Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Fallout

These are the last words that I shared the last time I wrote. May you find the strength to carry on when you feel all is lost. There are days when I still feel that all is lost. I used to brush those feelings aside and shove them deep down inside of me. When I sought help from a Christian therapist I came to realize that part of the fallout from my childhood was I didn't have a voice.

Over many months I came to realize that I didn't have a voice. That was a giant revelation to me. The first time the therapist said those words to me I felt like I was kicked in the stomach. What brought me to the therapist was the death of this precious little baby. Though her death was a great tragedy that I will mourn for the rest of my life, the issue that would not allow me to move forward was allowing others to continue the abuse cycle in my life.

The message I received from my dad was that I had no value. I was there to cook and clean, nothing more, nothing less. I had a job to do. None of us were allowed to question, we simply had to obey no matter what was at stake. This lack of voice did a lot of damage not only to myself, but my husband and to the children I would raise. How we are raised has a powerful effect on personhood.

I remember a particular day that is seared into my memory. My dad was very angry which was nothing new. The teens from church had gone down to the projects of the city we lived in. There was a girl, whose name was Donna that we would pick up and bring to church. She had something wrong with her spine so she wore a huge halo and supporting rack that went from her neck down to her bottom. I was sitting in the back seat of the car and she got in and sat next to me. The windbreaker (I don't think they call them that anymore) I was wearing was partly under my friend. When I got out of the car I realized there was blood all over my jacket. She had started her period and didn't realize it. When I got home I went to the basement to wash it. For some reason that bloody jacket set my dad off.

He started in on a rant like he usually did,  but this time he said something that has stayed with me all these years later. I was about 14 at the time. Going to church when I was allowed, trying to live a life that would make my Heavenly Father pleased. I was not doing drugs, not drinking alcohol and certainly not having sex with anyone. He told me that like the girl in the projects I would never amount to anything. I might as well go be a prostitute because I wasn't worth anything other than a prostitute. Out of all the things he said to me over the six years I lived with him, that was the knock out punch. Hey Jill, my daughter, go be a prostitute because there is nothing in life for you but a life on the streets hooking.

It was then and there that I realized beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would spend the rest of my life proving this evil man wrong. I would not chose to go live on the streets and sell my body. I would make choices that were just the opposite. I would find approval in the only one that really mattered and that was God.

God had become my perfect heavenly Father. I spoke truth into my life that day. I also realized once again that my dad did not love me. What a painful thought even 45 years later. For whatever reason he did not love me. I was the hated one. What could I have possibly done to deserve the hatred of a man who helped physically create me in my mother's womb? For years this thought haunted me.

It took me many years to realize that this was never about me, not really. It was about a man that was broken. Something happened in his life that caused him to physically and sexually abuse little children. Something in his past nurtured that evil side. I just happened to be one of dozens and dozens of children who were thrown into his path.

Tomorrow, and there will be a tomorrow post, I promise, I will tell you the straw that broke the camel's back. What made me walk out his door at 16 and never looked back.

Till then, no matter what kind of father you had or have, no one compares to the perfect Father that is waiting for you to open your arms and let him in.

In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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