“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 1 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV
Hey ya’ll! Let me first say that when God placed this blog-thing on my heart, I never thought it’d even go to this length. Now, it hasn’t reached the multitudes of people across the world…yet! However, it has reached who it needed to so far. I appreciate the encouragement and comments on how the entries have blessed you! Second, allow me to confess, that I’d never thought I’d go into the perversion of sex and how it affects us. That wasn’t the intention..at least not mine anyway, but God has a funny way of shifting things where they need to be. To say that this hasn’t been challenging to write, would be a lie and this entry, might be the most difficult. God has challenged me to trust Him in this area, to tell one of my earliest trials and testimonies, and while I’m not exactly thrilled about being this vulnerable, someone may read this and find something they may need… so let’s do this.
My childhood, is one of the places I love to revisit, particularly because it was the pre-bill era that is now my life. Plus, my childhood is the only place where I can engage with loved ones that have passed on through beautiful memories of their faces and the infliction of their voices when they laughed. The carefree life before kindergarten, abundant in fruit snacks and Barney was the life one could dream of. Attention was plentiful since I was the youngest, at the time, and the most rambunctious thing on my street. I was adorned in bright, solid-colored, ruffled dresses. Not to mention, a multitude of ruffled slips so thick that when I sat down in church, I’d have a 2 foot advantage to see beyond the pew in front of me. My parents were loving and gracious. I had most of the toys I wanted, countered with the payments of enduring church services and eating beans…yeah..still a no for me! My grandma and her mother, my great-grandma, made sure I was fed as if my parents didn’t! To top it all off, my sister and I were the apple our our father’s eye. Plenty of hugs and kisses in combination with stern talks and young green switches were freely given in those days. As good as this all sounds, please don’t mistake it as being spoiled, I was definitely punished when need be! Believe me! My mother being a beautician, meant that my hair was always neatly pressed. Tight curls fell down my head, rooted into place with satin bows with strings of pearls and lace. I hated the lotion ma would smear on my face and the smell of white rose grease, cooked into my hair, but we were sharp and well-taken care of by our community of family and friends.
There is one thing about my childhood that I didn’t start talking about until recently, at least with trusted friends. I hadn’t really given it much thought, since it was during childhood and I felt that it didn’t have a major effect on my development so I brushed it off. Even in those great times of my early childhood, it’s the thing I’ve manage to repress, since I was ashamed. I was molested by relative, when I was around 6 yrs. old. He was a child himself, being about 4/5 years older than me, around 11/12 yrs. old. When he would come to town for the summer, he’d manage to find me several times a day. At first it began as a game, where it’d start as hide-n-go seek and once either of us found the other, he’d “fall” on me and literally dry hump me to death. Now as kids, those who’ve seen some sort of sexual activity would love to play “house” or “mommy and daddy” so being grinded against by a little boy wasn’t that uncommon (sadly) or trying to steal kisses until you socked them in the face.
As the summer lunged onward, things took a turn. The games went from premature interpretations of foreplay with clothes into his search for sensuality. Being that he was some years older and larger than me, he’d always managed to win the wrestling matches against me and my will to stand up against him, yet I’d lose. Tired and out of breath from useless wiggling under the weight of his anticipation became too exhausting; I found that just submitting to him became easy. That way we both would get what we wanted, I would be left alone, eventually, and he’d get access to the premature, female anatomy. At the end of the day, that’s exactly what he’d get, a body; I’ve mastered the art of dissociation from reality by that time and could go and come as I pleased, mentally. I didn’t come back from my mental vacation until I could feel him stand me up and put my cheerful, colored panties back on followed by my equally decorated shorts, while I leaned over on his shoulder for stability.
