Many victims of childhood sexual trauma are living in bondage. Many people like myself were threatened at an early age with severe physical punishment if family secrets were told to anyone on the outside. You’d be amazed of how many children are being sexual violated in their homes by people who are closest to them. Studies show that 90% of victims are sexualIy abused by close relatives or friends of their family. While I was in the Foster Care system from the age of four to eight, I can remember being terrified of the consequences I would face if I would tell anyone what was going on in that home. Although I was being sexually, physically, and mentally abused I was taught early on never to tell anyone, or there would be hell to pay.
I believe that the people in the black communities adapted to the “don’t snitch” attitude because of what was happening in our homes. People who live by the code on the streets, I mean the real gangster type would never snitch on anyone. For those of you who don’t know what snitching is, it’s usually associated with someone who cooperates with authorities such as the Feds, these people are informants, they give pertinent information to Law Enforcement and turn on their counterparts when facing severe punishment. Some (snitches) have their sentences reduced significantly by giving up a person’s whereabouts and their involvement in a particular crime of some sort. In my case, I was very young and was fearful because I didn’t want to prolong being reunited with my biological family. My mother was in the process of getting her life on track after she lost custody of her children because of her alcohol addiction. I thought that if I would snitch on the people harming me, the state would take me away and place me into another Foster home, and I would never see my family again.
If I could go back and change my past, I would tell my social worker what was going on in that house. It would’ve saved me much heartache and pain. Those who adapted to that “don’t snitch” mentality, it may be cool for the streets but not in our homes where innocent children are being violated. Since coming forth and sharing my story, I understand why many victims of sexual abuse choose to remain silent. Many will take those dark secrets to their graves. I lived in silence for almost three decades and it took a toll on me physically and mentally. Silence can be deadly, not only can it affect your health, it can turn your heart cold and make you question your purpose while here on earth.
Today I’m free because of my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, He allowed me to finally open up about my past. God gave me the strength to go back and revisit my childhood and to forgive all who harmed me, I then was able to begin the healing process. God can take a bad situation and turn it around for a greater purpose. I’m now able to tell my story to help other people move forward. It’s a new day and I believe that people will be healed and homes will to be restored. The only way to move forward and to become an overcomer is to acknowledge that there is a problem. For generations, we’ve been taught that silence is golden but if we remain silent the cycle of dysfunction will remain, in fact it will only get worse. I’m a living witness of the power of God, I could’ve given up on life long ago but today I understand that I’m here to encourage others and to give them hope. I found my purpose!
On January 29th 1982, I was born into a world where I would have to undergo many storms. I am grateful to God for allowing me to see another year but also for giving me the strength to keep pressing on. Many victims of childhood sexual abuse are no longer here, many have committed suicide and many have lost their minds. As I continue to go through my healing process, I will continue to fight for those people who are living in silence. I vow to never give up despite how hard it gets. I will continue to be a vessel for those who are bound by mental illnesses and those who are living in the grips of depression. We are more than conquerors, we are no longer survivors, we are now overcomers. Happy birthday to me!
I never claimed to be the toughest dude or as we say it around my way “the most thoroughest” if that makes any sense at all. Those who know me would tell you that I was a tall, slender goofy dude that always had people cracking up. I loved to make others laugh but deep down inside I was holding onto some deep emotional scars, I was holding onto some deep and dark secrets. Secrets that could potentially put my life and the lives of others in jeopardy. Because I was a victim of sexual, physical, and mental abuse at such an early age I had some serious trust issues. So I carried that baggage into adulthood, when I became a man, I vowed never to let anyone ever harm me again. I also never wanted to harm anyone else intentionally but to ensure that I protected myself, I began to carry a pistol, my first gun was a black P95 manufactured by Ruger. So here I am a young man enlisted in the Army, I was lost and deeply wounded, carrying a loaded weapon for protection. I was never afraid to use my hands to fight but because of the childhood trauma I endured, I promised never to let anyone put their hands on me ever again!
I can recall a few instances where I let anger get the best of me and because of God’s grace, I didn’t harm myself or anyone else. Anger can be vicious if not channeled properly. Many men don’t know how to deal with anger, that’s why many are locked up behind bars and our prison system is overcrowded. A bunch of angry men who acted out of frustration and landed themselves behind those prison walls. I can’t knock them at all because I have done some things that could have landed me in prison also. After I left the Army, I went to college in Hagerstown, Maryland to play basketball. While there I can remember a time when one of my teammates got into it with some of the locals at a community day event. I was just chilling around the house when I received a call from my Point Guard, he was surrounded by a group of locals and needed some help. I remember grabbing my pistol and running full speed to his location, I know I looked like a mad man running through the streets with a loaded pistol in my hands ready to let bullets fly without asking any questions at all. Now please know that I’m not sharing this to glorify that lifestyle at all, I just want to give you an idea of how unresolved anger can destroy your life. At that moment all I was thinking about was saving the starting Point Guard on my basketball team but in all actuality it was much deeper than that, I wanted to be his protector because as a child no one was there to protect me.
There was another instance where I was playing in a men’s league with a few co-workers, we were beating this team pretty badly. The referees lost control of the game and our opponents began to take out their frustrations on a few of my teammates. They were fouling us pretty hard, I mean literally throwing ferocious elbows. I can remember getting so upset and screaming at the refs to end the game before someone got hurt. One of their players fouled my teammate so hard and I came to his defense and pushed him off of him, once again the protector in me came out. As soon as that happened another one of their teammates stepped up and started running his mouth about what he was going to do to me, all I heard was “blah blah blah” and immediately anger began to rise up and I thought about my childhood experiences. I had flashbacks of being violated as a little boy and I wasn’t going to allow anyone to hurt me ever again, all I could think about was killing him so I began to break out into a full sprint to my truck to grab my pistol. I was about to to shoot this dude because I didn’t know how to control my emotions.
Sorry to do this to you but you have to purchase my memoir to get the rest of the story, I plan on releasing it in the Summer of 2017. Anger can be deadly, I thank God for how much I have grown over the years. I’m at a much better place today, instead of allowing my childhood to destroy me, I first had to go back and address those issues. I went back after three decades of silence, to began to heal that little boy inside of me. Many men don’t know how to be men because the little boy inside of them needs to be healed. I had to forgive those who wronged me and I was then able to move forward. God had to take me back to a hurtful and traumatic place so he could began a good work in me. I wish I could tell you that it was an easy process but I can assure you that it was worth it. I now use my past to help others heal and to move forward past childhood sexual trauma. I still have some issues stemming from my past but I don’t have to fight those issues alone because His strength (Christ) is made perfect in every one of my weaknesses.