will commit adultery.”
Ok. Ignore the fact that I now wonder why a 40-year-old guy was talking about sex in the presence of a 17-year-old girl in a church fellowship meeting…that is like the most insane, ignorant, ridiculous twisting of scripture I’ve ever heard in my life.
But, you know what he really said to me…”You are damaged. No man will want to be your husband. Ever.”
I’m really beginning to wonder how we ever made it through dating at this point … but that’s a WHOLE other story.
I think that’s enough for tonight. I pray that my transparency brings hope to someone out there. I want you to know…that there is hope. Because what I’ve learned, is that all that crap…all the things I allowed to happen to me..all the times I let people use me. They don’t matter. JESUS…HE loves me. He sees me as his friend. He sees me as the one he loves. And he’s showing me the one who my soul loves…Abba…the Father. The one who calls me the Daughter of the Most High.
There’s a lot of pain in my story. But that’s not what I focus on anymore. There’s redemption and more love than I ever could have possibly imagine. It came for me…and it’s coming for you.
I will pray for you. Let the healing begin.