Sometimes, the people you should be able to trust are the least trustworthy. Sometimes healing can be a long journey. To tell my story, we need to start when I was a baby. My mother was an abuse victim. Like many young women, she wanted to be loved, valued, and accepted. Unfortunately, as is often the case, she fell for the wrong person and became pregnant with me. While she wasn’t ready to be a mother she decided to keep me. She dedicated herself to raising me with my biological father. One night when I was just a year old, her hopes came crashing down when my father left us to be with a man. She was crushed, and this was just the beginning.
My mom went through relationships, still hoping for love and a dad for me. I was almost 6 years old when my mom met him. She fell hard and fast, and finally everything seemed just right. It wasn’t very long before he moved in with us. He didn’t work, but my mom worked more than one job to support us. She was rarely home, so he stayed home with me. In reality, nothing was right. It was the start of a horrific nightmare.
Almost immediately he began paying visits to my bedroom at night. The man who I should have been able to trust, who was supposed to be a father, repeatedly abused his authoritative role and took advantage of 6 year old me. I dreaded bed time because I knew that shortly after going to my room, he would be there and I would suffer. It was awful. For years it continued. I don’t know why I never told anyone. Maybe it was shame, fear, or confusion. Those are all valid reasons I suppose, but which one kept me silent I don’t know.
At 10 years old, my mom ended their relationship. I was so relieved. I was free! That was, until he pleaded with my mom for visitation with me. He said it would be unfair for me to lose my only dad. And so, visits commenced. The abuse continued, until one day when I was 12 years old and I fought back. Something in me snapped and I hit him and told him that if he ever touched me again he would pay. I suppose that was enough to scare him because he stopped and shortly after that the visits stopped too.
I thought I would be relieved, but at this point in life I was so angry inside. All I felt was rage. I became a very mean person and I lashed out at everyone and anyone. I started drinking and doing drugs. It was the only way I could numb everything that was eating me up inside, be free from the weight of the secret I carried. It didn’t solve anything though, and the pain screamed to be known. I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I knew it would destroy me. I had attempted suicide several times, I was doing drugs every chance I had. I was slowly dying inside, and I knew something had to change.
I finally worked up the courage to tell a relative what he had done. I hoped that voicing it would free me from the turmoil I felt every day. It didn’t. My relative did her duty (as we were underage) and told an adult. It completely divided my family. Half of them believed me and half of them didn’t. The family confronted him, and he denied everything. He only made admissions when I threatened to go to the police, and pleaded with me. My mother phoned the RCMP and an investigation began. I didn’t have to testify or go to court because he ran away. There is now a warrant for his arrest.
I thought that having it in the open would make me feel lighter. It didn’t. I felt even worse. I felt like people looked at me differently. It made me feel even more unclean. I became even more bitter. I was never a person of faith, and I had no idea what it meant to have a relationship with Jesus. With the encouragement of a friend I decided to try praying and reading the bible. Slowly but surely the bitterness began to leave. I began to see love the way it was meant to be and I began to understand that I have a heavenly Father. I have a real dad who truly loves me. It took time, but the weight and the shame melted off. Healing really began.
Today I can truly say that I have a father! I have a father who loves me and He is the God of everything! Not only that but I have a family that loves me! Who will stand by my side and lift me up in prayer should I need it! The realization of this drove me to dig even deeper into the word. To learn more about Christ and all that is offered through grace and mercy. The more I read the word the more the old melts away, and the more in love with God I fall.
God took me through a season of healing and forgiveness. Many of these moments are so precious to me, the Holy Spirit brought me to a place in my life where I can forgive myself for not telling someone sooner. I can also forgive my abuser. People sin, but it is not on my shoulders to seek vengeance.
I trust God fully and my life is in His hands. I’m so thankful for freedom and for healing. I am a new creation in Christ. I am redeemed. I didn’t always know this and I certainly didn’t accept it right away but these are truths I choose to focus on everyday. Healing is possible!