“Sometimes we have Earthquakes in our lives, and even though we survive the Earthquakes we still have to survive the Aftershock.” – Jan Williams
My brothers raped and impregnated me, Jan said. Our first conversation was filled with a snippet of the abuse that she had endured. I could see her being dragged, forced to submit and silenced.
Suddenly, I felt as though I was meeting the real life Precious. I wanted to curse and scream and lose my decency but we were celebrating the Super Bowl at a House Party. Baffled with contempt, I quieted myself.
In the next few minutes, I will introduce you to a woman who was diagnosed with bi-polar, manic depression, and other mental illnesses, who was put on many medications to intake for the rest of her life.
Jan said of my initial question about sharing a story with us, “The situation that stood out in my mind happened twice. I was eleven in the sixth grade when we moved from Pittsburg to Alabama. Both of my brothers were sexually abusive, and I had step-kissing-cousins.” Jan remembers that her brother raped her. “I could not tell if there was actual penetration during the sexual assault because after so many times I began to transport myself during the rapes.”
In my book, Identity Crisis, Identity Christ Is: A Journey to Love, I describe Rape. Imagine the beautiful country side, stripped, and uprooted, with pieces of earth scattered by the ravishment. This is rape, whether you violate the land and use its stalks to create wine or oil or you violate the mind, body and spirit of a person leaving them broken, withered, and fragmented on the inside.
Jan would transport herself to forget about what was happening. Jan became pregnant by her brother at eleven years old. Her mother knew that her brother raped her and took her to have an abortion. They lived near the Gulf of Mexico, and her abortions would be performed about forty-five minutes away in Mobile, Alabama.
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She was the youngest female to have an abortion in the clinic, and her mother talked herself out of the authorities being called. She became very suicidal and attempted to end her life at the age of twelve, and again at age twenty-four. Jan, began her menstrual cycle at seven or eight years old.
The abuse started from the first time she could remember any memories; age four. One brother would drag her in the room to fondle him, while the other brother watched. They would threaten her with beatings so she could not tell her mother. Both brothers were fourteen and fifteen years older approximately. She was also molested by a female family friend.
Her mother was physically, verbally and emotionally abused inside of their home, by her alcoholic step-father. The response from mom was, “Stay away from them, if I see you around them, I am going to slap you.” Talk about victim blaming! Her mother threatened her, instead of dealing with the rapists, her brothers. She put a lock on her bedroom door to protect her from her brothers.
Jan became addicted to drugs at the age of twenty-four. After having more than enough of running the street that was filled with chasing drugs and money or a ghost as she describes it, she sought help. Her children were left with her mother and brothers during her days on the streets.
This is a very sensitive and difficult experience to reflect upon. Her son reported concerns about her brother, and after brandishing a weapon to protect her son from the possibility of abuse, her mother said that she was causing trouble and banned her from the house. She wanted to go back for her children, her heart was broken without her children.
Jan did not know that the abuse had affected her. It was something that she put in the back of her mind and did not always think about. She had anger, hatred and deception. These were her armor that she wore to protect herself from harm.
One morning in the breakfast line while in detox, when two females who were too close in proximity made her nervous, she reacted by dropping her tray and pushing the two women in their chests. Someone called her in the office of the facility and they asked if she had been abused.
She answered yes, but it still did not click. Later, she was referred to a woman that she credits for changing her entire life. After four hours of crying in Terry’s office, transformation began.
She showed her about God, how to be a woman, and how to overcome the abuse that she experienced. Some of Jan’s assignments were to read Nefertiti, and instructed her not to sell her essence. She was coached into wholeness, understanding that she is a beautiful queen.
“It’s hard sometimes but it’s harder to be angry.” – Jan Williams
Terry would tell her to smell the flowers, and describe it as beauty. No one needs to know, it’s the family’s business, as her family’s tradition proclaimed.
She chose to forgive because she was carrying the weight of other people’s bones on her back she says. “I have a right to be angry but forgiving them helps me to forgive myself. You don’t forget what happened because it is human memory but I choose not to dwell on my past. It takes time, and does not happen overnight.”
“After the hate, blame and rage game you become tired,” said Jan.
“Give them back their bones” – Ressurrection Graves
Terry advised her that she is never going to get her answers to her questions. “The question why, is killing you, the anxiety is too much.”
