There is a reason for everything and I have a huge reason for writing this post. It isn’t because I want sympathy and please believe me when I say this wasn’t at all easy to write. This was a very painful period in my life, but if by my sharing this I can help just one person, than it is worth it.
It is because I feel so strongly about helping others. I want to be able to show that there is life after ab
use. I want to show that you can survive. You have to choose to be a survivor and not a victim.
From every wound there is a scar,
and every scar tells a story.
A story that says,
“I have survived.” (:
When I was a child, I thought it was normal for my father to want to do the kinds of things that he did to me. I thought it was normal. I can’t even begin to explain how much guilt over the years that I have felt because I didn’t fight harder. I don’t know why I thought being as young as I was that I could stop it but I just felt like I should have tried harder.
Now, as an adult, I have learned how to be a survivor. I am no longer a victim, and because I am not a victim I will not waste any time in this blog explaining what happened to me. I will not go into details about the abuse, it is enough to know that from the time I was a very young child until I was 16, I was sexually abused by my father. I finally put him in jail when I was 16.
I will never forget that day. I don’t think that I will ever forget the day. I was sitting in a bathroom stall at a high school in Florida, talking to a friend and smoking a cigarette. We were talking about the weather and then out of the blue I told her that my father was using me as a play thing. Her eyes grew as big as saucers and she started crying. I couldn’t figure out why she was the one who was crying. Before I knew it, the guidance counselor was in the bathroom talking to me and they said I would not be able to go home.
A snowball effect started happening on that day. I can’t tell you how many police officers I spoke to that day. They all looked the same to me. I know that I was put in a foster home temporarily, my father tried to turn himself in and they said they didn’t know anything about it and let him go. Really?
We moved back to Maine and I finished my high school years here. I was untouchable then. I went in to full out self destruct mode. I hated everyone but most of all I hated me. I was suicidal. I wanted to ruin everyone’s life as much as I felt mine had been ruined. I started drinking and doing drugs. Part of my hatred was because I felt guilty. I felt like it must have been my fault. I must have done something, or said something that made it happen. Absolute nonsense of course!
I spent my twenties and thirties still full of hatred. By now, I had married a wonderful man, and I could not understand why he was with me. He said he loved me but I really didn’t believe it. How could anyone love me? I didn’t. I wasn’t worthy enough to have such a great man in my life. We went to church for a while, but I felt so dirty. Every time I went, I would feel like I was this horrible person for even being there. I kept thinking if they only knew…if they only knew.
I spent more money than I possibly should have, trying to fill that emptiness. I was such an emotional eater, and I was definitely putting on the weight. The more I would eat, the more I weighed, which would depress me even more. It was a vicious cycle.
I had three beautiful children and a loving husband and I felt completely empty inside. I didn’t deserve them. I deserved to be alone. So, I went out to make them hate me at times. I was horrible to my husband. I stole from him, I lied to him, I treated him like absolute garbage. Yet, he stayed. That just pissed me off more because I couldn’t understand it. I was throwing everything that I could think of at him, yet he stayed.
I can now honestly say that I don’t know why he stayed but I am so thankful that he did. In May, my life took a major turn. I can only think that God must have had something to do with it, because I can not fathom why else the events that happened would have gone the way they did. I saw a post on Face Book of all places, from a young woman I hadn’t heard from in years.
Picture if you will, a woman who is hanging by a thread. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know where to go, I just knew that I honestly didn’t want to do this anymore. I had tried to take my life before. I took some pills but all they did was make me vomit. I drove way too fast, hoping to fly off the road. Anyhow, on that fateful day, I saw a post from Amanda. I can not begin to tell you why that post stuck out to me. All I knew is that I felt like this was it. I just had to respond, I had to talk to her. I had to….just had to.
We talked about what she had been up to. We talked about the little niceties that people chit chat about when they are talking but don’t really know what to say. She was genuine, I at first probably not. She started talking about how being a coach and doing this fitness program had changed her life. At first, I thought no freaking way! This is cool for you, but I am not going to waste my time with that.
Then, I started thinking about how maybe I should do it just to prove her wrong. I am so ashamed to admit that. She was trying to be nice and I was being nasty, but very sneaky about it.
I bought the program, figuring that it would be one more thing for me to fail at. One more failure in a long line of failures. I sucked as a mom, I sucked as a wife, I had no friends. Whatever.
I joined her challenge group and was immediately surrounded by all of these positive women and I thought the world had come to an end. I was one of the most negative people that I know and I honestly felt like I was drowning and could not breathe. I was suffocating in it. Could I handle this? Sure I could, I was great at pretending, at telling people what they wanted to hear. I could fit in but really not fit in. After 21 days, I was broken.
The positive encouragement that these women gave me, the unconditional love that they were willing to share, I had never seen anything like that before. It was truly amazing and a gift from God. I still kept things back, I was afraid that they would see the real me and turn away. I still felt unworthy but He was working on me.
In August, I became a coach. I read my Bible every morning before I got ready for work. I am trying to believe that I am worthy of His love. I am trying to let it sink in that I am a child of God and that He truly does love and care for me. I haven’t been able to pray yet, but I catch myself having little one sentence conversations with Him. I am getting closer.
This post is helping me get closer. I am not a victim, I am a survivor. I am learning that I am worthy. I am lovable and that I have a Maker who cherishes me and wants me back in His kingdom. I am finding that my fellow coaches are struggling at times, like me, but I have learned a valuable lesson from them. We are a family who leans on each other. We are a group who cares about how the others are actually doing and we are willing to help. As with anything else in life, there is an inner circle of women that I trust more than others. That inner circle is getting to know me more each day, and I hope that when or if they read this that they won’t turn from me. Actually, I know as I am writing this that they won’t.
As a survivor of child hood sexual abuse, there is one thing that I want you to remember….You are NOT alone. There are others out there who know what you have been through and who want to help. There are shoulders to cry on, tissues to wipe your tears, and the bonds of new found friendships to strengthen you. If you have been abused, please don’t be silent. Let your voice be heard. It is actually very healing.
Also, please know that it is NOT your fault. I suffered from years of guilt and I have finally realized that. It is NOT MY FAULT! There is a great and loving God who wants to help you through this. He loves you! Let him heal you.
If you want to reach out, if you want to find out more about how I changed my life, then look me up on facebook, or comment below, or send an email to email@example.com
You are worthy my friend and you do not deserve to live in darkness.
Sending strength, hope and love. ❤