Story #5 – You Stole My Childhood, but Not My Soul
The title of my book says it all. YOU STOLE MY CHILDHOOD, BUT NOT MY SOUL (The lasting horror of child sexual-abuse). There is (still) a little girl inside my heart. For every girl or boy who has ever been sexually or physically abused, there is a place where time stopped. For me it stopped the very day the molester laid his hands on me. My childhood was stagnated by the continued abuse that went on under the watchful eyes of my grandmother.
I stopped being me and went into a shelter that only I knew about. It was an inner shelter of surviving what was happening to me. I escaped my world by reading, being a good student and with comic books.
Nothing could shield me from what seemed to be the inevitable. My mother had turned over her parental rights to my grandmother, and my father was not around. Who was I to tell? I felt like a throw away and abandoned. I grew up with a cloud of guilt, shame, feeling dirty; I felt like a fraud and anything else negative that I could throw into the pot of life. For many years I tried to numb my mind and body with drugs and alcohol. I stayed in abusive relationships because I thought that the abuse was my way of life.
I was hospitalized for a week in the year 2000 and that for me turned everything around. I was at rock bottom. I was not crazy. All I needed was for someone to make me see that I counted in this world. I needed to be validated. The Doctors made me see that even though the molester and my grandmother had been dead for many years, I still allowed them to rule me from their graves. On the third day there, I looked into my bedroom mirror and saw that I was a child of GOD. That day I realized that I was not what had been my past.
I hope and pray that I can touch a child or a teenager so that they can have the liberty to tell someone, anyone. I was in my late 40s before I uttered the words sexual abuse and it was to a therapist. I pray that an adult with a past of sexual and/or physical abuse will see that it is time to release themselves from the bondage of the past.
Once the book is available, my plans are to travel around the United States doing speaking engagements to give those who have walked in my shoes the courage to tell someone/talk to someone. This has become my life and my mission; I do not want anyone else to destroy their lives when getting help is the key. A survivor will feel safe from past abuse when speaking with someone who will lend them an ear. Then and only then will that individual feel validated and important to someone, THEMSELVES.
Even as an adult, I had to have someone to believe in me because I still did not believe in myself. Parents need to be aware that they need to watch over their children; especially around strangers and even more they need to watch them around some of your closest associates.