Friday, November 20, 2015
My first childhood memory is being molested by my father. Shocking I know but that is where my memory of my story begins. The real beginning of my story I don't have any memories of but it goes something like this....I was born in Oklahoma City on a August day that was over 100 degrees. My parents were married and I had an older sister and an older brother. My older sister is 8 years older and my brother died before he was born. When I was four years old, I become a big sister. My parents were Catholic. We regularly attended a local Catholic church. There was a point when my mom reached out the Father/pastor of the church and told him of our situation. He advised her to stay married as divorce wasn't permitted in the church. One day I remember my dad was beating my mom. I knew I didn't want to be caught in that so I ran and hid. I went under my bed and pushed as many clothes and toys as to build a wall on the edge of my bed. In case my mom or dad came looking for me and they looked under my bed, they would just see toys. I remember laying under that bed making myself and God a promise that if I survived, my kids would NEVER know what I felt as a child. I remember feeling like someone was under that bed with me that day. There wasn't actual body or person but a presence. Years later I realized that Jesus was there. I don't know why he didn't stop that madness in our house but He was there. He has been right by my side every step of my story. I don't know why God allowed all of that to happen to me. I believe He had the power to stop it. He just didn't. In high school and college I really struggled with why a loving God didn't stop that abuse. How could He watch His child go through that? For the most part I have moved on from the questioning why to just having faith that those situations made me who I am today. I know so much of my story and life has been redeemed for His glory. My father left when I was eight. I am grateful he bailed out on us. If he hadn't, I am not sure what would or could have happened. He was abusive in every way. He sexual assaulted us, beat us but mostly our mom and verbally abused us too. He left behind a lot of confusion, fear and pain. He also left flash backed and nightmares. During the time my parents divorced, my mom became ill with aggressive ovarian cancer. Somewhere in the divorce and cancer, a local Baptist church tried to take us in. We began to go there. I never felt comfortable. I noticed the whispering as I passed by those church ladies and the finger pointing. I never really knew why I felt others could tell I was different. Maybe it was the hurt in my eyes. While I felt like I looked like everyone else, I knew on the inside I was completely different. At the time I didn't know what it was that made me so different, now I know it was called SHAME. The dictionary defines shames as a feeling of regret, dishonor or disgrace. Those are more parting gifts my dad left - shame, guilt, and disgrace. I allowed them to take up the broken space in my heart. After all I believe we are all broken and in such of a savior. Some people find a savior in a bottle or cigarette. Some in the back seat of a car parked in the dark or he bed of someone who isn't their spouse. Sometimes we allow bitterness, guilt and regret to creep into our hearts and take that space that was designed for a savior. I needed a savior and didn't even know it.