Growing up in a small town in Mississippi I was faced with different trials and
experienced some amazing triumphs. My past is filled with ups and downs as well as tears and laughter. I have endured pain that a child should never have to feel or succumb too. Through my pain I was able to understand that love can hurt and love can bring joy. Laughter kept me sane and able to face another day.
At the age of four I was approached by someone, I will call a ‘male friend,’ whom I trusted that introduced me to the world of pornography. This was his way of gaining control of my mind in order to take advantage of my youthful body. His plan prevailed because, for the next ten years he proceeded to molest me every opportunity that came available. He convinced me that it was a part of growing up to be a beautiful woman.
During those ten years my body became used to being caressed, aroused, and sadly to say, sometimes even satisfied. My hormones were knocked clear out of order. I knew that his hands were designed to protect and shelter me; not abuse and use me. It became very difficult for me to distinguish between love, lust, and abuse. I literally knew when, where, and how each scenario was going to take place.
As I matured I came to the realization that the abuse would never end until I made a stand and told him, “I am not going to be your sex toy for your own gratification while my mind is tormented with nightmares and insecurities about my sexuality.”
So, I made it my ultimate goal to never let anyone into my heart and when I loved, the only way I knew how was to love hard. I had two choices: let my past make me or allow it to break me. But I was too determined to be broken. Therefore, I picked up the broken pieces of my heart and vowed to let my life be an example to others. I chose to not give up on love but to be very careful whom I let into my world.
When I found somebody to love I felt obligated to share with them my past. In return, there were times it didn’t seem like a good idea because he would start to feel pity instead of love. It was hard to develop a relationship filled with true love because just when I let my guard down he would say, “You are an amazing person but you deserve someone better.” If that didn’t end the relationship then he felt the need to strike me or destroy my self-esteem. Then there were times when someone I dated had no idea how to articulate how he felt or what he expected out of the relationship.
It wasn’t until I met and married my husband that I learned the true meaning of finding love and being loved. My husband is an awesome man of God that preaches about what it means to love and forgive. It was April 2001 in San Diego, CA when I attended a revival about forgiveness when God set me free and opened the door for me to set my abusers free.
Like the words of the late Dr. King sang, “Free at last, Free at last. Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”