Over the course of time, he’d go a little further than before, adding forced French kissing and touching underneath my clothes, along with a multitude of death threats if I told anyone about his escapades into my privacy. As hard as it is to admit my belief in his ability to kill my family and I believed his ability as a chubby 12 year old; my 6-7yr old mind told me not to test it. I believed him simply put. He had this attitude of entitlement which he demonstrated with how he attempted to demand snacks and permission to go where he pleased. I thought about telling my parents, I knew he’d get a category 5 whooping to say the least; but I always thought that, if he could get to me like this without anyone knowing, then I’m sure he could kill me and my family without anyone finding out until later. One particular day, while I was playing The lion king on my Sega genesis, somewhere between 12 noon and 3pm, he managed to make his way into my room, which was bold for him, since my dad had a very strict rule of NO BOYS in my room…EVER! However, dad was at work and mom was working as a beautician in her salon, down the hall.
He laid me on the bed, dared me to get up. He pulled my underwear and shorts down and proceeded to perform oral sex on me. I remember my eyes getting as big as saucers and to this day I shudder at the feeling of his hot tongue creeping over me, leaving trails of saliva and gluttony. I panicked and wanted to get up, but with a nonverbal reminder in the form of a push to the stomach and piercing stare, I submitted and laid back down. I remember hoping someone would walk in and everything would end abruptly, even if I endured a whopping, it’d been worth it; but it didn’t stop there. When he was done with my female anatomy, he came upward, still licking me. Up my belly, to my chest, up around my neck. He flipped me over and continued tracing his tongue down my back until he was satisfied and sat me up. As I leaned on his shoulder, he bent over to pull my panties and shorts back up to their place of origin, I realized that was the only time, I didn’t leave my own body, mentally. I couldn’t, it was too much to ignore. As he pulled my shirt down to cover my belly, my mother walked in on the later half and only saw him pull the hem of my shirt, once my shirt was already down, and let’s just say she lost her mind on him them for even touching my belly. I never told her or any of my family until I became an adult and even now I cannot believe I’m telling the world my business! I know that sharing this is greater then my vulnerability.
God has challenged me with this entry, to say the least, this was harder than anticipated. Sadly this wouldn’t be the last time I would be sexually assaulted in my life going forward, and reflecting over these moments are a little painful but necessary. Going into the topic of sex and how it can be harmful out of PROPER context, was never the idea of all this, as fore-mentioned. All I can say, is that God is moving to break the chains of bondage from his people, even in areas most won’t discuss or admit. We as Christians must care enough for his people to become vulnerable and share our stories of how God has kept us through our hardest, most shameful and most embarrassing moments. You never know how your story can help someone else. Being from the country, if we asked for something and we didn’t consume it entirely, it was called “messing over” something. For example,” You messed over those beans you asked for.” So, basically wasting something you thought you wanted, but because you didn’t utilize it to it’s capacity, it’s now wasted and under quality to give to someone else and has to be thrown away. That’s what I thought I was, damaged and I truly was. I see my voice as that, damaged. Who am I to say? speak? Or encourage? Especially, when I was tampered with and not used up, while fighting the feeling to throw myself away. I grew to understand that it was an early attack of Satan to keep my mouth shut and for some years it worked. I didn’t realize how he still had control until I began considering put this testimony out there. Sometime ago, while talking to my friend about it she says the most healing and revelatory thing to me: “Aeriel, your voice matters.” And all I could do was breakdown crying. I’d realize that was the first time I heard that. I couldn’t believe I had lived 27 years and didn’t really hold that to be true. Even writing this, taking up to 2 weeks to write and put out there. At the same time, although this unfortunate thing happened, God never missed a beat; He never overlooked, turned away or ignored me. I knew God saw me, even if my attacker decided not to. At that time, I didn’t understand why God didn’t do anything to stop him, but I never blamed Him. I grew to understand that my older cousin was a victim of someone else’s perverted and misplaced affections, who fell into the pattern of generational curses and I was next in line; and through God’s sufficient grace, I broke this curse! Through all of this I’ve discovered I am the perfect person to say, speak up and encourage because I am who God wanted to win, I am His kid, I am His.
All glory goes to God for keeping my mind during this time and others. I love that God kept my heart from hardening so I’d still have a heart to serve Him and the will to love as nothing ever happened. Don’t give up on God because horrible things happen to you, stay with Him because you’ve survived it. You’ve got this! This is a testimony, but it can’t help anyone, if you keep it to yourself. Be brave. Be bold, and never discount the power of your voice! ” They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Revelation 12:11 NLT