One of my readers contacted me to let me know how my book is helping her obtain healing from years of sexual abuse. We thought that her story might be helpful to others who are dealing with this painful experience.
It started when she was around 9 years old. A family member began by touching her in inappropriate ways. She told her mother about it and about the way he looked at her, making her feel ugly and dirty. But her mother did nothing. Within two years, he graduated to raping her. This time she told no one. The abuse continued for years. She tried to avoid him, but it wasn’t always possible. She felt betrayed by her parents for not protecting her. (In all fairness, her father never knew.)
This relative seemed to be an upstanding member of the community. He was even a lay preacher. She learned recently that he had been discharged from the military with a dishonorable discharge for sexually abusing a minor, but her mother had kept it a secret all those years to protect the family name.
At fifteen, she feared she was pregnant. At sixteen, desperate, she married the first person to promise relief and security to a scared young girl. Unfortunately, in her desperation to get away from abuse, she just walked into a marriage of physical abuse with a mean, twenty-three year-old man. In addition, the relative’s abuse continued.
At twenty, with two young children, she finally confronted him, telling him how much he had hurt her. He told her she watched too much TV and imagined too much. He never admitted he had done anything wrong. As a sexual predator, he needed power over his victims. But she vowed to never let him win. One victory was that she managed to protect her little sister from him.
Still, the struggle continues. The smell of the cologne he wore triggers panic. She won’t wear shorts for fear of giving the wrong impression to men. There are many other challenges and much more to the story, but this is enough detail for this time.
At church with her sister, the preacher told his story of abuse and after a great struggle, she ended up at the altar. She had blamed God for letting it all happen. He told her He had been there with her through it all, and she could use what happened to her to help others.
When she read my book and the experiences I had growing up with Scientology, it helped her cope with her emotions. She has quit having nightmares. The chapters on words and thoughts and emotions helped her, but it was the chapter on forgiveness that had the most impact. She has particularly had trouble with forgiving her parents for not protecting her. But there is no one worth losing God’s forgiveness! She is relying on faith in God and what He is willing to give her to replace her lost childhood and all she went through. She will see victory over this!
Telling her story is helping.