So, this is me and my baby brother, circa late 1971 or so. Aren't we sweet?! Marinne took one look at it and said, "Me and baby." Even she recognizes that she looks like me.
I found this picture when I was looking for the Barbie shoes.
Now, when you guys realize that none of my family comments on this picture, here's why. None of my family knows about this blog. Not even my beloved little brother, who I love so very much. Why you might ask?! Well, because I don't want the blog and my feelings to be subjected to the constant scrutiny by my family. I want to be able to say what I want to say, without feeling like I am being judged or without feeling like I have to censor myself to keep everyone else happy. I know they mean well, but I don't know if I will ever feel completely accepted again, or completely loved by my family. There is always this feeling like I have dissapointed them. And that's hard for me to swallow.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love my family. But, I don't feel like there are ever too many times that they just accept me for me. I often feel like I am the black sheep of my family (which in and of itself is ridiculous.) But, that's the way that I feel. I know they love me, but that's just about where it stops. Most of the time, they are trying to figure out how to "fix" me. How to bring me back to the "good" side. The church-going side.
You can't really blame my brother, though. You see, it's his job. He's a minister.
He loves me, I never doubted that. But he still wants to "save" me. And I'm glad.
I'm glad he still sees me as "save-able." I have much guilt because I know he feels the need to save me. If can't save his own sister, well....I know that's hard on him.
He does love me. I know that.
I grew up in church. We didn't go to church until I was 3 or 4. But, once we did, we were there every time the church door was open. Sunday am, Sunday pm, Wednesday night, etc.
I was baptized on Oct. 19, 1978 with my brother at my side.
I believed in God. I loved church. I was a good girl.
I was very active in church all the way thru high school and into college.
I'm not going to say I didn't stray some in college, because I did.
I had always been so sheltered, so overprotected, that I went a little wild during some of this time. But my wild, was always pretty mild, compared to much of what I had seen. But, I never stopped believing in God. And I never lost my Faith. I just took a break.
But I didn't deserve what I got.
You see, 15 3/4 years ago, when I had just turned 22, I was raped. By someone I knew. Someone who pre-meditated his attack on me, held me hostage for two days, repeatedly raped me and tortured me, both physically and emotionally. Someone who had planned what he was going to do to me....and being the coward that he is, brought his gun along to make sure I did what he wanted, that I followed his plan for the heinous crime he committed upon me. Those two days changed me. They changed who I was, who I was to become.
Those days, I lost a lot. I lost my innocence. (I was a virgin.)
I lost my naivete.
I lost me.
And it seems no matter what I do, I can't find her.
That girl, no longer exists.
Sure, I still believe in God. But I really struggle. Really struggle with how a loving God can allow such a horrid thing to happen to such a good, Christian girl. The whole "why does God let bad things happen to good people." I still don't understand that. I really don't.
And to be raped by a boy I met when I was 14 at a large, well-respected, state-wide Christian summer youth retreat, seems like the ultimate betrayal of what you believe.
(that's the one that kills me.) So, please, warn your daughter's now.....
just because he's a "Christian" or a "nice boy" doesn't mean he would never hurt you.
I never knew I should be aware that he could hurt me. That his intentions were anything but honest and pure. That he was baiting me...and I bought it hook, line and sinker.
But again, I was very naive.
I don't really know why I am telling all of you this. Perhaps it's because it's all been
fresh in my mind. I had shared this with my new friend, Kelly, this past week. She
works as director of a child-advocacy center here in Topeka, for children who are
sexually abused. She was telling me about her job and it was easy for me to understand
much of what she was saying from my experience, although different than what she
normally deals with. It is interesting how some of the fallout is quite similar to what
I have experienced. And believe me, the fallout is devestating. Life shattering. Horrible.
I've often said that Ike saved me. And he did. He saved me from myself. From the self-destructive path I was going down. I went from a virgin to a girl who was become promiscuous, looking for something to fill the void of what had been forceably taken from me. Someone looking for control. Trying to regain control of whatever I could.
That's when I started to become overweight. It was my way of trying to take control.
My way of trying to fill that void. To protect myself.
If I was fat, no guy would want me. No guy guy would want to rape me.
(ok, I was still pretty naive.)
But, it was a control thing. As long as I felt like I was in control, even if I really wasn't.
And to this day, I'm still a control freak.
Just ask my family.
If I feel out-of-control, I freak out.
Major panic sets in.
And it was after all of this, that I began my long struggle with depression.
I met Ike 3 weeks after my rape. I was mean to him. Really mean.
I did not trust guys and I did not trust him.
But he was nothing but sweet, kind and even loving to me
I thought I might be pregnant. He was unfazed.
He offered to support me in any way I would choose.
He was amazing. I was very lucky.
(and I wasn't pregnant, thank God!)
And 9 months later, we were married. And now, it's been 15 years. (in 3 weeks)
But, my religion struggles don't just stop there. It only compounded when my Mother died of breast cancer. I still cannot understand why. Why would God allow the suffering of such a wonderful woman. Why? A question that I haven't been able to answer. And yes, I'm still angry with God about that one. Why do some people receive healing and others don't? It's been almost 10 years since I lost her and although it's not as pronounced, I'm still angry.
And I still don't understand. I miss her so much!
The whole thing just makes me so sad.
Therapy has helped. But, I really feel like I will never, ever again be normal.
Sorry for the heavy issues...they just came tumbling out. In fact, I'm considering deleting this entire post. But, wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the blog...to get it out?