The first time the bad man touched me, it was the summer before my 8th birthday. I can’t recall exactly how it all began, but I can remember that his overwhelming power of affection tricked me into believe that it was ‘okay.’
His greasy, long gray hair was always pulled back in a pony tail, while the top part of his head, slightly bald, was always covered by a red hat that bore the band name Slipknot. I didn’t understand what was going on, except that I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone. I was never threatened, but it made me giggle to keep a secretwhich I knew later on was bad.
For a whole year or possibly two this man proceeded to abuse me. Since then, I’ve blocked out a lot of my childhood to the point where I hardly remember anything between second and fourth grade. I do remember the time when I received a C on a project about the Pilgrim’s voyage that took me weeks to complete and how disappointment filled every nook and cranny of my body. Other than that, I don’t remember a lot.
Eventually, the man left the house. Literally one day I came home from school, and he was gone. Vamboosh with a clump of cash he stole from my mom. Cops were called, they took the story of his theft, but my lips were sealed on his other deeds he did because I was afraid in that moment that my mom would be really mad at me. Looking back that was silly of me. The bad man was never caught. The bad man never went to jail.
I’m okay now. See, a few years ago I heard a life-changing message about how we can’t truly experience all of God’s blessings when we have old junk, like hurts and bitterness, overcrowding our hearts. In that altar call, I said I forgave the man who touched me in inappropriate ways. I asked God to take away that burden that I carried around for years. I never found the courage to tell people what happened because, well honestly it was hard for me to trust anyoneespecially men. The first person I told was one of my best guy friends at the time (who I actually later dated for a month or so before we decided that we were better off as just friends). He hugged me and told me that he was sorry for what happened to me. We really bonded in that moment.
I’m not writing this for sympathy, please don’t give me any sympathy because it makes me feel awkward. But I’m writing this because I know there is someone out there who has experienced what I have, I know they’re probably scared to talk to someone about it, but let me say that telling someone trustworthy is the first step to dropping that unbearably high burden. It takes a lot of courage to tell someone, anyone, how much hurt someone has caused you. I lost a part of my innocence in a way I never wanted to, and I’ll never get that back.
This reminds me of the term kintsugi, known as the Japanese art form for repairing broken pottery. According to Wikipedia, when a piece of pottery is broken a mixture of gold, silver, or platinum is created to form bondage, or scar if you will, along the seams which basically “stitches” it back together. This treats the breakage/repair as part of the history of the object verse something to disguise.
Someday, if it’s meant to be, I’ll find someone who’ll see my battle scars, my golden cracks, and will still find beauty (but if not, I’m not too worried about it either).
Don’t let your scars define you. Let those golden cracks shine your inner beauty.