Today’s blog is the result of a conversation that I had with a friend this week. The Lord used this conversation to propel me back into the days of my youth when life should have been simple but it was not for me. This post is not easy for me to share today but I know that there is a purpose for it and so I pray that God will use it for His Glory.
One of my earliest memories of being exposed to sex was when I was around 5 years old. The little boy across the alley was over in my back yard and we were playing and I remember going into my house and then when I went back outside there he was calling me under the stair case. I walked over and he pulled out his privates! I told him to put it away and go home. Then there was the boy in the apartment next door who would talk to me as I would play in my yard. He would ask to see different parts of my body and eventually after several requests I would oblige him from the window of my apartment since I didn’t want to be seen by everyone. I would dance for him and reveal parts that no boys should have been seeing at that young of an age.
Unfortunately I knew about women’s bodies already because of my father’s Playboy magazine collection. I doubt that he knew that I was looking at them because it wasn’t something that he invited me to read or look at and I always looked at them when he was out of the house or sleeping. I would see these photos and actually I remember wanting to be like them. I wanted to be pretty and sexy. I wanted to be able to wear sexy clothes but I knew my little chubby body was not like those photos.
It was very early in my childhood when I was introduced to the sex act. There were men who took advantage of me and made me their sex objects. Some of these men never even touched me but I knew the look in their eyes as they undressed me in their imagination and it disgusted me to no end. I didn’t know that I was being molested but I knew that there was something very wrong with what was happening. My friends in school never talked about things that I was experiencing so I didn’t tell anyone. It was my little secret. In fact one of the men who molested me frequently referred to it as our little secret. If I told him I didn’t want to do the things that he wanted me to do, he would threaten to go to my cousins or my girl friends. No I couldn’t let that happen so I would comply with whatever secret acts he wanted me to perform. I learned quickly how to pretend I was not even there when these things were happening to me. I would just lay there and pretend I was somewhere else until it was all over with. The reality would always overtake me when it was over and I had to go and shower and get the dirty, disgusting smell of that man off of me. It was a dreadful existence and yet I couldn’t dare tell anyone about it.
My father was the only man who I knew was different. He didn’t look at me that way, he didn’t touch me that way, he treated me like the little girl that I was supposed to be. I wish I could have told him about the other men but I was too embarrassed and didn’t want to lose his love. My parents split up and were living apart so I only was able to see my dad on the weekends and it was during those visits with him that I felt like I was just a normal kid. I didn’t want to crush that reality by telling my dad how men would put their hands on me and fondle places that no grown man should touch a little girl. How could I tell my dad that? What would be do? What would he say? I didn’t want to take any chances! I loved my dad and I would do anything I could to protect that relationship. He was the one man I knew I could trust.
By the time I was 8 years old I was smoking cigarettes and marijuana. When my first daughter turned 8 and I watched her innocence it pierced my heart knowing that I never had that kind of innocence when I was that age. It broke my heart but I quickly stuffed it back down into the recesses of my mind so that no one would know the pain of my childhood. By the time I was 11 I was a full-blown alcoholic and pill popper. I remember sharing pills with my friends at school and ultimately getting into some pretty hairy situations where my life was in danger after one boy got really sick from the pills I gave him. But that is a story for another day.
When I was between 10 and 12 years old I recall making up all my boyfriends because no boy in my school or neighborhood liked me. All my girlfriends had boyfriends and I was jealous because not one boy ever asked me to be his girl. I wondered if they knew that I was tainted. I wondered if they knew that men had used me and thrown me to the trash heap so that I was just damaged goods. I was in a gang at that time and lots of boys hung out at my house and they would make out with girls all the time. One day, five of those boys that I hung out with every day and loved as my brothers decided to pull a train on me. Well I wasn’t going to have any of that and with great force and thankfulness that I was a chubby girl I fought back and yelled at these boys. I must have really had a serious look on my face because they backed off and then played it off like they were just kidding around. But one of those boys was very serious and the following week he returned to my house alone. He made me feel briefly like he actually liked me and started kissing me. I pushed him away because I knew that he had a girlfriend and I didn’t want to be “that kind of girl”. Well that just made him angry and the next thing I knew he was on top of me and I couldn’t fight him. He raped me.
How many times would I be violated? That was the foremost thought in my mind. How many times will men and boys take advantage of me? I silently screamed “I DON’T WANT TO BE A SEX OBJECT”. I’m not even sure if those were the words I used but I knew that no matter how smart I was or how friendly I was, the only thing that boys and men wanted was to touch me and use my body to please themselves. It never once pleased me. It repulsed me. Soon after this event I got so drunk and high that I tried to commit suicide. I had carved my arms and legs with knives and razor blades. I don’t even know what really happened that night but when someone guided me home I didn’t recognize my own mother. I remember threatening to kill her and trying to hang myself with a jump rope. The next day I had a doctor’s appointment and my mother told the doctor everything I had done and the next thing I knew I was in a mental hospital. I remember the counselors asking me what was going on in my life to cause me to drink, do drugs and cut myself. I lied to them. I made up this really sad story about how my boyfriend was in a gang fight and he got shot and died. I was a pretty good story-teller. They bought it hook, line and sinker. The truth was I didn’t have a boyfriend. I just couldn’t bring myself to tell them that I was just a piece of meat for men to use and abuse. I couldn’t tell anyone. I just wanted to be left alone.
As I recalled all these things this past week, it caused me to take a hard look at some of the deep wounds of being a sex object for so long. I realized that this was the root of why I have had issues with weight almost all my life. Whenever I get to a place where I start losing weight and people say nice things about my appearance it tends to cause me to fail in my efforts. I sabotage myself and end up gaining all the weight back. The Lord has revealed to me that this is because I have this faulty belief inside of me that if I lose the weight then I will once again become a sex object. This was a huge revelation to me. I have dealt with the sexual abuse from my past with a Christian counselor several years ago. I poured out all of my heart to Jesus over the sexual abuse from my past already and yet this one revelation never came to me until now. I had freedom in this area so why would this come up again.
Jesus knows when we are ready to move to the next step in our healing. He knows the right time, place and circumstance where we are able to look at the ugly ashes from past experiences and wounds. He redeems them. He heals those places. He has once again healed that part of my life and now I believe with all my heart that as I move forward in taking care of my body and losing weight that He will walk with me every step of the way. I won’t become a sex object, I won’t be subject to being used and abused again. No, I will be healthy and fit for His Kingdom purposes. So that I can walk in the calling and plan He has for me. I don’t know if this post will help someone out there reading it or if it’s just meant for me but I had to be obedient to sharing these things with you today. So if you are reading this and you have similar broken places in your life and you have not found release or freedom from those experiences then I would love to talk to you. I would love to share my experience of the Lord healing me from these things. I would love to pray for you and walk with you to the cross of Christ to find freedom, healing, redemption, forgiveness and salvation. Please feel free to go to my “Prayer Requests” page and contact me.
Father in the name of Jesus, I pray for every person who comes to this page with a similar story that they have not yet laid at your feet to find healing. God would you meet them where they are right now and shower them with your love, your grace and your mercy. Lord I pray that I would continue to open my heart and hands to allow you to use me for Your Glory. You have redeemed me from the stigma of being a sex object and I pray that now You would teach me how to be the beautiful woman of God that you have called me to be. I love you Lord and I thank you for every reader that you bring to this page. Bless each one, in Jesus name. Amen.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.