***Warning: This message is fairly open and more personal than I want it to be. Part of me wants to keep silent for that very reason, but the other side of me knows that I deserve to be free from the shame that comes from being…taken advantage of
If you’ve never experienced sexual abuse, my first request would be that you not judge the actions of a single person who has—and what you think they may have done or NOT done right in the situation.
It’s one of those things where you don’t know how you’d act until you’re faced with the situation first-hand. It also depends on the offender, the age of the victim, and many other factors.
My second request would be: if you’re involved in this story at all—nobody would know unless you publicly make a big deal about it! So if you keep your mouth shut, then nobody will know it’s you because I haven’t used any names here.
As early as age four, I have vivid memories of being molested by a family member. For years, the devil tried to make me feel like what happened didn’t matter because I wasn’t “raped,” meaning (fortunately) I was not penetrated by “it.” However, other things that occurred were still very damaging and are just as much abuse as full-on penetration is. (Don’t you just hate the way that sounds? Ugh!) Talking about this is very weird…it’s uncomfortable…and awkward.
I bring up my past in order to make the present make more sense.
Back in 2010, at the age of 20, I was raped. I’m not gonna lie..just saying that is crazy to me…to even use that word. I wish I could use another word…but there isn’t one. And I’ve had to come to terms with that. It is what it is: a person had forceful sexual intercourse with me against my will.
It doesn’t matter if you’re intimate with a person and the next day choose not to be, any form of sexual contact done against the will of any party involved IS ABUSE!
In some ways what happened was a lot like what you see on TV and in many ways it wasn’t. It was someone I cared about and someone I thought cared about me. But at that time, they honestly didn’t care about anyone but themselves. I specifically say “back then” because I believe they are a different person today, and I’m glad about that.
After years of being on an emotional roller coaster—feeling guilt, shame, disgust, anger, mistrust, and everything in between—I was finally ready to confront him. I felt like I had finally gotten strong enough to withstand any backlash that would come from it, and I was ready! You have to be prepared for the denial by the other party, what their relatives will say about you, and that other people simply won’t believe you. Two years ago, I would have probably tried to physically attack anyone who called me a liar; because it would have hurt too bad to be the person who had something like this happen only to be told you’re not telling the truth. It would hurt like HELL.
Recently, I have felt this push from the inside to truly confront this situation. I don’t know if it’s God’s way of providing that total healing in me that I wasn’t able to get from the experiences I had when I was younger or what. Maybe because I’m mature enough now to handle it—I really don’t know. I’ve held a lot in over the years, and I would be perfectly fine just keeping this on the list of things I don’t talk about.
Or would I?
I trust that God knows me better than I know myself, and for that reason—I’ve learned to trust this process He is taking me through. The time came for me to deal with this issue of sexual abuse, and it would require me to confront my past. So I did. (Or at least I tried).
I reached out to him. Yup…the guy who raped me. The conversation was fairly pleasant, and I needed it to be. We were communicating via social media, and I initiated a face-to-face meeting. He was all for it…until his girlfriend found out. I made it clear that I didn’t want him to keep it from her—but that maybe telling her after the fact would be better. I was only trying to help him out; I mean, really—how do you explain why you’re going to sit down and talk to me? It would have only half-way made sense to anyone after the fact.
Well, long story short—he agreed but then never got back to me. Which is fine! Because when that happened—it only let me know how over it I truly was. I didn’t get mad or upset. The only thing that happened was that I felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for him because I know that our talk would have only brought the healing that we both needed. He may try to act like this never happened; and maybe his drunken state at the time really blocks it from his memory. Either way, it has still affected him—I’m sure of it. I can’t explain why I know, but some of what we talked about during our brief conversation through social media let me know that he wasn’t healed. All I can do is thank God for speaking to my heart and leading me to a place of forgiveness and closure.
It happened on a Saturday night in September. My roommate was out of town, and he came over drunk. He said he had his friends bring him to my place because he didn’t want to keep drinking and they weren’t done; so since he didn’t want to go home like that—and he wanted to see me—he just had them drop him off.
I immediately felt uncomfortable but wasn’t sure how to deal with the situation, so I just tried to play it cool. But then he got pushy. He started grabbing me, and when I told him to stop he only laughed and basically said I was playing hard to get.
