For years I ignored the spirit of the little girl who was sexually abused as a child. She lives inside of me.
I gave her no voice.
I didn’t know how to give her a voice. I didn’t even know there was a little girl there who needed a voice.
And as I grew and became a woman, that little girl who had something to say, but was forced to stay quiet, stayed within me.
She was not able to grow as the rest of me had. I finished school. I got a job. I had a family. I secured a career. I could act like an adult.
But there would be moments that I would freeze in fear. I wouldn’t take risks.
I became five when I was dealing with my five year old son who was acting like a five year old.
I would have my own tantrums. I would cross my arms and stomp my foot, “It isn’t fair!”
She held me back.
In most cases I could handle my business. I got to work on time. I did my job. I disciplined my children and taught them right from wrong, and kept them safe. I paid my bills. I could keep on top of the kids school work. I was a completely capable adult.
But she was always there. She would always show up at the least opportune time. I’d find myself crying, or yelling, or both.
At the time, I didn’t even understand that she was there. I ignored her, always.
But she was always there to remind me of what had happened.
As hard as I tried to forget her, she would never leave.
“I don’t need you! Go away!”
But she never would. She taunted me. Made me feel dirty. Made me feel stupid. Made me feel foolish. Made me feel hopeless, helpless and worthless.
Why? Why wouldn’t she leave?
But a day finally came.
It was a day when I sat down with that little girl to see what was her problem?
It was the first time I listened.
Do you know what she said?
I sat with her, and we cried as she reminded me again, everything that had happened, but in her words now. In her little girl’s word.
“Why did this happen?”
I don’t know. I was little too.
But I’m not anymore. I promise you I will protect you. I will give you a voice.
I won’t let anything like that happen again. I will speak up.
And I will listen to you when you are scared.
And I will comfort you when you cry. And I will hold you until you want down.
Then I placed her in the hands of Jesus.
It was Jesus who showed her she was never alone. And somehow, that made everything alright. She felt restored. She felt safe.
Today, that little girl is still there.
But now she hosts parties, chases down homeless and plays with my daughter.
She looks for those who are hurting. She comforts them and whispers, “Me too.”
She offers them hope. She lends them an ear. She tells them a story of how Jesus is the salve for her hurting parts.
She’s not afraid anymore. She’s confident. She’s fun!
I’ve grown to be quite fond of her. After all, she’s a riot.
She’s what causes me to fall going upstairs. She’s the one who hides my glasses on top of my head. She laughs with me when neither of us gets a joke. She’s a horrible cook, but she tries really hard. She’s passionate and she’s fun.
Where she once held me back, she now pushes me forward. I finally understand why she was always there.
“Come on Kim! Let’s go! Let’s do! Let’s love!”