I am choosing to remain anonymous for my family's sake at this time....
I am a woman who has had a great deal of hurt. When I was 15 years old, I was raped by 2 men, claiming to be marines in a hotel in Winston-Salem, NC. There was another man there that quietly watched a baseball game while his friends had their way with this little girl. This went on for the entire day (approximately 10 hours or so). I confided in a friend at my boarding school about what went on and she lovingly urged me to call the police. So, I did. I met with them in a building on campus. It was two men getting my story. They asked me every gory detail of what had happened to me. I was then escorted into another room where the Dean of students was waiting for me by the telephone. She sternly and quietly picked up the phone and called my parents. I then had to tell my parents what had just happened to me the day before. I was terrified. My dad asked me what had happened and as I told him everything grew very dark. I needed my parents with me there right then to love me and tell me that everything is going to be ok and no one will ever hurt you like this again. Instead, I hung up the phone to face my reality with this woman I barely new and the two male officers ready to escort me into their police car and take me to the hospital. There, I was told to get on a metal table and spread my legs for some stranger I had never seen before in my life. I had long instruments inserted into my body. They swabbed not just my genitals, but also my rectum. I had blood inside of my rectum from the man that called himself “Dan” who told me to shut up crying while he violently thrust himself into me. I was so scared. I wanted my mom. I wanted my dad. I missed my brothers.
The next day, I awoken to my parents and brother in my dorm room, packing up my belongings to take me home. We went to the DA’s office before leaving town. I, again, told my story to more men who were eagerly writing all the details of my story. My mother was sobbing. My father had a look of horror. As I carefully gave an account of what had occurred I was also warned that my story did not “look good for me.” There was some talk that I may be “crucified” on the stand. “I don’t understand! They did this terrible thing to me.” The authorities still encouraged me to go forward with the charges to see that these men never did this to another young girl ever again. Instead of moving forward with this, I pleaded with my family to take me home. I could not bear to see my mother in this pain. I could not bear to see my family go down this very dark road with me. Instead, I chose to walk away from it. Over the course of the weeks and months after that, things began to seem like everything was back to normal. I had moved back home with my family and life was going on. We all pretended like things were ok, but I was dying on the inside. I was screaming out on the inside. Couldn’t anyone hear me? Didn’t anyone know that I had been deeply hurt? I decided that somehow, it must have been ok. It is ok to do this to me and get away with it.
The dynamics between my father and I had shifted. There was a huge wedge between us. “I am cursed,” I thought. As the years went on, I found myself in the same situation over and over. It seemed like people who enjoyed hurting girls like me were always finding me. I would find myself in very dangerous situations over and over and over again. They always knew where to find me. I was dirty and disgusting. I was not good enough for real love. “This is what I will always get.”
My glimmer of hope arrived at the tender age of 16. My precious son had come into the world. His father was “my first love.” I thought that he would take care of me and my son. I was wrong. He had used me, too. He didn’t love me or want to spend his life with me or my son. My son was the best thing that ever happened in my life. He loved me in a way that I had never experienced love. A mother’s love for her child is like no other. I knew that I would be the best mom to him. Being a mom came natural to me. He was the apple of my eye. However, I was still very broken inside. When he was 3 years of age, my journey down the road of psychiatry had grown very dark. Medications for depression and hospitalizations in mental wards were a very common part of my life. I was even sexually pursued by a man of great authority while locked away at one point. He was a doctor. “Who would they believe?” I thought. When I tried reaching out to family I was told I needed to get serious and “stop playing games.” I saw many different strangers that would tell me they knew better what I needed than I did. “You need to get better. This is only to help you. It is for the best that your son is with other people, “ I would hear. “I want my son! Please, I need my son! Please!” Did anyone hear me? Do they understand that I am hurting? Can anyone help me? Please!”
My shameful life was full of sexual abuse and drugs and perversion. I had grown somewhat numb to this. While, I never wanted this or even sought after this sort of life, I was usually in the presence of men who would force me to do things. I would say, “no……no……no…..please don’t do this……I am scared….” I usually heard the excited voice of some man say, “it’s ok….shhhhhh……it won’t take long…..your are sooooo special honey….you can help me……shhhhhhh.” Usually, I would cry if not outwardly, sometimes just inwardly.
Over the course of 15 years, I have found myself in the same situations over and over again. I would normalize it at times. “This is just the way it is. It will get better.” Truth is, it doesn’t get better. It gets worse. It gets so much worse.
