I have written other people’s stories for the month of April with the intention of leaving my story out of it. In some ways I thought people may want a break from my self discovery and indulge in the wisdom of others.
April is Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Month as written and confirmed by President Barack Obama. On this website, Love, Life and Relationships: Overcoming Emotional and Child Sexual Abuse I have been keenly focused on sharing information that falls into three categories, awareness, prevention and healing. The latter is most important in my journey because if we do not heal, we can not teach.
I wrote a book, available here which walks you with me as I realize that my life has been drafted by the torments of sexual abuse to include molestation, incest and rape. The indoctrination of my sexually perverted past which enlisted me, begin at age four in a tiny house on Monroe street.
During my interviews with other victors of child sexual abuse, I found a very common thread. What I found was that the person who I spoke to on the other end of the telephone, who was actively healing from their childhood abuse, could not say the same of their sister.
In fact, their tone of voice changed when they communicated where their sister is in life. Several women indicated that their sisters were diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses including schizophrenia and depression.
This struck and uncomfortable chord with me. While I have more than one sister and am not at liberty to disclose anything that have happened within my family outside of my own encounters with sexual abuse, rape, incest and molestation, I can say that water filled my eyes. I felt like someone was pressing a button on the inside of me concerning my heart for my sister and that I would be unable to hold the dam that stood between my flooding tears and the emotions that would be the catalyst for the drowning.
You see, my sister and I were very close at one time in my life. Like many of the women who have overcome child sexual abuse, they may have experienced abuse from the same perpetrator. In some cases, they were in the same room forced to watch.
Of the women that I interviewed, one sister died, without ever healing. What is remarkable to me, is the fact that Johnnetta Mcswain said, “My sister died in that house!” She said this over and over again during our interview. She also mentioned that she was able to leave her own body while the raping from her Uncles took place, but she believed that her sister was fully present for each encounter.
“My sister died in that house.” – Johnnetta Mcswain
Two other women said the same thing, but it was today when I interviewed Victoria Pendragon that I could no longer “unfollow” the thought that I need to talk to my sister. Victoria said, ” The difference between me and my sister I believe, is that I was able to leave my body during the abuse, and my sister was unable to.”
I remember years ago, my sister referring to her ministry purpose in life as deliverance. It was an unbelievable declaration because she showed no sign of her own deliverance. As years have progressed, Tamara seems to have become worse – depressed and hollow. She has made some decisions that I talk about in the book harshly because I truly have always loved her, but have grown disappointed at her ability to ignore how her actions have become abusive and burdening to others. She has adopted the victim role in every area of her life, and while her experience with abuse was real, her infliction on others have enabled her and other family members.
In my book, I talk about the clarity that I received from stepping away from the institution of church so that I could hear God, and step into what he has guided me to do. With that same clarity, I demonstrate my belief that we attract relationships that we are familiar with by choosing to step back from my family. It was very painful at first, and now only at intervals when I deeply miss my nieces and nephews.
What has happened for me was exactly what I believed to be so – I found the one. Well, he found me, and I do not believe that I would have been able to recognize him if I was still engaged with unhealthy family relationships.
One of my frustrations with my sisters is that they married rapists. You will have to read my book to learn more about the dynamics of the family dysfunction and I ask that you remember this. My purpose in sharing my story is not so that my family can be judged rather, that others who identify with any characters in the book, can be healed.
These interviews prompt me to desire communication with my sister. I do not trust her, and only God can restore that. I would have to see absolute evidence of her healing. I don’t know that she would be willing to receive from me but I would feel a certain responsibility if I never shared with her the opportunity to be healed from what happened to her.
I know she reads my blogs. I do not know whether she is subscribed or whether she comes by every so often but I know that she is watching me. Every person heals as they seek its manifestation, at different paces.
I do not wish for her to magically change, but I know that if she chose to come out of hiding she would receive the very deliverance that would propel her into changing lives around her.
Instead of this being a story about me overcoming child sexual abuse, there would be hope for others who have sisters that have seemingly lost their minds, who have lost their way. People keep telling me that they have not met anyone who is doing exactly what I do, and I do receive this view, but what if my sister came alongside me to help restore families from being broken?
Rather than death by suicide or sickness from secrets, why not salvation?
Take a moment and pray for a sister of those who have received healing from child sexual abuse. Together in this moment, let us share the same intention to believe that families can be healed and then made better than ever. Let’s call it - “After the Healing.”
In our own spaces, where we read this post, let’s offer our own heartfelt prayer that sisters receive healing and that no-sister-is-left-behind. In honor of Child Sexual Abuse Awareness, Prevention and Healing Month, I pray for the sisters to know wisdom and to be able to convert lost souls into healed vessels that heal others.
Child Sexual Abuse Advocate