For some God-inspired reason, I decided to be more truthful than I had ever been. I wrote of the pain of moving constantly because my dad was in the service, never feeling like I ever fit in because I was always the new kid with the big red birthmark on her face who was really smart, but socially awkward. I wrote about the usual teenage problems and family relationships. I wrote about a lot of stuff, but I finally decided to write about "IT."
The "IT" that I had kept hidden for 30 years and never spoken about to anyone. EVER. Even today, this post will surprise a lot of people who have not heard this part of my story. I cannot predict the fallout but it is important for me to tell it, and for you to read it, if it has happened to you or someone you know.
In August of 1977, on the second evening of my freshman year at college I was assaulted at a fraternity party. It was ugly and humiliating, and I never told anyone for 30 years.
It was my secret shame. I was convinced that it was my fault. I believed that it was a telling incident about who I really was, and by telling people I would open myself to their judgment. I imagined that they would tell me I had brought it all on myself because at the core I was dirty and deserving of the attack.
What I have learned in the intervening years, through much therapy, healing prayer, caring friends, and Mending the Soul is that, regardless of where I was at the time, no one had the right to attack me. It was not my fault and not something for me to be ashamed about. The shame did not belong to me, it belonged to my attackers. I also found that there is healing and hope for recovering from the trauma. God loved me and wanted me to be free from the shame that was not mine to carry and to go on to be the person he had created me to be.
Here’s the reason why I tell this story. If this has happened to you, please know that God cares for the brokenhearted among us. His heart breaks because of the evil things that happen in the world. His desire is for us to find wholeness in recovering from trauma and to come close to him to experience his healing.
It's been 7 years since I wrote that autobiography, only 5 years since I actually started the healing work. I wish I had started earlier. God has continued to bring more healing in my life through helping others, but first I had to deal with my own "stuff." In order to work on my own stuff, I had to face the truth and tell someone what had happened to me. That was when "IT" began to lose its power over me and I could begin to heal.
You are not alone. You just need to reach out to get the help to heal.