*TRIGGER WARNING: The post you are about to read deals with sexual assault and abuse. There is no graphic language used, but the subject matter is sensitive in nature.
It was in a coffee shop on an April evening when I realized for the first time I’d been sexually assaulted. It had been three months since the assault, and three months and two days since I’d broken up with my boyfriend.
I had gone to a Starbucks, armed with my laptop, planning to write the pain out of me. I thought if I could just write an angsty poem or a reflective letter, it would all go away. I felt like someone had carved out my insides.
I hadn’t written in months. Instead, I’d gone to journalism school feeling empty and scooped out. I binge-watched two seasons of Pretty Little Liars in three days. I dreamed of snakes and scorpions and my teeth falling out. Sometimes my fear would seep out in a visceral way, and it would take hours to stop my hands from shaking.
I opened my laptop and pulled up a blank page. I stared at the blinking cursor. Before I realized what I was doing, I found myself on Google, slowly typing five words:
Legal definition of sexual assault
The words sat in the search bar, boring into me — black and bold and heavy.
The legal definition wouldn’t lie. It wouldn’t adhere to emotion or feeling. It would be factual, detached. If I could understand the legality, perhaps I could grasp the shards I was holding in my sliced hands.
Over seventeen million results flooded my screen. I clicked the first one.
I read each bullet point, bewildered by the words I was reading — reading exactly what had happened to me. I felt as if a bucket of cold water had been dumped on me, and suddenly, I was freezing.
I tried to slow my breathing, tried not to look like I had just uncovered the magnitude behind my hollowed-out soul.
I found another website, SACHA, a sexual assault center in the core of my city. There was a phone number, a 24-hour hotline. I slammed my laptop down, grabbed my purse, and ran back to my car.
The sun was setting, streaking the sky with pink and orange and magenta. I placed my hand on my heart and tried to take a full breath but my lungs wouldn’t cooperate.
I typed the number in my phone and called. An operator picked up.
“Um,” I stuttered. “I’m looking for SACHA?” I mispronounced the center’s name.
The operator’s voice instantly softened, “You’re looking to talk to someone?”
“Yes, please.” My voice sounded far away and timid, even to my own ears.
“I think someone should be available now. Let me try and put you through.”
Music came across my phone and played for a few minutes. I kept looking out at the parking lot, the dusk light settling on my windshield. The sky was pink and peach — hopeful. What was I doing, calling this hotline? What would I even say?
“Hi, this is Hannah,” a voice came on the other end of the line before I had the chance to disconnect. “I’m a volunteer at SACHA. This call is anonymous and confidential. No information will leave here unless I feel as though you are in immediate danger. Do you understand?”
Neither of us said anything. Suddenly I heard myself sobbing, “Mine happened about three months ago.” My nose was clogged, and tears poured down my face.
“Oh,” Hannah said gently.
“I — I don’t know what to do,” I whimpered. “I’m trying to move on, or get help, or heal. I want to get over this so badly. But — recently I’ve just felt so sad. I don’t understand how I feel so sad.”
“That’s a very normal reaction to have. I’m so glad you called. It’s a very good thing that you’re working on moving forward. All of this is progress.”
“Okay,” I wiped my streaming nose against the cuff of my sweatshirt. “I guess what I’m having the hardest time with is the legitimacy. I keep wondering if I’m being dramatic. Other girls have it way worse than me. He didn’t rape me. He was my boyfriend. I should be fine. I didn’t even know if I should call this number because I feel like I should be over this by now.”
“You’re minimizing this,” Hannah said. “Again, a lot of people tend to react this way. And if you’ve been repressing it for three months then you may feel even more like you shouldn’t be so affected by it by now. But you shouldn’t minimize your pain. Your pain is valid.”
I listened to her as she spoke, her voice soft but firm, a complete stranger to me. And yet I had just told this girl I didn’t know the most vulnerable and terrifying experience that had happened to me.
“Thank you for talking to me,” I told her at the end of our fourteen-minute conversation.
