SNAP: Stories for Living

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I was molested by a Southern Baptist preacher from age 3/4 to age 10 (when I moved). What made this especially traumatic for me was this man is also my grandfather with whom I was raised. Not only was I forced to sit in church every Sunday listening to his sermons on righteousness, at home I was subject to his free will! The only thing that saved me from actual penetration was the fact that, in his own words, I was "too small...It will have to wait"....This did not keep him from trying each time.He found other ways using his hands and mouth.

    By age 8, I prayed for death because the description of a heaven where you could feel no pain felt too good to be true.

I hid inside myself, detaching my physical body from my mind so I could escape the world around me. I could not bear to be around people. I felt "marked" and different and full of shame that I could not escape. I was hurt and angry and eventually gave up hope that there was a God, because I could not imagine him allowing someone who is working for him to do this! I was completely lost and gave up. I didn't care what happened to me anymore..I just wanted out.

   I moved in with my mom at age 10, so I was away from my grandfather. Then my older brother took his place. This didn't last very long, maybe 10 times over 7 months. I wrote my mom a letter telling her everything. She freaked out and bought me a lock for my door. Nothing was ever said.

  Years passed..marriage, baby, relationship, new baby... Then it happened. I gave my testimonial at a Chamber of Commerce meeting to help raise money for United Way. I talked about everything that had happed in my life up to that point, because it made me who I am and also was the reason for my need of services. Getting up in front of 350 people and sharing your life story was  not easy, but it saved my life! After my testimonial, I left the stage to a standing ovation and lots of hugs and handshakes. A woman approached me, so visibly shaken, she could not speak. She handed me a piece of paper with a short note scrawled onto it. The note read, "I am 65 years old and the same thing happened to me when I was about the same age as when it happened to you. I have never told ANYONE about it, but because of you and what you've said, I can finally begin to heal!"

This was the turning point in my life. I still struggle every single day, but now I know why. Everyone has a purpose, even if it is not clear to you now. I believe God chooses the stongest and purest of heart to serve his will and help others who are in need. If I can help others find purpose and peace in their life, then I will have both in mine. Everything Happens for a Reason...Find Yours!

Note: this story is from 2007. View other 2007 stories and 2007 voting results. View current stories.