First of all, I am the second oldest of ten. I was the product of an affair. I knew for a long time that I did not fit in. My father, who raised me, if that is what you would call it, was and still is an alcoholic drunk. My mother was a liar, a control freak, very selfish, and still is. She would do what ever she could to get over on you. My dad beat my mother almost daily. Then she would take it out on us kids. I got it the worst. My mother would tell me all the time I was a mistake that if she did not have so many kids what her life would be like. Family members molested me. When I turned 13 I had sex. By the time I was 15 I had been with 5 men. I got pregnant with a little girl. The father was 28 and I just turned 16. My mother let him see me because he gave her money. If he did not give her something she would not let me go. I felt like a prostitute. When my mother found out that I was with child she used me to get whatever free services she could. She would tell me how worthless I was, that I let my babies father use me up. He came to her one day, told my mother that he would take care of me and move me in with him. There was some talk of money and their deal fell through. Before all of this my mother took me out of school in 4th or 5th grade to care for all my brothers and sisters. I was not alone my oldest sister was also taken out of school. We had to work with my mother cleaning hotel rooms, working in the laundry room, where we would get paid under the table. My mother would give us very little and she would take the rest. My mother was not very good at managing money. Bills would go unpaid. There were lots of times we did not have food or not a lot of food. We would eat things like spam spaghetti (YUM), neck bone spaghetti, yea good stuff. After I had my oldest I tried to go back to school. My mother would not let me. She said I had to work. I tried to work and go to school. I was even paying my mother to watch her but my mother got tired of that so she would call me in the middle of class to come home. It hurt because I wanted to be something more than a maid. My parents were not keeping up with the bills. The lights and the water were shut off, and then we were evicted. My parents moved out and told me that I had to take care of myself along with my baby. I could not move with them so I had to get my own place. I had no money. My 4 month old and I lived in a home with no lights or water. I had to get water outside for milk. The roaches were terrible. I then found out about public housing, got on the waiting list and it came through. I moved into a low-income apartment. I had nothing and no one to help me. I got two jobs, then put my baby in day and night care. I was not very good with money and the guy I was with beat me. I thought a lot about dieing during this time. My parents were using me, this guy was, and I was hurting myself. I then met my two youngest girls’ father. He worked with the guy I was currently seeing, and then I started seeing him. The guy I was with found out. He beat me so bad my eyes and mouth were closed shut. He left me in the apartment bleeding, crying and I wanted to die. I sealed up all the cracks, turned the gas on and lay on the floor with a picture of my baby. I felt my self-slipping away. God got me off that floor; it was not me because I wanted to die. As I sit here typing this it makes me remember the time just after I had my oldest child. I wanted to die, she was sleeping and I took a whole bottle of my mother medication. I lay down next to her, my eyes were getting heavy. She got up, reached and called out to me. I looked at her, jumped up, ran to the bathroom and made myself sick. I remember being scared and asking God not to let me die. Well I moved in with this new guy. He was telling me how much he loved me and wanted me. He took care of me until I could see and eat again. He was 16 years older than me. I knew nothing about him but he wanted me, and would take care of me. Needless to say that was not the case. In the 6 or so years he beat me and my kids. We were in and out of abuse shelters. I went back because I was told by my family that no one would ever want me.
I was scared. I had never really been on my own. I had no support. I felt I needed a man to make it. Anyway, in my years with him my oldest child, who was not his, was beaten and sexuality abused by him along with his son. It went on like this until one day after I had my last child. He had beaten me. I was lying next to him and he raped me. He went to sleep and I was thinking of ways I could kill him. I knew I needed to get out. I got a job with the county and God began the process of freeing me. I worked in the office; it was my first real job. I also met my future husband there. I will tell you that I would not have ever thought this man would be my husband because he looked nothing like the men I had been with. Not just outside, but inside he was warm, kind, caring. I did everything I could to mess it up with my sinful self. I can not count how many times I broke up with him, hurt him and he was still there. One day I broke up with him, I saw him a while later to get back with him. With tears in his eyes he said “I prayed God would bring you back to me.” My heart skipped a beat. After a lot more ups and downs we moved in together, and then got married. I really struggled now being married, trying not to be my mother. I was still trying to drive him away too because there was no drama with him. The only thing I knew how to do was drama. I can't tell you how many times I told him to leave or I tried to leave him. I was a victim and so was he. One day my life changed. God sent this woman in to the store that I managed and we talked. I was just trying to sell her clothing and she invited me to church. I took her card and smiled. She came in a few more times. I would see her at Wal-Mart almost every time I went. One day I called work, told a lie because I did not want to go. My dads’ sister who also worked there was told this lie. She went over to my parents’ house and was so hurt, now everyone knows. I was there, she cried and drove off. My kids and I then drove off as well. I was driving around not knowing what to do. I ended up at my husbands job crying. He asked me what was going on. I told him what I did. I gave him my ring, bankcard and told him I was leaving town. I said he needed to let me go, he told me to go home that he would be home soon. I left, went to drop the kids off home and I was going to go kill myself. God had other plans. When I got home, my sister in law who lived with us talked to me. We cried and I called a mental health counselor. She told me to go to a hospital. My husband took me to the hospital. That is where I called out to the Lord. I was there 4 days. It felt like years. I was put on three different kinds of medications. My husband never gave up on me. A few days after I got out I went to Wal-Mart. I was looking at DVDs, looked up and there she was, the same lady that I had met in the store. I told her what had happened. She asked me to church and gave me her number. I gave her mine as well. Two weeks later after a few calls by her, the girls and me went. It was 11-23-03, a month before my birthday. That day God called me and I could hear his voice so clear. After Sunday school this woman and about four other people I did not know talked to me about God, and then prayed with me. As I gave my life to God I cried so much I could not see but I felt different. My husband came to know God a bit later. God really started dealing with me. My nightmares stopped. I got off all meds and stopped using bad words. I wanted something else. We still were not in the word and I was looking to everyone else to tell me what God wanted for me. I did not feel like I could study the bible. When I did, I did not understand so I didn’t. My sinful self said you are dumb and your sin is too great for you to be Gods’. I then gave up, my husband was growing and I was standing still. My sinful nature used that too. I would serve, sit on committees and struggling. Feeling like one day someone is going to say I know that you are a fake and that would be it. God started the process of showing me that I was free a long time ago. I AM NOT A VICTIM, I AM A VICTOR. That’s what this work shop has shown me, that I'm free, that I'm not my mother and just because these things happened to me does not mean that I have to live in that. I can love, be loved by others and my self. Even when I felt unloved God loved me and he still loves me. His love NEVER FAILS. There is nothing I can do or anyone else to make God stop loving me. God Gave me a wonderful man of God and three wonderful girls. I have the life the world and my sinful self told me I could not ever have. God said Yes. Gods power is limitless and so is his love for us.
God bless you all