April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Please join me in sharing the following video. Social network has a way of spreading information out quickly, please reblog, post, tweet, facebook, email, etc! Thank you ahead of time for doing YOUR part in bringing Awareness to END Childhood Sexual Abuse.
~ Denise ~ No Longer Held Captive..By My Childhood Secrets

No longer held captive

~By breaking my silence, I am no longer giving power to the pain~

Today, I want to encourage you to break your silence and declare that you

Are No Longer Held Captive..By Your Childhood Secrets..

May your temporary sorrow, lead you to Triumphant Victory ~ Denise

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No longer held captive..

~By breaking my silence, I am no longer giving power to the pain~

Today, I want to encourage you to break your silence and declare that you

Are No Longer Held Captive..By Your Childhood Secrets..

May your temporary sorrow, lead you to Triumphant Victory ~ Denise

Oh where..oh where..could it be?

What is the most precious thing you have ever lost? Really..take a moment and remember how you felt when you lost it..now..how did it make you feel?

For me, that question brought chills down my spine as I never have completly recovered from losing my most precious possession.

When an item is lost, you find yourself frantically looking EVERYWHERE. You look high and low,  above and beneath, between and around, just about every crack and crevice will be inspected. You track and retrack every step, going in circles, just hoping that it will turn up.

You begin to question yourself and think that possibly you never had it in the first place and maybe you left the item safely tucked away at home.

But reality sets in when you truly realize that the item is nowhere to be found.

When I was a child, my innocence was lost taken. The moment I was violated….my life changed.

Years after the incidents of being molested as a child and raped at the age of 14.  I lived in a whirlwind aftermath of always “looking for something”.

In my teenage years,  I needed attention and was constantly looking to men for validation. Sex became a major motivator in my quest for acceptance and love.

The countless names or faces of every partner is difficult to recollect. During the “act” I emotionally removed myself and became simply a vessel for someone else’s satisfaction.

Today…the searching has been replaced with “recovering” as I continue on my journey to healing.

FAITH…it does not make things easy..it makes them possible. Luke 1:37

Oh..the tangled web we weave..

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” ~ Sir Walter Scott

Children are most likely to be sexually abused by someone they know and trust…

This statement rings true in my own life. You see, I was molested by people who were closely involved in my life. There were no initial red flags saying “danger”.  I was taught to fear strangers, you know, to be afraid of the scary looking bad guy who might try to snatch me on the way to school. But I was not taught to be afraid of my childcare center teachers who required me and the other kids to remove our clothes, to take a nap. Or to be afraid of my friend’s relative who sneaked into the bedroom at night to fondle me. Or to be afraid of my babysitter’s daughter who would molest me in her closet. In each of these incidents, I was a little girl who had no reason to fear these trusted authority figures… until they touched me. My life went from normal to out of control. I did not feel safe in my own body. I no longer believed that I could be loved. I no longer looked to adults as a safe haven. Every relationship’s motive was questioned. I became withdrawn, would stop eating and would be called “bratty”. I went from the bubbly little girl, to a little girl who just didn’t know where she fit in.

The deceit was presented to me little by little, laced in a pretty little box full of “good” things. When I was showered with love, attention and kindess, it gave me every reason to trust them. The powerful tools of deception forced me to keep the secret hidden.

The weight of this bondage was tremendous but once I was able to reveal the TRUTH, than, I was able to walk in the direction of healing and restoration.

Believing the truth…first starts with admitting the truth.

It took me 40 years to share my childhood sexual abuse and rape story, and on April 5, 2012, it was the beginning of my NEW Story.

 

To Break the Seal of Secrecy…

To Cover-up is a concerted effort to keep an illegal or unethical act or situation from being made public (Webster’s Dictionary)

Pedofiles will use many tools to protect their image. They are skilled in deception and will lie to you and others; They will not only manipulate you but will be a master puppeteer in all areas of there life to benefit their own desires. They will  deceive you into believeing that you need them and without them, you will are “less of” a person. Some may flatter you with gifts and make you feel special. Ultimately they will do whatever it takes to keep the secret sealed. Fear begins to play a major factor in the holding of “the secret”. You, will buy-in to the lie and begin to blame yourself. You would much rather keep the secret hidden, rather than risk the redicule of no one believing your story.

During this past month, I have crossed the paths of several people who have experienced being abused and they shared their story with me. In one incident, I had a conversation with the father of a victim. He had protected his daughter from the abuse that had happened to her by her step-dad and step-brother while living in her biological moms home. The pain in his eyes as he told me the story continues to haunt me. You see, he had protected his daughter from her abusers for 12 years, and when his daughter recently turned 18, she moved out of his home and returned to the home in which the abuse occurred. Because she is an “adult”, there is nothing legally he can do.

An 18 year old young lady, shared her rape and sexual abuse story with me. When she was 13 years old, she had spent alot of time at a family friends home. One night, the husband of the family friend came into her room and took her innocence. All adults involved in this young lady’s life at the time, had proof that the abuse happened, but chose to protect the pedofile and swept the crime under the carpet. The Pastor of their church decided to counsel the pedofile and his wife and asked the victim to keep quiet.

I had a “confidential” conversation with a teenager who told me that a former youth ministry leader, had confessed to her that she had been having a sexual relationship with a college student who is actively involved in the youth group. The college student is 21 years old, and the youth leader is in her 30’s.  Though the college student is a “consenting adult”, the youth leader was a trusted adult in a leadership role and clearly crossed all ethical and moral boundaries.