Jan was in Northern Virginia Mental Hospital for six months. She took Nine hundred Milligrams Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), Twenty-five hundred Milligrams of Quetiapine (Seroquel) a psychotropic drug; mood stabilizer; diagnosed with Psychosis, and border line personality disorder/ multiple personalities also known as (DID) Dissociative Identity Disorder, Manic Depression and Bi-Polar. Jan had Insomnia (standing up sleeping), because of all of the medication. Fifty milligrams of Wellbutrine was assigned to one therapist and two psychologists, and would only work with women. She had other medications to take like Prozac an antidepressant, Aripiprazole (Abilify) an anti-psychotic, Zanex, Effexor and a few others.
She was given eight or nine different drugs. Jan Williams does not remember what she looked or seemed like during this period because she is reported by her sister to look like a Zombie, literally.
The medication began to attack her liver, and kidneys. She went from a healthy 145 pounds to 265 pounds. One night she got on her knees and asked God what to do, and he said, “There is no such thing as depressed, it’s called sad. You just get too deep into it.” God told her to stop taking the medications.
There is no such thing as depressed, it’s called sad.
You just get too deep into it.
- Jan Williams
She called a meeting with her psych team, and told them that she did not need the medication. They told her after smiling, that this is what they wanted. They want for people to get off of their medications.
It took an entire year for her to learn how to sleep without any medication. When she sought God about her sleeplessness, he responded, “Read your bible, sing a song, read a book. look at flowers, go for a walk.”
God told her that her body was made to sleep on its own. And as health professionals and spiritual men and women, we understand that God made our bodies to heal themselves. We often close our ears without realizing that our hearing is actually open to receiving from negative energies.
She has been in therapy for eight years and has been off of subscription medication for three years. When I asked her what has made the difference, she references her relationship with her creator, God.
She has released the why questions that often lead us into frustration, and confusion like a dog that chases his tale. Sometimes, all the questioning will not change your expectations and it is better to change your expectations now. We are loved based on how we love ourselves. And our relationships, if you look deeply you will find, are a reflection of our intimacy with God.
One brother died of Colon Cancer. Fifteen years ago he asked forgiveness for what he had done. He said he did not know what was wrong with him. It is rumored that he had issues with assaulting women.
She still communicates with her other brother, the lesser abusive of the two although he has not apologized. They were estranged, and when they were reunited he was suffering, and she accepted her healing.
Jan believes that her healing, and recovery manifested through her spiritual journey. The closer that she becomes related to her creator, the less dependent she was on man-made medication. Terry and another woman who Jan mentions have been her support system through life’s challenges through becoming sober.
This simply means that no man is an island. We came in this world through the birthing process with a team, we will leave with the support of a team, and while we live God will give us teams during various parts of our journey so that we can do all that we have come here to do.
“We were created to be related.” – Ressurrection Graves
I truly believe that people often forget the first book of the bible. Within the first chapter, verse twenty-six, this book reveals that we have power and authority over the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field.
Of all the authority and power that we possess, shared in scriptures throughout the bible, none of them say that we can control another. In fact, if you look at our relationship with Jesus it is very clear that he was given to us, he chose us and we must choose him. We are not forced to have intimate relationship with him, it is more of a desire.
I am proud to share Jan’s triumph over her child sexual abuse, drug addiction and anti-psychotic medications. For women and men who are in child sexual abuse healing process, I encourage you to breathe in the testimony within Jan’s story. Many people who go into facilities do not come out, and certainly the majority are not able to pull away from the Zombie world long enough to say, “Hey, I want out!”
To the friends and families of people who are on anti-psychotic medication I want to encourage you too that your support is healing. Whether we want to admit it or not, we do not accomplish what we are here to accomplish singularly. Our ability to deeply love individuals however few, will support their liberty to overcome insurmountable odds.
I am moved personally by Jan Williams’ story because in Washington DC at least, when you see a person sleeping on the street whose neighbor are the rats that scavenge around them for food at night, and you see people who seem to be too far from home mentally to come back, you now have to remind yourself of Jan Williams. This story brings faith and hope in a new dimension, and we are minimally responsible for how we create an intimate loving relationship with God, and how we love others. Sometimes we perceive that people are beyond repair but I submit to you today that love is our overseer, our source and love is our answer.
Who does this story inspire you to love?
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