“When a Monster Comes to Visit!”
Written by Minister Kim Johnson, Founder of I Am My Sister (Women Helping Women)
It took me along time to get up the courage to write about childhood molestation. This is a very revealing and touchy subject for me, but I find it to be very therapeutic and form of cleansing at this point of my life. Also, I want to bring attention to child molestation by family members, because it happened to me. For instance, when I was about 12 or 13 years old, my step-grandfather came to visit and molested me. I can still vividly remember it as though it were yesterday.
I won’t go into the particulars, but I screamed and I told my mother about it immediately, and she came to my aid right away. My grandfather told my mother that I was lying about what he had done. But I thank God that my mother never left me alone with him again and she believed me. When I think back prior to that incident, I can remember walking past my grandparents bedroom when they were babysitting me and seeing my grandfathers privates hanging out of his underwear. As I reflect, I see that he was trying to groom me.
As an adult, I found out that my grandfather molested other children, as well. So you can only imagine that I never wanted him to be around any of my children or grandchildren. And as fate would have it, no one would have ever guessed that I would be the one to end up being his caregiver. Go figure! You just never know how life is going to play out.
In any event, we must keep our eyes on the people that are around our children. And we have to “make sure we know what people are doing with our children at all times, that includes family. We also need to LISTEN to our children and teach them not to keep unsafe secrets to themselves. Brothers and Sisters one quick action could be the thing that can stop most abuse. Things like teaching them to push someone’s hand away, ordering someone to stop, leaving as soon as you can, resisting emotional coercion, and telling.
In any event, the main thing is to prepare them to take charge of their own safety by teaching them skills that will keep them safe. Kids are more likely to be able to take actions like these when they need to, if they understand the safety rules and when they have a chance to rehearse the rules in a fun, age-appropriate way.” (Reference: Kid Power)
As for me, I never had the opportunity to discuss what happened to me with my mother when I became a grown woman. Nor hear how she felt about her child being molested. I wish we could have been able to have that tough conversation.
As for my grandfather, with the help of my Sisters in Christ and a lot of prayer, I was able to confront my grandfather about what he did to me, and hear him apologize to me.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 6: 14-15 “if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Saints, It was quite difficult to forgive my grandfather, but once he apologized I was able to release the bitterness, let it go, and take care of my grandfather with love and kindness until he went home to be with the Lord.
Sisters and brothers do you hear me? are you protecting your children?