(Moved from previous blog address)
I wanted to share with you something that took place at my women’s group last night. It’s a group I attend every Thursday night at my church. It’s a great group of very different but similar women who love Jesus. And that’s why we get together every week, to learn to be more like Him.
Last night we did not talk about the Bible though. We all brought pictures of ourselves as young children and answered four questions. In summary, 1) where did you grow up between 5-12 years of age, 2) what was the source of heat in your home, 3) who was your “warm place” growing up, and 4) when did you know God was a presence in your life. Not word for word but that is the gist of the conversation.
I brought the picture that Michael stole for me from your album. The one of us at the fair sitting together in the “special bus”. That picture is one of my favorites because 1) Michael and I are together, 2) it says “special bus”, and 3) I am smiling. It’s one of the few pictures of my childhood, of which there aren’t too many, that I am smiling.
But, as I listened to the other women I began to feel anxiety growing inside. Why? Because it really hit me to my core that I have never, not ever, in my life had that “warm place” that they all talked about. For some it was a grandparent, for others their dad or mom, or an aunt. But I had nothing. No one. I couldn’t think of one person. It made me sick. And then it made me really, really sad.
When I left there last night I started to drive home, it was foggy out and I could barely see. As I let the reality of what you stole from me really sink in, I sobbed. I sobbed so hard that I gave myself a headache. And then I got pissed. Really pissed.
You stole my childhood from me. You gave my innocence away. You let your husband physically abuse me. He beat me. Do you ever consider the enormity of what you allowed to happen right in front of you, to your daughter? I was what, 4? 5? What did I do to deserve being whipped with that razor belt or smacked in the head with a meat clever? But I have to say that eventually you finally realized that he was going to kill me so you were thoughtful enough to send me to live with my grandparents in another state.
You know, with the grandfather who fathered his own grandchild. That’s where you sent me to be safe from your husband. Well, I wasn’t safe. And how much anger do you think his daughters had after being raised by that monster. They helped raise me. They were angry, hurting women. They weren’t very nice a lot. And I grew up being told and believing that I was not good enough.
You did that to me. And I have cried about it, grieved about it and have moved on to become a better woman. But sometimes, like last night, it all comes back. And regardless of my wanting to control it and not let it affect me any longer, it does. It will always be at the very core of who I am no matter how far I run from it, or pray about it or try to disregard it. You wounded me. Deeply.
And I just thought you should know.