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But really are you okay? A story of molestation in the church

Updated: Sep 20

I have always wanted to write a book.

I had read what others had written and felt that my story would eventually need to be told

And I thought that I had stumbled onto my answer

It was almost sweet the way that they packaged it.

Tell us your worst tragedy and how it has made you a better person for it.

They called it - Thanks God I …

At the time, I thought that I could freely talk about one of my little secrets

And go unharmed

I mean

I thought had everything I had ever wanted

I had three beautiful kids

I had a husband that I loved and I thought loved me

And I was doing the thing that I love the most

Dance

But I knew I had this opportunity

I knew in order to get them to listen to me

I had to go deep

I had to tell them something that i had never told anyone else

I mean

I had never told my father because he was too close to the situation and I knew what his reaction would be

I had never told my friends because I didn’t know what they would think about me

I had never told my husband because well hell I was too busy helping him mend his childhood

But I was caught in the sway of the movie the Secret

I knew that nothing was on accident

my pain had manifested for a reason and that this was a way for me to become this author that i wanted to be

Thank God I...

So when I got the phone interview

The lady on the phone sounded very excited to hear my story

She gave her spill about how this book would be monumental and how it would help others

And she asked me what tragedy was I thankful for...

And I said it

I had never uttered these words before

Not in this way

Thank God I was molested

The lady on the other end was silent

She said “Excuse me?”

“Thank God I was molested…. in a church no less.” I said

“In the church?”

“Yes.”

After a long and awkward pause, she started again

I could tell that she had to regather her thoughts

she began asking me questions about my story

So I gave her bare bones detail, careful not to spoil all of my information because I wanted to be an author and of course it didn’t bother me…. right?

I was 30 and a mother myself

It was 19 years since this had happened

19 years since he had touched me

19 years since he betrayed my father

19 years since he took away the safety of the church

19 years of silence

18 years since that old bastard died

So I was safe?

Right?

…..

I remember

I did not attend his funeral

They dedicated a library to him at my church

I took every opportunity to mess it up

I ripped books

I put gum on the walls

My friends thought I was being a bad ass

And they didn’t know

That

Secretly I hated him

So I told this stranger - things that I did not tell my daddy

I knew that my father would not understand

I knew that it was my parent’s insistence that I be respectful to everyone in church

Their insistence that if they got a report of my insubordination would result in punishment

Their insistence that elders were to be respected and honored

And sadly their insistence

That made me easy prey

And not one time - many

I would hide from this old bastard and he would still find me and ask for some sugar

And I would then be groped and prodded

I would feel sick to my stomach

Inside the church I was raised in

A man I was told that I needed to respect because of how much he has given to the church

Molested me

And

I hated him

At one point I felt sorry for his wife

And then I hated her because she had to know he was nasty

It is amazing what secrets can do

I held that secret with me for so long

I didn’t know what it had done to me

Or my relationships

Or my marriage

Or how I raised my children

Or why I would never set foot in a traditional church again

And after telling her how I saved my own child from being molested and that is the reason why my sacrifice was a win

I felt cheated

I felt empty

I felt sick

You could tell that it took several minutes for her to even digest what I was saying

And with some prompting that I could hear

She

went into her spill that they wanted to include my story

And that I would indeed be an author

BUT

That I write and then I would indeed be selling my story in my book

A formula that I learned about later It was the source of the success of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books

It was genius

but

there was no way that I was going to be able to sell my secret

There was no way I would get in front of the community and tell them what happened to me

Even to say that he was the only one that used or abused me

he was not

Despite best efforts, sometimes young girls are just not safe

Even with family and friends

Needless to say

I declined a second interview

I declined to write my story

But what I didn’t know or understand that the simple statement of fact

That secret

Those words

Made me hurt and feel nasty

Even as a grown woman

With my own kids

Even with my own husband

Who I felt loved me

Those words opened a pus filled wound that had never healed

Or never been cleaned out

And

The reason why I always feel unprotected and unsafe

The reason why I do not trust the words of those who say they love me

The reason why I HAVE to be tough

The reason why I am called mean by men

The reason why I will cut people off without hesitation

The reason why I do not allow my children to go just anywhere nor were people allowed to come over

The reason why trust has never been an easy thing for me

And lastly

The reason why I WATCHED my father, a really good and pious man, change my daughter’s diaper only to feel guilty for not trusting him

I NEVER FEEL SAFE

AND

I NEVER FEEL MY CHILDREN ARE SAFE

Are the result of a wound that was never cared for

These wounds we suffer as children have to be cleared out and tended to

Even if was decades ago

They make us who we are and sometimes make us do things that sabotage us

Our lives

Our marriage

Our relationships with our children

Our relationships with our parents

Even our relationships with people who are truly guilty of overstepping boundaries

They are allowed a pass because

We don’t want to look crazy

But I am not

You Are not

And

Now that I am a therapist and am working with children who have seen these things or far worse

I am 100% sure that these wounds are poison and can fester into venom that will enter our lives

Enter our relationships

Enter our friendships

Enter our parenting

Enter our jobs

And break us down.

You do not have to be alone - there are people that you can talk to

Counseling does work

Therapy does work

Support groups do work

Coaching does work

Even self work with book or tapes (youtube) does work

Now please understand

It will not undo what has been done

but

it can give you the tools to help you manage when you are triggered

While I did not have access to counseling in proper form

I listened to women who went through similar tragedies and were able to turn their lives around

Like

Oprah Winfery

Lisa Nichols

Maya Angelou

Iyanla Vanzant

And I consistently worked through books, tapes, lectures, seminars, youtube videos, interviews and guided meditations for years

Only to come to a place where I can say

Yes I was molested

Yes it has affected my adult life

But YES I am able to cope with life a little better

Because I know the truth

This was not my parent’s fault

This was not my fault

He was a nasty pedofile

HE took innocence from me

And I am here to reclaim my power...

Also by the way

These things that happened to me and to 1 out of every 5 women are not things to be healed overnight

I still have work to do

We still have work to do

It is always a work in progress

And always, I send you love on your journey





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