From the age of eight until twelve I was sexually abused by four men in the area where I lived. We lived in the Appalachian Mountains, and in 1965 it was not uncommon for this behavior to go on and for it not to be addressed. My mother was physically and verbally abusive to me. She told me that this abuse was my fault and that I should have run faster, fought harder, screamed louder, or not been in the places I shouldn’t have been. The result of the abuse was that I became pregnant at age twelve. My mother’s solution to this situation was to have the baby aborted. I was told this would not only save her reputation, but would save my future.

Shortly after the abortion, we moved to a suburb of Detroit and nothing was ever said about the events in West Virginia. It was as if nothing had ever happened.

It was not until the fall of 2009 that I could not bear the secret any longer. I went to my pastor and he directed me to a Christian counselor. I have come to terms with the anger, mistrust, and self hatred – after many hours of counsel and an ocean of tears. I always wondered how and why a loving God would allow such despicable behavior.

I still wonder, but I hold tightly to Psalm 124 and cling to the promise that God loves me and will never leave me.

Psalm 124

from The Message
1-5 If God hadn’t been for us – all together now, Israel, sing out! –
If God hadn’t been for us
    when everyone went against us,
We would have been swallowed alive
    by their violent anger,
Swept away by the flood of rage,
    drowned in the torrent;
We would have lost our lives
    in the wild, raging water.
6 Oh, blessed be God!
    He didn’t go off and leave us.
He didn’t abandon us defenseless,
    helpless as a rabbit in a pack of snarling dogs.
7 We’ve flown free from their fangs,
    free of their traps, free as a bird.
Their grip is broken;
    we’re free as a bird in flight.
8 God’s strong name is our help,
    the same God who made heaven and earth

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