Monster was back in the trailer…it was early in the morning, so we all went back to bed. As I laid down, praying Monster would just go to sleep, I noticed my suitcase was sticking out a little from under the bed. I sat up to push it back, but heard that same eerie creak I would hear each night, Monster was out of bed and on the prowl. I hurriedly laid back down to act like I was already in a deep sleep. It was either act like I was asleep so he would leave me alone possibly, or be awake and have one more nightmare to live through. I didn’t want him to see the suitcase, but I didn’t want him to touch me again either. Just pray, just pray is all I could tell myself to do…and there he was in my room…one last time.
He lightly shook me to see if I was awake. I didn’t move. I laid there as still as possible, praying the whole time “God please, please don’t let him hurt us anymore. Please don’t let him see our suitcases. Please don’t let Monster win.” Monster stopped trying to wake me up and as he was leaving my room, he stubbed his toe on the suitcase. “This was it,” I thought” Monster was going to see the suitcase, figure out we were trying to leave and kill us.” My whole body was one giant river of sweat, my stomach sunk into the bed…This was it. It was all over…All he had to do was flip on the lights to see the suitcase. I was dreading the worst but by the grace of God, Monster stumbled into the hall, went to the bathroom checked his foot, then … went back to bed. God was hearing my prayers as He always does. God saved us.
As hard as it was to lay in that bed til morning, that is exactly what I did. I moved the suitcase back further under the bed, stayed in my room until I heard Monster leave to go see his parents. As I walked out into the hall, I saw that mom was already on the phone with the crisis center. She was writing down things on a piece of paper, she looked up at me and smiled…. this was really happening. I had the most odd feelings going through my head and body. Happiness, joy, elation, exhaustion, anxiety, fear and loss. Loss sounds funny I’m sure for you hear; but none the less, I was losing my possessions that I had left. We couldn’t take all our belongings to the shelter, they wouldn’t have room. I couldn’t take my dog. I know it sounds silly, but I didn’t want to leave those things, they were my world when I tried to forget my life. Now how would I forget my life without them? Mom told me to be ready with my suitcase, they would be there in 15 minutes. That was the longest and shortest 15 minutes of my life. Long because Monster could come back, shortest because how do you pack your life into one suitcase.
The knock on our door was like an angel coming to say “I am here to take you to a safe place!” , and they did. We walked out of that trailer, into the back of a station wagon. There was one man and two women in the car. It gets just a little fuzzy here in this memory of mine. I remember looking back at that trailer, relief fell over my body. I could finally rest, I could finally speak, I could finally be 13. The people took us to the shelter. It was a place for abused women and children to stay. No one knew where it was located. It’s like we were in hiding, that made me feel even better. The rules there were simple, ALL doors to the outside were to remain shut and double locked. There was no roaming the grounds, one kitchen for all to use and clean up. Mom and I had our own room with bunk beds a closet and bathroom. There was a crisis room in case one of the woman’s abusers did find the shelter, we would go in this room until police arrived.
We had to be interviewed upon arrival of the shelter. We sat in a room and were asked questions about our lives and how much abuse we had gone through. The room was warm and inviting. Comfortable couch to sit on, yet there was all this paperwork and questions. The more questions that were asked to my mom, the more she cried. The more she cried, the more I cried. I don’t think anyone can bear to see their mom cry and with everything we had gone through, it was going to be a long day of crying for us both. We sat in that room, on the comfy couch for what seemed like hours, documenting all Monster had done to mom. The counselors were so loving, gentle, and kind. They held us, prayed with us, loved on us… God sent us to the right place.
My interview was next and I couldn’t do it at first. They didn’t pressure me they waited and told me I could talk when I was ready. My mom had told them I had been sexually abused as well, so they were anxious to get the process going so I could get set up with the proper counselor. What no one realized was I not only was ashamed and embarrassed but I didn’t want my mom to know everything. I didn’t want her to know all the details. I didn’t want her to feel worse than she already did. She didn’t need to know there were times he would be on the verge of an attack so I would ask him to just hurt me instead. That he would rape me, and tell me he loved me at the same time. She didn’t need to know that I was smart enough to worry about becoming pregnant by him, but he had a vasectomy. When I did have my interview it was one of the hardest, humiliating talks I had ever had. Little did I know they would be the beginning of my healing process.