“That’s what we’re here for. Day or night, you can call. We have free counseling available too if that’s something you’re interested in. Some people are fairly averse to the idea of counseling. Others find it really helps.” She gave me the center’s number, in case I wanted to call the next morning and put my name down on the waitlist.
I ended the call.
For a long time after the call, I think I’m okay. I see a Christian counselor for eight months. I try to tell her how I’m feeling, but I mostly skirt around the main topic. I can’t ever say it outright. The words feel too dirty, and I think deep inside it must have been my fault anyway.
I date someone else and am astonished by his kindness to me. His kindness makes me angry because I don’t know if I deserve it. I treat him horribly and blame him for all the hurt I experienced in my previous relationship. I leave a heap of damage in my wake. I hurt people because of how much I’m hurting inside.
Counseling is expensive, and I’m not sure what else to say to my therapist. I tell a few of my friends, but I wonder if they will get tired of me wanting to talk about what happened. The nightmares slow down. There are some weeks where I don’t wake up crying.
Over the next year and a half, I put all of my focus into school. I get an overseas internship and go to England. I think I’m ready to tell the world my story, so I write an essay from my miniature flat in London. The essay is angry and forthright and comes from a place of wanting to get over the pain. I send it to some people I love and they tell me not to publish it, which just makes me feel angrier and more ashamed. I wonder if I’ll always feel marred by this.
The night I get home from my summer internship in England, I find out my friend has died. She was killed in a car accident early that morning.
My dad tells me when I get home, his phone dangling from his fingertips. “I think Tat’s been killed,” he says.
I am holding onto my sister’s baby, and I cling to her too tightly, causing her to cry. My friend Tat Blackburn — the astoundingly kind girl I’d been mentoring for the last three years, who helped plant our church, who was supposed to be getting married in October, whom I had just spoken to days earlier — was gone. My heart cannot handle the grief.
Her death cracks me right open, and all of my sadness spills out — grief over the loss of her and the sexual assault from over a year earlier. All of it commingle together, and I wonder if I might drown.
It’s the summer after England, a whole year since Tat died. I haven’t spoken of my assault much, but it’s overwhelming me, coming up over and over in my mind and in my body.
I sit on my sister’s couch. My friend Michelle sits across from me. I’ve just put my nephew to bed. I’m on babysitting duty, and my sister and her husband are out.
I look at Michelle, and immediately I feel safe. She’s had a grueling six months that are almost unfathomable, and I have vowed to her and God and myself to stick by her side for as long as she needs it.
But she doesn’t want to talk about her year anymore. She wants to talk about me.
“I know stuff is going on with you,” she says kindly. “Do you want to talk about it?”
And there it is: an opportunity to come clean, a chance to pry the secret away from its heavy grip on my chest and release it to her.
I had told other people before. For three years, I’d harbored immense pain and shame. Every time I had told someone my secret, I regretted saying something so vulnerable.
But there’s something about Michelle. She makes me feel safe. She’s non-judgmental. She’s suffering too — and there’s something about sharing in your suffering with someone else that makes you feel a fraction less alone.
I open my mouth and start to tell her.
I explain how my ex-boyfriend sexually abused me three years ago while we were dating. That’s the official word for what happened: abuse. Two different counselors confirmed it for me. Psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse. The words feel heavy, and make my stomach twist. I’m still not used to them because I’ve consistently tried to ignore that it happened. Most people didn’t even know we were dating. I’d never posted photos of him on my social media feed — I’d never wanted to. It had felt like the world was made up of just the two of us, and everyone else had seemed so far away.
“Do you want to tell me exactly what happened?”
She’s the only person who has ever asked that before. And instead of finding it intrusive, I find it strangely freeing.
“I’m scared to tell you,” I say.
“I’m afraid you’ll tell me it’s not a big deal or that it’s not real — and if that’s the case, then I have no idea why I’ve been in so much pain the past three years.”
She smiles sadly, but I know it’s an invitation. Michelle isn’t trying to keep me quiet because she’s uncomfortable. Instead, she’s offering me her presence as a safe place to enter into the fullness of my pain — pain I’ve tried to hide from for so long.
