What is family? Family is a word we use for people we love. For me, it means to feel secure, to have someone who you can trust and count on. Family is supposed to protect you, but in my case, family molested me and family protected the molester. The ultimate betrayal and darkest secret locked far away in my brain for years to come. This secret was to remain hidden and I was sure to take it to the grave. I remember all the times my molester came close to death due to a heart condition and I would feel a wicked sense of joy and relief because that meant I would never have to see him again. That was until I realized all the damage it was causing in my life. I lost a lot of good, solid friendships due to the lack of trust and forgiveness. I never allowed anyone to get close enough to hurt me in any way. I was cold and emotionally detached. All the pain and resentment I was harboring was rotting my heart. It started to affect me emotionally, physically and mentally. My brain felt like it was about to explode with the constant obsessions of memories, flashbacks, and disturbing images. I knew I had to do something because it was affecting my marriage and my style of parenting.
I broke the promise I made to my aunt the day I shared my secret with a therapist. A huge weight suddenly was lifted off of me. I felt like I finally had a voice and someone really wanted to hear my story. My heart was racing and my palms felt clammy. It felt like an outer body experience and once I planted my feet back on earth, the chit chatter began in my head. Could this be true? Is this really happening right now? The words were pressed against the inside of my lips like an innocent person clenching onto the very bars that were keeping her from freedom. God used this angel aka my therapist to lift the veil the enemy used to blind me and convince me to believe all the lies spoken against me. I started to see things a little clearer and it all started to make sense. I now understood why I was so angry all the time and why I held onto grudges for so long. I understood where my anxiety and depression stemmed from. I now understood why I covered objects in the bathroom I thought I could be watched through. For many years, I thought I was just crazy. I now understand why I deliberately self-inflicted pain on my flesh, destroying my body tissue, creating outward scars that only I could see. Although it was a cry for help, no one knew of my horrible habit. Cutting was my way to deal with the overwhelming emotions that consumed me daily. I relied on my external wounds to make my internal hurt and heartache go away.
Why didn’t I rely on Christ to help me through this devastation? My answer is really simple, I didn’t have a solid relationship with Christ. I simply didn’t know him like I know him now. I knew who he was, but prayer and faith were never really enforced in my household growing up so I never looked to God for healing. I was told to stop talking about my molestation. Family warned me if I continued to talk about it, I would be hated by many. As much as this angered me, it empowered me and gave me a little more strength to continue to fight for my life and my sanity.
Look at me, family!
Can’t you see my pain?
Can’t you see my struggles?
I am lost and my spirit is dying!
I was silenced time after time. I was tired of looking at the ragged stitches on my lips that had kept me from speaking for years, but I was ready to take my life back. Dishonesty is not just what one says verbally, but also what is held in silence. I blamed many people for the events that took place during my childhood. For starters, my aunt for not protecting me from her predator husband. I will never forget the day she asked me to keep it a secret because it was the same day a part of me died. I blamed my father because he was never around long enough to protect me. I never had a loving father-daughter relationship with him and he never made me feel like I could confide in him. He had his own demons he was battling with. I blamed my mother for being too trusting and not having a backbone to stand up for herself and fight for me. I blamed my husband for not knowing how to be there for me emotionally. I blamed every family member that made me feel so insignificant and minimized the events that took place. I also blamed God for allowing these things to happen to me. Satan is a master manipulator and he used everything that occurred in my life to make me believe that God was never there through my sorrow and brokenness. It was an accusation I brought to God because I had the same question many do, why me?
I get it now, it wasn’t them, it was the devil all along. The devil was the master puppeteer. The enemy preyed on their weaknesses and insecurities. He used them to try to destroy me and it almost worked with a failed suicide attempt at the age of 12. Family secrets are family lies! I had to forgive because I needed that for myself. Do I have a relationship with my aunt? No, nor do I want to have one. Just because I forgave them does not mean I have to ever speak to her or him ever again. I had to really forgive that situation because it was keeping me from moving on from my current situation.
My testimony is not mine to keep and I made a decision to share my story even though it is going to upset some people. It brings me joy to know that it is going to bring healing to someone else. They will no longer feel alone or like an outcast anymore. I am not sharing my story with a victim mentality. Please do not feel sorry for me because I am exactly where I need to be in my life. God has made it possible for me to know him and experience an amazing transformation in my life. I give God all the glory! I am not where I want to be, but I am definitely not where I use to be. I am a work in progress and I am ready to see the finished product that will ultimately be used for God’s kingdom. I don’t know who my story is speaking to but you need to know that it was never your fault. You didn’t ask for these things to happen to you. It does not matter how long it went on for. Their actions were their own doing and you are innocent in all of this! It is time for you to stand up and start working on freeing yourself from these strongholds of addictions, anger, depressions, anxieties caused by events that took place throughout your life with no fault of your own. You owe it yourself.
You deserve to be happy!
You deserve to be free!
You deserve to take your life back!
Secrets kill, truth heals!