I started this blog back in November of 2016. It has been sitting in the draft folder all this time as I worked through the deep emotions that stirred it up. I am not as emotional as I was when I first wrote “When ‘The He’ Won’t Go Away”. I believe with all my heart that this blog still needs to be shared. So often survivors of sexual assault (sexual abuse, incest, rape, sexual exploitation, sex slavery, sex trafficking, sexual harassment, etc) are shamed because we struggle with our triggers. If we claim to be Christians, we are shamed and judged that we are not trusting in Jesus or not forgiving enough because of our struggles. For this reason, I have kept much of the raw emotion in this blog. So without further comment…
Recently, the face of my rapist of six years has been thrust in my face! My younger brother and sisters have decided to have a relationship with him. In doing so, they took individual pictures with him and posted them on Facebook. One sister even had it as her profile picture. My deepest grievance with them is that they didn’t talk to me, warn me or anything. I knew the day would come when they would reach out to this man. I just can’t help but think if they realize the depth of evil he put me through. I am not angry with them, just hurt. This will take time for me to process. I don’t know if I should even bring it up to them or not. Will they even listen or understand why I am hurt, scared, or sick at heart?
While I have forgiven all of my abusers and rapists, the fact is that, what they did to me will have life-long impacts. They stole my very dignity, my childhood, my ability to trust, and my ability to be loved without suspicion. These are just a few of the surface issues. Often the struggle of survivors of domestic violence, and sexual assault get labeled and then overlooked by those around us. We are told to get counseling and get over it. If we are Christians, we are told to forgive and forget. Jesus did! God chooses to remember our sins no more, but we as Christians are commanded to forgive as Christ has forgiven us. We are not commanded to forget. Jesus sure didn’t forget his scares. Actually, he pointed them out to his disciples.
Let me list some of the impacts that will never go away. My father forever changed my family tree. I will never, on this earth have a God-ordained father and mother as my children have. Even though my biological mom is alive and we have a good relationship, she wasn’t able to be a mom to me. My bio father took that from her and me. In my most honest moments, I feel like an orphan. There is a deep whole where the love of a father and mother go that is empty. (Christians, before you start, I know I am loved by the Father.) My father took that from me. My rapist of six years, whose face has blown up my Facebook, ruined any hope of an earthy father’s love with rape and sodomy. I will only ever have half-siblings. This is my reality. Because of what my father did, I fear guns and male strength. This is my reality. Am I healing? YES by the blood of Jesus! I know that I am loved. The emptiness is filled with Christ. The wounds and scars are still there!
My step-father changed my view of intimacy. To be loved, I had to perform sexual acts. When I wouldn’t, I was raped. I felt worthless, dirty and that I must have deserved it because I was conceived from rape. He pitted me against my mother. That I know of, he still blames me. He stole my body over and over for 6 years. He said that he would never let me go. His face appears when I least expect it. Writing about what happened during these six years is still the hardest for me. This is my reality. Am I healing? YES. For each thing I have put, I choose to forgive. I rest in the arms of the Father and trust that He is good.
I have often felt shame for sharing these parts of my journey. People have told me that I should be over it or not so emotional about what these men did to me. I have been asked how come I am still triggered after all these years? Shouldn’t it be easier by now? I have been told that I shouldn’t be a victim. I should JUST trust Jesus and it will all be okay. I am not a victim. I do TRUST Christ! He is my LIFELINE in a world that feels like it could crash around me at times. He is my cornerstone, my ROCK when the ground shakes beneath me.
Please don’t give me christianese when I start talking and shedding light on what one my rapist did to me. Sharing the abuse that my father and step-father did to me brings freedom not only to me but to others as well. Jesus is my Healer, and Redeemer, and He has made me whole.
I want to remind you of this: When I share that I am triggered or that my PTSD is screaming at me, it might make you uncomfortable. I don’t need polite platitudes, or inspirational quotes. A simple “I am sorry you are triggered.” or ” I don’t know what to say.” is okay. Just being there to let me process is what I need. Talk to me. Don’t hide what is hard. My life has been hard. As a survivor, I just want to be validated and believed. I want to be listened to and loved. And when “THE HE” won’t go away, I just want to be reassured that I am safe and that I am able to fight for me now. (My husband tells me that I could take HIM anytime.) Be my friend and lead me to the cross where my salvation comes from.
Finally, this all is a reminder that my rapists are guilty. Not me! None of them have “served justice” for the crimes committed against me. One died having never served a day in jail and the other “plead to a lesser charge”, serving only a fraction of what he would have been given. Please understand I am grieved today because of this injustice. I have forgiven. I know beyond a shadow of doubt that they will stand before God, and they will receive eternal justice. My father has died. I do not know if he was a repentant Christ follower or not. I do not know if he is in heaven or hell. My heart’s prayer is that He was covered by Christ’s blood and stands in Heaven. I don’t know. My step-father is alive and looks well. He has not repented for the crimes that he has committed. Because I have forgiven him, I hope that he is saved. I know that he will either suffer for eternity in hell if he rejects Christ, or will receive redemption, if he repents and follows Christ.
Because Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED!”