Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hope in a Comment

When I posted the link to an article about the long term effects of sexual abuse on children, one person left a striking comment which I decided to share up front. It's the sort of thing I really appreciate and commentors who came after her did as well. I know a lot of people don't necessarily read all the comments or come back to read them and yet this one is important I think. It is both gracious and inspiring and above all, hopeful.  It is from a woman named Kristina (who has almost nothing on her profile!). So, here it is.

Hopefully I can help some of you feel a little better. I had an awful childhood. I was born with mild CP to a teenage mother, who dropped me off with a neighbor and didn't look back. The neighbor got ahold of my grandparents, who raised me. My grandfather began abusing me shortly after I moved in. This went on until I was 14, and I didn't tell a soul. I definitely had my share of mental issues as a result of this, but I am now a healthy, self confident adult. I'm raising well adjusted daughters. I also volunteer at a group home, where I teach creative writing and self esteem to teenage girls. It took me several years to take ownership of my body and sexuality. I think the biggest risk is that they may be victimized again, which I was. My daughter is the result of an assault at 19. I have not let it define me. I refuse to be a victim. Make sure your girls know that their body is theirs, and they get to decide who touches their body. This includes you. Make sure they know it isn't their fault. Have a healthy attitude about sex. If you think it's wrong or dirty, then they feel wrong or dirty. Be open when they have questions about sex, as they have not learned about healthy sexuality. Lastly, help them come to a place where they can forgive their abuser. This is not for him, but for them. Healing cannot happen with hate inside your heart. They will never forget, but they must bury the past in order to have a future. Their abuser does not deserve forgiveness, but do any of us deserve Gods mercy? My most healing moment was when I sang at my grandfathers funeral. I of course sang Amazing Grace, and I truly felt Gods grace at that moment. I was 16, and felt that I had closure. I also chose to be baptized. I felt that this was a final way to cleanse myself. Many victims feel dirty or ashamed, and i wanted to wash my shame away. Do whatever you need to do to get there. If the perp is still alive, you could have a symbolic funeral(he's dead to you) where you burn or bury a picture or letter. A friend of mine had a forgiveness and letting go ceremony, where they burned items representing the abuse, and herself as a victim. They were not religious, but they also poured water over her to "wash away the past" and it seems to have helped her daughter move on. Good luck, and blessings to your girls. They are strong.


  1. Glad I could help in some small way. I love to encourage people. I love to spread a message of forgiveness and grace. It has truly saved my life, and helped me to be a better person. You cannot open your hands to accept the gifts life has to offer if you are tightly clutching anger, resentment, and grudges. You have to let go or you will be a victim for the rest of your life. Letting go and forgiving takes away the abuser's power over you. It is not weakness, it is strength.

  2. Wow, that is powerful. Thank you for sharing that. Your strength is amazing. Lessons to be learned there, for sure.

  3. That IS helpful. And hopeful. Someone close to me experienced abuse at the hands of a trusted teacher. Only a few years ago he was able to "deal" with it - and God also moved him (in an almost miraculous way) to forgive his abuser...after which all of the pain and anger he'd felt - just disappeared.

    I'd love to have Kristin share what things most helped her....obviouslly even at 19 she was still "under the influence" of all that had happened. What led to heaing?

  4. I couldn't say what makes one person heal, and one not. I know for me, my faith helped sustain me. I was raised very spiritual by my grandmother who read her bible constantly. I also spent a lot of time volunteering, helping the less fortunate. That helped me see that no matter how bad things were, it could always be worse. When I was 15, I went to a church retreat, where the subject was grace and mercy. I remember being overcome with the need to forgive. I wasn't healed then, but I was on the road to recovery. By the time I was 19, I was doing well, but still not able to set boundaries and protect myself. That's why I was attacked again. While recovering from my injuries, I discovered I was pregnant. I knew I couldn't let my daughter go through what I did. I became a healed person the moment I became a mother.

  5. Kristina, your story is truly inspiring.

  6. This is very powerful to read. Thank you Kristina for writing and Essie for sharing.


I love comments! If you agree or disagree, comment away! However if you are a butthead about it, you may be excised.


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