Monthly Archives: April 2013

No One Ever Said “No” (Anonymous)

 

An Anonymous Story

The lines distinguishing appropriate touch and inappropriate touch quickly become blurred for those who have been sexually abused.

The lines distinguishing appropriate touch and inappropriate touch quickly become blurred for those who have been sexually abused.

Indistinguishable

No one ever said “no”,

Or “that’s too far”,

Or “you’re worth waiting for”,

 

No one ever said “Please,

May I touch you there?

Would this make you uncomfortable?”

 

No, they pushed with their words,

Or their hands,

Into innocent places.

 

Places that aren’t meant to be touched

Until they’re meant to be touched.

Until promises have actually been kept.

 

And I began to expect it,

And like it, and crave it,

And seduce it.

 

It became a part of me,

So familiar that

I couldn’t be without it,

 

Indistinguishable from love,

It began to mean the same thing,

And I couldn’t receive the real thing.

 

I know they’re different

But I don’t know how to

Make them different.

 

Maybe you can help me.

I didn’t start out wanting it.  First my dad touched me, then my brother, then the older high school guy who thought I was in high school too, then the other older high school guy who knew I was a freshman, and it just kept happening.  After a while I didn’t know that not being touched and touching in return was a possibility.  I accepted my reality and started to like it.  I liked it so much that I started to want it, even when I wasn’t getting it.  It became such a source of experiencing care that if it wasn’t present, I felt uncared for. So if I wasn’t getting it, I would create situations where I could.  Once I met Jesus and learned that this wasn’t his idea of care until a marriage commitment had been made, I started dating some guys who believed Jesus’ way was the right one.  But by then I had so habituated sexual activity that I started trying to seduce them.  While I know intellectually that love and sex are different, they’ve become hard for me to distinguish.  So my boyfriend and I are meeting with a married couple every two weeks who is helping us learn how to make them different. They are helping me learn what healthy sexual boundaries are. They are standing for the truth that I am worth respecting.

It’s hard to live a new reality.

The Light Found Only In Darkness

Warning: This post may be triggering for those who have been sexually abused or exploited.  Please use discretion while reading.

The Light Found Only In Darkness

by Jamie Naughton

My name is Jamie Naughton. I am an overcomer of sexual abuse. Like others, I have suffered extreme emotional pain and trauma from my abusers. I have a dissociative disorder called De-realization and also Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The abuse has effected every part of my life.  I have scars only Jesus can heal.

"House of Yes"

“House of Yes”

This photo is titled the “House of Yes.” In many ways this is a self-portrait. I am surrounded by the pain and abuse of my childhood and for much of my life I was “swallowed” up by my past. I also literally grew up in a home without protection which led to the 3 of my 5 assaults. My parents did not make wise choices about their friends and simply did not take care of us. We were yelled at and neglected. As a result I sought love and attention from outside of the home which made me into a target for predators.

"Only 7"

“Only 7”

This photo is titled “Only 7”. I was brutally raped when I was 7 years old by an old man. I split in two. God is still trying to sew my soul and my body back together. I still carry the little Jamie, who was raped; she is the “Dirty Girl.” I try to function while carrying this beat up, swollen, bloody, dead child inside. Some days she is heavier than others.

"Agony"

“Agony”

This photo is entitled “Agony.” Soon after being assaulted again at 12 I began getting high and became a chronic runaway. Home was a nightmare and there was a tornado inside of me that couldn’t be stilled. At 15 I was homeless in Hollywood, CA. I traded sex for money or a “safe” place to sleep. It was during one of these times that a man forcefully violated my mouth and changed me forever.

These men murdered me; all that is left is a shell. My healing from Jesus has been him unbinding the shame I wrap myself up in. He is bringing the dead girl back to life.  In the dark dead place where the dirty girl lays, he is there, and when I sink to those depths, he creates a light only he and I can see, it is here that he heals me.

And So….I fly.

Heavy burdens lay upon my shoulders

Scarlet sex on a white smile

The weight of Hell burned my skin

Their heavy hands exploring my best kept secrets

This young girl was made into a woman

By old men and old lust and a curious trust

Born into the “House of Yes”

Harlot trained to be the best

A sulfur child still burns

Years after their hands have stilled

After….mine have still

Swollen hands of memories

A whipping girl made to please

Feel the jagged wound they made my mouth

Their glory hole.

