Me too

It is great that people are taking a stand to speak up against sexual abuse. I hope that it actually does raise awareness of this horrible issue so that we can eliminate its destruction.

Did you know that the effects of childhood sexual abuse extend past the timeframe of abuse? In fact, they can linger for decades or even a lifetime. The effects can be psychological disorders such as depression, suicidal tendencies or suicide, multiple personality disorders and more. Abuse can also cause physical health issues like heart, lung and liver disease, chronic headaches, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

All forms of abuse can lead to these long-term health and psychological issues, not just sexual abuse. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) website provides access to information related to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) studies. ACEs include childhood physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; witnessing domestic violence; growing up with household substance abuse, mental illness in the home, parental divorce, and/or an incarcerated household member. The more ACEs experienced by an individual increases their likelihood for lasting long-term impact.

While I am not counted in the studies above, my experience would add support to their numbers. My ACEs score is a 7 out of 10. I have suffered from depression and chronic headaches since I was a teenager. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in my thirties and still deal with these symptoms daily. My perpetrator has no idea how much suffering he created.

Don’t believe the lies

One of my greatest struggles in life has been overcoming lies.  Family passes lies on to us, society spreads lies as truth, the whispers in our heads push lies, and frequently, we give the lies to ourselves.

Over the years, I have faced many lies.  Some of them come out of the abuse I experienced.  Others, I feel, are straight from the devil who comes to “steal, kill, and destroy.”  If we believe the lies, we become less than we are meant to be.  If we believe the lies, we will move away from our destiny and full potential.  We begin living the lies as truth, and the devil laughs at his win.

Some of the lies I have experienced…

  • ”You have no value.”
  • ”You are unloved.”
  • ”You are damaged goods.”
  • ”No one will ever love you.”
  • ”You don’t deserve anything good.”
  • ”You are too far gone for healing or to be saved.”
  • ”You will not amount to anything.”

It can be easy to believe these lies especially if your home lacks love.  Unfortunately, these lies can grow into even more destructive lies.  Eventually, “you have no value” turns to “you might as well be dead” or “no one would care if you were dead.”

Please know, all of these are absolute lies.  Everyone has value.  You have value.  Sometimes we are born into families that don’t understand love or cannot love.  That is on them.  That is their need for healing.  You have value and a purpose.  You are loved!

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.   John 3:16-17 ESV

If you don’t believe Jesus loves you or that it is too cliche, try asking Him.  If you wonder where he has been, please remember that He frequently works through people.  Is there someone in your life who has been trying to reach out to you?  Maybe a grandmother that puts Bible verses in your birthday cards.  Or an aunt who invites you to Sunday School.  Or a neighbor who invites you to church events.  Maybe you have been too sad to see them?  Please don’t give up.  You are worth the fight.