This story was submitted by a member of the To Save A Life community. Your story holds power, and your pain has a purpose. Visit tosavealife.com/share-your-story/ for more information.
I’ve thought about this overnight and I feel like God wants me to share my story/testimony here. Maybe there is someone out there also suffering or wondering are they strong enough to survive. I’m here to say you can.
You see when most people think of abuse they think of a man beating his wife. Controlling her. Using her. But what happens when the victim(s) is a child? A child has no say on where they live, who they live with, what happens behind closed doors, what happens to them.
The problem is that there is still so much stigma around child sex abuse victims/survivors. We are told we will be believed if we tell but that’s not always the case. So this is my testimony of what I lived, what God brought me out of, and how He has been my comforter and has held me up.
When I was just over a year old my daddy was killed by a drunk driver.
The cops were paid to put this man on a bus back to Michigan. His company paid my momma and set up an account for me that I would receive at 18.
All my life I’ve wondered does this man regret what he did? Because if he hadn’t done that I would have never met my abuser. By the time I was 3 my mom had remarried to my abuser and later that same year she gave birth to his first child, as far as I know, my brother.
I can’t pinpoint the exact time the abuse started I just remember being yelled at here and a cup flying across the room, literally over spilled milk, there.
My mind has apparently blocked out some of it because I’m told at 4 I was tied to my bed with rope because he was tired of me getting up at night. I can’t even imagine doing that to my child, especially if they had one kidney that didn’t function fully as I do.
Nevertheless it started out slow. Then at 10 yrs old he molested me for the first time.
My mom was at work and he was in between jobs…again. I pretended to be asleep. I kept telling myself it was a bad dream. When he finally left my room I was so scared and confused. I remember wearing the shirt I had slept in to school that day just to see if he would acknowledge that I hadn’t changed my shirt.
For the next five years whenever he saw an opportunity he took it. It got to the point if I knew my mom was working late I would take a bath as soon as I got home from school so I didn’t have to be naked with him in the house. We weren’t allowed to lock the bathroom door because we only had one bathroom. As I got older I realized the truth was because he couldn’t get in to molest me.
I was the only one he would freak out on, and try to break the door down if it was locked.
I’m sure by now many of you are wondering why I didn’t tell my mom. I tried after the first time, but he wouldn’t leave us alone and he ended up driving us to school that day. Except he wouldn’t let me out of the truck. He demanded to know what I had told my mom and why I was being secretive about it. He told me I had no right to discuss anything privately with my mom. He threatened to hurt me if I didn’t tell him. Finally he gave up and pushed me out of the truck.
At 15 I had reached a point of being so depressed I wanted to die to get away from it. For five years I had fought, I had stepped in front of my younger siblings, I had screamed until I cried. When my mom told me she was pregnant I just wanted it to end. I did not want another child to protect. Especially if it was a girl—and she was.
I mean, my mom knew he was physically abusing us. And she still got pregnant intentionally. Because he always promised he was gonna change. So here I was at 15 and I had made up my mind that one of us wasn’t gonna live to see this baby born. Either him or me. I didn’t care.
Then one day at church God stepped in. I was saved. I went home truly happy for a change. I knew I was gonna be OK. I didn’t have to destroy my life or his. God was gonna take care of it. I know he sensed there was some kind of change because shortly after, he started attending church.
It took a couple years but he successfully made sure no one would believe anything I said. He made sure everyone saw me as a problem child out to destroy his marriage. Here I was at 17 with nowhere to hide once again. All I could think is why God? Why would you promise me that I was going to be OK and then let this snake take away the one place I found peace.
So I rebelled.
I quit going to church. I gave up everything. I was headed for destruction. There are so many times I can think of I should have died because I was being careless. I had given up all hope. I didn’t turn to drugs or alcohol. Instead I tried to find my value in a boyfriend, who cheated on me, lied to me and I still kept going back—forgiving him every time he did something else.
At 19 I had dropped out of college because I couldn’t support us both and go to school. He was living with me because I have PTSD. Another stigma that people only think happens to people who go to war. It happens to abuse survivors too. I would have nightmares every night.
It wasn’t until I was 20 and had almost died after having my second son, that I gave control back to God.
I finally accepted that in God’s time he will face what he did to me. I am now 25 yrs old. I am in church. I am happily married with two little boys. I live with anxiety every day.
In just a little over a week I will face my abuser in court. Sadly it’s not to testify before a jury. But it’s still just as important because it will hopefully keep him from getting custody of my sisters—one of whom he was sexually abusing.
God didn’t solve things the way I wanted but He saved me. He kept me from doing so many things that would have ruined my life and I deserved none of it. He did it because he loves me. No matter how many times I failed, rejected him, gave up, stumbled. He still loved me and He still loves you too.