I sobbed into my pillow as I went to sleep last night. I read with horror, as I prepared to sleep, about a young girl who was betrayed by her father. In the most thoroughly evil and treacherous way, the now 14 year old girl was used and filmed for sex from the ages of 11-13. Bound, blindfolded and gagged she was repeatedly raped by her father, several other grown men and all of which was instigated by her own father.
I cried for her. I grieved over the light sentence this evil man received after such horrific acts to his own baby girl. I cried for her future and for the future of our world. I prayed and cried out to God, for her healing and for my own. My story pales into insignificance compared to hers, it hardly rates a mention except that I have some insight into what lays ahead for her.
Our lives were re-routed as children at the hands of those we trusted. The paths of our destinies were altered by the perverted actions of grown men who made the choice to follow their sick and lustful desires instead of doing what is right. These people (sometimes women) make a choice to follow through on an evil act, despite the potential consequences for both the victim and themselves.
I have lived for 51 years, 30 of those years with hundreds and hundreds of panic attacks and chronic anxiety associated with childhood PTSD. I have spent half of my life afraid, confused and I hated myself because I couldn’t understand why I was so different. I self medicated on drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. I ran away at 16 and became a teenage mum at the age of 17. Thankfully, I was given a strong husband who has stood by me, despite my savage, angry attacks on him from pent up pain, frustration & fear.
At the age of 45, I finally sought professional help. Soul searching, medication and therapy began the very slow process of digging passed the layer of denial to try and understand who I am and why. The years of damage to my mind is very slowly beginning to unravel and make sense. My very first session, 6 years ago with my psychologist revealed I had PTSD and I left that office feeling like I had been hit by a bullet train. I felt physically sick to learn how mentally ill I was - and have been for most of my life. Due to the actions of others, this precious little girl had no chance of living a normal life. It was extremely confronting and deeply emotional. There are continued confrontations for me as the layers are gently peeled away.
But what I have experienced is minor in comparison to what this poor girl, and others like her have got coming up. Thank God, her father has been sentenced, albeit another devastating betrayal by those in the legal system, who should be putting this girls healing and well being as utmost importance.
“The judge said the man’s actions would likely have lasting and irreparable consequences for his daughter, who was now 14, and maintained an attitude of loyalty to her father despite what he had forced her to endure”. Perth Now, Sunday Times.
There is no “likely”. There is absolutely, no likely. It is a given. This child will need years of love, patience, support and therapy. (Hopefully she gets it sooner, rather than later.)
The season of minor sentences MUST stop. It is time to stop going soft on criminals of this nature and make a hard stand; do whatever it takes to make a deterrent. Our jails are full to overflowing - so build more. What ever it takes!
The ripple effect of the victims is far reaching. Just ask my family and friends.
I have now reached the stage of acceptance. Perhaps I will never know wholeness of mind. But I am grateful for my life and I am proud of who I have become. I feel the pain of others who are coming up behind me and at least I can somehow, in some way, use my pain to help them.