“For the enemy comes but for to steal, kill and destroy”
In writing this next part of my story, I hesitated because of the content. It is sensitive in nature and opens the door for others to critique and criticize areas of my life I would rather not make public knowledge or have examined. However, I realize that in the grand scheme of God’s plan for my life, the sharing of my experiences is crucial to my God given purpose. These articles only touch the surface of it all. The book by the same title, “She Was Me”, will be where I essentially give voice to the whole matter in greater detail. Although the release date is yet to be determined, I am actively working towards its completion. Please read the upcoming articles and share with anyone who has gone through any form of abuse themselves. Perhaps it’s a child, other relative, friend, co-worker, acquaintance or stranger; but please share as resources for assistance will be included at the end of the article.
I believe that in life we go through seasons. Seasons of happiness and hardship. Seasons of joy and sorrow. Seasons of increase and lack. Seasons of friendship and seasons of loneliness. Even at a young age, I understood this principle as I’d already experienced the gamut of those seasons. After experiencing happiness, joy, increase, friendship, etc., I thought there was no way anything bad would ever happen again. I was settled. Content. And dare I say, happy for the first time in my young life. But as the saying goes, ‘into every life, a little rain must fall.’ That ‘rain’ is a change in the seasons of life. My season of happiness had come to an end, at least for a while.
* She walked into the room, demanded that I lay down and remain silent as she touched me repeatedly on my private area. I didn’t understand what was happening or why. She was ‘family’ after all & the only thing my young mind could comprehend was that “family doesn’t hurt other family, so this must be ok even though it ‘didn’t feel right’.”
* We were playing hide and go get it! Boys and girls running around the basement, laughing. Some were older and understood the premise of what they were trying to get. I, on the other hand, was naïve /gullible / innocent and just wanted to be included with the big kids. Running as fast as I could, trying not to be caught; laughing as I did. As soon as I was caught, the laughter stopped and the tears rolled down my face. He pulled my pants down, but not my panties; he pulled his pants down, but not his underwear. Then he laid on top of me and began humping me. Again, I lay there confused because we were playing a game. Games were fun and nothing about this was fun to me. He said “be still or I’m going to tell your grandma and mama that you were being bad so you get a whooping”. Then he said he liked me ‘more than a cousin should’ and I was his girlfriend. Confused. Scared. Hurt. Silent until it was over. I cried a river of silent tears that night.
* I only knew him as Stuff. I’m not sure if he was older than me, I vaguely remember his face. I recall him saying to me, “if you like me and want to keep being my friend, you would let me hump you and give me some.” He tried to hump me, but I ran away. As I did, he yelled to me that I wasn’t his friend and he didn’t like me anyway.
* Mama lay in bed asleep. My sisters and I were in our room. He was already in the house and told us that he was the TV repair man. We saw him doing what looked to be fixing the TV. All of a sudden, things changed. Two of us in the room now, when at first there were three. We could hear her crying out for Mama, but it was to no avail. Mama never woke up. Two of them in the room, when at first there were three. I cried silent tears as his hands explored parts of my body I was told no one should. Two of us in a room again, when at first there were three. She screamed the loudest; she was the youngest. Three of us in a room. Hurting. Ashamed. Alone. Violated. Crying & no one came.
* Daddy & Mama is what they said we should call them. I’ve got a bad feeling about this place. It started off as per normal. Then one day, he began touching my breasts when no one was around. He’d wake me up in the morning and request that I kiss him on the lips. I remember they were greasy and nasty. I hated him. I hated myself for letting this happen to me. Most times when he went to the “Hall” for meetings or study, he required that I attend with him. Alone. Just he and I. “Sit up here with me”, he’d say. (the front seat of the car) His hand always found its way up my dress or skirt. If I resisted, he’d get angry and issue threats. I’d always surrender, crying as he had his way. He was unfazed and unbothered by my emotional response. Years went by with seemingly no end in sight. One morning he woke me up and told me to lay across the bed on my back. I was afraid but complied. He removed my panties and put his finger in my vagina. He didn’t stop until he was satisfied with the result. As if nothing had happened, he told me to get in the shower, get dressed and go eat breakfast so I could go to school. He went before me in the bathroom, washed his hands off and went to his room. Although I was feeling violated, unsure and hurt, I behaved as if I was ok and did as I was told. I knew then that it was only a matter of time now before he escalated to penetration. When I got to school, I wrote down in complete detail what had occurred that morning and what had been occurring over the years and gave the letter to my favorite teacher. I never stepped foot back in that house again.
