From the first touch…

Self expression through writing has been a hobby & passion of mine since I was a little girl. In this picture, I was approximately 5 years old and was writing a poem. The following self expression explains why I am sitting there with a blank stare filled with so much sadness.

From the first touch, my life was forever changed. I could no longer see through the innocent sparkled filled eyes of a little girl, but rather the a darkened, blank stare that narrowly dilated my carefree view of this world. This false interpretation of safety and love from a man, quickly devoured my heart with lies of how my life was to be.

The depths of the overwhelming sadness that overcame me, could never be explained in order for you to understand how deep that violation not only hurt me, but changed me. All because of…that first touch.

The “first” touch led to many incidents of being molested by several people through the age of 12 and then raped at the age of 14. I held this secret until I was 40 years old. By finally sharing my story, it is helping me heal from the pain of the abuse.

Words That Are Silenced Are Lethal Secrets To Destroy You Soul, Speak Your Truth.

In April, I turn 50 years old, a half century! I want to encourage others that they too can be “no longer held captive by childhood secrets”. By safely sharing your secret with a trusted friend, family member, teacher, therapist or writing it out anonymously, this powerful act of courage, is the first step to being free from shame.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

No longer held captive by…fear

She is called my beloved.

intentionally…

strategically…

unapologetically…

fighting for her freedom.

through the self-defeating,

misrepresentation of an

unwelcomed

unannounced visitor,

who goes by the name of…

“the former self-doubting version” of herself.

she sits quietly

crouched between

“who I used to be”…

and

“who I am now”…

as she anticipates the arrival of,

“who I’m becoming”.

she is called my beloved.

endlessly…

evolving…

and transforming

from the lies that lay

dormant between the confines

of her own mind,

and other’s restrictive insecurities.

she is called my beloved.

courageously crafting her next move,

determined to win this battle gracefully…

she is called my beloved.

step by step,

she painfully

pulls back each layer,

and exposes

the truth…

unmasked.

she is called my beloved.

her new identity,

outweighs the former entanglement of despair.

she is called my beloved.

branded with the heart of a lion…

she fearlessly arises.

She is called my Beloved,

and I am she.

xoxo – Denise

Words that are silenced, are lethal secrets to destroy your soul. Speak your truth.💗

Spring of ’84

Parking Lot
The Latin word rapere “to seize,” from which rape is derived
I was very excited to be going on my first date with this guy that I had met at the mall. He was tall, with an athletic built. He was very handsome, quite charming and very polite. When he came to my house to pick me up, he was a proven gentleman by saying all the right things to my Mom and getting the green light to take her daughter out to dinner.
As we walked to his car, he quickly opened the car door for me and we drove off.
It was in the evening around 7:00pm, we were on our way to a late dinner. As we passed by my high school, he proceeded to drive into the parking lot. I looked at him with a nervous smile and asked him why are we here?
He let me know that we had some time to kill before dinner and he wanted to hang out and talk before we go to the restaurant.
The talking quickly lead to kissing, which lead to him getting on top of me, pulling my skirt up and  entering me. I told him I was a virgin and begged him to stop and that he was hurting me.. his response, “I will be gentle”.
The charming and polite gentlemen, quickly turned into a cold, self-gratifying, jerk.
I felt dizzy, as my head was spinning, and every emotion from anger, shock and despair engulfed me.  I couldn’t believe what was happening.
The next thing I hear is a tap..tap..tap.. on the window and a light flashing into the drivers side.  
 He immediately jumps off of me and pulls up his pants.
He rolled the down the window, and it was a police officer. The officer asks us what we are doing and asks for his license.
The officer than shines his light on me, and asks me for my name and birthdate. I give him my real name, but a fake birthdate, I pretended to be 17, (the age I told the guy, when I met him at the mall) now I told the same lie to the officer. In actuality, I was 14 and the guy was 19.
You see, even though I was being violated,
I was too afraid to tell the truth.
I felt like, since I had lied, it was as if I had deserved it.
The officer looked at me with disappointing eyes, shook his head and told us to leave the high school property.
He drove me home, kissed me on my cheek and told me that he had a great night.
Without responding, I got out of the car, went into the house, took a shower…and cried.
I felt like I wanted to die.
I didn’t tell anyone about the rape until I was an adult. I felt like it was my fault and I blamed myself for everything…
Things that played out in my head were:
I shouldn’t have lied…
I shouldn’t have went on the date…
I shouldn’t have worn a skirt…
I should’ve told him no, I didn’t want to go to my high school parking lot…
I should’ve screamed and fought him…
I should’ve told the police officer what happened…
I’m nothing…
I’m dirty…
I hate myself.
Those words haunted me for years…
TODAY, I know that I was not to blame.
That it wasn’t my fault…
It’s not the clothes that I wore..
or what I looked like..
or what I said…
or what I did or did not do.
I did not encourage him or provoke him to rape me.
Today, I no longer live in shame.
*********************************************
 National Sexual Assault Hotline

https://rainn.org/     1-800-656-4673(HOPE)

No turning back…

What do I see in the depths of her heart?

but a child so pure, innocent and set apart…

apart from the filth and innocence robbed…

apart from the trusting hands that cradled her soul…

took her aside and stole what was not theirs…

apart from lies and deep secrets untold…

childhood nightmares…

try to continue to unfold…

give her air…

so she can breathe…

open the window and set her…

Free.

