I Was Sexually Abused

It was a nice suburb. We lived in a quiet neighborhood across from a horse farm. My queen bed was covered in cabbage patch bedding. The yard had my swing set and playhouse built by my dad. My parents both worked very hard and I was with my aunt who babysat me during the day. I don’t have a lot of memories from these times although the ones I do have are significant. Some of them good memories that make me smile and fill my heart with happiness and some of them sadness. I will tell you that I have had far from a perfect childhood. I have a secret that not many people know. Of course my family knows but it’s something that I have kept to myself. I have healed from it and forgiven. Years ago I would have told you that it made me feel ashamed. Maybe that’s why I never spoke about it. It doesn’t make me feel this way anymore however I wonder if it will change how you think of me? My parents divorced when I was four years old. My mother had just had my little sister and they were already in the middle of quite the messy divorce. The divorce came from different reasons. One of those was that I was molested by my grandfather.
Yes, I was sexually abused.
I had an aunt that passed away young from cancer. My father’s only sibling. She and I weren’t close but I will tell you that we have had the conversations that needed to be had. She too was abused by her father my grandfather. My parents of course went to court. Psychological exams were ordered more than once. There was never any proof but I don’t need any proof. I was only four years old and I can tell you that I do have small memories. Maybe not memories but flashes if you would like to say. Not only did he molest me but also my younger sister. He has always denied that anything ever happened and as close as I am to my own father he remains skeptical. This isn’t a big secret in our family and I don’t need anyone to tell me what happened. I may only have bits and pieces to the puzzle but it’s enough. When it fits well it just fits. Years ago I always second guessed if it had happened? Was it just a product of a messy divorce? Well that wouldn’t explain the memories that I have. Conversations that I have overheard, and things I have seen. Things I have been told from my aunt that I believe all to be true.

Let me tell you that I’m okay.
I am not a damaged person. In fact I am very much okay and not hurting. This is something that has made me a different person but not helpless or needing understanding. I have never formally forgiven in words. Let me just say that in my heart I have forgiven. I have moved past this and I am in control of my life. Forgiveness is a powerful thing for the healing process. It isn’t something I have done for him but for myself. Maybe that is why I have never said out loud “I forgive you” My sister who you have read about before carries a lot of pain. Some from this and some from things I may never understand or know about. My grandfather is still in my life. I don’t see him often but it’s enough. I have a huge heart and I feel sorry for him. I feel terrible that this is how he has lived his life. I don’t believe he has asked forgiveness which tells me where he will spend his eternity. There is no punishment that I could ever give him to be worthy. I leave that up to our creator and I keep my heart free from this.

Pay Attention
If you are a mother you know that we worry all of the time. I worry even more than all the time. I have three little ones that I have had to have very serious talks with. They know that their privates are their privacy. No one else is to see them or touch them. That they should never keep secrets from Mommy and Daddy. They know that if something feels bad that it probably is bad. It’s true that most abuse comes from someone you would least expect. Someone that you trust. Someone that you know. So what I’m saying is to just pay attention and to talk to your children. Some of the signs in a child could be withdrawn from others, fear or anxiety. Knowledge about sexual things, talking inappropriately about sex or private areas. Wanting to avoid a specific person. The list goes on and on. It’s estimated that one in four girls under the age of eighteen have been sexually abused. It can happen at any age and to any child. At any social level and in every culture. All that I’m asking is that as parents we pay attention and teach our children.

Prayers 
 
This is something that pulls at my heart everyday. I worry about the children that are being abused this minute. The ones that have been threatened not to tell. The ones that are afraid and scared to go home. So please pray for these children that are in trouble. I appreciate your love and support with my little corner of the world but please know that I am just fine. I am a fighter and even though this is a sad part of my life it hasn’t defined me or beaten me. They are the ones that need our sympathy. The ones that are afraid to tell.

Comments

  1. says

    I am SO proud that you are participating in Secret Week, especially when you had something like this to get off your chest. You are an amazing person for coming out from a situation like this so strongly and I respect you even more than I did before.

