Friday, July 18, 2014

A Story Worth Telling

Last week a group of bloggers went to Rwanda with IJM and Noonday Collection to meet women and tell their stories of redemption from some very dark places. There were many critics of this trip, but those people have probably never been in a place so dark that they wanted to scream their story to all who would hear it.

Over this past week, I too, have realized that I have a story to tell. A story that is sad and so scary. A story that I have prayed I would forget over the past 27 years. A story that haunts me as a wife and a mother, but I have a voice that will not be silenced and my story is worth telling.

When I was 5 years old I was sexually abused by a foster child that lived in our home. A place where I thought everyone would be safe; he took safety away. I remember very very vague details. I remember him coming to my kindergarten classroom to check on me, and I laid on my mat during nap time PRAYING that my teacher would think I was a sleep and send him away. I remember when I was in first grade I walked by his room and he asked me what I was going to be for Halloween and I told him a yellow crayon and then he asked me to have sex with him. And I said yes. I said yes. He told me not to tell. I remember nights of him being on top of me with a pillow over my face. I remember laying on the floor in front of my door waiting for him to come in because he was going to come, and my dad finding me and telling me to go back to bed.

What I don't remember is when it started, but I do remember when it ended. It ended when I watched something on TV about AIDS and became terrified that I would get AIDS from him and told him to stop or I was telling. He stopped so I didn't tell. He took my voice. After he left my home, I told my parents. And after that we didn't talk about it. And for years I haven't talked. For years I've allowed my voice to be silenced. For years, I've worried about what others would think so I didn't talk I just pushed it all inside. I never healed and I felt like my story was not worth telling.

And now I'm married and I have 2 beautiful daughters, and I daily live in fear that someone will sexually abuse them and take their voice and they will feel that their story is not worth telling.

And I'm tired of living in fear.

I'm tired of feeling unworthy.

I'm tired of pushing my feelings inside and fake smiling.

I'm tired of someone else silencing my voice.

I'm going to speak up.

You see, I'm worth healing. I'm worth living free of anxiety and depression. I'm worth be healthy. I'm worth it.

That 10 year old boy may have been abused, but that did not make it okay for him to abuse me. He knew what he was doing to me was wrong and he told me not to tell. He took advantage of a 5 year old girl and then left me to deal with the ramifications for the next 27 years.

Make sure you understand this: Healing will come for me.  But my voice does not need to be silenced. I don't need to get over it and move on. This is part of who I am, and I'll be damned if I'm going to shut my mouth any longer.

Don't tell me that I should've talked about it sooner. Don't tell me that God works all things for the good. Don't tell me that I need to trust Jesus and this will go away.

The pain of abuse reaches far and wide my friends F A R AND W I D E. This abuse effects my parents, my siblings, my husband and my children just as it effects me. And the effects of abuse don't go away. They are there forever. They are scars are on my heart and my soul. There will ALWAYS be evidence of it in my life. As long as there is evidence of it in my life then I'm going to tell my story because someone else has a story that is similar and they need to know they are not alone, just as I need to know that right now.

So when you meet someone who has a history of abuse in there life please let them tell their story. There is value in it. That person's life is valuable and to not listen to their story makes it seem like you don't value them. They need to know they are valuable because someone has told them they are not, and the wounds need to heal.

1 comment:

mary-beth said...

Friend, you are brave and beautiful. I can't imagine your pain, but I know your voice is being heard and your story is ABSOLUTELY worth telling.