I looked as if I had it all together, but inside I was dying. I decided that I would make death a reality.
Because my relationship with my parents was dysfunctional, and my family talked about me and I just did not see my life getting better. I went to the edge of the bridge, ready to jump off.
Suddenly, a car came speeding over the bridge, and slammed on the brakes. The driver jumped out of the car yelling
– “help me, help me, somebody please help me” as he raced to the back seat of the passenger side of the car.
He swung the door open, looking in the car with a look on his face that caused my heart to fill with compassion. Before I knew it, I had jumped off the ledge of the bridge running towards the car yelling:
- ” what is it sir, how can I help you. Please, what’s wrong?”
When I made it to the back seat of the car, that driver pushed me in the car so hard, my head hit the back of the driver seat. He jumped in, locked the doors and drove as fast as he could to the nearest hospital.
I began to yell and scream, and he calmly said:
- “ God has a plan for your life, you will not commit suicide tonight” and I just began to cry.
I knew that He was an angel, and I was so happy that I did not jump into the Des Plaines River that day. He took me to the hospital and disappeared.
When I made it to the hospital, I was expecting for them to admit me into a psych ward, or question me about my thoughts. But none of that happened, a nurse came to me…she could tell that I had been crying.
“are you in pain?” She said.
I shook my head no.
“Well stop crying, because you are going to be just fine.” She said.
I said “thank you”, and walked out of that hospital.
All of my 18 years of life I struggled to deal with the implications of what happened to me as a child. My self esteem was so low, I did not feel worthy of love. Nor did I believe that anyone truly loved me, because I then thought that I was damaged goods. I felt guilty about not having been able to stop the abuse, I even blamed myself.
Years of abuse made me feel that I had no control over my life or my body. I felt that I had no other options. I had just been raped a few days ago. A fun, silly time riding around with my cousins and a friend squirting people with water guns, ended in me being taken against my will and being forced in a car with four guys that I knew, but certainly did not want to be with. While in the car, one of the passengers began shooting at another car. They took me to a small one bedroom house behind a nightclub, waiting for the paper to be released the next day. I was raped by the shooter, and spent 13 hours afterwards alone, sitting in the middle of the living room floor, watching the door that was locked by a deadbolt and the windows that were nailed shut, scared that it would be the last scene of my life.
When I made it back to my aunt’s house, no one was at all concerned. I felt that they thought I deserved it, or I stayed out all night with them because I wanted too. Over the next several hours, the childhood abuse was so overwhelming in my head and heart, I just wanted it to be over. I was exhausted from begging for love only to be disappointed. Overcoming the abuse did not seem like it could ever be a reality.
I remembered the apartment complex in the hills of California, the view was amazing. The pool that was nestled in the middle of the complex. For some reason, I didn’t remember the actual sexual act, but what I did remember was being maybe seven years old sitting on the toilet for nearly 20 minutes trying to pee because it hurt so bad. I remembered finally finishing in the bathroom and being dunked in the pool up to my neck and being told:
- “if you tell anyone what I did to you, I will drown you.”
It was as if my life was flashing before my eyes, I remembered around age 10, maybe 11 my mother’s boyfriend’s son forced me to be sexual with him. The room was dark with bunk beds. I was so afraid to say anything to my mom, honestly I was just happy to be living with her at the time. Once he finished, I remember thinking that this behavior was normal. That’s when I started to think and feel that I was only wanted for sex.
My low self-esteem affected many areas of my life. My relationships, health and even my success. The years of abuse made me so isolated, I was not comfortable being my true self…I felt that she had disappeared and would never be found again. I did a pretty good job of masking my low expectations and feelings about myself, but not very well. It was evident that I was insecure. I kept myself up, I dressed it up with cute clothes and pretty hair. I was existing, but did not have a life. Especially not the life that my loving grandmother always believed that I would have. That’s why I felt my only option was to end my life.
I lived with those secrets and several others thereafter. I never wanted anyone to know that I had been raped and molested, as if it were my fault. As a kid, you don’t know…the only thing you know is the embarrassment and guilt you feel as a result of your innocence being taken away from you. I have asked myself over the years “why didn’t I tell?” Then I thought, who was I going to tell? Who would have believed me?
Coming to Terms with the Past and Overcoming Abuse
Today, I’ve come to terms with the things that have happened to me. I don’t understand everything, and I am still working through it daily. But I am in a better place of acceptance. I realize that a stranger, my angel made it to the bridge at the perfect time to save my life…and I’ve never seen that guy again.
I was also saved by grace for a purpose. And while it is painful for me to remember and sort through the difficulties of my past, I am thankful that I can share them to provide healing for myself and others. Overcoming abuse is a process, but I know now that it is possible for me, and you.
All of the painful experiences impacted me in ways that I was not ready to even accept at the time. It would take years before I came to grips with what happened to me, and how I needed to deal with the effects of my personal tragedies to start the journey of overcoming abuse.
If you’ve experienced rape, molestation, abuse or abandonment – that caused you to consider ending your life, I am glad that you are reading this, and that you know that you are not alone. Those feelings are real. The depression, worthlessness, and loneliness are REAL, but not impossible to overcome. You too can heal and live a passionate, full and promising life.
We all have a past. How are you using your past experiences to propel you into a purposed future?
How amazing is God, in spite of it all you still have a Heart of GOLD! A true testament to Gods word, not even you can destroy the plans he has for you! #greatness #notherebychance #hereforapurpose
Thank you Apryl. It was nothing but God. I am only who I am because He loved me past my pain, saved me and made me new.
Inspirational! Brought me to tears. Thanks so much for your courage in sharing this… It motivated me to let go and heal from past hurts and see myself through God’s eyes and take further steps toward fulfilling my goals/dreams! When we keep silent we stay in bondage. No more! Fearless!!!
Antonette honestly sharing this story set me free as well. We often feel that others will judge us, but there are so many people dealing with the same things that we have dealt with….we help them and ourselves when we share how we overcame. #BeFearless
Often times we look at someone and we wonder what makes her tick, why does she have a drive for purpose beyond measure, how does she keep going beyond her physical fatigue, what makes her encouraged women to fight for their personal happiness……after reading this blog she (LaToyia) has given me her, Why? So proud of the women that you exemplify daily and my heart hurts for the younger girl within you! #MotivatedMom #OpeningUp #NoFear #SheIsMe #Women #Sisters #Friendship #GirlPower #WalkRunLeap
Sherilyn thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I often think the same about you…you are so strong, loving, kind and genuine.