    Thank you so much for sharing your strength and beliefs in life today with this. I know you’ll continue to grow from this, showing just how amazing you are.

  2. says

    I had a similar experience as a child. I only have fleeting memories of it and bits and pieces of them at best. I have only recently admitted it to myself and to my closest friends. I have not found the strength to tell my family yet. Thank you for your candor. I found he truth in a book that jogged my memories, maybe a reader can find the same acceptance in your post. I wake up everyday and choose to be happy and to live. I am not sad, just disappointed in those around me. Thank you again.

  3. says

    You are so strong to post this! You are inspiring women you don’t even know to open up about it! I’m glad to hear that it made you stronger and not weaker! Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    Thank you for sharing. This same thing happenned to me and my sister. It’s astounding to me how many of us are out there. I pray continuously for those that are in the midst of this, that God would reassure them that they are PERFECT and WHOLE and have done nothing to deserve this. Thanks for the reminder. I hope that your life and others is blessed because of your forgiving heart. And I pray your grandfather comes to know the only one who can truly free him from this life.

  5. says

    This was an amazing post. You are very brave and very wise. I’m not sure I could forgive. Thank you for sharing this part of your life. I hope this post encourages others to find strength in their circumstances, and not be defined by them.

  6. says

    You are so incredibly brave. Thank you for putting yourself out there, in hopes of saving someone else. And thank you for the reminder to keep it open with the kiddos, its one of those things, that you think will never happen to you and your family, but it does. Thank you.

  7. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have a very close family member that was molested when we were kids and he has never talked about it. He doesn’t even know that I know. I have never told him because I think he would be so ashamed that I know. But I also know that it has left him “damaged”. He chose to go down the wrong path at times and now he leads a normal life but takes lots of medication. I wish that he would have come out about it. The weight might be lifted. Thanks again

  8. says

    Thank you for having the courage to tell your story. There is also abuse in my past and in that of my siblings. It is a terrible, aweful, soul crushing thing, IF you let it dictate your life. I too, have forgiven and found peace, and yet it is something that cannot and will not be forgotten.I believe that your words will be used to bring healing to those that need it.

  9. says

    Thank you for sharing this with your followers. I hope and pray it helps others. As your Mom I just want you to know I am so proud of the person you have become and you make me so proud. I Love you xoxo

  10. says

    Thank you for opening your heart and mind and let us know about what happened to you. Hopefully by your opening up it may stop at least one child having to go through what you did. I was raped at 14 years old and never told anyone at the time. I was scared my dad would do something stupid and would end up losing his job. I worried about everyone else but me. I have opened up to friends and my husband but I’ve never told my parents. I haven’t told them because I don’t want them to feel guilty.
    Thank you again!

  11. says

    Thank you so much for writing such an honest and genuine post about this. I was raped over a period of 6 months at the age of 13 and it took me over 10 years to fully come to terms with this. Again this was someone who we all knew and thought was a respectable member of the community. When my daughter was born I sobbed, and it scares me to death every day that the same could happen to her. It is really nice to read such a positive story. Awareness is the only way that we can truly help our children!xxx

  12. says

    This is a great post! I am so very glad that you have been able to talk about this! That alone helps people! And so awesome that this story has strengthened you! So great! Thank you for sharing. It really brought awareness on how common this is!

  13. says

    you are AMAZING and beautiful Beth! Im saddened that you went through this, but admire your strength and your heart! I just want to give you a hug!

  14. says

    Oh, Beth. Thank you for your openness and willingness to share your story in the hopes that it may help someone else who has walked in those shoes. I’m so glad you decided not to let what happened to you define the rest of your life and that you’ve been able to forgive and move on to have a beautiful life and a beautiful family.

  15. says

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, but your attitude about it all is just amazing. I love your last picture and totally agree with what you wrote there. When I was 13 I was diagnosed with cancer and beat it 3 years later. It was horrible then, but looking back I am glad for that experience because I can see that it has strengthened me into the person I am today. Thank you for sharing this.

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