A few years back I wrote my "life story" out. I was barely 30 so it seemed a bit odd to me at the time but I did it anyway - because frankly I couldn't sleep the whole time I fought the idea so I finally gave in and got to work. I still don't know all of the reasons why I was so compelled to do it but it's sitting in my computer virtually unread so I decided maybe I'd start to share pieces of it here...
When I was five years old I began a journey of my first trial of faith. This would become part of my lifelong journey. I was molested. Not once or even a few times, but hundreds upon hundreds of times over the five years that would follow. To complicate matters my molester was a part of my church and a friend of the family. She was also female. I remember wishing it would stop and as I began to get brave even trying to stop it. I battled within myself for a very long time about whether or not to “tell”. I soon found out that she was also molesting one of my best friends, a neighbor girl who was younger than me. I was tormented by this but still didn’t have the courage to tell.
At one point during this time I was singing on an album for a Southern California police department’s child safety program. One of the songs on the album contained a line that said “don’t you touch me, don’t you take me. I don’t want to you can’t make me. If you don’t stop I’m telling on you.” So one day I got up the courage and I played that song for her. I told her if she did this to me or my friend again I would tell. We never spoke of it again and she never touched me after that day. Several months later I was at the home of my young neighbor friend. The molester was also there. As if to taunt me and test my resolve she molested my friend in my presence. This is the moment I knew. I would not keep her secret any longer. If this happened to me and then to my friend (and I already suspected it had happened to others I knew along the way) then it would happen to someone else too. I couldn’t let that happen.
Here is where I see God’s providence personally for the first time. The following week at my school there was an assembly. The kind that warn you about the creepy man who offers you candy or asked you to help find his dog and then “touches you in private places”. Alright, well that depiction of the molester wasn’t accurate but the touching thing sure was and I knew I had my chance. If I would ever have the resolve to tell this was the time. After that assembly I was on the playground with two of my classmates and I gave them a hypothetical “what would you do if…” scenario. Maybe this was my last ditch effort to get out of telling or maybe I just couldn’t get the words out but they reacted. Unbeknownst to me one of these friends was the daughter of a police officer. Needless to say, the wall around my secret fell fast and hard. I spent the next months and years trying to make sense of all that had happened. Why did this happen to me and why did it happen at all. I spent time in counseling and worked through what I could with the understanding I had at the time. As I said this became a lifelong journey.
The experience of the last five years behind me I went into sixth grade hoping life would be different. I hoped now that I would feel like I was one of the “normal” kids. What is normal? I don’t know but that is what I wanted. Instead I felt like an adult trapped in a child’s body. I had lived more life than the other kids my age or at least that is how I felt.