I've been writing this post in my head for days. Deleting, scratching out, changing, editing, procrastinating, for days. I am now sucking it up.
As far back as I remember, my life has not been normal. I've spent so much time being who every one else wants me to be, that I really don't know who I am. I'm so tired of playing this game that I didn't want to be a part of by everyone else's rules. Enough. I'm done being who they want me to be. I will never stop being a victim. My past makes me who I am. But today is the day that I stop denying that past, and start coming through the darkness.
My hope is that while I am coming through the darkness, I can be a voice for all of the men, women, and especially the children who do not have a voice. Those who are victims of sexual violence of any kind, and are unable to speak. This is me speaking. For me. For you. For them.
When I was a child I never knew anything was different. I guess you don't, when it starts when you are so very young. I don't remember a time before the abuse. I don't remember having an innocent or pure mind. I remember being five and hearing adults talk about sex (in a very discreet way) and knowing what they were talking about. I didn't know that this life I lived wasn't the way it was supposed to be. I didn't know that the life I lived was all wrong.
By the time I was 12 I was living a double life. I had always known that what was going on behind my brother's door at night was a secret. At least, since I was 8 or 9. I knew I wasn't supposed to tell anyone, especially Mom and Dad. I knew what we were doing was wrong. But the way I knew it was that we were both sneaking around doing things we shouldn't be. Not that I was being abused, molested, or hurt. No, not that. Ever. Not until I was 12. At school I was popular, fun loving. I had lots of friends, I was a cheerleader, I was a straight A student. I went to church, I played with my friends, I was a kid. A happy, well adjusted kid. Until the night time came. Behind closed doors I was living the life of an adult. Or at least that of a teenager. Not of a 12 year old girl. I began at this point to realize that things were different, that this wasn't normal. The relationship we had was totally wrong. That was around the time it went from 'messing around' to 'intercourse'. That was about the time I realize what it really was. Abuse. Rape. Molestation. But now I was in too deep. Things had gone too far. There wasn't a clear way out, if there was a way out at all. I was stuck.
When I was 14 I 'became a woman'. I guess at the point, I became a risk. He stopped. Life went on. He got married and had a child. Life went on. I started high school, and life went on. At least, life went on for him. My life went on too, but in such a different way than it should have. As horrible as this may sound, I felt abandoned. I don't know if anyone could ever understand that. But I spent all of that time being loved, being approved of, being 'special', to being absolutely nothing. And then came my teenage years. I looked for love in all the wrong places. I looked for comfort in all the wrong places. I did everything I could to get away, to escape, to forget. I lied, I denied, I pretended it was anything but what it really was. And that is exactly what got me here. To this place of darkness. Not knowing who I am, or could have been. 12 years after it stopped, I'm just starting to acknowledge it, deal with it, get through it. I have no clue where I'm going. No clue where this road leads. But I know somehow I will find the light. I will tell my story. I will speak for those who can't. I will come out of the darkness.
As I walk this road as openly as I can, I pray that this can touch someone. That someone will find the strength through my story to tell their own. I pray that everything I say, everything I do will be to God's glory. I don't know where this blog is going. I don't know how often I'll post, or even that when I post it won't say something like 'I can't get out of bed today' or 'Today I hurt'. It may be not be something profound. Along the way more of my story will unfold, more of who I am will be shared. But for now, I must go. I pray that this is a loud enough voice.
I'm a wife. I'm a mom. I'm a photographer. I'm a lover of Jesus. My house is a mess, my kids are dirty, we eat take out more often than not. My life is loud, busy and crazy. And that's okay with me.
This is Eric, the man you've been praying for. He's a paramedic. He quilts in his spare time. No, I couldn't make that up :) He has NASH (a form of liver disease, non-alcoholic) and diabetes, but those things don't define him. He's a man of God, an insanely wonderful husband, and the best daddy in the world.. Just ask these guys..
Our daughter Ali, she's 9. She's fiercely opinionated and strong willed. She's a Daddy's girl, but the umbilical cord hasn't but cut from me, either. She's a gymnast, and proud of it. She spends more time upside down or turning flips than she does walking. She's crazy smart, and absolutely sure of it. She is my insufferable little know it all.
Our son Dylan, 7. We lovingly refer to him as Chubs. Or Chubby. Or fat boy. Ahem. He is all boy, as you can see by his crazy wild energy. He has the highest pain tolerance of any child I have ever met. He plays soccer and does gymnastics, but truly he is a gamer, a nerd. He is an avid reader and loves to climb. Not to be outdone by his sister, he's a drama king, but to him, I'm the best mommy in the world.
I'm here to use my voice. So many people can't. In a world of darkness, I just want to help God's light to shine through. I pray that my words are His, and my love is His, as well. This is my journey through the darkness. To start are the beginning of the story, click here.