“You don’t have to tell me,” she says. But I want to. I push myself further into my sister’s grey couch.
I shake violently as I explain it to her. I can still see the scene replay in my mind from that Sunday night in February. We were in his mother’s living room. There was one lone lamp lit up in the corner; everything else was dark. I remember I cried, and he just looked at me. I remember The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller sat on his bedside table. I remember we got ice cream together the next day.
I can feel the trauma in my body, happening all over again, as I recount the details to her. It is the middle of summer, but I am so cold. I try to start at the beginning, but I can’t think linearly, and I find myself telling story after story in a strange order.
Michelle doesn’t ask me to stop. She keeps listening. Words rush out of my mouth, but I can’t look at her. Instead, I stare at my sister’s fringed carpet, the throw cushions, my fingernails.
My gaze is blurry when I finally turn toward her. I blink through my tears and see she is crying too. For some reason, it is hard to believe she is crying. If she’s crying, perhaps what I’m feeling actually is real.
Michelle looks at me when I’m done, after I’ve taken long, slow, wavering breaths.
She holds my gaze, hardly blinking. “What happened to you is real,” she says. “It is real, and I am so sorry. I am sorry it happened, and I’m sorry no one believed you. I am sorry you felt shame. I am sorry no one validated your experience. I am so, so sorry.”
I feel like I can breathe again.
I think it’s one of the first times someone has listened to my story and hasn’t tried to fix it, spin it in a positive light, or convince me that I’m being melodramatic.
Michelle listens to me and I feel heard.
Michelle listens to me and I start to heal.
I decide to go back to counseling. I find a trauma and sexual abuse counselor online. I call their office and ask to schedule an appointment. I am more confident this time all these years later, but I still feel scared.
Michelle has already decided she will drive me to my intake session. I think she wonders if I might back out, and honestly, there’s a good chance of that. She knows where the center is, so she offers to drive me the day of the appointment. She promises to walk me through the double doors, up the stairs, and into the waiting room. I feel like throwing up just thinking about it, and I’m grateful she will accompany me.
The morning before I go, I sit on my couch in my apartment. As I pray, I see a picture start to form in my head. It’s like a movie reel playing through my mind, but my eyes are open. God knows me better than anyone, and He knows how visual I am. I’ve gotten these pictures a few times over the course of my life, and when they start to play, I’ve learned to stop and listen.
I see a picture of Jesus form. I can see it in my mind’s eye.
I am clothed in darkness. He is bathed in brilliant light. He extends His hand toward me, His smile wide.
“Come into the light with Me, Aliza,” He seems to say. “I won’t leave you alone.”
I look down, and I am in a prison of shame and fear and anger. The prison bars surround me, but the door is wide open, and Jesus is standing outside of it, the light pooling around His feet.
It’s a clear invitation. His hand is open, outstretched towards me.
I take His hand, and I leave the darkness behind me.
I know it’s time to tell the truth now. I know the truth sets me free.
I have decided to step into the light.Leave a Comment
Kaitlyn Bouchillon says
Friend, I am so sorry that any piece of this happened. You are stronger than you know. Beautiful. Loved.
I really believe that you’ll see the beginning of ripples today that will stretch out for months to come, a *glimpse* of how God will use your “yes” to hitting publish on this post.
Your words here are an open hand along the way. Your story is a friend who walks beside. You point not only to what God has already done but what you trust He has yet to do.
Praying peace and joy over you today. xo
Aliza Latta says
Thank you, Kaitlyn! <3
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Admitting that you’ve been abused is a hard thing to do on so many levels. It took me a long time to admit that I had been verbally and emotionally abused in my marriage for 25 years. You believe the lies and shame that says that is was somehow your fault or you didn’t deserve better. I am so proud of you for coming forward and sharing your story. You don’t know just how many women you are going to help. You may not hear from each of them, but you will plant a seed that says to them, “You are worthy. You are not deserving of this. God loves you and wants healing for you.” You are giving life to someone who is reading your story. It takes time, counseling, prayer, and God’s healing touch to move beyond any form of abuse. Good for you for fighting for the little girl in you that says, “I’m a daughter of the King and this is not acceptable.” Praying that you will continue walking into the light and that God’s healing touch will be upon you. May He give you peace and strength as you confront the past, know God is right there with you every step along the way, and let that courage propel you into the future. Lifting you in prayer, right now, sweet child of God.
