Ok. Normally, I would not blog about this on what I call my "community service" blog, but I want people to know why I do all of the community service that I do.... it has nothing to do with a pageant--actually, at this point, I could care less about any pageant. I have to help others because it helps me and I never admitted this before reading Laurie Asplund's book, Justice Before Mercy. There is more to me and more to my life than representing a pageant system--I have a strong need to feel like I am fulfilling my purpose or else I tend to feel that my life is not worth living. As long as my abuser is still called a "pastor" at some church and my mother upholds him over me, I will probably continue to feel low... but helping others through service helps me to get "high" again...
I decided that instead of reading my book in a corner and keeping the flap hidden so that no one could see what I was reading, that I would make my feelings and what I am reading public. As I stated before, I am reading Laurie Asplund's Justice Before Mercy, which I purchased directly from her at the 2009 SNAP conference. Of course, I will not give but so many details of the book because I know of survivors who read my blog (you can get your own copy!) :D
Today, I reread the introduction and first chapter. The introduction alone was a lot for me read emotionally. When Laurie said that she left the truth in the book and had to apologize just in case she offended anyone, I felt as if I knew exactly what she was going to say. I was almost saying aloud, "Don't tell it all, Laurie!" But, I also understand her thought process--the world needs to hear the gory and horrific detailed account from actual victims (as if enough stories have not been told... how many more victims will it take for the world to take heed??)
On page one, Laurie says, "...in spite of these bad experiences, I have turned out to be a warm and friendly person with a healthy and positive mental attitude towards life." I felt as if Laurie was telling a lie--we, vicitms/survivors, sometimes say these things to people that we consider normal, so that they--even after hearing our horrific story--will consider us normal too.
The pattern of sexual abuse does not change--just the abusers. I found so many similarities in both Laurie's and my story. We were both abused starting at the age of 14 (a very vulnerable stage--parents reading this, please pay close and careful attention to your children around this age!!); we both went through the abuse for almost two years; we both stood up for ourselves--ending the abuse through a blatant refusal to allow it to continue by "leaving" the situation; we both "left" the situation at the age of 16 (Is this the age where most teen girls who are being abused realize that they are being abused?); we both tried to find healing for ourselves through helping others.
I am certainly impressed with Laurie's story after only reading the introduction and continuing through chapter 1. She attempted to become a counselor which is also an idea I have juggled recently after being able to effectively help teen girls. I do wonder, if I was able to become a counselor educationally, would I truly be a counselor mentally?
I feel hopeful... she has been married to Danny for 25 years! I sometimes would worry about my own marriage, thinking that my past would lead to my downfall. But, fortunately and thank God, there are wonderful men in this world, like Danny and Mardis, who will make a promise or a vow and keep it (4 years later for me!). Both Laurie and I are successfully surviving and still happily married.
I had to take a break after reading chapter 1. I find it hard sometimes to read about abuse for extended amounts of time as it reminds me of my own past and makes me angry all over again (you know this feeling if your mother has ever taken the side of someone who was dead wrong and you know that you are innocent!). I especially abhor reading about unsupportive, unbelieving parents (moms especially)... it is just so common and unfair. But, it apparently is not common enough for the world to learn from previous accounts it seems. I still, to this very moment, find myself trying to help my mother understand what happened to me... only to have friends tell me they don't know why I bother because she will never believe me... I just don't want to believe that!
I cannot wait to begin chapter 2, but for now I need to pray and ask God, again for the 12th year of my life in a row, to help me forgive my mother and the abuser, the pedophile pastor...