It wasn’t my choice, you know, to become a victim of abuse. It is never a choice and why would it be. It falls, it seems, at random amongst young girls. Some are privileged and some have grown into families of turmoil and chaos. Sometimes families are privileged and still experience abuse. There is no real structure or predisposition to abuse of any kind.
I was abused sexually, physically and mentally. As a small child, I was chased down by my cousin, who was mentally disabled. My parents were clueless, or at least they acted like they were. They thought it was cute how the handicapped man loved to play with their little girl. I guess I sound bitter, but the bitterness is something I still have trouble dealing with. As I was saying, I was chased down, hunted and pulled out of closets, weeds and from underneath beds. When this happened, I was told to be quiet or else I would be hurt.
For years, this happened, right underneath my parent’s noses, and for years, I buried things and created imaginary friends. Little did I know, I was developing other things as well-mental illnesses such as anxiety disorder, PTSD and Bipolar disorder. They say these things are hereditary but mainly dormant, that is, until something triggers these diseases. They are diseases, you know, because no one asks to have this happen to them and no one asks to live with an imperfect mentality.
It’s not fair, you know. No one said it would be.
As a teenager and a young adult, I experienced many other negative relationships and conditions of life. I was bullied all throughout high school and then succumbed to drugs during college. Drinking was also a way to drown the past and the pain. Did I mention, my imaginary friends never went away? Many times, classmates saw me talking to something that wasn’t there. They were frightened and yet hated me for being different. One time, I thought I was going to die because my imaginary friend told me so. I cried through class and ended up at local child Psychologist’s office. I wouldn’t talk to him because my mentally disabled cousin told me to never tell anyone about what he did to me. I didn’t tell and so I lied to make my parents stop taking me to therapy. I hated therapy, I hated everything.
Then I didn’t care. I went from caring too much to being numb. I got deeper into drugs and alcohol, dropping out of college and getting pregnant. I got an abortion in my early twenties because my boyfriend, at the time, said it was for the best. He told me that he couldn’t promise to be around for the child and that we were too young. I killed my baby and it was something that would haunt me for the rest of my life. Then I got married.
I did get pregnant again, and then again. Then I got pregnant one more time. I had three children in the course of 10 years. I can say this was a perfect time in my life. I could look into their eyes and see an unconditional love and innocence. For a moment, I felt like everything would be okay. I thought the coin had flipped and my life would change for the better.
For a moment, that is, until things got dark again and my husband fell deeply into drugs and alcohol abuse. He was physically abusive and I was trapped. I felt the darkness surround me and my children, sucking out the happiness that I had felt before, at their birth. I grew to hate again, I even started to do drugs and alcohol once more. Sometimes I stayed up all night drinking and went to work the next day. I cut myself as well.
It seemed hopeless.
Amidst all the pain, the hell and the confusion, I found God. I cannot say that I stayed with him for very long, but I found him. I would walk outside away from the toxic atmosphere of my home and see God in everything. I saw him in the wind, the trees, the birds and the sun. He was everywhere and he loved me. My husband came to the Lord as well and he stopped being physically abusive to me. Things were looking up, but…
It wasn’t enough for me yet, it seemed. Things weren’t changing as fast as I thought they should and so I decided to live selfishly and do things my way. I left my marriage. I left my faith. I went out into the world to find out who I was and if I was worth saving. I got deeper into the pit of despair.
Right now, I’m crying. This story rips a hole in me. I don’t like telling this story because it hurts. I don’t like hurting because I still hurt every day of my life. I could say I am healed but I’m not. I would be lying. I could say that I never fail God, but I do. I do this every day. There is one positive thing out of all this, well, a few things.
I am trying again, with my marriage. My family is together and my oldest son is in college. It’s not perfect, in fact, it’s far from perfect and sometimes I wonder if trying again was a mistake. I went back to God and fell at his feet. I cried and asked him to forgive me for everything I’ve done and how I’ve failed him. I still ask him to help me every day, because I am in so much pain. I cannot tell you why I hurt so badly, I just do.
The light of my life is my Lord and my savior. My happiness is also my children. I try to have patience, faith and love in order to heal my marriage. I know God is able to do all things even heal my faith in him. So, I guess this is where I end this writing.
I want to say that nothing is perfect. Pain comes, pain goes and pain comes back again sometimes. I think the real thing, the best thing and the most powerful thing to remember is faith. You have to have faith to know that the pain will not be constant and you are strong enough to handle it. You have been through hell. I assume this from some of you. You have seen horrific things in life. Remember, God has seen everything you have been through and he is here for you. You can run to him amidst your pain and he will give you comfort.
Healing isn’t always instantaneous, take me for example. I still struggle through hell sometimes. I run to my father in heaven, because he is the only way I have made it this far. He is the source of my strength within my chaos. He is everything. He keeps you breathing and you are loved. Never forget that! YOU ARE LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY!
Rachel Everhart RN