By Renee Greer
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] wish I recalled sweet aromas during holidays or laughter at family functions during my childhood. Instead I recall crying until I couldn’t see while my uncle molested me. For years I kept this secret until I confronted him. We talked for an hour. He had also been molested. The molestation traveled from generation to generation, like a big snake that grows bigger).
I wish I recalled sweet aromas during holidays or laughter at family functions during my childhood. Instead I recall crying until I couldn’t see while my uncle molested me. For years I kept this secret until I confronted him. We talked for an hour. He had also been molested.
The molestation traveled from generation to generation, like a big snake that grows bigger and stronger with every secret until it strikes the innocent, spreading pain and poison to the next generation.
Over half of the women in my family were molested but kept silent, seeing their molesters at every family gathering but saying nothing. They live hard lives of drugs, abusive relationships, and homosexuality. Pain lives in their eyes and a spirit of depression surrounds them but they protect these secrets, protect their abusers, allowing the snake to feed. God helps you through emotional turmoil and pain, but gives us the responsibility to confront our secrets and stop the abuse. It’s no longer about me; it’s about my 10 year old daughter and her children. I refuse to allow the secrets and that snake into my daughter’s life. I refuse to feed this monster, allowing him to steal my happiness. My cousin was also molested; she was about six when it began. Now 30 and married, we often talk as she deals with the consequences. She confronted one of the men that molested her, and will confront the others, because she wants her marriage and her life to be free of the secrets.
One Sunday, the pastor called for molestation victims to come to the altar. Women crowded around him, women just like me. More than half of the women in the church had gotten up. Maybe 6 women were still seated. We joined hands as the pastor laid hands on us. A powerful vibe shook us all. With trembling hands we hugged and consoled each other, crying and holding one another. I’m just one of millions of women that have been affected by molestation. If you’re one of them, I just have this to say: “Get tired of playing the victim. Give the problem back to its rightful owner, it doesn’t belong to you. By talking to my uncle, I handed him back the emotional baggage I carried for so long, and it’s time you do the same. That thing inside you has been with you since you were a child, and as you grew older it grew on the inside of you. Now it seems bigger than you but being a victim is a role you choose to play. When you get tired enough, stop playing the victim and get bold. I didn’t want to play anymore and I confronted that thing that threatened to take me out. Molestation can cause many problems in your life: uncertainties, relationship problems, and feelings of worthlessness. If you want to be free, take your life back and confront the secrets.”
I’m African American, and I know our secrets very well. Not all African American families deal with these secrets, but many of us are. The secrets must stop. They affect the entire family. It’s no longer about you; your secrets spread pain, feeding a monster that attacks your children or grandchildren, destroying our marriages. The men in our lives marry unaware that they are saying “I do,” to our secrets. By keeping these secrets you welcome the monster into your marriage. It blocks communication, and erodes the trust needed to make the marriage strong.
If you’re a woman who knows my pain, I’m talking to you. God promises you an abundant life and you deserve it. Get fed up and do something about it. When you go around that family member that molested you, don’t pretend everything is okay. You have the right to let your family know about the pain. Your family doesn’t want to talk about it because they’re afraid of the consequences. They may disagree but make a choice to stop suffering from their secrets. Yes, pray that God helps you with the emotions and pain, but confront the secrets head on and take your life back. Something precious was stolen from you, but it’s time to grow and move on. You’re only the victim if you choose to be.
Renee Greer Owner/Photographer 817-673-2436 www.frozeinbeauty.com.
Pray that other victims of molestation will find the voice to speak out and put an end to suffering in silence, in Jesus’ name.