At 8 I said “stop, that hurts”. He said “don’t tell anyone”.
At 11 I said “mom, I don’t like when he hurts me”. She said “at least you are good for something. Someone wants you”.
At 17 I left home. Four relationships later I found myself broken, angry, and pregnant.
At 21 I miscarried and learned that you can experience grief and relief at the same time.
At 24 they broke into my house. They violated me. They hurt me. But he said “why was your bedroom door unlocked? How stupid are you?”
At 27 he controlled my life. He took my phone. He took my car. He took my paycheck. He took my voice. He took my dignity.
At 27 he “let” me live in his shed as he asked “who do you think you are that anyone would want you?”
At 27 I decided to end my life. I stole the pills. I put them next to the razor blade.
At 27 I lost my hopelessness and instead heard the tiniest voice say “but what if you left?”
At 27 I left.
At 28 I found the answer to his question “who do you think you are that anyone would want you?” I found that I am a child of God. I am chosen. I am wanted. I am loved. I am important. I am His. I am redeemed. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am strong.
At 29 I said “God why was I created to be abused?” But God said “child, you were never created to be abused. You are loved. You were created on purpose and for a purpose.”
At 30 I said “I forgive”.
At 31 I found purpose. I found my voice. I found hope. I found safety. I began to dream again. I experienced grace.
At 33, even on my worst days I am His. I have a future. I am safe.