Pieces. Scattered pieces. Missing pieces. Shattered, broken, tiny pieces. Wisps of pieces, swirling pieces, haunting pieces. I’m in pieces.
I was whole when I fell asleep. Years of brokenness had come before, but so had healing. Nightmares from my past would disappear with the dawn, and I would wake knowing exactly who I was in the present. This time, though, the terror in my dreams was more of a revelation; a telling of truth I never saw coming. I screamed out the truth in my sleep, and it hasn’t stopped ringing in my ears since that night. So, who am I now?
Off in the distance, the little girl was a stranger to me. I could see her struggling and felt her fear. I inched closer, wanting to help her, though from what I wasn’t certain. I saw him then, on top of her as she cried. I knew her. I was frozen, paralyzed, as I watched my younger self cry under the weight of this man. I stood in horror, seeing myself squirm; his angry, red face so close to my own. Both faces turned towards me. I knew him, too.
Knowing him, knowing what happened, has changed so many things. Though I woke with dreadful certainty that I had experienced childhood sexual abuse, I also questioned my mind. How had I lived for so many years with no conscious knowledge that something so terrible had happened to me? Why wouldn’t I have put up a fight or told someone? How could I have continued to love this person as if he had not harmed me? What do I do now?
I have decided to trust. I trust in God because I have seen His faithfulness my entire life. I can even see His love in how slowly He has revealed this truth to me. Had I known earlier in my life, this would have destroyed me. God has placed people in my path in the last weeks who, unknowingly, affirmed my story through the telling of their own. Songs have spoken directly to the wounded places in my soul, and I have have always found healing in music. Hundreds of people were listening as a pastor preached a sermon that spoke to my heart, shining light on shadows of doubt, and setting me free.
I do not have all of the answers, and the memories remain agonizingly beyond my grasp. Still, I have decided to share this journey with you. I have always been very open about my story, but it has been told after several years of healing. This time, I am sharing pieces of my heart as the story unfolds. I know that I am not alone. Neither are you.
So, who am I now? I am sad and confused. I feel like I am missing chunks of my heart, and sometimes it hurts to breath. At times I question everything, and other times I stand strong in the painful truth. In all of this, I remain a child of God. I am loved, made new, clean, treasured, chosen, and beloved. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I have a voice, so I will speak. And, in pieces, I will share my story until I am no longer in pieces.