Aliza Latta says
Bev – thank you for your kind words. I am so sorry for the abuse you’ve endured; you are filled with resilience, and I am so grateful that you fought against those lies. Your compassion, empathy, and prayers mean so much to me.
Judy Wallace says
I read your post with tears in my eyes as I’ve been there too. I was stalked and later raped by a man in our neighborhood when I was 15 and it took years for me to work through it. But what the enemy meant for evil, God turned into something good. I shared my experience at a woman’s aglow meeting and as I looked around the room, 20 or more women were crying and raised their hands for prayer. . . they had experienced it too. There’s something incredibly powerful about sharing your story with woman who have been though it too. You feel accepted loved and valued, which helps you heal and move on.
God knows our story and when the time is right, He can use it to help others. God bless you and thank you for sharing your story .
Kaitlyn Minze says
First off, thank you so much for your openness and vulnerability. Your story could not be any more familiar to mine besides me telling you mine myself. The Lord gave me an image of standing in darkness and asked me to step into the light WITH HIM. I did and that is the day my life changed. The next day, I told one of my friends what had happened to me 12 years prior. (Yep! 12 years I didn’t tell anyone.) I knew nobody would understand me or believe it and minimize what was agonizing to me.
I have a painting that I did from the moment I stepped out of my grave and walked into freedom. I am no artist, but it brings me great joy and representation of the freedom that only He can give.
Aliza Latta says
Kaitlyn – wow. I can’t even tell you how much I love that God also gave you a picture of stepping into the light! That is the craziest thing – and brought so much joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. I am so thankful you are walking in freedom today. Thank you for sharing this with me.
Mary Carver says
Aliza, I am so very sad and angry that this happened to you. But I’m also incredibly grateful for and inspired by your bravery in sharing your story, both with Michelle and also here with us. Thank you for letting us in. Thank you for showing us what healing can look like and that’s it’s possible. Praying for you as you continue walking into the Light.
Aliza Latta says
Thank you so much, Mary. xo
Patricia Raybon says
Thank you, beautiful Aliza, for taking the risk to share your pain and story. It takes courage to speak when your hurt may make people turn from it. Or dismiss it. Or deny it. Or tell you to get over it. The philosopher Simone Weil said most people would rather do anything than hear another person’s pain.
But truth shines light. So, thank you for sharing yours — then sharing the One who carries and heals every burden. Please know that no matter how your story appears to be received, you’re helping unleash many hearts today. Even more, in the end, you pointed us to Christ. He forever longs to heal us all. With His wonderful love, Patricia
Aliza Latta says
You are a gift, Patricia – thank you. xo
Michele Cushatt says
I love you. And I am so proud of you. This is courage. This is grace.
Aliza Latta says
So much love to you!
Aliza, I admire your bravery, not only for sharing this, but every brave day you walked toward healing, when you made phone calls, spoke up, tried again, and let your heart and body feel the weight of your feelings. You are so courageous.
I’m angry and sad that this happened to you. And I’m so sorry.
Aliza Latta says
Thank you so much, Tasha. <3
Katy Louise Grace says
I am endlessly proud of you. Thank you for your bravery sweet friend. It is so painful to read your words, yet so beautiful to know your triumph and the way Jesus has cared for you. Thank you for encouraging me to continue to do the hard work towards healing. I love you deeply. xo
Aliza Latta says
Much love to you, my brave friend.
I have not experienced this personally and I am so sorry this happened to you. Many Christian websites/circles would not allow this type of topic to be published. You are offering healing to so many through your story. Thanks for being brave enough to share it to help others heal alongside yourself.
