“July 2nd, 1977, I could no longer endure the suffering of mental, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother, father and brother. My spirit was stolen to the wind. Momma did not protect me. Daddy sexually molested me. My brother emotionally and sexually abused me. God was not near…I was hollow inside and could not escape the torture. I was only 15! Why me, Lord?
I packed my green suitcase on a quest to seek shelter from the pain inside and outside of me. It was 27 days before my 16th birthday and I wanted to die. “Why have you left me, oh Lord? Why do I have to run away from the very people who are supposed to protect me? Why don’t you love me, Lord? You hate me!” I was seeking for answers that did not come until years later.
I walked the streets of Syracuse, NY the entire day, seeking shelter but found none. I was scared but felt safer in the streets than I did at home. By night fall I had taken a bed sheet from someone’s cloths-line, found a spot under a bridge and wrapped myself into it and cried, “Why me, Lord?” I could not come to terms with it. My mind was racing for answers and none came. I want to die, I thought out loud. The next thing I knew it was daylight. I don’t recall when I went to sleep but I slept soundly. For once in my life I felt safe.
Throughout those years of living from pillar to post I had become addicted to drugs and alcohol, addicted to abusive relationships and addicted to an unhealthy life-style. I was seeking ways to kill myself but nothing seemed to work. Then I found AA. Through AA I found loving, caring people who did not judge me. Then, with time, I embraced a God of my OWN understanding whom I learned to lean and depend on. I needed a God of my OWN understanding because the God I was trained to believe in was wicked: what God would allow such pain on a child? What God would stand by and let abuse, neglect, rape, beatings and the like, mold an innocent child. This was the most challenging part of my process…healing is possible!
Through the God of my OWN understanding, writing and living the 12 Steps and an honest willingness to change, I have joy in my life. I have learned to forgive myself and others. Forgiveness was a crucial part of my process because until I learned to forgive, I could not grow and I could not genuinely love. Life is still life! Things happen. However, I am better equipped to handle situations. I do not claim ‘problems’ today…I have challenges. Without going through trials and tribulations I would not be able to share with others who are suffering the same fate I suffered, the hope that I have. It is my desire to bring hope to the hopeless, joy to their sadness and peace to all who want to know a better way of life.
So, ‘why me’? Why not me! There is no testimony without going through the test. I have often heard it said, “It’s not the journey that matters, it’s the destination.” My destiny is to spread the hope that, obstacles can be overcome and life can be enjoyable.