As the years passed I felt more and more embarrassed to share what had happened with the one person who truly mattered, my mom. I felt the baggage of shame build with each year that passed in my silence. I never thought she wouldn't believe me, I never thought she wouldn't try to protect me or comfort me. I knew she would listen, I knew she would help, but I was so ashamed, not of the actual molestation but of being silent about it when it involved my sisters safety. And I was afraid of my mom feeling hurt and betrayed by me, I feared she may blame herself somehow for me not saying anything sooner. And as I entered my adult years, and my sisters grew up as well, I thought more and more that had anything happened they were old enough now to prevent it or report it. It never occurred to me that at the same age, I, myself, had been unable to share it with anyone who really needed to know.
At 21, while pregnant with my own daughter, I got a call from my mom. She apparently had been told by my aunt that she should talk to me after one of my sister Nicole's friends and said she was uncomfortable accompanying Nicole somewhere with her dad- my stepfather. This friend had told her own father that my stepfather had said some inappropriate things that made her feel uncomfortable the last time she had gone with Nicole. Her father told my mom, who was talking about it with my aunt. I still have no idea how my aunt came to have knowledge of it. My mom asked me if my stepfather had ever touched me, and I told her he had. She didn't want details, she just wanted to know. I didn't know what else to say. I tried explaining why I hadn't told her, I gave her all the excuses I had come up with over the years but none were solid enough to stand in my mind. Since then it hasn't come up much, and its like it never happened sometimes. My mom still let my sister visit after talking to them about everything and cautioning them, and she limited their visits to only during the day, no overnights. Though eventually they stopped seeing him at all, he worked as a trucker by then, was rarely home and was drunk when he was around. Over the years he has gone in and out of rehab, even claimed he was a Mormon for a short time.
Now down to how I feel almost 16 years after that night. It is still a memory not far from my thoughts, especially when I hear about what others have gone through. I don't think of it as a positive or a negative experience. I just think of it as a trial that has helped build my character for the better. I actually still think back on my childhood as relatively normal and happy enough, though I will always want to make my own children's time before adulthood happier and even more fulfilling then my own, and I believe it will be for them.
I have forgiven my stepfather for what he did, and I actually have come to feel sympathy for him and what his life has become. Sometimes I pray for him. God has brought me peace about it, and He has taught me much from it. I know that my scars are beautiful to God, and He intends to somehow use each one for His own purpose, one I may never know or understand for a long time. I have no regrets anymore, there is nothing I can change, and I don't know that I would. I have met and heard many people's testimonies since then, and I have even thought myself lucky and blessed that it wasn't worse. But truly it doesn't matter how bad I had it, or how rough someone else's experience may be. What is most important is forgiveness, because it will bring your spirit peace, and embracing what God may do with your life as it is, because then you will have joy also. God gives us all trials in life, and if we let them they will make us stronger as we persevere through them taking refuge in Him. I now wish only to use this experience in my life to help others and glorify God.
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will recieve the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. ~James 1:12
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. ~Ephesians 4:31-32