I was sexually abused as a child and raped as a teen.
There was a time in my life when I never thought I would be able to utter those words. I thought that if I were to say them, someone would have to put me in a straight jacket and lock me up in a mental institution. I was certain I would unravel.
I have heard it said that we are as sick as our secrets. My secrets made me sick. They kept me isolated and afraid of getting too close to people for fear of them seeing who I really was behind the masks I wore. My voice, my ability to tell the truth about what I had been through, was stifled by the looming feeling and false belief that if I spoke up, something really bad would happen.
Often, those of us who have been sexually abused deal with feelings of extreme powerlessness and a sense of being voiceless. Proverbs 31:8-9 challenges us to be a voice for the voiceless… to speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Sometimes we have to do that for ourselves. We have to break the silence and be a voice for the child we once were– the child who had no power and no voice.
I have found that the very act of breaking the silence is a catalyst for healing. James 5:16 encourages us along these lines: “ Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
We are to confess to and pray for each other, so that, we may be healed. Confessing and breaking the silence is a part of God’s plan for healing for our lives.
I remember the night I came face to face with this truth. I was in a bible-based recovery group and we were challenged to break up into small groups and confess the things that we had been holding silent. Through snot-filled tears and trembling, I reluctantly voiced the things I was most afraid of sharing.
When I finally dared to look up at the faces of those around me, instead of seeing judgment, I saw compassion. And then, an even crazier thing happened… all around that circle I heard something I never expected.
I was given the gift of “Me too”. The gift of knowing that I am not alone.
You are not alone. I encourage you to break the silence. To be a voice for the child you once were. Be bold enough to share what you have been hiding with a safe person. When you do, I believe that you will invite a new level of healing to invade your life!
*This blog was originally a part of Bible reading plan (Getting Past Your Past) I wrote for Youversion. It can also be found in Youversion’s Bible App.
If you’d like to read more of my story you can get a copy of my memoir, Scars and Stilettos…