To you brave souls who might peek into my world to know part of my story, it is my prayer that should you realize even in the slightest measure the gravity of it, that you do not get lost in the horror. I have gotten lost, and at times I still do. You may for a moment, but as quickly as possible, I pray the light points from the depravity and hell from which I have emerged, to promise of hope, healing and the Lord. I pray that as I tell my story, I can be a living witness of an ever faithful Savior; the strength, resiliency of spirit, mission and purpose of a soul that can transcend the pains of this life.
I pray a story is told of a girl who, although quite shattered and scarred, remained faithful to her Lord and Savior, even to the point of staying alive to find others in the darkness. That she proclaimed truth and love regardless of the tumultuous pain and swirling winds designed to silence her. I pray that as I tell my story, that others might live in hope and dare to find the “Spark” within themselves that, though it may be covered in scars and debris of abuse and circumstance, remains innately theirs and cannot be diminished. Should anyone know my story, it is my prayer that it can breathe life on the dying and companion the lonely and broken hearted to true healing.
This is actually harder to write than it might seem. There are so many nuances, twists and turns, countless characters. All of these are significant, however not all can find their way into written form. Just as a pond of water is made up of molecules, atoms, and particles, those elements are not seen unless purposely searched for and given notice. All we see is the pond, though without every element that bonded with another to create the majestic body of water before us, it would not exist.
Such it is with me. So much is contained within my mind, the cells of my body, the intangible psyche and spirit that create who I am. My story, my past, present and future. Words are merely the outline of a vast inner world that, in many ways, can never be explained or understood…but words are what I have, so with them I attempt to convey my story.
It has been a brutal journey to stay alive and to rediscover who I am, my connection to the Divine and my worth. To rediscover I am innocent, worthy and beloved just because I am. My beginning was an unwanted pregnancy and adoption into a world that would batter and try to destroy my connection to innate power and God. I was adopted at three days old by my mother who wanted a child, and my father who wanted a commodity; someone to abuse, someone to use. I do not remember a time growing up that was not affected by his wickedness.
As a child I was determined, clever, inquisitive, adventurous, and kind. Without any prompting I was naturally drawn to create beauty wherever I was, to serve those in need and honor my Lord. I constantly brought in and nurtured strays, be it people or animals. I read scripture and excelled in nearly everything I tried to do. I also remember those years as a child constantly getting into fights at school, being very cruel to my brothers and sisters and being a misfit who did not fit in any social circle. I spent many years hiding, fighting, hating so many things and people, especially myself, and running from life.
For nearly 21 years of my life my innocence and identity would be aggressively stripped away as I was ravaged by the brutality of countless people. My daily life was devoured by a drunk who spoke with his fist or a belt. My nights were consumed by rape and torture, often daily by him and others. Through them I was beat, assaulted, sold and used as leverage for gain within an evil community. I was told by them that God gave me to them to punish and break my spirit. There was no place for my creativity and tenacity here. Because I was “rebellious” they said I needed to be broken and controlled. Oh how they tried.
Physical, sexual, and satanic ritual abuse battered my psyche and heart. I was tortured into forgetting my identity as a child of God and into believing I was “satan’s bride”, “demon child”, a tool, meant for him to use and suffered greatly as a result. There were literally hundreds of people who would rape and torture me as the years went on.
Through the years of abuse and torture I was sold and traded within a vast community of abusers. At times I would be raped as many as 50 times in an evening. I was electrocuted and held in ungodly places and ways. Rarely would questions be asked in my daily life regarding bruises and cuts, so they showed little restraint. There was no safety for me.
My abusers were sadistic and calculated. They counted on the fact that what they were doing would not be believed because the stories were too outrageous, so they were very bold. Sometimes they were barbaric, reactive, drunken, sloppy, and animal-like; at other times their torture was very calculated and organized. They purposely tried to shatter my identity and mind through brutal, excruciating acts. I understood the critical developmental growth periods of a child’s brain long before I ever learned of them in school because of increased torture during those ages. They literally tried to rewire my neurons, my neural connections, to create a drone, someone they could control and use. They tried to manipulate my will, identity and allegiance through abuse and torture. It may seem outrageous, but how does one learn and believe anything? Exposure, experience and repetition.
Just a note, I can’t breathe as I write this. This was my life! No it is not my life now, but the effects still ravage my body, mind and soul. The effects of this are what I fight to overcome daily and strive to prevent from happening to others with every breath I take!
I suppressed memories of being sexually and ritually abused until about age 19. God preserved my life by creating a barrier in my mind. I would dissociate regularly and developed what they now call Dissociative Identity Disorder. However, flashbacks, reckless behavior and an eating disorder consumed my life. At some point I knew I was going to die because of my outward expression of the voiceless hell inside. Still I had no idea what was driving any of it. I “knew” orville was brutally abusive, that was never in question. I remembered such things as him shoving my head through the window in our dining room, nearly daily ruthless beatings where flesh would bleed, being whipped with a horse whip. I remembered every creak of the floor above my head as he walked and knew he would soon descend on me. I could tell by his breathing he was drunk and that he would be more cruel, less calculated and leave more wounds. I remembered the chair shattering as I was thrown backwards in it when he hit me with the gun he had been holding to my head. I remembered being naked in front of him and his brothers, tied to a pole as they all whipped me with a horse whip. I remembered standing in front of police, also naked, as they shot pictures of all of the bruises and cuts, promising that they would help me, only for us to return to his house for increased severity of torture. I knew all of this… including there was no escape and no help…I guess I had enough that I did remember while trying to hold back the other.
