I so longed for freedom – freedom from shame, freedom from fear, freedom from having to do things for him in that way. I so wanted to be free from all that — I wanted it to all go away. No more secrets. But I didn’t want to make any problems for anyone. And I think that’s probably the case with most women who endured child sexualabuse and remained afraid to tell – the fear of retribution is just gripping.
It’s interesting how twisted things become for love.
I so wanted to be loved… my mother wanted to be loved and in a really creepy way, my legal father wanted to be loved. Creepy, but I can see that now.
Looking back, when my mother married this man, I remember being so happy that we were now going to be a real family — that we would get to call this man, daddy. And for a time that did happen. On the surface, things seemed okay — to me and probably to most everyone else — I didn’t know about some problems going on — the reality that his life was fraught with deception.
An underlying issue was that I was slowly losing contact with my own father. Why didn’t we see him very much anymore? Things didn’t make sense sometimes. When we moved to a new city, my name was changed and I felt sort of worried that someone would tell my ‘real’ father about it. I was told to keep it a secret, not to tell anyone. I can understand now that it was really for my protection or comfort as he was planning on filing for adoption and a move to a new city made that transition easy. I see that now. In the next year or so, there would be many legal dealings, letters, court dates. In time, I would be adopted and my name legally changed – and voilà, I was now his daughter. Even my birth-certificate was changed. Just like that: no more secrets. Everybody’s happy. Right?
Well, a couple of years passed and my little world — our little family — would be forever changed by what would become known as “our little secret.”
I still longed to be loved — even in the midst of, or in spite of, all that was going on. But now, love was all weird. It was all mixed up. I just had to be happy! I so desperately wanted to be a family like all our friends. They all had great families. I didn’t know then that they really didn’t all have great families. But, Junior High’s a pretty tough age and everything seems better somewhere else to most Junior Higher’s. The desire/need/compulsion to fit in is terrific. But I couldn’t have both — a genuinely close, warm, loving, true relationship and one that was frightening, overpowering and deceptive.
I now know that part of what I longed for could only be fulfilled by my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. For I was separated by sin from the only One who could set me free from the law of sin and death and the grip of fear. That’s the part I longed for: to be free from fear and free from shame.
It would be several years before I would come to faith in the Lord – before I would come to a place of rest in faith in Him. I am still coming to grips with what it means to be NOT entangled again with the yoke of bondage (I know I am exercising great liberty here with the context of the verse). I am still working to grasp the vastness of the Love of God and the great mercy wherewith He loves us!! His marvelous ways are past finding out — but He has made a way that we can know Him and His great gift of salvation in Jesus. This is love.
Probably the greatest blessing for me the day I finally mustered the courage to tell my mother, was that she believed me. The lie: “no one will believe you” had haunted me. But she did believe me and there was great peace in that. I’m sure things would have been very different had she not believed me. As I type this I’m flooded with emotion at the goodness of the Lord in my life.
No more secrets. She told me, among other things: No more secrets. All I remember thinking at that time was: no more. No more.