* He was like a brother to me. Not related by blood, no real familial connection. Only a ‘brother’ because his mother was my foster mother. When she’d leave and we were alone at home, he’d pin me against the wall and grind against me. By this time, I thought it was normal. I was only 11 years old, but my body had already blossomed into a young woman. I was afraid to tell anyone for fear of being kicked out. One day he told me he wanted to do more. He said I needed to show him how much I liked him and how grateful I was to his mother for letting me live in their home. He began taking my clothes off. I was scared but began laughing. I didn’t understand why then. Before my pants were down enough to allow him access, the rattle of keys were at the door. He ran to his room and left me in the middle of the floor with my pant halfway down. His mother came in and demanded to know what was going on. Before I could even speak, he’d already given a rousing story of how my 11 year old self had seduced his 17 year old self. I was slapped across the face, berated with words and beat with a belt until she was exhausted. I was then sent my room, in the basement. Only my twin bed, a TV I had to turn with pliers (it only got 3 stations anyway), the washer/dryer were in the dusty, dirty, unfinished basement. I cried myself to sleep that night. I hated my life. Before I knew it, I was on my way to another home. Uncertain. Ashamed. Fearful. Relieved.
* I used to braid his hair. He’d act as if he was resting his arm on the arms of the couch or chair. In reality he was using his elbow to caress my vagina. The first time I thought it was a mistake, so I moved out the way. When I moved, so did his arm/elbow. I stopped braiding his hair.
* In the wee hours of the morning, he came over. I was pregnant, exhausted and wanted to sleep, but I let him in. A half hour later, I was getting up from the floor of the bathroom. As I looked around, the white tile was now red; seemingly painted… and with my blood. I looked into his eyes and said “I forgive you and I love you.” Someone called my mother for me bc I could not speak. She and a friend picked me and my children up. We left town. (more on this in a separate article)
* Back in town because of housing difficulties. Hiding out from the abuser. But he found me. Although not as severe, the abuse continued. It wasn’t until my baby was born that I finally got the courage to leave. I felt safe for months. One day I had an eerie feeling. I heard someone at my window, demanding to be let in. I had no phone to call for assistance. No family or friends to come to my aid. I quickly realized it was (him) He’d found me, raped me, impregnated me. It took a year, but I was able to leave… with ALL my children in tow. I haven’t looked back since. (more on this in a separate article)
As you can see, similar patterns of behavior and appeals for help were echoed and but went unheard throughout my childhood into my young adult life. The events described above occurred intermittently from the time I was 5/6 years old until I was 19 years old. Life can be tough, but I’ve learned, so am I!
The Bible says that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, so my question was WHY ME? Why were those people doing things to my body, when I clearly didn’t belong to them? For some, the effects of abuse and neglect create lifelong internal struggles. For others, a determination to overcome, aid/encourage/inspire/uplift those who have gone through similar circumstances. For me, it is the latter, in addition to an indomitable spirit that is far more determined to LIVE and not simply exist; succeed rather than fail; overcome than live in defeat; flourish and not die!!!
I may bend… BUT I WILL NEVER BREAK!!!
I AM BECAUSE HE IS!!!
GLORY TO GOD!!!
RESOURCES FOR ABUSED PERSONS (NATIONALLY) – MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR SPECIFIC STATE INCLUDED IN ONE OF THE THE LINKS PROVIDED