As I continued to visit with my counselor, we discussed many things. Eventually I finally opened up to her about some things that had happened to me as a child and then again as an adult. When I was younger the neighbor boys convinced me to do things that were not right. I did not know at the time that they were wrong. I figured out that they were wrong while in counseling. It had never made sense to me that it was not something that every child did growing up. I just thought it was a way of life. I am not mad at the boys who did it but it was still a wake up call to me to protect my children from that same thing that happened to me. As I got older I wanted my parents to pay attention to me so I would try to get into trouble. I started skipping classes in school. I tried drinking (which I really didn't like) and then I tried smoking. I smoked for about a year before I finally gave up because my parents never noticed. It would drive me crazy that they wouldn't pay attention to me. They gave me completely free reign to do whatever I wanted.  I got away with so much. I also decided that if I wanted to get their attention I was going to have to do something to really get it. I eventually lost my virginity at a young age and hoped with all my heart that I would get pregnant so that my parents would just pay attention to me. After doing that I felt awful because not only did I do something that was totally against my religion and the beliefs I had been taught, I really thought I was pregnant. It was a scary feeling and I knew I was way too young to be a mother.

I tried so hard to get their attention and when that didn't work I resorted to cutting. I hid a knife under my mattress in my room. At night when everyone was sleeping I would cut up my ankles and let them bleed. It felt so good and I just kept going. I became depressed and I hated myself and I hated school. I hated everything. Nothing was going right and I thought that Everyone felt that way. I thought I was normal. I thought that I was not alone in it because every teenager did it. I became addicted to cutting myself. I did it so often that I had to buy some black socks so that my family and friends would not know what I was doing. One day in college I realized that I shouldn't cut myself anymore. I did resort back to it once during counseling but it didn't have the same effect it used to. Thank goodness because who knows what I would be doing now if it did.

I finally gave up on being the rebel child and began getting involved in church again and trying my best to be good. I met a guy the first summer in college and we started dating. He was so sweet and he treated me with such first. After building a trust with me he asked me to his house to watch a movie. I trusted him by this point and agreed. We started watching the movie when he wanted to kiss. I let him and then it turned into a power struggle. We ended up on the floor and he was on top of me. I was so scared. I couldn't scream or do anything. He was strong and I had no power to get him to leave me alone. I said no and he kept going. I was scared at that point that I was going to be raped. I knew that I had no choice but to endure through the suffering he was about to put me through.  I had literally been praying in my heart that someone would come and save me from the person who was hurting me. Just as I thought that I was never going to get out of this Hell I was living, My friend came in the door. He had gotten off work early and came home (he was my "boyfriends" roommate) I was so grateful to see him. I knew that my perpetrator ("boyfriend" at the time) would stop when he saw him, but he didn't. He kept going. He gripped my wrists harder and pushed himself against me and kept trying to get me to do things I didn't want to do. My friend noticed I was struggling and realized what he was doing to me and physically had to pull this guy off of me.  I left that place in tears and the only ones who knew about it at all were me, the perpetrator and my gardian angel. I never told a soul until I was married with 3 kids and having a breakdown.

As I told my counselor about these things she wanted me to go to this 12 week group that helps to deal with Abuse. I blew it off and forgot about it. About 4 months after going for the first time I got a phone call reminding me about this group. I wasn't sure I really needed this group. I was sure that after 4 months I was doing really well. I wanted to just say no. I decided though that I would just give it a try. The first day was HELL. I wanted nothing to do with this group. When the counselors over the group got there I relaxed a little because one of them was my regular counselor. I let them talk at first. I did not want to talk and I wanted to prove that I didn't need the group. As the evening went on I realized that I needed the group more than I even knew. I began talking and as I did so did the other girls in the group. After the first day I wondered though if I would return. I talked to my counselor the next day and she convinced me that I would benefit from at least one more session.

The second session went a lot better. I was able to discuss things I couldn't discuss with my family (my parents and family had no idea at the time that any of this had happened to me) My husband knows and my counselor knows. That is all that matters.

         {More to come later. I haven't had any sleep all night. I am sorry I didn't give an update sooner, I was out of town and didn't have access to a computer.}

Finding Strength