Aliza Latta says
You’re right, Heidi – and I am so deeply grateful that (in)courage is a community that welcomes this part of my story. Thank you for your kind words.
Becky Keife says
Aliza, I am so grateful for your courage in sharing your story today and trusting this community with this most vulnerable piece of your heart. We’ve talked a lot and there’s nothing more I could say in a comment box other than to remind you again that you are so deeply loved. Thank you for encouraging us all to step into the Light.
Aliza Latta says
Love you, Becky.
Aliza, I am so sorry for what has happened to you. I know it took so much courage to share your story and also to reach out for help. I thank you so much for sharing your story here. You are so loved, friend! Praying for you ! ❤️
Aliza Latta says
Thank you, Stephanie! xo
Ada N Orie says
I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you. I am thankful in your own time that you were able to start to heal and step into the light. This courageous post will encourage other survivors and help those who have not addressed their abuse. God is a healer and loves us too much to remain the same. May God continue to cover you with his favor and courage as you go forth to do his work on his behalf. God bless you!
Aliza Latta says
Ada – thank you! You’re right, God is a healer. I appreciate your kindness and compassion today.
Michele Morin says
Aliza Braveheart, once again you have put words around brokenness and opened a window on healing for readers here.
May you sense a flood of courage straight from heaven as your story initiates conversations and wholeness.
Aliza Latta says
Oh Michele – your kind words are a soothing balm on my heart today. Thank you.
Karen Charles-Herrera says
This is so powerful. That you wrote it, that you got it out.
I am sorry that you were treated like this. And I want you to know you are of infinite worth, beauty and value.
I pray that you continue to heal and that sunlight fills all the places that were once dark – nothing hidden anymore, and you totally free.
Aliza Latta says
Thank you for your kind words and for your prayers, Karen. They mean so much to me!
I am deeply sorry for what you have been through.You are a brave and strong young woman to share your pain with us. Thank you for your encouragement of stepping into the light.
Blessings to all,
I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.
Aliza Latta says
Thank you so much for your compassion, Penny. <3
Carla King says
Thank you for sharing your story. I know how hard it was to tell. I know what repression does. I was a victim of sexual assault at the age or 10 or 11 (I still have some blocked memories) by my dad’s best friend. I never told anyone until I was 47. I am still dealing with the effects and I know you will continue to do so as well. But it’s not the end of our stories. God works in the pain and darkness to bring us to light. Your vision was so powerful.
I pray for continued healing and strength for all survivors. I pray your bravery allows for others to be brave.
Aliza Latta says
Carla – I am so deeply sorry for the incredible pain and trauma you’ve experienced. My heart breaks for you. I am so proud of your resilience. Thank you for your kind words. <3
Karina Allen says
My friend. My sister.
I am SO sorry for all of this…the abuse, the guilt, the shame.
Know that there is joy for your mourning. There is peace for your heaviness. In the midst, God is still good and faithful. He is close to the broken hearted. He loves you!
I love you! I’m so proud of your BRAVE! You’ve opened the door for so many to step into His light of love and healing. You have brought Him much glory!
Aliza Latta says
Much love to you, Karina!
Thank you so much for sharing your story. Thank you!
I am 63 years old, and was also abused by a boyfriend when I was 16 years old, resulting in an unwanted and unexpected pregnancy and a hushed abortion. I carried this guilt for many years. I never knew or rather admitted to anyone or myself that I was raped. I shut it all out of my mind for many years until I read a book which spoke of forgiveness and letting go. I was around 57 when I fully realized and was able to admit I had been a victim of rape. As I read your testimony I applaud you for opening up because only then will you finally be able to let go and allow the healing to take place. My heart goes out to you because you are brave and you are not alone. These stories need to be told so that others who are secretly going through something similar can feel strengthened to take a step forward to seek help, to talk to someone, and to allow God to begin true healing from within. God bless you and may the Lord use you as He sees fit.
Tonya Salomons says
Weeping here. Weeping for the pain and the hurt you have experienced, for the abuse that had the potential to dim that beautiful smile.