When it got to the point where I knew I couldn’t fight him off and that it was going to happen whether I wanted it to or not—I just shut down. I cried silent tears and waited for it to end.
Afterwards, I was angry and terrified at the same time—trying to figure out if what happened just happened. I told him I had to get up early in the morning and basically made some excuse for him to GET OUT of my house.
Fast forward to today, I feel more sorry for the person who did this than I would ever feel for myself.
The only thing I wish I could have said to him face-to-face is this:
I forgive you. I truly do. The only thing I’ve wondered for all these years is: Why was it easier for you to speak negatively about me to other people than it was for us to simply have a talk about the way things ended—just me and you? You would rather tell lies to people who don’t matter than deal with the issue head-on with the person you mistreated. Even still, I always wanted you to know that my only intent—which I feel has forever been consistent—is to show you that I see more in you than you allow other people to see, and ultimately I feel that it hinders you from being your best self.
I’m glad you seem to be a different person today than you were back then, but you’ve also killed pieces of yourself to accommodate for those around you. Suppressing your true self has only killed a piece of you little by little over time, and will only continue to do so until you make a conscious effort to put yourself around people who not only cause you to want to do better—but hold you accountable for your actions. You’re around people who make excuses for you and you’ve learned to manipulate them for that. Real friends tell you the truth. It appears as if you don’t want real friends; maybe that’s why our friendship went sour.
I know you have a daughter now, and I hope more than anything you think about her. Has it ever crossed your mind how you’d feel to learn that someone mistreated her in this way? It makes you want to vomit, doesn’t it? Well, how can you ever truly give her what you need to as her father when you refuse to overcome the past? I believe God has granted you an opportunity wrapped up in her–and I pray you get it right for her sake.
Anyway, I truly wish you well in the future—but again, I know our meeting was just as much about my healing as it was for yours, and since you’ve chosen to neglect that—I really don’t know where you’ll end up. Maybe you wish we talked now so I wouldn’t have had to blog about it, huh?
Since I know a major part of the reason why we didn’t meet is your girlfriend—whether it was her not wanting you to (I don’t blame her) or whether you just felt wrong about—I don’t know. I wish she knew from my perspective what this was all about, so she could understand what I was doing—rather than having the wrong idea about me and the motives she may have misunderstood.
So here’s the letter to his girlfriend that I’ll never send:
Please know, I do not consider him a rapist. But it certainly doesn’t take away the fact that he did what he did. I would rather you not even have to know him in this light, but unfortunately the circumstances call for it.
Maybe you’ve never experienced anything like this before, so it could be difficult for you to relate—I understand that. But maybe something you can relate to is soul ties. They are real and they happen whether the encounter was pleasurable or not…willful or not. Soul ties occur anytime intercourse occurs and can stay with you for the rest of your life. I know this to be true, because I have had horrible memories and issues that have come from having been involved with him in this way. I wonder if it has affected you at all—and if you realize it. I’m just thankful that God has broken this off of me and that I will no longer be negatively impacted from it. God is the ONLY one that can do it!
I know that he wasn’t in a healthy state of mind and he wasn’t the person that you know him as today. That also doesn’t negate my experience or give anyone the right to deny what happened—especially him. I’m simply at a place in my life where I was ready to confront something that has held me hostage for a long time.
So yeah, I asked him not to tell you about us meeting. But not to keep it from you; I simply asked him not to talk about it until afterwards because it wouldn’t be until after then that he or you would understand why the meeting needed to take place. I also thought it would be a little better coming from him (or maybe not) rather than someone (me) that you don’t know and don’t have any type of relationship with.
To be fair, it wasn’t me just asking him not to tell you. I also told him that I wasn’t going to tell my husband until after the fact. NOT because I’m being dishonest with my husband, but because my husband knows full-well what happened, when it happened, and who did it.
Now, would your husband be okay with you meeting up with the man who raped you? Probably not! But it’s something I knew I needed in order to move pass all of this. Do you understand now???
