My mother and father got divorced when I was two years old. My mother was a single mom with two kids so she was always working trying to make ends meet and making sure we had food in our tummies. I admire my mother for this. My father remarried, had another child, and was in and out of our lives. His role was more of a provider than a nurturer. I grew up with low self-esteem, naiveness, and this great need for acceptance and for someone to show me love.
I began attending my current church when I was 13 years old. My family not being very religious or not having the time to be would not attend but my sister and I would go. I didn’t know this at the time but this where I would come face to face with my attacker.
My youth minister began grooming me when I was 15 years old. he would constantly tell me how beautiful I was, give me long front hugs, kiss my face, comment on my body and features, and would talk with me for hours on instant messenger. Everybody should know that at this time in my life I was not “asking for it” by the way I dressed, spoke, or presented myself. I was very much a little girl and had not experienced anything remotley sexual. This went on for a year and when I was 16 he made his first verbal pass at me by telling me he had been wanting to kiss me. I still hate saying this but it had excited me. Finally! Someone loved me! Someone thought I was pretty. I realized that I had “fallen in love” with him and this made me feel very shameful, guilty, and nervous because my youth minister was 22 years older than me, married, and had a daughter who was only a few years younger than me. After his first verbal pass at me, his desire for me became more for ward and he became more elaborate and more sexual verbally. This made me feel so confused, lost, and guilt ridden.
When I was 17 years old is when we had our first physical encounter. He told me to meet him at the youth building because he wanted to talk to me about some stuff that was coming up at the church. When I got there (in daylight) he grabbed me and kissed me aggressively. I pulled away and he grabbed me again and kissed me aggressively. He led me to the back hallway and pushed me against the wall and kissed me aggressively again and ran his hands all over my body. I was terrified. When I left I remember crying…that was my first kiss…and he had stolen it. I went home in shock and just sat in my room. I felt so sad yet excited…it was all so strange. This was just the beginning. That kiss was the door opening to two years worth of abuse. This man took my firsts….my first kiss…my first sexual experiences…he had taken everything. I think to the people who know my story think it was some erotic experience but it was nothing more than moments filled with physical and mental pain, confusion, fear, and guilt.
This abuse ended when I was 19 years old. A guy my age asked me out and I leaped at this chance to escape and it worked…but I had leaped into another mans arms who would also abuse me.
In my eyes, I was nothing but disgusting, worthless, stupid, and ugly.
The crazy part of this story is that I didn’t even know I had been abused until someone told me I had been! I am 26 years old now andI have just started therapy. My current boyfriend encouraged me to go and to get help because I had held this in for years and the side effects of such circumstances were ever present. I began therapy in late August and have made progress but I will say that this has to be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I’ve never felt so sad, so angry, or so lost. I haven’t told my family…I am afraid of what that may do to them. Perhaps, they would lose their faith or blame me for what happened. He attends a new church now and has access to adolescents and his job grants him access to this as well. I have no proof to give because I got rid of it all long ago so turning him is in not an option. My therapist and I have come up with some ideas on what we can do and now it is up to me if I want to go through with them or not. My the rapist says I must be okay with whatever happens if I do come out with it. I’m still determining this.
I can say that I am finally excited about life again…about loving myself and finding out who I am. I have a long ways to go but I can tell you that I feel hope in my heart for the future.
All of the people on this website who have shared, thank you. You all hold a special place in my heart.
Thank you, Linor for giving us this opportunity.