I am a female in my mid-30s, happily married, and a mother of three. It is important for me to tell my story for a few reasons:
My parents were very involved in church ministry and. therefore, many believers visited my house. Most of them were men--new local believers and visitors from other churches. We lived in a one-bedroom apartment in my childhood days in India. All of my molesters (yes, more than two) were church members. They were men in their 20s and above, while I was under the age of 13. My first memory goes back to being a four-year-old child, forced to touch a grown man's genital area in the bathroom. My repeated pleadings to let me go were ignored. I was just a child who didn't know what was happening. Many such incidents continued to happen. All of my abusers threatened that if I told my parents, I would suffer the consequences.
I never told anyone about my molesters, or what I experienced, because of these reasons:
There have been several more incidents by several molesters, and going into more detail will cause me anxiety--therefore, I choose not to write about them.
No one taught me about good touch or bad touch when I was little, so I assumed it was supposed to be an uncomfortable, yet normal touch for the longest time. I started experiencing a lot of nightmares and flashbacks after I turned 14, when I realized what had happened to me; they stopped a few years ago. I went from being an A student to a C student in college. I started having panic attacks and episodes of bedwetting that continued even into my 20s. I had trust issues and a lot of rage, because I had suppressed my sufferings in my childhood for too long. I was always afraid that someone would find me in the bathroom or a corner of the house and hurt me again. I brought a lot of baggage into my marriage and lived in fear, even though I was a continent away from my abusers.
The memories of the abuse don't go away completely, because they were truly traumatic for me. I was only four years old … eight years old … just a child. When my daughter turned four, I saw a believer holding my girl in his lap and went into panic mode. I lived with the thought and identity that I was a sexually abused girl whose entire future would be dirty and dark. I then decided, NO MORE.
The Lord uses our stories for HIS glory! The Lord has healed me today, even though I do sometimes experience palpitations if triggered with those memories. It took me close to 20 years to heal, only because I traveled this path alone. I live free, knowing that my Lord wept when I wept and that I was not abandoned by HIM. Isaiah 53:4 says, "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Psalm 94:19 says, "My anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul." Come unto me, says our Lord. Let us approach the ONE whose eyes have witnessed our hurts and who alone can provide healing and justice.
My current relationship with the Lord is amazing and strong. I see the Lord as my personal Redeemer and Healer. The Lord has been using me to minister to a lot of women through small and large Bible study groups.
"Why did this happen to me?" is a question I may not find an answer to on this side of eternity. But I do know that we live in a wicked world, and sin takes its most evil form through molesters. Vulnerable children are caught unaware of this evil. We can choose to forgive and release our tormentors into the sovereign hand of God when we are mentally and emotionally ready. No one should force you. In my opinion, forgiveness doesn't mean that I am now okay with being around those who were molesters,
or that I should allow them near my children.
I pray in the coming days that churches and parents won't remain oblivious to this grave sin committed
against children, but be a place of shelter and support to anyone who approaches them.