When I told him I had disturbing dreams about him—I know that sounded weird and maybe inappropriate from your stand-point. But not only does that go along with the soul ties—what I didn’t get into (because I would rather have spoken about it in person), was the fact that I would re-live that awful situation in my mind over and over again, keeping me from a peaceful night’s rest more times than I can count. In each dream, though, I’d always ask him why he stopped writing. We are both writers, but I know that that’s a part of him he isn’t open about with everyone. So in the dream, I’d always tell him to keep writing. What I know for a FACT is that after that incident—he stopped writing. That’s how I know it shut him down too, whether he ever admits to it or not.
That’s deeper than I can get into, because when you’re a writer—it’s who you are. It’s just a part of you; you bleed words. When a person who has that gift just STOPS—it will alter them. So ultimately, even though what happened to me was horrible—there was a part of me that always felt sorry for him because he isn’t the person I know he can be.
You may wonder why didn’t I turn him in after the situation or go to the police at all. Well, let me reach back into my past again for a moment to help you understand: because I had already experienced sexual abuse from family members at a young age—it was a subject that I completely shut down about. It made me feel disgusting; it made me feel used; it made me feel dirty; it made me feel worthless (just to name a few). When you feel that way, you don’t exactly feel like talking about it. Some people just completely shut down and try to move on without dealing with it—like I did for a while. I had enough sense to at least talk to my doctor about it, so I have medical records proving what took place. But I couldn’t talk about it for years. Even more than that, with him being on probation—I didn’t want to be the reason why he ended up back in prison. Again, even when something terrible happens to ME—somehow I’m more worried about the other person. I’ve always been like that. I just don’t believe in determining anyone’s fate; I choose to leave that in God’s hands.
If you read the conversation between us, you should now be able to piece together everything I’m saying and realize my motives were never anything crazy or to try to bring discord between what you all have going on. It really wasn’t important what he had going on and what he didn’t; I was just trying to release something that I’ve carried for far too long.
So maybe you don’t know what this feels like. Maybe it’s impossible for you to understand. But maybe you can step outside of yourself for a moment and attempt to feel another person’s pain—no matter how brief. And because I know he isn’t totally healthy emotionally or mentally—I pray that God would lead you, too, and show you which way to go. Sometimes people are in our lives for a season and sometimes it’s a lifetime. Pray about that. You don’t have to worry about me though, I can assure you. I’ve closed that chapter so that it will no longer follow me in any way; I pray that this situation hasn’t had a negative impact on your life and that you can move forward knowing that nobody is checking for you man. So feel free to put the guns away *wink*
If you still have questions, I’d still be open to sitting down and talking—at least at the moment. But at this point, I doubt the feeling is mutual.
What I can say is: I’m glad I experienced it so my daughter won’t have to. I BREAK the curse of sexual abuse from my family line NOW, in Jesus’ name!! I’m not the only person in my family who has experienced this, but I’m one of the few who will acknowledge that it happened. As a matter of fact, I’d go as far as saying at least five people in every generation of my family have been through this—and I refuse to allow that to happen to my daughter (OR son)!
I’m glad that there’s a fight in me to ensure that this never happens to her/them.
I’m glad that because I experienced it, I know what signs to look for in a person who has been a victim of abuse.
I’m glad that I know what questions to ask and what conversations to have to make sure my children have open dialogue with me about ANYTHING they EVER feel uncomfortable with I will know how to get the answers I need to ensure their safety and security.
It’s all about perspective. I could wallow in self-pity, as many people end up doing, but I refuse. Sexual abuse is something that stays with you forever—but it’s up to you how it stays with you. Like I said, for me, it opens up my eyes to be more aware of things and I will protect every child I can from this. For others, it may push them to be social advocates for such things; other people become promiscuous—trying to fill a void.
I’m just thankful for healing and look forward to no longer carrying that guilt and shame with me. It’s a new season, a new day, and I’m walking into a brand new year leaving this garbage behind!
If you are struggling with dealing with any sort of sexual abuse, I encourage you to reach out to someone you can talk to. A lot of times, it’s surprisingly easier to talk to a perfect stranger than people you know and are close to. Maybe go a local church and see what ministries/services they have available to help you overcome this. Maybe somebody finally needs to talk to their parents or another family member to begin the healing process. I just hope that anyone who has dealt with this realizes it was not your fault; you are not to blame, and your life certainly does not have to be defined by this.
You can heal and learn to live so freely that the remnants of this won’t ever be attached to you! You’ll walk around with a brand new fragrance ☺
“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” ~Isaiah 61:3