Growing up in my father’s house, church, religion, and private school were the norm. Ever Sunday in the morning and in the evening, my family was in attendance at the Southern Baptist church a few miles away. Every Wednesday night we were at night service. My younger brother and I attended the christian school the same church ran. On Saturdays, I was usually on the church campus for choir practice, ensemble practice, or sports. In all actuality, that church campus was my safe haven for many years.
When I was on my church campus, I was out of my father’s reach. I knew at least while I was involved at school or church, he could not molest or beat me. That being said, I was so confused by the constant conflicting messages coming at me. Being that I had been molested since the age of 5, I really didn’t know that the things happening in my home were not happening in every child’s home. I didn’t know it was wrong that my father came into my room every night at midnight and violated my body, then made me get up and go to the bathroom with him afterward, where he cleaned me up and gave me a douche. I did know I did not like it and it humiliated me. I had read through the bible or heard scriptures almost everyday for several years. These conflicting messages made me feel powerless for being a child and a female.
Ephesians 6: 1-4
Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck……………..
Those scriptures were preached not only at church and school, but by my father as he would open the bible up in our home and preach the same messages. Every sermon in church talked about obeying in some way. Women to obey their husbands. Children obey your parents. Obey god. Obey the words in the bible. Children obey your elders. Trust in god. God is all knowing, is peace, is love. Yet, in our home I would watch and listen to my step-mother being punched, kicked and blooded by my father. I would listen and watch my brothers being punched, kicked and thrown across the room. Of course, the horrific things happening to me by my father were even more conflicting to me.
1 Corinthians 7:36
If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.
1 Corinthians 7:1-40
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
1 Timothy 2:15
But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
1 Timothy 2:11
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission
1 Timothy 2:12
I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.
…a woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.
1 Corinthians 14:33b-34
As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.
Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom – both young and old – surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
1 Corinthians 14:35
If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything……………….
These were the messages being drilled into my young head almost 7 days a week. Children were to be seen not heard. In my home, being seen was a detriment. We were the outlet to the whims of the adults in the home. My step-mother was jealous of me, as she knew the molestation was happening. Her way of dealing with it was to treat me as an extra-marital affair, and my little brother suffered at her doing many times I believe because of her jealousy over me. There was no safe place in our home. Security only was present to me when I rode my bike or skateboard to the local beach. I would sit on the jetty for hours dreaming of a life where I had a voice and choice over what happened to my body.
If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.
A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her………………..
Our church had many special services and events that brought hundreds to hear the word and repent. I can recall one service as we all sang Just As I Am………. At 12 years old the feeling of confusion filled every inch of my being. The sermon among other topics, was geared towards the sin of sex before marriage. Even at this age I really did not completely understand what sex was, but I did know that I was unclean because of what my father did to me nightly. Several weeks before this sermon something different had occured in my home. My father one weekend afternoon told me to come into the bathroom and take a bath with him. After he cleaned my area, he began to do unspeakable things and as I stood in the tub with him under me, I cried out in my head! I was so confused, embarrassed and now violated in a new way. This was the first time I wanted to die. I felt death, even in hell, was better than what I was living through in life. Of course, I felt I would go to hell, because I was clearly a sinful disobedient child.
The service ending song filled up the gigantic church and I felt a welling up inside to heed the song and request of the man speaking from the pulpit. Then my body moved from my pew and into the walkway. As I walked towards the steps under where my pastor stood, I heard the words “Thank you Jesus, for touching the heart of this child. Lord, forgive her for her sins and make her a vessel for your service.” As a female elder came to me and prayed with me, the pain and confusion became more entwined. I was 100% convinced that everything I was going through was my fault, due to my sins….not doing homework, not making my bed, cheating on school tests, not obeying adults, wearing shorts or a top that showed to much skin, and talking back. After the service, I got into my families van knowing that I was bad. I was 12 years old.
While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”
The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this disgraceful thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But to this man, don’t do such a disgraceful thing.”
But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.
When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.
When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel………………..
Before my 13th birthday, I was home alone with my younger siblings. It was normal for me to be put in charge of their care for hours at a time. As I switched through the channels on our t.v. one of my siblings began to cry. I went to provide care and returned to the t.v. When I returned to the t.v. to continue looking for a cartoon for my siblings to watch, the subject of conversation on the channel the t.v. was tuned to caught my attention. I sat on the floor in front of the cabinet t.v. and listened. To this day I don’t remember if the show was The Phil Donahue or The Merv Griffin show, but I know it was one of them…….what caught my attention was the guest’s story. The female guest was describing the inappropriate relationship her father had with her when she was a child. For the first time in my 12 years I heard the word molestation. My heart began to beat so loudly in my body that I could hear it inside of my head. The entire room seemed to close in around me and began to spin. Embarrassment, disgust, shame, anger, and the feeling of wanting to die filled the space. I couldn’t catch my breath. For the first time I had confirmation on the years of feeling what was happening in my home was wrong. Tears flowing down my face, every possible solution for ending my life began to move through my mind, like a fast forwarding movie.
Several days later, I got the bravery to tell a women in my church. I idealized her. She had hired me a few times to do dishes and clean her home for money I was earning to go to summer camp. I had never met a woman who was so soft spoken, beautiful and kind. At night service I pulled her aside and broke down, telling her that my father was doing things to me that were meant for mommies. She comforted me and for the first time I felt a huge weight had been lifted. My pastor’s wife was brought over and I repeated the story. I went home that night with my family and did not say a word about what I had done. The next day my father was called in to speak with the pastor. When he got home, I suffered greatly. He was angered by my telling, but also because he was fired as the sunday school bus driver. My soul was crushed. I was so hopeless. The molestation stopped for a short while and my father put a slide lock on the inside of my bedroom door. The beatings were kicked into high gear to compensate.
The night before my father was to ship out for his next Navy tour, I was abruptly awakened by the sound of a loud bang. Still groggy, I could tell that my father had used his 250lb body to force my bedroom door open. He did not come in at first. As the slide lock laid of the floor, he stood outside the door. The door was only open enough to see the light from the hallway and the shadow of my father’s large body could barely be seen. The only sounds that I could hear were the sounds of my father begging and whining. Like a child, he begged me to let him come in. “Just one more time, please, please.” “I will buy you a new bike.” “I will give you money.” I said nothing. Frozen stiff in my bed. It seemed like hours went by and then I must have fallen asleep. For the first time in all the years of molestation, I came out of my mental comatose state. (A defense mechanism my little brain took on early was to go somewhere else when it was happening). This time I woke up to find my father’s naked body on top of me. A superhuman strength took over my body and I was able to throw his huge body off of me. He flew up and over onto my 3 leveled bedside table. He hit the table back first then fell on all fours to the floor. Whining in pain he crawled out of my room like an injured dog. That was the last night I lived in the same home as my father…………………………..
More about my story, how I got out of that home, and came to be an atheist in future postings.
My goal is to help others by sharing my healing journey and mindset. I am all about total health and happiness. Please follow me on your favorite social media site @menopausemedic Thx