In my therapy, we are talking about things that I lost when I was raped and the way that my parents responded. A few of the recurring themes of things that I lost were: love, family, respect, self worth, self esteem, protection and freedom. Then I had a very profound thought. I thought that if my uncle could have had such a negative impact on me, what kind of positive impact could he have had? I counted him as a friend and trusted him. Going through this therapy, I see that I had seen him as a father figure. So, if he had not molested and raped me, what kind of impact could he have had on me? It was a very sobering thought. One that is sad because he will have to go before God and answer for that.
Another part of my therapy was that I had to write my responses to my rape. These were subconscious and conscious things that I did as survival responses to try to protect myself. A few of those were: I started avoiding him, I started sleeping lighter, I felt that if he didn’t molest me he would do it to my sisters, I struggled with hating him, and I was confused about why he would do this. Admittedly, I have about six pages of these responses. Once I got to writing, I didn’t stop for a long time. It was only then that I realized how bad I truly felt about myself.
Both of these parts of therapy went together. My response and what I lost were just so profound to me. I started sleeping lighter meant that I lost protection and safety. So many of my responses led to the loss of self worth and self respect. I lost so much of my self image from what he and my parents did to me. He raped me and my parents took his side, so why did I even matter? I didn’t even know that I felt like that about myself. It made me cry because I learned that in the 22 years on this planet, I never once loved myself.
Looking at what I lost and how I felt myself, just shows me just how much God loved me. When I started college, a few weeks after being raped, I was confused and hated myself. I blamed myself for a married man’s, my uncle’s, indiscretion, as my parents called it. I met someone and fell in love. Turns out that even though I hated myself and felt like I didn’t truly deserve happiness, God was working to put this man and I together. We elope and he is my hero. He doesn’t know it, but he is showing me how to love myself. People say that you can’t love others without loving yourself, not so for me. I love others and learn to love myself. God placed us together because He knew we belonged together.
I lost my family, but I gained great in-laws. Not many women can say they love their mother-in-laws, but I LOVE mine. This past Christmas she and I had a heart to heart. It was an amazing experience for me because she listened to me and cried with me. I had a mother that cared about how I felt and that desired to pray with me. I treasure that memory in my heart. That is just a tidbit of the relationship we have. I often tell my husband that I am jealous that he grew up in such a loving family. Then I remember that I am part of that family now and it makes me feel good. I know that God orchestrated that, because she very well could have hated me. She didn’t, and I think it was because of God.
I have a biological mother and for reasons beyond her control, we were separated after 8 years. Then I was put in a foster home and adopted after 3 years. That mother was really hard to live under. I made the joke the other day that if I could survive my adoptive mother, I could survive anything. Then it struck me that that was just what I have been doing, surviving. I don’t want to just survive, I want to thrive. There is a woman that became my mentor in college. I consider her to be my mom even though she isn’t. I love her like she was my mother. We talk all the time and she is such an encouragement to me. I know that God had a hand in putting us together because I made the joke once that she couldn’t have birthed a girl more like her than I am. We just clicked and for 4 years now, I am crying so much I can barely write it, she has been like a mom to me. Today she told me something that made me cry for hours, she said, “My husband and I wish we had been blessed with you as a daughter.” Even writing that makes me cry happy tears. After living in a family for ten years feeling like I wasn’t really wanted or fit in for a woman that I love to say that just boosted my self confidence so high.
It just humbled me that even though I felt so bad about myself and was blinded by the veil of betrayal, God was looking out for me. He was placing special people in my life that would show me that even though my family threw me aside like last night’s was cloth, He was putting a loving, caring family in my life that would support and love me. I had to grieve what I lost to be able to appreciate what I have now even more. So, the tears I cry now are not for what I lost, but for what I gained.