I decided one day to talk about it. “I thought I was going to be raped,” is how I think I began. My voice, shaky at the time, started to form word-bridges across a hollow canyon of dark quiet. Tears wet the dry creeks and as words fell the weeping swept healing waters; sending sound waves through clefs, breaking the silence. My husband was the first to hear this part of my story. We were in our fourth year of marriage and I had never told him. I had never even told it to myself.
Barley fifteen, a freshman, wondering the white halls of High school, trying to figure out how to be someone others would want. Little attention from boys had me believing I was ugly, unwanted, and boring.
I had kissed two boys prior to High School. One was forced, the other simply because I thought I should. This was all I knew of the curiosity with the opposite sex. I had one track to run on and it rolled like this, ‘Don’t have sex until you are married.’ How can one draw a box around their purity when they are only given one line to use?
Still fishing my way through the halls; I couldn’t believe he wanted to go out with me. Of all the freshmen, this older guy asked little, shy, brace-faced, cross-country runner me? I lied about his age and chose to go.
So incredibly nervous, I brought a friend. We pull up to the wooded house, empty of adults. He and a friend pop aluminum cans for an hour or so and then I was invited to get more beer from his car.
When trauma hits, time doesn’t exist. That is why so many people can say one of two sentences, ‘It all happened so fast’ or ‘It seemed like it lasted forever’. In reality the sun and moon are right on schedule and clocks are ticking just as they should.
I couldn’t tell you when it began or how long until it ended. Hands were all over, under, between. There was force, pressure, rubbing, groping. Thrusting himself over me, my body fell limp. He was strong, I was frozen with fear.
Words were the only thing that broke the madness. His voice powerful too, “Let’s get in the car”. Opening the door, pushing me, knowing what would happen if I didn’t say something. I pulled my wounded body onto my one-line track and chose to speak back. My voice soft, weak, unconvincing when I murmured, “I don’t want to”… he kept pushing.
Words broke in again. This time my friend’s voice spoke when I couldn’t. “Em, are y’all okay?” and it all stopped. It stopped. It stopped, with him at least.
He is not the only one I have kept hidden. Men, weak in flesh tread this earth alongside small frames twirling in dresses with big bows dangling curls. There is a man who remains a mystery from my childhood who I am still trying to form words around. God has only given me partial memory, flashes of puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit but they are there scattered in my past. I use to fight the pieces, try and force them together but now I let them be just as they are and it is better this way. Christ is never forceful, always timely, and ever so gentle. I may never know all the details and that is okay because what I do know is that the gift of Words, even if they are just pieces, shatter the weighted blocks that silence builds.
In my adult life there are other men who have cornered me, gestured at me, touched me, spoken vulgarity at me and I am not going to make it sound easy for it is still incredibly hard for me to use my voice. Each time these triggers happen and my sexual-abuse is flashed into my present my tendency is to find a closet, like I did as a girl, fetal-curl myself back into silence and weep.
Words, truth words bring me out…
“You are thirty four, you are safe, you are a mom with two wonderful boys, you are safe, you are safe.” Jesus speaking right into me through my husband.
“He reveals the deep things of darkness and
brings utter darkness into the light.” Job12:22
You, my friend, who are like me and I know there are many of us out there; He HATES that his daughters and even sons are cut in this way. He wants to help us speak. He allows the memories. He allows the triggers the anger, feelings and pain and has us share so that WORDS can loosen the power of past silence. There is something grand that happens in the sharing of our secrets that enables light to break through the darkness and bring freedom. He Spoke out of darkness into you, His light, so that we too may speak out our darkness, painting it over full and bright!
And The WORD became flesh and dwelt among us. I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do. John1:14, Isa 42.16
With you in Light,
Emily W. Murphy
Emily Wolcott Murphy resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband, two young boys. Her photography and poetry have been published in Emerge Literary Journal & Red River Review. She also has work featured online at The High Calling and Today’s Housewife. Her biggest compliment lay with poet and fiction author, Dr. Ellen Cooney, who was her professor in college, saying to Emily, “If you ever come across a poetry group, you need to walk in.” You can connect with Emily through her blog, website and facebook. http://pherophotographyandpoetry.blogspot.com , http://pherophotos.com, https://www.facebook.com/emily.w.murphy.3