Just before my 20th birthday I lost the fragile grip I had on living. Flashbacks were consuming my life and ambulances were called on numerous occasions as we did not know what was happening. I had lost 2 jobs, my nights were filled with convulsion and nightmares. My eating disorder was at a critical level and I was dying. I was trying to find some way out of hell but did not know what was wrong with me. I had been seeing a therapist for a few months for my eating disorder but everything was getting worse. After one particular session, memories of being sexually abused and worse began to pour out of my ravaged mind. The dam holding them back collapsed more than I ever imagined it could. I left my therapist’s office terrified and suicidal. I knew I was in trouble.
I tried to fight. I prayed with all of my heart to have strength to continue, but in the horror I could not remember what exactly I was fighting for. In an attempt to keep pressing forward, I drove the hour from therapy to a meeting for Adult Children Of Alcoholics, but their topic was molestation and I collapsed. Sobbing, I ran from that meeting into the darkness of night, leaving my car and everything I had. I was screaming to the heavens for God to help me. I was frantic and disintegrating quickly. I ran and ran. I thought it was a sign from God, that He knew what was happening and that He would help me, when I came across a payphone. I tried to call my therapist but was lacking 5 cents. I could not complete the call. I begged God to help me find just 5 cents! I was so desperate! I begged and pleaded for Him to help me. My desperate fingers combed through the bushes and grass, the gutters and sidewalks. “5 cents! God, please help me find just 5 cents…” I found nothing. It was as if a giant shadow smothered the moon and the stars in one giant blast. All went dead and cold within me. A “part” of me came forward and said “we are done”. In that numb state I slowly walked the mile or so back to the meeting, retrieved my things, went to the store, bought sleeping pills, went home and overdosed. I remember brief moments at the E.R., my frantic roommates and the young men they had asked to help them take me there. I remember a tube being pushed into my nose, nurses pulling my clothes off, my bishop sitting by me, then waking up the next day or days later, I’m not sure of the time, heartbroken that I still lived.
While in the hospital memories revealed themselves like a typhon overtaking a small island. I broke. I was destroyed in every way I could be. I could not sleep, I was in constant flashbacks, throwing up everything I ate if I could eat at all, and my mind felt like it was truly shattering. My heart was broken. I felt completely abandoned by God. The reality of what had happened to me for 20 years unfolded in a constant nightmare. I was trapped in life and pleaded for death. This went on for months. While there I pressed charges on two of my perpetrators to no avail. This state of assault on my mind and body would not relent for years.
Following this hospital stay and time in a homeless shelter, I tried to escape my abusers by moving to a different city and legally changed my name. I had to disappear as much as possible to try to recreate a life where I was at least physically safe, where there was hope for me to heal.
Many years later I am not yet fully healed but have hope for continued movement in that direction. I am covered in scars from my face to my ankles, evidence of many battles I have fought. I had literally given up hope of healing, but to fulfill my calling to be a healer and lead others out of darkness into the light, I must move past the scars I carry in my mind, spirit and body. I must find a way through! I have been hurt and discarded by many loved ones and most therapists who have either determined that I was bad, or unable to be treated. Though there is much heartache associated with this, somehow God has slowly helped me build a community of people who are willing to step into the unknown to journey with me, a therapist who is helping me figure it out, and an ever faithful Savior.
I have scared people with my cutting and flashbacks to the point that some would not even look at me or acknowledge my presence. Consequently I spent many years hiding, trying to keep the devastation of my trauma from my children and all of those around me. How do you explain the unexplainable? How do you describe the havoc of hell on a person when you are trying to protect those you love from that very thing?
Circumstance has demanded that I no longer hide and bring all of me into the light. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, the strong, the weak, the beloved and depraved. All of these aspects and nuances are part of my story and to deny them heaps shame upon an already too heavy burden to carry. It is incredible that as I have come into the light with my strength and weakness, as I have shared these broken pieces with others, I am healing, and continue to grow in strength and purpose. As a result, other people are finding in me, a mentor, companion and hope for the same.
I am not done with this. I push and strain against the scars of my past and grow stronger every day. As a mother and mentor I have found true calling and purpose. At times it is still a very brutal journey toward healing. I fight battle after battle. I fall and get up time and time again, because I know I may be the only voice those still held captive in hell have. I promised them I would help find, liberate and heal them so I continue on.
I have forged my way out of hell. Those who held me there truly intended to either retain me as a prisoner, or compel me to die. I am neither and I emerged with the devils battle plans. I know his secrets and I will use them to truly set people free. I will not rest until I have impacted this in a meaningful way. In Genesis 50:20 it says “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” As it was with Joseph of Egypt, so it is with me. I will use my pain and past for good and I will help “save much people alive”.
At times it is a painful and lonely journey, healing from such trauma. It is my prayer that because I remain, because I have discovered the way out of such extreme despair and suffering, that I am able to companion others and be a great source of hope for them. The unfolding of God’s plan and way is in motion. He has worked many miracles to bring me to this point, to this place of healing and purpose, and I know He has many miracles yet to reveal for countless others.
All my love and hope,
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