She recently removed herself from the church and is not a youth leader. But…her behavior has not been exposed to the church leadership or to the parents of this college student. I was told this information and asked to keep it confidential due to the amount of stress it would cause the people involved…But how could I sit by idly? Remaining quiet, goes against every fiber in my being.

Numerous stories like these flood the media, yet..many survivors continue to live in shame and countless victims continue to be abused.

Author and Speaker Ressurrection Graves, powerfully talks about overcoming emotional and childhood sexual abuse. In her blog, she has a petition to help make child sexual abuse grooming a felony. I have signed the petition and I am asking everyone to please sign the petition as well.

Being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape, I am determined more than ever to continue to share my story and will encourage others to Break the Seal of Secrecy.

~ xoxo Denise

It’s a 2 bowls of ice cream kind of day….

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Sitting on the lazy boy this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I glance over my left shoulder and see the results of my love of ice cream….uuuggghhhh….emotional eating at its finest…
I could not figure out what was triggering me to scarf down half of the cookies and cream AND orange sherbert in one sitting? I wanted to quickly discard of the evidence so the kids and hubby would not know that Mom ate so much of the carton. But..it was too late, they already knew it was in the freezer and they would be looking for it after dinner. My weakness will be exposed, I might as well prepare myself to face the music and possible blank looks of disbelief that Mom could actually devour that much ice cream! At this point, I can only laugh at myself to keep from crying.
What is wrong with me? Our morning was wonderful, the message at church was incredible. Our Pastor spoke about Abraham and Sarah. As I sat there taking notes and embracing every word he said, I felt as if he was speaking directly to me. Thats it…the emotional binge eating this afternoon is a direct response to my anxious emotions of what I know I have to be obediant in. God is working on my heart and I have to change if I want to see changes in my life…ouch…sometimes it really bites to realize “we are not in control” of our EVERYTHING, and in order to allow God to work in our lives, we have to truly Let Go and Trust Him. As much as I thought I was trusting Him, I was controlling so many areas and people in my life, how could I expect God to do His work if I was in the way? I was giving God my problems, but I was also giving Him MY solution…
I was overcome with emotion when I could finally “see” that I was in the way of what God is trying to do in my life. I took a moment in prayer and asked God to forgive me. And I asked Him to Lead my Journey…

Quotes, Cliches & Bad Timing…

There were times in my life, that I did not believe this statement, “You were given this life, because you were strong enough to handle it”. Ummmm….Which part was I given and expected to be strong enough to handle?

Over the years I have been told this cliche and several others by many people. And at the time, it totally caught me off guard and I may not have responded to the person in a kind and respectful manner. Can you say..bad timing?!  You see, I understand that they may have been trying to “encourage me”, but in the midst of a struggle, crisis, mini meltdown.. I would say, that the above statement is something I DID NOT want to hear.

If you were not a victim of childhood sexual abuse, you really don’t have a clue clear understanding of what we are going thru or how we should handle it. Questions like, ” how come you are still not able to move on from the abuse that happened so long ago?”

On this healing journey, there may be days that I don’t wear my smile and at times I may allow the pain to out shine my sunny demeanor, but.. it does not mean I don’t have Faith, it only means that I am human. We can be strong in so many areas, but every now and then we need someone to hold our hand and say that everything will be alright.

I know many people are uncomfortable discussing the subject and really don’t know what to say. But a great response, which is full of grace, would be “even though I completly don’t understand what you are going thru, just know I am here for you, and I am praying for you. I know it hurts like hell heck, but I am believing that Everything will be ok“.

Yes….Everything will be ok.

What is wrong with me?

Ever since I was a little girl, I felt weird in my own skin.

What is wrong with me? Why don’t I feel normal? Who Am I? These type of questions seemed to be part of my DNA. I still battle with some of the questions and many times daily, I have to replace those negative thoughts.

I have to pull down those negative thoughts and replace them with words that bring me encouragement, words that speak “life” to my brokenness.

I am smart..I am enough…I am healed…I am worthy..I am beautiful..I am loved… These are some of the affirmations I put up on my mirror, or on the wall in my closet. I place these affirmations in an area in which I can see them and say them out loud. If it is a difficult day and I am not “feeling” like an overcomer, I continue to read the positive words and choose to BELIEVE that I am those things.

When I choose to Believe the Truth and not listen to the voice of lies, it empowers me to Live past the pain.

So many young women are not able to live past the depths of the pain and those voices continue to torment and tear them down to the point that they desperately seek comfort…even at the expense of ending their life. All it takes is a moment, to share a smile, a compliment, a hug, or an encouraging word that will give someone Hope to continue to move forward.

Today, I hope to encourage someone…The one who struggles to “feel” normal…The one who is tired of fighting to be “ok” in her own skin.

You are Worthy…You are Loved…You are an Overcomer…You were Created for Greatness…Your Life has Purpose.. 

No matter what your situation is or what has happened to you in the past, just know that God Loves you and you can Heal.

The Petals of her Flower…

The ugly truth….

No!

Be quiet..

Stop, I’m a Virgin!

It’s ok..

Silence..

her  legs tightly close….

her body tenses up….

he continues to pursue the forbidden fruit of this 14 year old girl..

Please don’t!

It hurts!

Silence….

overcome by emotion…her head is spinning…her prized possession is painfully burning…

and she no longer is draped by the petals of her flower.

Denise Boyd Copyright ©