“I was three years old when my grandfather first molested me, and it carried on till I was about twelve at which point I proceeded to tell my mom and dad. My dad immediately removed his belt and thrashed my back with it, all the while telling me I was just a trouble maker.”
Her voice is matter of fact as she tells me all this, and while my blood just boils hearing about it, I can only imagine the turmoil her life must have been. It was at this point at age twelve that she first started cutting herself. In her own words she stated that “As I saw the blood and felt the pain of the cut I had just made on my own body, it made me forget the pain of the studded belt on my back; you know, after a while, I never really felt loved or even that I might be loveable.” DUH!!!
I don’t know about you, but I feel sick to my stomach just writing the words, but please hang on, there is an ending to all this.
“I was five years old when my brother first raped me, and it did not stop with just one or two times, it lasted for about five years.” Again I want to vomit at what I was hearing from this sincere middle aged man. “So as I grew up, I felt that this was a normal way of life, and I pursued it with a passion; there was no love involved, just a depraved form of logic that carried me on for some years.”
As I write this, my heart gets that sinking feeling, and I wonder how these people could ever overcome trauma like this; how could they ever have a semblance of a normal life ever again? These are not the only stories I could relate, but they are two that I felt really applied. Of the one hundred fifty plus people that we come into contact with every day, over half of them have similar stories. The atrocities that they have experienced in their formative years hold the majority of them in a personal prison that they feel they cannot escape, in spite of all the help offered. But the characters in the above two stories made some different choices, and when I tell you how, I anticipate that you will feel the same sense of hope and encouragement that I do when I view the results.
A common thread in all of the stories that I hear is love, or rather the absence thereof; and no, I am not writing a chic type novel, but it is the one thing that comes up in each and every story that I hear. There is no gender difference when it comes to a life where love has not been a part of the equation. Where love has been extended, a child will move from one stage of life to the next without looking back to see where the loving nurture went; by the same token, those to whom it was not extended will often spend their life looking for it, thereby rendering them incapable of moving on in life.
Let me tell you what made a big difference in the lives of the two in the above stories. When they were probably at one of their lowest points in life, someone they met not only took an interest in them, but started to invest personal time and affection in their lives. They were exposed to love like they had never known it before and it offered them an opportunity to learn to hope. They liked what they saw and grabbed hold of it. Are their lives perfect now? Of course not; they will face many challenges just like the rest of us, but now they can do so without the aid of alcohol or drugs. They now have faith, hope and love, but in their own words, the greatest of these is love.
Now do you believe that I love what I do?