I see and hear over and over again like a broken record so many statements that make me cringe inside when it comes to my recovery of being sexually abused as a child. Some of them include of all horrors for the religious right: “Oh you need to confess your sins for having sex.” When I heard that one I was angry to say the least. I asked the guy why I should confess to that sin. It was a criminal act that was committed against me. I was a child for Pete’s sake! The man backtracked quickly about that one then went on to say it was in the past and I should bury it and never even bring it up if I believed in God and I was already healed from it for it happened many years ago. I saw right away I needed to end the conversation quickly. I just listened and let him finish what he wanted to say and left. It’s funny how those that never walked in my shoes think it is so easy and something must be wrong with me if I even speak up about the issues concerning sexual abuse. I have finally gotten to the point that I don’t care what anyone thinks about me. That should be my only shame. I’m sorry it took me so long to truly get over my past to the point where I will talk about it. I say to all those victims in years past that I met that I’m sorry I missed you because I didn’t open up. I’m sorry for the ones that did share their stories with me and I was too messed up myself to reach out and comfort you.
If I didn’t speak up and share my story today because I buried the past I would have missed so many opportunities to give aid and comfort to those still hurting. Just in the last week for example a lady was so thankful to learn of S.N.V., Inc. and our support counseling and group counseling sessions. She opened up to me and you could just see the pain in her eyes as she shared her story of being sexually abused at the ages of eight and nine. She had only tried to share once before with someone her abuse only to be hurt even worse by someone that didn’t truly understand or care.
I would have missed being at a party most of my “religious” friends would have said I had no business going to. But while there yet another young lady with tears streaming down her face shared her story of being gang raped by thirteen “men” and then later spending seven years in a psych ward because of it. As she cried and I spoke words of life and love into her she raised her hands and began praising God from the most deepest part of her being and thanked me for being there for she felt God had sent me to let her know she was worthy to be loved.
I make no apology for speaking about my past. For I have found that it has paved a way for healing for others. To learn more, call, write or visit us at S.N.V., Inc.
Article by Jack Stoskopf