Just how much worse it gets proved itself in my marriage. Yes, we had had some major problems in our marriage. I still looked at this man as my friend. I had relied on him to help me when I felt hopelessly abandoned. “He was there for me. “ I was sitting on the couch reading “Redeeming Love.” Little did I even know, this book is about a girl named “Sarah” who has been sexually abused and has become a prostitute. She learned to have a hardened shell around her heart. Her story is a broken one. Eventually, a man comes along that truly loves her and rescues her from this hell. She was bought back. So, while I was reading this book that my sister-in-law had let me borrow, my future walks in the door. He was always a frightening man to me, this friend of my husbands. This particular night, he stared at me with a grin on his face. I wanted to hide behind my book. “I will pretend he is not here. I will ignore him. My husband will protect me.” Instead, he threw some dollar bills in my husband’s lap and smiled at me. I had a very very bad feeling about this. Then he proceeded to place crack cocaine on the table (nothing I had not seen before). I did not want to have anything to do with this. I just wanted to continue reading my book. They got out their crack cans and crack pipes. I was so nervous. Truth is, I did not even want to do this stuff. I hated the feeling this stuff gave me. “(hollering my name), come here,” they would say. “No thanks,” I would respond with a smile. “(hollering my name, again)! Get over here!” The word “no” didn’t mean anything. “No” really just delayed the inevitable for me. It always had, it always would. I would always, eventually, do as I was told. This particular evening, my husband told his friend, “I want you to have sex with my wife.” My heart sank. What was my husband saying? “No, no, no! This can’t be,” I thought. My husband walked out of the room, he turned his back on me. “We don’t have to do this,” I told his friend. “Please, let’s don’t do this!” He proceeded to have his way with me. I was screaming on the inside. “Please! Help! Oh, God!! Please!” The drugs became a regular part of this way of life- sex with this other man and lots of drugs. I still would insist not to do this anymore, but was told, “You know you want this.” I didn’t want to keep using the drugs but then… “Ahhhhh, this does feel better.” For a minute or so it was a lovely escape. No one could come close to me. It was all just one big escape. I felt nothing. “This is what I like.” I don’t have to feel anything at all. Feelings just hurt so much. “Oh no, no, no! Everything is very dark!! I hate this feeling!! I hate myself!! I hate life! I miss my son! I miss my son terribly! I want him back! I can’t feel this! I just need to feel nothing….just one more time!”
This path I was on did not stop there. I began to believe that this other man must love me more than my husband. I moved in with him. “I would never sell you like that, honey. You are so precious to me. I will never hurt you,” he would say. I realized my sin had carried me a very long ways. It landed me into one of the darkest places of my life. I was violently abused and raped over the course of the next 3 years. Many times I would stare death in the face at the hands of a very damaged and cold man. “This is it! I am never going to see my son ever again! He’s going to kill me! Oh God! Please!! Help me! I just want my son. God, please protect him if I die!”
Things seemed to improve once I got away for the final time. “I can do this. I can move on and have a normal life.” I had gotten established, somewhat, and had a relationship with someone who I just knew must love me. God has finally sent me the “one.” I was wrong, again. The hole was in my heart. I was very afraid that my life was still repeating itself. “Oh God! Please help me! Please save me! Please sanctify me!”
I then, found myself in a new place on this journey. I was in the care of a beautiful and gracious and loving family. “God is really saving me now,” I thought. They showed me the love of Christ in many ways. Very soon after my arrival to this home, it all began again. “What is your past? What are your struggles?” I was very apprehensive to say anything. I certainly did not want to bring my mess into this family and their lives. I needed to protect them from that. “We have the same type of past,” I would hear. “We could help each other,” he would say. He seemed to love his wife and children very much. I couldn’t see how this could possibly be happening. “It must be my fault.” He would come into my room over and over and over again. “Hey, so why don’t you just rub me and I will rub you,” he would suggest. “Oh no! No, no…God! Please!” I would carry on about my day as if this wasn’t happening. I would think of his dear wife and children and how I would never want to see their family destroyed. “This is not good.” “Dance for me! Rub me! No one has to know! You are going to do this right?” On several occasions I remember leaving in the middle of the night and walking around town just to not “be a stumbling block for him that I just knew I must be.” I found myself growing very resentful and angry. He would give instruction to others in the room to leave and go do something – leaving us all alone in a room together. “So (my name), are you struggling with anything right now?” “No,” I would respond. “Why does he keep asking me about this stuff? I don’t like this.” Again and again he would probe me to talk about masturbation. He told me that it is just so common to have these struggles with a past like mine.