Weeping with gratitude for the way Jesus met you in such a dark moment. I heard it said once that joy doesn’t do an end run around the darkness, it actually rises bold and beautiful out of the midst of it, and it’s a startling beauty to be sure.
We have been honoured to step into this with you sister, may you these comments and the words from all of us here feel like a gentle touch soothing the edges of your hurt. Praying for you today, as this was no easy thing to do.
Emily P Freeman says
Dear Aliza. You have told your hard story with grace and courage and we are grateful. I have no doubt that your words here are the very light that so many are looking for today. Thank you for going first.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
I have few things that happen in my life. Something I don’t know if in my head or not. When I was just a small child. But my Salvation Army Offer says it must have happened or it would never be in my head. Along with something else I know about. It totally different thing. But I forgiven the people. Especially the first one if it did happen when small or if it never happened. As I am saved. It the right thing to do. Even if not saved I still forgive. But I know in God’s perfect timing I need more healing from the proper people. Even though my Salvation Army Offer has prayed with me. With people who are trained to listen to what I am going through. When I ready to tell all. I don’t talk about these things often or bring them up. I go on. I trust God for everything thing. Know he loves me and has me in his loving arms. I know it must hurt for you Aliza. It not nice. It hurts. I know God through the right help will heal you and me in his perfect timing. But you do say why do things like this happen to nice people like me and you. You remember as my Salvation Army Offer said to me and my Husband said to me. You are a beautiful daughter of the king. My Salvation Army Offer told me it took me a long time to do this look in the mirror say Jesus says I am beautiful so I am beautiful. That all that matters. All that matters is what God’s says about me. Boy did I find it hard to do that. Plus listen to on line a very good friend sent it to me the words and told me to listen to it on line. You get it on YouTube. It called the Father’s Love Letter do if never heard it before if strong enough listen to it on line. It so true what God’s say about you. I will keep you in prayer. In God’s perfect timing you will get your healing so will I. You will be able to hold your head up high. Thank you so much for being so brave to share what you shared. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxxxx ps. Hope you liked England I have Aunts and Uncles that live there plus cousins. It a nice part of the world. I come when get to England you need to get another plain ride. Northern. Ireland were I come from. It Beautiful too xx
Tammy Belau says
I can relate to your story. I was so ashamed and afraid to talk about it for a long time.
I wish I would have gotten counseling. Two years later I married a wonderful Christian man and I had so much fear of intimacy on our honeymoon and it wasn’t his fault. You are brave to validate all the women who also are ashamed…can see how they could have prevented it…feel naive and foolish for letting it happen.
We blame ourselves because it gives us a sense of control.
I have never met you but you are my sister and I pray God continues to direct your passion for writing and truth.
You are a Joseph, and God is going to use your story for His healing in many others.
Thank you so much for your brave share ing. It reminds me of mine with my father. May God bless you and continue to heal you. L
Jennifer Waugh says
Oh sweet girl, you are so brave!! I’m so sorry and angry that you went through this. Angrier still that you were made to feel the way you did. Writing this piece AND putting it out here is so brave! I admire your courage and your push to heal and grow. Sending all my love xoxo
I’m so sorry this happened to you! It wasn’t your fault. I know that sharing your story wasn’t easy for you to do. You are brave, and I commend you for your willingness to speak up! Telling you story is a big step towards healing! You are not alone in your journey to emotional freedom. Thank you for being willing to share your story and help others to start the conversation and begin healing! It takes a lot of courage and inner strength to talk about these things, but it is so worth it!
There is so much hope to be found in Jesus Christ, and the truth in His Word! Truth truly is the key to the freedom and light that God has to offer. I know this firsthand. I am a secondary victim of child sex abuse. My mom was sexually abused as a child, and did begin her journey toward healing until I was 14 years old. As a result, her projected guilt and anger hurt me deeply. When she began to get counseling, and shared some of her experience with me, I began to understand why she acted the way she did. I also began to realize that I too needed help to see my pain in the light of the Bible.
