What happened to me in my young years stayed below the surface of my mind, in my subconscious, however, from this incident other characteristics began to surface—an awareness of sexuality, but without knowing what to do with it. Each child is different so not everyone will have the same experiences.
Sheltered from the ways of the world, I never really knew all the details about sex until I hit mid teen years. Most of that information came from friends, who were older than me, that had already begun to be sexually active. I wasn’t interested. I flirted, unreservedly with boys, but never went any further, nor did I want to.
When my parents finally let me date, I was fourteen. Of course it had to be at the house only, which I now see as a very wise decision. I liked this very tall, nice looking black boy. As we sat in the living room talking we started to hold hands. My Dad walked by the door, stopped and shook his head no, telling us we were not allowed to hold hands. I was the baby of the family. My Dad wanted to protect me from, well, ‘boys’. Before that young man left, he did manage to give me a peck on the lips that jump started my heart with some fast palpitations.
It is so hard for me to write about this and to expose myself in this way. However, it is necessary if you are to understand what I am trying to say about how scars and wounds that have been blocked out of your memory, often manifest themselves in one way or another. I am truly embarrassed now to say how I acted as a teen, even though I now know, that most of this behavior was connected to the time I was molested. However, I still had a choice in doing right or doing wrong. I realize it was my choices that left me scared for years, as you will read.
I joined a club, in my freshman year of high school, called Upward Bound. This government program gave underprivileged kids a chance to experience college, as in incentive to get a good education. It was an excellent program. During the summer you would live on campus, go to classes during the morning, and then have the rest of the day to do whatever you wanted. They took us on one big trip for the summer, along with other planned activities during the summer vacation. They, also, took us on one big trip during the school year, besides giving us a monthly allowance of twenty dollars that helped us buy clothes and shoes. I loved being a part of Upward Bound. The freedom, during the summer, from parental supervision helped me to grow up a little. Being around college kids, whom I saw as so much wiser, did not prove to be the best thing for me.
During the regular school year, my friends and I would visit our new, older friends on campus, without or parents knowledge. In the course of one visit I sat in a dorm lobby by myself, when some college jock came to tell me he was sent to “be with me”. He asked me if I wanted to come back with him to his room. Not knowing what else to do, I said yes. I really don’t know why I said yes. I think I felt sorry for him. I let him kiss me when I really didn’t want to. Any participation on my part was lacking enthusiasm. But, when he started to do things that I didn’t like, I asked him to stop. When he didn’t, I felt like he was going to force me. I took my fist and started beating on him to make him stop.
Now, I’m going to make you laugh. Imagine a very skinny, five foot, two inch girl, less than one hundred pounds, but very wiry, fighting a very broad shouldered, thick football player—because that’s just how it was. I fought him off like I was fighting for my life. I felt smothered with the fear. Now, in my mind I thought, “If this is how black men are, I will never like a black man.” So I determined that I would never date or like a black man, because of this guy’s aggressiveness. My underlying fear attached itself to this young man and how he acted towards me because the real reason still lay very deep within my subconscious mind.
This decision pushed me to only date white guys. This stilted my natural attraction to all types of other guys. In fact an unnatural fear settled in my soul. If I even thought a black guy was looking at me, I wanted to run in the opposite direction.
I did become promiscuous during the last two years of high school. I did start giving in to the boys because I wanted to be loved. A black girl dating only white guys made me an easy target. I wanted a boyfriend, like all the other girls. I wanted to be able to bring a boy home to Mom and Dad. At the time, I didn’t like boys my own age. I went for the older young men. But, like most girls, I wanted the fairy tale. I looked for the love I thought I lacked, in the boys I slept with. I thought if I gave them what they wanted, they would love me.
This behavior produced a very confused young woman, about life and love. I developed a wrong sense of what true love and affection should be. As a result of my promiscuity, in my senior year, to my horror and shame, I found myself three months pregnant. I just didn’t think it would ever happen to me. I certainly didn’t want my Dad or Mom to find out. So, the young man and I sought other ways of dealing with “the problem”. We tried to get an abortion. We probably would have pulled it off if I had not forgotten the month of my friend’s birthday, since I used her identification for proof of age.
When that failed, I had no alternative but to confess my condition to my parents. I hated the grief I placed on them. I told them I wanted an abortion. There were so many fears looming in my brain about having a child, even though my sister said she would raise the baby. All my family tried to persuade me to keep it. I thought about it, but when I couldn’t persuade the guy into keeping it with me, I made my final decision. I refused to raise a child without the dad and I being together. I guess I had seen too many people in that same situation. At the time, I felt this to be my only alternative. Roe Versus Wade had just been passed into law in 1974, the year I graduated from high school. I believed, or made myself think that I believed, what the abortion clinics were saying. They advertised this was not a real baby but a blob of tissue. Deep down inside my soul, I knew better.
So, at my fifth month of pregnancy, I approached my parents with my final decision. I had still been going to school acting like nothing had changed. I thought, if I acted normal, no one would notice this skinny girl’s stomach. Really, I knew they noticed, I just tried to act like it didn’t exist. So many things play into decisions you make about your life. Things that you don’t realize are there at the moment. Little did I know the ramifications that would ensue from this decision?
Now, I not only had the deep scar of being molested, but compound that with having an abortion. When you live outside the laws of God, you reap the consequences. God ordained sex for marriage. There is no such thing as “casual sex”. Whether people want to admit it or not sex, binds you to that person. That’s why when two people get married, they become one, not dissolving their own individuality, but working together as one unit. Whoever you have sex with, whether in marriage or outside of it, physically you will be joined to that person (I Corinthians 6:16& 17). That’s why our choices in all things, should be done wisely, with much prayer, including who you will marry.
I know so many people talk about abortion like it is some “health plan” for women. A baby begins to grow from the time of conception. A life is formed. No, the beginning stage is not the same as when it first started. Does that make it less of a human? I don’t think so. Deep down inside I knew this was a life that I willingly took. How does one deal with that decision? For me, once again, I put it in my closet of mistakes so no one would know what I had done. If I never talked about it or acknowledged it, then it really didn’t happen. This is how I lived for several decades.
When God chooses you, He does not forget. God had not forgotten me, nor did He plan to let me continue living in such a broken state. He began to flood my life with people who had surrendered their life to Him, my loving brother being one. He had moved to California. After living with my Mother’s brother, Uncle Chuck, and my Aunt Nancy, who had made Jesus Lord of their lives, my brother also surrendered to the call of God.
As I stated earlier, he came home with all this love from God flowing from himself to all who came around him. God’s love and my sin did not mix. Thinking I was getting away from all of that stuff, I ran to California, too, not really knowing that this was God’s plan all along. As the doors closed from all other possible prospects to house me until I could get on my feet, I ran into the door God had opened, my uncle and aunt.
Well, when God pursues you, you have no other alternative but to surrender. When you do, you wonder what took you so long. Nothing can compare to the Love of God. Nothing can take the place of Jesus and all He has done for us. My life turned completely around. Jesus revealed Himself to me in those days in so many miraculous ways. His presence saturated my soul.
For God to heal me, I think, He had to bring me back to my home town. In order for God to use me, He wanted to open the closet, reach down into my subconscious mind, where all the traumatic events were buried, and pull them out by the roots. So, after missing my parents so much, in 1979, when I was twenty-one years old, I decided to go back home.
It has taken God quite a while to heal me of the traumatic events that have happened in my life. In my next blog, I will be explaining how God reached into my life to help me face these events, so that He could give me the fullness that I have in Christ today.