As a child of sexual abuse Iwas robbed of so many innocents of life. I thought sex was horrible, ugly, disgusting, the thought of sex made me sick to my stomach. Since I asked Monster to take me instead of my mother, I had guilt that it was my fault… I did ask for it. Monster and other abusers also know that even children have a natural stimulation that happens during sex and they make you feel guilty for that as well. Since they can stimulate you, you must like it right? Therefore, you want it as bad as they do. So many times these thoughts went through my head, I felt ashamed of myself. I felt as though I committed adultery with Monster, against my mother. Counseling soon taught me that I was the victim, I was the child, I was NOT in the wrong… Monster was. I was in counseling for several years…God restored me. He took a broken little girl and piece by piece put her back together, showing her the beauty she has always had living inside of her.
So what happened to Monster? Did he ever find us? Did he die in prison? Did he get everything he deserves? The answer is No, No and yes. Monster never found us. Mom got a divorce from him in 1985.She was married to him for 9 years. No, Monster never went to prison, jail or court for that matter. Between mom, me and my counselors it was decided the trauma of trial and reliving all the details in public would be more harm than good for me. Did Monster get everything he deserves…. my answer is yes I believe he did and will. As far as I know Monster is still alive and well. I have spotted him on occasion when I go back home to see my family. He even had the audacity to be one of the veterans that showed up at my paw paws funeral ( no one really figured it out but me, until he was already gone).
So how is it he is getting what he deserves? I know you all must be thinking I am crazy that he is getting what he deserves, yet he didn’t spend one minute in jail for what he did to me… but trust me and I will explain. Through my journey and walk with Jesus Christ, I’ve learned that I needto live and love according to what Gods word says:
Matt. 22: 37 -39 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
When God revealed this to me, I didn’t know what to think. I was taken back and made to realize God loved me so much He created me, He created ALL THINGS. He created Monster too. This didn’t sit real well with me, then before that had a chance to sink in, God revealed another part of his word:
Colossians 3:12-13 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
God, really?? This monster potentially could have ruined my life. Statistically, I should have become a prostitute, junkie, drug dealer, sexually promiscuous and now you want me to forgive him? All those things I had to endure? The pain, the hurt, the fear … God are you sure? I don’t think I can do all this! I am not strong enough to forgive and love this monster. This monster that tortured me for 9years of my life! Lord, no, no I can’t! I wrestled with the Lord on this for a very long time.
I was 13 when we left in 1985. In 2009, God showed me monster in a whole new perspective. I was studying a book by Rick Warren called ” The Purpose Driven Life” I was in the chapter about forgiveness when God showed me this broken, bruised, beaten down little boy. A boy with no voice, a boy with no chance to break a cycle of abuse. God showed me a little boy who grew up with no guidance, lots of anger and no chance to change what he was going to become. I was shown and reminded what part of me already knew. Monster had also been a victim of abuse. I don’t know his story, it doesn’t make what he did to me right, but it does change my perspective.
That day, I saw what God sees, a child in need of love and forgiveness. All that hate that I held on to, did nothing but prevent me from moving forward. All that hate had absolutely NO effect on monster, only me. That day I forgave and loved monster as God would have me do. I could not do that AT ALL on my own, it was through God’s mercy and grace that I could go to that place of forgiveness, of love. Do I want to ever be around Monster, tell him of my forgiveness?… absolutely not. Do I think God is a just God and Monster will have consequences for his sin? Absolutely I do… but I could care less. God has given me freedom, restoration, mercy, and grace. He has given me a life with a wonderful testimony of His promises and love. My journey isn’t even close to being over with, I can’t wait for God to reveal more and more of His great wisdom. I pray that I will choose the right way to live my life each day and know I have to take life day by day.