By God’s grace He has brought healing and restoration to my mom and I, and now we help others. My parents recently started a non-profit ministry called Safe to Hope to help survivors of child sex abuse find hope and healing. Safe to Hope has a 20-acre farm, and we are raising the funds to turn it into a retreat center where survivors can come to get counseling, and a respite from the pressures of everyday life to focus on healing. I am studying to become a counselor, and help others find hope and healing. I have not personally told my story much, but reading this stirred me to share as well.
Our story is not over, and yet we have seen God heal, restore, and daily provide what we need. I know that he will provide abundantly for you as well!
There are resources for survivors on our website: http://www.safetohope.org/
I will be praying for you.
Blessings on your journey,
Beth Williams says
Your post brought tears to my eyes. You made me feel like I was there with you. May God bless you for being so brave & frankly honest here. It takes great courage to tell someone something sensitive.
You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem & loved more than you will ever know. It took determination to step out & call for help then go to the counselor’s office & tell your story. God knew your pain & made a way for you to step into the light. He blessed you with a super great friend Michelle. Thank you for sharing your hard story here. You have blessed & helped many a woman who has or will go through similar trials. Asking God to bless you & help you heal as time goes on.
Elaine Pool says
Aliza, I’m proud of you! You are the victim here, and remember this one thing: It’s. NOT. Your Fault. Continue on your path, and know that we love you!
Dearest Aliza ♡
Your truth telling will be (already is) the lighthouse for some one else’s journey.
I know the weight of the shame, constant nagging doubts, heavy dark secrecy and overwhelming fear of rejection. I know how brave you had to be to take this raw piece of your heart and offer it up to strangers in the hope of healing.
Your courage brought me to tears.
It does get easier to share as time goes, but you will never get accustomed to the power it has to help others. I’m in awe every time.
“1 in 4” stuck with me as well. I find myself looking around a room thinking, one quarter of these people know my pain too.
My your healing path be bathed in grace & love so immeasurable it leaves you shining with Hope.
Friend, as someone who has also experienced sexual assault, I just want you to know how deeply grateful I am for you sharing your story in this space. Your voice and message is magnified today for His glory. Praying peace and rest for you tonight!
Thank you for these brave and beautiful words. I was nearly 60 the first time I admitted #MeToo. So thankful you won’t waste as many years as I did. Grace and peace to you, my little sister.
I don’t usually comment on posts but after I read yours today, my heart’s response was “I’m so glad you’re okay”..to which my mind was quick to counter “but she’s not OK yet”. I’m Sorry. I can imagine the magnitude of what you’ve been through and what you are going through but I just wanted you to know my heart’s response. Praying for you.
April Knapp says
Thank you so much for your vulnerability and sharing your story. I am sure it will help others bring theirs to the light and also receive healing. I am so sad and angry for you that this happened, but I am glad you are in the process of healing.
Thank you for your bravery, in sharing such a personal story. I’m sorry for this tradgedy in your life. A couple of years ago while I was helping at a Christian children’s week long event, a woman who attends the same Christian women’s group as myself, kept touching me on my shoulder every time she walked by me during our coffee break. Well, the second day, the “steam” could probably be seen coming out of my whole being. After she had done this again, then walked out of the kitchen, I stepped out the kitchen door and said loudly, “stop touching me.” I felt “violated” and If I hadn’t spoken up, I probably would have done something I regretted. ANY TYPE OF UNWANTED TOUCH, IS ASSAULT. This woman had been trying to force herself into being a friend, and I just wasn’t feeling any connection to her. Anyhow, it has taken me 2 years, tons of biblical reading, especially re loving your enemy, and numerous prayers to finally stop hating this woman. I too, sometimes visualize Jesus as this beautiful, shining light when I need healing for myself or someone else, even strangers I don’t know.
I am so thankful God has brought healing to you. May the light of Jesus continue to shine in you and through you.
I am 64 and just beginning to open up about the abuse I suffered from ages 5 – 11. Thank you so much for writing your story. It is very difficult to see your writing in print. Thank you! I know God will bless you for opening up.