It happened in a coat-check closet of a banquet hall of all places. I was happy to see a large mirror in it when I walked in to hang my coat. I’m always checking to see if I have lipstick on my teeth, it’s a thing with me. There were people coming in and out, but I made my way and stood in front of the mirror, checking my teeth first, and then proceeded to fix my hair a little bit. A guy I briefly made eye contact with standing in line suddenly appeared and bumped against me from behind. Before my mind could grasp what was happening, my body sensed something was very wrong. He maneuvered as if someone has pushed him in my direction, but that wasn’t the case. He pleasured himself and violated me in that instance. It happened so fast that I couldn’t calculate it, and when I turned around, he was gone.
When I returned to my seat, the look on my face indicated that something was wrong, and my friend was concerned. She asked me what happened, but I couldn’t get the words right. I tried to explain, but my explanation didn’t make sense. I shook my head, which she took to mean that she should just let it be, but really it signaled my overwhelming sense of disbelief.
I did what so many do when they are victimized in this way, I questioned myself a million times in a million different ways. There was nothing unusual or suggestive in the eye contact I made with this man, yet, I still questioned myself repeatedly. It’s an old habit from childhood that, for me, has been challenging to break. Children who grow up in abusive homes sometimes blame themselves for the abuse they suffer. They desperately want to be loved and will do anything to keep believing in their parents; even to the point of faulting themselves.
Intellectually, I knew this thing wasn’t my fault, but old programming got the better of me. It was a quick, crazy, evil and violating thing that happened, but at the time, it was something I had never heard of. So, I didn’t tell anyone what happened, fearing they might not believe me. I was used to suffering in silence, and that’s what I did. As time went on, what I began to understand is that the painful and silent thing has a voice, and it speaks in ways that our mouths could never articulate. My anger and sorrow about what happened to me manifested itself in physical ailments, extreme sadness at times, and a neglect of self.
I had a few mountains in my life in the past, and this violation became another one that I needed to conquer. I was sinking, becoming more bitter and angry, and I decided that instead of continuing to drown in my emotional pain, I would dive deeper into the Lord than I had before.
1Peter 1:6-7(NLT) says, “6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” God doesn’t cause our problems and tribulations, but He will always help us through them, strengthening our faith and making us stronger than before.
Some people will do evil things. They will take the free-will gift of God and do horrendously vile deeds with it. As much as we’d all probably like to forget this, we can’t. But we don’t have to focus on it. Instead, we can focus on the reality that God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to save us. We mean this much to Him, and because of what He’s done for us through Christ, we have a choice. We don’t have to let those who refuse to know God’s love destroy our desire to live by it.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14(NLT), God said that if we humble ourselves, pray, seek Him, and turn away from wrongdoing, He’ll hear our prayers; He’ll forgive our sins and restore us. Yes, we get knocked down, and sometimes it’s a pretty hard hit, but God is a healer of brokenness. If we allow His Spirit to work within our hearts, and be willing to surrender bitterness and anger to Him, we will always get back up stronger and more determined to live love through the power of His strength.■
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
“A Quick, Crazy, Evil and Violating Thing” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!