I was 12 and here I was with a secret that was so dark it was choking me. Yet there was nothing I could do about it. And no one even noticed because I was pretty normal in every other way. At school, I maintained my good grades, still loved drawing & painting, still made clothes for my dolls, still laughed, my life was normal and what was happening with my cousin was just a bad dream.
Except it wasn’t.
In between, I had developed an attraction for anything erotic. I first started with the magazine in which the main porn star was Dauda; I think it was called Lolly or something. Then Mills & Boons came into the picture and then James Hardly Chase. Soon, I was touching myself and fantasying about the men I read of in the books and even about my cousin!
I was about 14 when I found out the word for what I was doing. It was in Sister Mary- George’s class. She was teaching on sex and she mentioned the word masturbation and described it to the class. I couldn’t look at the board after that and the shame I felt was intense. At home, I checked the word out in a dictionary just to be sure and I found that Sister Mary was not lying.
My life spiraled out of control after this; my parents were going through a separation and I couldn’t tell anyone what I was going through. Who would understand? Who would help me? I thought sometimes about killing myself but I was too much of a coward to do this [thank God!]; so instead I’d pinch myself till it hurt and I’d cry.
Still no one noticed anything was wrong.
By 16, I realized I needed help. But who to meet? Where to go to? Then one day, I couldn’t take it any longer. I knew about God but felt that he hated me as much as I hated myself and was ready to kill me. Still, I felt the strong urge to kneel by my bed and pray. I did kneel by my bed but I couldn’t pray. Instead I cried. My body racked from my sobs and I cried for a long time. It’s hard to explain what happened next and it’s possible many people won’t believe me but suddenly I knew someone else was in the room with me and he was holding me tenderly. I couldn’t see him but I could feel him and I felt buried in a thick cloud of warmth. I raised my tear stained face and for the first time in my life I knew I was free. I felt extremely light, almost like a feather and I knew from then on everything was going to be ok. I remember getting up and laughing with excitement. I felt like running round the house shouting freedom! Freedom! This memory will die with me.
I have a friend who keeps telling me God doesn’t exist and that Jesus is just mostly a figment of man’s imagination and sometimes his arguments are so strong I also begin to wonder. But then I remember what happened in that room many years ago besides other things and I just know God is real and alive and that He is crazy about me in a way no one else is!
Anyway, my life started to look up after this and I began to thirst for God. I wish I could say things got better and that the nightmare ended but oh no it didn’t.
It was at this time I discovered that this same cousin had also been seeking out my sister and brother…