Being 9 years old, I did not understand the sick logic of an old man and his ungodly desire to violate children. Why would the same person who brought so much joy to a family, bring pain? He was a lion in sheep’s clothing, and the least likely to ever be accused of such a crime. The burden he placed upon us to “keep a secret”, was the ultimate breach of trust against generations of children.

To be set free from the pain of my past, everyday I have to believe that I have a choice…

A choice to listen to the lies or the truth

To see myself as healed or broken

To live with shame or to live unashamed

To speak or to silence my voice.

You see, to declare that I’m no longer held captive by my childhood secrets, requires a daily willingness to change how I view myself and a determination to never be bound to that pain again.

~ Denise

Who the Son sets free is free indeed. John 8:36

In my darkest hour…I found hope.

flower in darkness

I was attacked at the very core of my being and was told to end it.
That I was not going to live past the depression, the anxiety and the tremendous amount of pain. The lies, and self hatred tried to overshadow every ounce of hope and faith I previously held onto.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley…

Fragmented pieces of the memories came flashing back as I tried to piece them together and make sense of the realization that these were not nightmares but factual suppressed recollections.

I will fear no evil…for you are with me…

It was too much! I felt as if I was literally being ripped from the inside out. Every part of my body ached as I exposed the truth and walked through the dark murkiness of my past.

You protect and guide me, and I find comfort as you console me…

In my despair, I wept as I released the pain of that little girl.

You are repairing all the damage that was done to me, and restoring the deepest, most real part of me. 

My strength Lord, comes from you. ~ xoxo Denise

*Psalm 23

There are times in all of our lives that things become overwhelming, sometimes to the point that life seems to be crashing in from every angle of your life, which for me caused me to literally find myself in a dark place and needing help.

I wanted to isolate but instead I called for help.

I want to encourage you, to seek help.

If you find yourself in a position that you need to talk to someone, reach out for help.

You are not alone, you are not overreacting and please don’t feel as if you are bothering them.

Pick up your phone… and call someone.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

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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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

Nightmares of a Little Girl…(Tribute to end childhood secrets)

Many of us survivors, have similiar stories of nightmares that we live with. This nightmare keeps us trapped in the cycle of being a victim. My Victory comes thru telling my story, I am no longer ashamed or silenced.

To this day, I still can not sleep with my door closed. I do not like to be unexpectedly touched in the middle of the night. Even though, I am in a healthy, loving marriage for nearly 19 years, I still struggle with trusting any man.

The pain, frustration and the reminder of my nightmare, many times is more than I can bear. But I would like you to know that even though the abuse tried to rob me of my identity, my security, my value and my worth, this nightmare of childhood sexual abuse does not rule me anymore. The complete healing and restoration of my soul is leading me back to my TRUE self. I am choosing to embrace the little girl who lived freely without fear prior to her innocence being robbed. The nightmare of that little girl will no longer haunt me.

I would like to share my self expression through poetry:

Nightmares of a Little Girl…
She hears her faint whimpers of calls in the night, Even though her help is near..

it seems to land on their deaf ears.

She’s afraid to move, each minute seems to be frozen in time. It rips her soul and devours her mind,

the creeping in the darkness forces her to succumb..to the nightmare..

Hot tears stream down her face, her body yields to the numbness of the situation…

She seeks her previous innocence which is nowhere in sight.

She cries from the depths of her soul…I no longer want this pain to control me ..any more…

Denise Boyd Copyright ©2007 Denise Boyd

Just ~ Conforming to what is Right….Fine ~ Exceptional Quality

So I like what I see when I’m looking at me

When I’m walking past the mirror

No stress through the night, at a time in my life

Ain’t worried about if you feel it

Got my head on straight, I got my mind right

I aint gonna let you kill it

You see I wouldn’t change my life, my life’s just…..fine..fine..fine..fine..fine..fine.ohhhhh..

I LOVE Mary J. Blige and the lyrics of her songs, especially this one..”Just Fine”..speaks volumes to me. There were so many time in my life that I hated what I saw in the mirror. I dispised how I looked. I hated the attention I would receive. So many times as a little girl, I would hear, “she’s so pretty”, “ohhh, isnt she cute”..but what seemed to be an innocent compliment from the opposite sex (normally someone older), many of times turned into an unfortunate, unwanted, embrace or unwanted touch. A once outgoing, free spirited little girl, she quickly turned into a shy, little girl who didnt like eye contact and who became uneasy with every compliment and questioned everyone’s intention.

What does “Just Fine” mean to me..

it means that I am valued..it means that I am Worthy..it means that my feelings are validated..

I am more than the object to use for someone’s desire..

So today as I listen to “Just Fine”, I turn Mary’s song up loud, sing from the pit of my soul and I say..”I like what I see when Im looking at me when I’m walking past that mirror..yes..I’m Just Fine…in more ways than one..I can truly say, I’m Conforming to what is Right..which is my Exceptional Quality…I’m Just Fine….

Denise Boyd Copyright ©