Their heart shape hate.

 

Shade found in the broken hands of a Man

A Lover of Dirty Pearls

Gathers up a shattered girl

Tattered rag of carnality

Used to bring about their ecstasy

He speaks to me tenderly

Clean love for a soiled dove

Soft eyes soft lips

Cools the rage and shame

He turned my burdens into wings

Free from the hands of the marauders

No more toys for men

Protected, Held tightly

Captured by my Love, My King, my never-ending dream.

Against His skin wears me close to His heart

 

His Wild Reed now hidden away

Within a diamond locket

Strengthened by His pain

 

Move within His Sorrow Sunshine

Never have to touch earth again

Never have to say “Yes.” again.

 

Rest with hardened skin

Soft child made into porcelain

Safely curled up within His rage

 

Free from the penetrating depravity of man

The skewers of their lust threading through me

Black Incest spun hate.

 

This girl no longer knows the sins of men.

He won’t let any of them near me again.

 

Even in death…I will fly.

 

I can fly anywhere.

 

Going and Doing While Licking Your Wounding

Going and Doing while Licking Your Wounding

by Ann S.

I’ve found myself crying a good portion of the past week.  It is not typical for my emotions to be so near the surface and so easily triggered to overflowing.  Especially in front of other people.  But no less than 4 times this week, not only did I well up with tears, but I flat out cried.  Snot.  Tears.  Awesome.eyes,face,tears,100213102,emotion,black,and,white-15a96501f22e99c60e14f03f690438ac_h
The fact that I can cry in front of people is a miracle that wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago.  I don’t even understand all that is happening, but it is related to junk from my past still affecting my life today.  And it’s all getting stirred up because I decided to go to Kenya.
It can be a tough dance to navigate how and when to step out and do something big while walking out the residue of a traumatic storyline.  However, if this week has taught me anything, it’s that sometimes we can make excuses to keep us from the very thing that will set us free.  Sometimes risk provides momentum that brings deeper healing.
I have had a lot of healing from a lot of different kinds of wounds.  Most recently, I have been grieving the loss of my mom to cancer and all of the remarriage and holiday changes and house-selling that goes along with that.  In addition, while my mom was sick, I was in a graduate program in Global Leadership with a plethora of alpha males who didn’t understand my emotional process.  We were all learning how to conquer the world, but I was more immediately contemplating how to get through the day without my mom.  I began to doubt my abilities, my leadership, anything good in myself that could affect change in the world.  My experiences with my male colleagues compounded experiences from my childhood fueling my profound distrust of men in power and leadership.
This trip to Kenya is the first time I’ve gone out and done service with a group of people since my graduate program.  The team is comprised of women, but led by a man.  I’m getting triggered on all my old mental tapes, both of my inadequacy and his control and power.
It has caught me completely off guard, and my reaction is to want to wallow in a swamp of self-pity and grief and shame and become immobilized by the enormity of risking.  Risking to go in the first place and risking to communicate to the leader in the meantime.  So I cried myself to sleep last night, too.  I figure it provided a nice grand finale to the week.
But friends, be reassured with me that there will always be significant things to do, and we will always be in process walking out our stories.  So, there aren’t really any wrong moves. Only practice.  Or, dare I say it, PLAY.
It has been so helpful to keep a joyful image in my mind through all the tears.  I think of myself singing in Kenya, surrounded by children, and I know that my soul will dance as we clap our hands and stomp our feet.  Sometimes we need a vision of something greater to help pull us through the tears of transformation.

Breaking through requires struggle.

Breaking through requires struggle.

I am trusting that there is something in this trip for me.  If the fact that I’ve been on the verge of a mini-breakdown is any indication, perhaps I’m in store for some kind of breakthrough. So I’ll get up one morning, wipe the tears and snot off my face, put on a colorful skirt and whole lot of sunscreen, and get myself on a plane to Kenya.  I won’t let the swamp of grief, or the aggressors of my childhood, the insensitive leaders of graduate school, or my own critical voice get in the way because there is dancing and singing and clapping and laughing to be done.  May the ground tremble with the healing dance of freedom that comes from risk.
About the author: Ann is a tutor, writer, and professional friend.  Her most recent solo adventure involved a road trip visiting 480 Facebook friends in 480 days.  You can read her inconsistent blogging at connectingcrosscountry.com.
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