This title might be quite a shock to a few of my friends and family members because many of them don’t know this part of my past. So, to my loved ones, please read this and accept that this was years ago. Please know I ran to Jesus with this pain and I have healed. To my readers, I hope you see the beauty of the end of the letter and hear about the power of Jesus. To other victims, I hope you hear about renewal in Christ. I hope you see that you’re not alone and that there is victory in Jesus.
I’ve been thinking for days of how I would start this out. There are so many avenues I could go down. There are so many things I want to scream at you for. There are so many things I want to hate you for, slap you for, make you apologize for. You’re probably wondering what I’m even talking about, right? Whenever we first met, you decided things for me that were uncalled for and you did things to me that are unthinkable for another human being to do to another. I just want you to know you didn’t win. For the last 9 years, I’ve had to bear all of all the things you did to me. For 9 years I’ve had to overcome hurdles you created in my life. I’ve had to conjure up the confidence to even tell one person what happened to me. The most insane part about all of this is that you probably have no idea what you did. You probably just think you were fooling around when in real life you took advantage of me and my body almost every time we were together. I can’t help but shake the feeling that you’ve just ignored what you did because you never reached out and you have never apologized.
I want to ask you… why? Why would you think a sheltered, naive, 16-year-old girl (remember, you were 19 and knew better…) would be ok with the games you played? I was just a pawn to you. Why would you think that a child, a teenager, was in the right mind and was able to process those kinds of adult-like decisions at that age? How do you think I would even understand what consent meant, or even comprehended it, and could fully apply it in real life? I was only 16. I was barely halfway through high-school. You were in college! You were a legal adult! Put two and two together pal… That’s not a good look for you. You were old enough to know you were forcing me and you were old enough to know what was done.
Not only was the sexual abuse and manipulation hard enough to handle, you decided to play mind games with me. You already had me wrapped around your finger. Right where you wanted me. I was just your puppet. You had me thinking you were the answer to everything I wanted and needed in life. You tricked me into thinking I wasn’t going to college after graduation. You convinced me we were going to get married after high-school. To top it off, you even got me a ring “promising” that we would get married. Take a second… how in the world do you think a 16-year-old, that’s just trying to figure out who she should go to the football game with on Friday night, what color car she wants, and picking out her prom dress, could be able to process all of that?
What’s sad is, your manipulation tactics worked because my self-identity turned into you at that time.
I was BRAINWASHED by you.
How sick were you to do that to someone?
Do you even remotely understand what all of this did to me emotionally and mentally?
For 5 whole years, I did not say a word. I did not tell a soul. I was silent. I did not speak up. I did not press charges. I hinted to some people, but I was too scared. I was scared people would think I was in the wrong. I thought what you did to me was ok… how crazy is that? I should have spoken up. I should have run to a pastor, to a mentor, to a family member. I should have pressed charges against you. I should have stood up for myself even though I said NO and even though I did NOT give consent. For 5 years, all of this welted up inside of me. I dealt with it, but I did not deal with it well. I had to navigate on finding my self-worth, and self-identity whenever I pretty much had Stockholm Syndrome. You wouldn’t believe how many hours I begged God to erase all the memories of those traumatizing moments. I daily fought having flashbacks and waking up in sweats from the nightmares. By trying to cope with all of this alone, I would just cry for no reason at all. Anytime a future boyfriend would get upset at me, I would physically curl up into a fetal position out of fear because that’s what was instilled in me. Ever since then I created this massive defense wall and promised myself that I would never let someone belittle me again. So, no matter what the situation, I would defend which wasn’t always ok. I adapted by creating an unhealthy defense mechanism towards any kind of confrontation or conflict. I had to figure out how to love again. I had to figure out how to trust someone. I had to learn how to allow people to hug me again or even just someone accidentally touching my arm and not freak out because I was being touched. I had to relearn so many things because of your actions. I even had to learn how to be good at hiding from you. I still had to live in our small hometown with you in it. I was terrified I would run into you and have to see your face again. Since you were my first “relationship” I had to navigate dating. Everything I “learned” from you was all I had to go off of. Guess what, that wasn’t a good starting point. The scars you created kept creeping into everything I did, even in new relationships.
The scars were deep, wide, painful, and traumatic. To know you are married now and your wife probably has no idea that you were a predator back then is the scariest thought. Because I didn’t speak up, there could have been other girls hurt by you, and that haunts me.
I did not truly run or surrender this to God in those first 5 years of me being silent. I just asked him to remove the pain. I just wanted to not remember. I just wanted to be numb. The amazing part is, He did way more than just removing the pain… The first time I spoke up about the abuse in full detail was to a Christian counselor. In order for me to fully let go, she had me explain everything and walk through the specifics. In that moment, I felt the Holy Spirit touch every scar and heal them. Your pain that you caused was gone. The suffering that came from your actions was paid for on the cross that Jesus died on.
The choices you made then are not held over you today. For years I have wanted an apology, but now I’ve surrendered that pain, the shame, the hate, the worries, all at the feet of Jesus. Because of His love shown through his sacrifice on the cross, I am able to forgive. I forgive you. With that forgiveness and healing, I have been able to go out and talk to other victims. I have been able to relate to them. Jesus has worked miracles with this story that I have. Guess what though? He didn’t want this to happen to me. He didn’t want you to do this to me. He wants you to run to Him too. He wants to love me and everyone else on this earth if you accept Him into your heart as your savior. I hope you have Christ as your Father. I hope you know Him and have a relationship with Him.
I want you to know I am in a good place now. I have faith that God is going to continue to use the mess that I was back then into a message. I know He is going to continue to show His love, and healing powers, in me by using my story. Know that because of God loving me and carrying me through this, I am blessed, I am powerful with Him, and I have won because I have Jesus.
I hope you’re winning now too.
To any victims out there, please reach out. Please go to your church. Cry out for help. Don’t let things continue on if you know it’s not right. Speak up. Talk to someone. PRAY. Cry out to Jesus. Ask Him to heal your wounds. Ask Him to carry you through. Ask Him to be your everything. Ask Him to be in your heart so He can be your heartbeat. With Jesus, everything is possible.
If you would like a listening ear to your story please email me on this blog and I would love to hear from you.