Sexual abuse

I’m going to apologize in advance because this is probably going to come out sounding much harsher than I really mean, but the shame that has been consuming my soul is really starting to turn into frustration and to get my point across I know I’m going to say some things out of anger that I don’t know how to say any other way right now. I’m sorry, it’s not personal.

I’ve come back to church and am starting to find God after many years away. I went to church all through school even when I had to take myself, but after my mom and my last grandparent passed away a few months apart while I was in college I was pretty pissed at God and we hadn’t exactly been on speaking terms. When I had my son, who is now 3, I wanted to take him to church but my ex wouldn’t allow it. I finally got us out in Oct of 2010 when I got an injunction against my ex. Last year I stumbled across a group called Passages of Hope, it’s a bible study for post-abortive women to help them find healing through God. It was an amazing journey, scary and sometime painful, but it was through this group that I actually started to believe that God could love me and not just all those churchy kinds of people out there and through this I was able to forgive myself for the abortion and believe that God did too.

Ok, rewind I got pregnant somehow. Was it consensual? At that point, a month into our realationship, kind of. I had resisted and tried to say ‘no’ the first few times, but he kept pushing and I stopped bothering to try and say ‘no’. Did it feel ok? Not really, but I had no sense for what "ok" was supposed feel like anymore. I was molested in high school, I was raped in college, oh here’s the kicker I probably didn’t fight back enough or say ‘no’ the right way there either. Talk about feeling ashamed and guilty. And even with my ex, even though you could argue the sex was consensual at first there were a lot of things I wasn’t really comfortable with and same thing didn’t want to do, gave some minor resistance, but eventually would end of doing in the long run because he would let up until I did. Aside from the fact that most of it flat out hurt, A LOT. The morning after I told him I was pregnant I had to go to the ER because I was bleeding so badly. Why didn’t I stop this, why did I put up with this for almost 6 years!?!?!

Here I am today, I’m trying to find some healing, but super wary, hello shame, and not sure who or what to trust, but kind of hoping God can help me with this, cause I don’t think I’m going to find any real healing with something that God isn’t part of. I don’t know how to do this myself and I don’t know how to just figure it out between God and me. I need some guidance, I need some help. Everything that I can find though that seems to make God part of healing is all, “battered women this”, “verbal abuse that”. That sucks too, I know, been there my whole life pretty much, I can go down those various “you might be in an abusive relationship if” type checklist and check almost everything off and stuff like that has its merits, I’m not saying it doesn’t. The verbal and physical had been my ‘normal’ for so long that it took seeing something in black and white like that to get me past the, in my face of this was all there was ever going to be for me, to where I can start to listen to the little voice in the back of my mind that says this doesn’t seem quite right.

I can’t believe though that “Christian” women are only physically or verbally abused and I don’t know maybe for most women the sexual part wasn’t to the extent mine was and they can just kind of shrug it off the way I can with the physical and verbal parts. All I know is depending on the day I feel hurt or ashamed or guilty or betrayed or angry or terrified of my ex or scared to be judged. I need to find something and I think the only way I’m going to find real healing is through something that God can be a part of and this probably sounds horrible, but everything out there (I’ve found) that is church related seems to be some sugar coated version of DV that doesn’t look at the whole picture and let’s all the good churchy people feel like they like the are doing good without getting their hands dirty. And yes I know that it’s all doing some good, but I can’t be the only person like me out there either.

Again, disclaimer, this is not meant personally against you, there’s a lot that I don’t really know how to ‘explain’ and all I really have is just raw emotion. I’ve just been having a really hard time lately and don’t know what else to do, I’m frustrated, I’m exhausted, I’m hurting and with this you have a been there done that aspect without me needing to look you in the eye to say “I was molested, I was raped, I was sexually abused and I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me that this keeps happening to me.” I wasn’t even sure I could type that out. I’m sorry. I need someone to at least point me in the right direction if there’s anything out there though. Please.


Comments for Sexual abuse

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I'm Hurting for You
by: Kelly Ann Evers

Karla, you are quite an amazing woman, your strength and fortitude is quite amazing. I'm really proud of you for reaching out.

As I read and re-read your note, I see you are going to be just fine. You have a strength in you that you probably don't even know you have.

The loss and pain you've gone through is beyond words. I'm amazed how you are able to articulate and feel what you are going through.

You are far ahead than you probably realize.

I think you realized through your loss, healing and pressing through that sometimes the church doesn't have everything you need. Which is true.

After one experiences sexual abuse it's very difficult to have an intimate relationship with God but as you and God work on the healing process you will find out that God has a great plan for you.
May you find a great church that deals with sexual abuse.

Stay strong dear one, and keep up the fight, you will find that you are quite an amazing woman!

I Cried So Deeply Over This...
by: Kelly Ann Evers

Dear Karla,
I don't even know where to begin. I am so sorry for your losses. It seems like you've had so many losses one after another that you've never had time to grieve properly over each one. As I read through your note a few times, I continued to cry. It seems like too much for just one person to go through.

But on the flip side, you sound so strong. You've allowed yourself to be angry and that is good, you've expressed your hurt and anger and losses and that is remarkable. You've looked at your past and know what you are missing and you are reaching out. Karla, you are a remarkable woman! A hero in my book.

You're right about finding the right help. Unfortunately, abuse -- physical, verbal and sexual is swept under the rug when it comes to church. It's not the churches fault though. Seminaries do not have training for abuse victims. Churches don't know how to deal with women who are dealing with the pain. And even church goer's don't know how to deal with other peoples pain so their first response is to say "get over it and move on."

This organization was created for that very reason! There was no one to help me, I was told to "get over it and move on. Pray more, ask God to heal me and forgive and be like us 'happy church goers.'"

But in reality because they don't know what to say or do they try to use christian bandaids to heal you. But we both know that doesn't help.

But when you think about it, there isn't really anything anyone can say that will help, right?

In reality what I've learned is that what we need to do is ask for help, by letting them know what you need. for me, I needed hugs and someone to say they are praying for me. Because anything outside of that is beyond them. In reality, only God can do for us what we need -- which is heal us and help us move on.

I feel my hands are tied to help at times. And this is one of those times. Karla, your healing is only going to come from God. But God is good by giving us friends, pastors and family to help us through the pain and loss.

It also sounds like you are in need of a church family who is going to walk you through healing, encourage you and stand with you through this season. But it doesn't sound like you have that, right?

If you are looking for a church that can be that support for you, let me know and I will help you find it.

And I would like to know what else I can do for you.

Would you email me and let me know what you need?

Just as a side note, we had two deaths in my family today and three days ago so I am going to be traveling to a few states for funeral planning and attending so I will be behind in emails over the next couple of weeks :).

The Lord bless you, Karla,
I'm praying for you!

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