My story begins as a small child. I was born to two parents, a mother and a father, and three older brothers. Two of those brothers had already moved out of the house by the time that I was born. When I was two years old, my father passed away due to cancer. It was that event, I believe, that incited the rest of my childhood. My mother went from a stay-at-home mom to a mom that worked full time, attempted to maintain a farm, and had a part-time job. She did her best to financially support my brother and I, but that is not where things get difficult.
When my father passed away, he took my mother’s ability to love with him. I don’t know exactly why that happened, I just know that it did. My older brother did not know how to cope with my father’s death and my mother certainly did not make it easy for him. They fought almost constantly. There was even one day where my brother almost killed my mother. He didn’t though, but I have always wondered what happened in that moment.
After my father died, my mother became very physically and emotionally abusive. I never knew what would set her off. Generally, it was the simplest things, like I didn’t put enough water in a pot for tea (in this case she poured the boiling water over me and then beat me with the pot) or I misunderstood the instructions she gave me (this occurred most often). Growing up, I was constantly told that I was not good enough. Nothing I ever did could meet the expectations that she had for me, but my mother was not just physically and emotionally abusive, she was also sexually abusive.
I slept in the same bed as my mother until I went to college. There were times at night that she would ask me to do unspeakable acts to her. These are things that I dare not describe. I was expected to satisfy her; if I did not, then she would either beat or rape me with whatever she could get her hands on. I had to do this right. I had to.
When I was eight years old, my mother got her first live-in boyfriend. At first, he would come into my room at night and lie with me. He would cuddle me and tell me how special I was and how much that he loved me. Occasionally, he would ask me to touch him, sometimes it was even a blow job. On my ninth birthday, everything changed. That night, I thought it would be the usual. I was so very wrong. So very very wrong. That night, I lost my virginity to an old man. I cried out because it hurt so bad. That woke my mother. She came to my door and stood and watched as he continued. When he was finished, he kissed my forehead and walked out of the room. I could tell my mother was boiling with anger. She lashed out at me, screaming obscenities. She grabbed one of my dolls and raped me with the legs. I was so very confused. To this day, I still don’t understand how she thought that a nine year old was trying to steal her boyfriend. All I wanted was to be loved, and in my little kid brain, I thought that what he was doing was love even though it hurt. He left us when I was ten. I still have no idea what made him leave. I cried so hard when he left. He was the first father figure I ever had in my life. He was the first, and because of what he did, he was the last.
When I was fifteen, my mother said that she had some extra money, or so I thought, and hired a farm hand. This man was a hard working man and came with great recommendations from a few of our trusted neighbors. What I didn’t know is that my mother was not paying him as she said she was. I didn’t know until one winter day that I was home alone. I was in the barn feeding the animals when he drove up in his truck. He came into the barn incredibly angry. He asked me where his money was. I told him I didn’t know, that Mom is the only one with money. He didn’t accept that answer. He took me and raped me right there in the middle of the barn walkway. I screamed, yet either no one heard, or no one came. Weak and defenseless, my dignity, what little was left, was stolen once again.
But my story isn’t all terrible. In fact, after that year, something crazy happened. I met a family that took me in as their own. They even call me their daughter. It was through them that I saw how a family was supposed to function. I saw that I was capable of being loved and not being abused. This family showed me the love of Jesus. I met Him my senior year of high school when I was seventeen. Everything changed after that. I found love. I found what love is supposed to be. I found that God’s heart breaks for stories like mine, for stories like yours. His heart breaks for the injustices of the world. Some say that if there is a God then why does all of this bad stuff happen? Why doesn’t He stop it? The answer is that He is stopping it. He places a love for those who are impoverished, beaten, abused, and unloved in the hearts of His followers and they go out and change the world. He has called people to work towards stopping child abuse, human trafficking, etc. God isn’t ignoring the issue. He is created people to help stop it.