(In a real, childlike voice)
I have a big, bad secret. Is it safe to tell you what I did when I was little? Will you believe me? It really happened. It’s scary but I promise it has a happy ending.
I used to hide and cry a lot. I had a brother and sisters but I felt all alone. I had no one to share my secret with. One summer’s day I took my two dolls, John and Jenny outside. I had named them after two actual teenagers at my school. They were boyfriend and girlfriend. Even though I was only little, I felt I understood these teenagers because I, too, was in a relationship – with my neighbor, Paul. This man did secret things to me that sometimes felt nice but made me feel bad. He said he did it because I was more grownup than most girls my age.
I picked up my boy doll, John, and made him do things to Jenny. That way she knew what it was like when Paul did those things to me. Now I was no longer alone with my pain.
Jenny felt yucky inside and very confused. John was meant to be her friend. Why did he do those things when she didn’t want him to? She loved John and wanted him to love her.
I, too, wanted people to like me, but my neighbor Paul, whom my parents liked, said I was a bad girl because I made him do those bad things. He would hurt me if I didn’t do them but he said it was my fault. So that’s what my doll John told Jenny, too.
Finally, someone was like me.
But then I wondered if I had been bad to make John do that to Jenny. So I got John to say what I had wanted so much for Paul to say. John told Jenny he was sorry. He said she wasn’t bad and that she wouldn’t make him do bad things anymore.
Paul was married. He lied to me. He said that having done that with a married man made me an evil person – an adulteress. That was scary but his other lie was even scarier. He said if people found out I was evil and was making him do these bad things, the police would lock me up, or people would throw rocks at me until I died. I didn’t know I had nothing to fear. Paul was a grownup, so I thought he must know about these things. He acted so certain, that I never guessed he was tricking me. So I kept my secret and dared not tell anyone.
As I was playing with my dolls, God sat down with me. I was only just beginning to get to know him. I had been so lonely that, just a little while before, I had climbed a tree and took the risk of asking if he would be my friend. He was the only real person who knew what was going on between my neighbor Paul and me. God asked me what I was playing. I told him that my boy doll had hurt Jenny really bad.
“How did he hurt her?” he asked, “Was it like the way you have been hurt?”
“Yes,” I replied.
God told me that there’s a better way to play with dolls than having them hurt each other. They can be friends and treat each other the way I would like to be treated.
“Am I bad?” I asked.
He assured me that I wasn’t. He said he understood my pain and wanted to help me.
His kindness shocked me. He didn’t condemn me or think I was stupid. I had thought that God is mean and hates sinners like me.
He said there is a good way that men and women could treat each other. Men and women were supposed to love each other and their children. He talked about grownup married people touching each other in a good way but that anyone doing this to a child made him very angry at the older person. He said he would never hate me for what happened and that although bad things occurred he knew how to fix them and he could fix me.
“What is wrong with me?” I asked.
He told me I have a broken heart and that I was not to blame for what was done to me. He said he could fix broken hearts and he could help Jenny, too. He told me to pray for my dolly and ask God to help her with her pain. He said it was okay for me to ask him for help with my pain, too.
“Can I really talk to you about the pain and tell you what happened?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said, “and you can even use the dolls to show me. You are just a little girl and it is best to leave thinking about the way married people act until you are older, but if you have any questions about grownup things, you can ask me at any time, day or night.”
That made me feel safe. I no longer needed a doll to feel my pain because now I had a real friend – God.
I now understand that my parents only approved of our neighbor Paul because they didn’t know what he used to do to me. I now know that he was a bad man. And bad people lie.
He lied to me when he told me I was bad and that God hated me. He lied because he wanted me to think it was my fault so that I would to be too frightened to tell anyone. I didn’t know that the reason he wanted me to keep it a secret was because if I good people about it, they would force him to stop hurting me and he would be punished.
In fact, he hurt other people, too, and eventually one of them told the police, and Paul was put in jail for doing those things. No one thought the people he hurt were bad. Instead, everyone felt sorry for those he touched in a wrong way, and everyone wanted them to feel better.
Thank you so much for listening to my story. You are important to God and to me, and I dare not leave you right now because if you were hurt as a child, my story could be causing you to feel quite raw. I do not want that. Instead, I long for you to find the comfort and healing I have found by facing memories I had wanted to bury.
I was just five years old when I made God my friend. For a long while, I kept my friendship with God a secret because I figured that if I said that God wasn’t mean and awful, no one would believe it! Now that I am older, however, I know that many people have discovered what a wonderful, kind friend God is and that he cares for children and everyone who hurts and he longs to be their best friend. God is safe and warm. He understood me and cared about me, and no matter what you have done or suffered, he feels the same way about you.
Bad things continued to happen to me for a while, but God comforted me and kept me. And because of that, I am now grown up and healed from all that I suffered. In fact, those very hurts have made me strong and given me a tender, compassionate heart like Jesus’.
In order to be healed, I had to have the courage to remember the bad things that happened, and take Jesus back with me into those distressing memories. As I did, God showed me how much he loved me and how much it hurt him when I was hurt, and then he healed me.
For more stories like this one, see Stories for People who were Hurt as Children.
For much more about God’s love see How Much does God love Me? Receiving Your Personal Revelation of God’s Love for You.
For help with healing from sex abuse, see Help with Sex Abuse.
For those who might have split because of childhood trauma, see Healing the Inner Child.
Grantley Morris: email@example.com
© 2010, 2017 Grantley Morris. May be freely copied in whole or in part provided: it is not altered; this entire paragraph is included; readers are not charged and it is not used in a webpage. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings available free online at www.net-burst.net Freely you have received, freely give. For use outside these limits, consult the author.
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