His children were so beautiful! I could not imagine anything ever happening to those little girls like what has happened to me. “Are you going to sleep in our room?” they would ask. This gave me such a warm feeling. I really felt so loved by these precious little ones. Why is it that all of this seems so wonderful in so many ways but I am still dirty? There is this secret of shame I still carry. “This is just how my life will always be I suppose. I am not good enough for real love. This is what I have always had and this is what I will always get.” I couldn’t understand my place. Who am I?
On one particular night, he approached me about dancing. I had still not done this for him. It had been several months now and he had given me alcohol in the past when no one else was awake. I thought it a little odd, but I figured he must just want me to “catch a little buzz.” I had time and time again told him, “No.” But this particular night he continued to press me on the issue repeatedly for hours. “Well, I suppose if I were to drink enough I could do it.” He insisted I would feel more comfortable doing it on camera where he could watch the video from upstairs. He turned off all the lights in the shop and said, “do whatever it takes to dance for me” and locked the door. The rest of his family was asleep. I began slamming back shots. I grew more and more angry. “I am marked. I am branded. I am cursed. This is all I am good for. I am only good for helping out a married man to secretly fulfill his sexual desires.” I was disgusted. This is a man of God. He told me that I could trust him. He told me to stay and be a part of this family and he did not want anything from me. He told me that he understood me and that he knew better than anyone how to help me.” “Maybe he is ‘sanctifying me.’ He is testing me.” As it grew later in the night he came into the shop. I had been down there by myself for hours at this point. I had thrown back shot after shot after shot –not because I even wanted to be drunk – I don’t like to be drunk anymore. I did this so that I could “do whatever it took to dance for him” like he said. He unlocked the door and walked in with a smile on his face. Finally, I got up and threw myself on the ground. I very aggressively crawled to him, screaming “is this what you wanted!!? Huh? This is what you wanted right?” He backed away from me and said, “No no!” He left me there by myself. I was just a little play thing. You can do this sort of thing to me and get away with it. I woke up the next morning at another man’s house down the road – an old neighbor. I had no idea what happened. I asked the man and he said we had “fooled around a little bit.” I was terrified. “Oh God! Please help me! Please!” If only I knew what really happened. Did someone give me something in my drink? This was very strange and unusual. “Oh Lord!! Please save me!”
That night, back at the house with this family – he comes into the room, again. I am lying on the floor. He placed his hand on my genitals. He encouraged me that because of my behavior I displayed last night – running off like I did – that it would be best to really help each other sexually. “What about your wife?” “Oh, it’s ok. No one will have to know,” he would say. I told him that I would tell. “Oh God! Please, I don’t want secrets,” I would pray. Curling up in the fetal position many times, I would cry myself to sleep. “Something is terribly wrong with me.”
“I have got to get out of here!” I decided within the next day or so that I must leave immediately. They were actually taking me to visit my dear family and I was thrilled. “I am going to put all of this behind me and forget this ever happened!” I believed that I was better, but I was still terribly troubled. Many many many nights I have cried. “Oh God! I want my son back!!! Please! I want my son! Why has this happened to me? Why am I dying inside? Does anyone love me?”
I am broken. The world and everyone in it is broken. The men that very badly hurt me are broken. I must express my hurt. I am offended. I have been pointing the finger. I am ready to bring the charges to the Judge. All the while, my Father in Heaven is watching me in all of my pain as I accuse all who have terribly wronged me. He sees all of my hurts. He sees my emptiness. I want, so badly, to see the people who have hurt me the most to pay for what they have inflicted upon me. I want to see justice. I am ready to hear the verdict, but I cannot help but notice that I have many fingers pointed back at me. If I go through with this then my Father in Heaven will have no choice but to sentence me to death, also. You see, I am the enemy. I am an enemy of God. I deserve nothing but death and suffering. It is my sin that nailed the precious Lamb to that old, dirty, filthy, rugged cross. It was my guilt and shame that was heaped upon an innocent man. My filthiness became His filthiness. He has bought me with a price. I am taken. I have been redeemed. I will not look for apologies any further. I will not seek justice any more. I will tell my story and lay it down at my Lord’s feet. I do not need man’s approval. I do not need a teacher or a father or a husband or even my precious little boy. I need Jesus. He is my all. He is my covering. He is my friend that I have been longing for. He will never leave me or forsake me. I need Him to fill this gaping hole in my heart. I will move on by the Grace of God. Whether or not my story is believed by others…. I am a daughter of the King and this is my story.