Wounded Heart Title

by Wounded Heart

 

   To the many of you who are feeling lonely and forgotten as you sit in your cells and rooms, I say "hello." This is a small way I can reach ou to those who are in what seems to be unreachable caverns.

  Take comfort though.

   I'm not a doctor or lawyer, teacher or pastor. I carry no certificates or bachelor's degrees. I don't need one to love you as my God, my Creator loves me. I say this selfishly because it is so very personal.

   God, the Creator can reach anywhere—even through this article with pieces of my personal journey. May He awaken your spirits to recognize Him as He may come to you in many ways.

   Like many others, my childhood was not always pleasant or calm. Alcohol was a strong presence in the home I grew up in. Naturally, the abuse and violence accompanied it.

   My sixteen-year-old mom married my stepdad when I was two or three years old. I still remember some of the times when I got punished.

   One day when I was about four, I remember hiding under my cot from my stepdad. Of course, he found me and gave me a beating for what I don't recall now. It was for something minor.

   Another time was when I covered my kitten Twiggy with Noxzema. I got a big thrashing for that.

   My only defense was "I'm just little and I was only cleaning him."

   There was also the time when I tried to make my parents breakfast and bring it to them in bed. Another beating.

   Whenever they were drinking, it frightened me because something violent often followed. One night when I was about five, my stepdad almost killed my mom. She escaped out the door and he followed her. Catching up with her, he kept smashing her head on the curb until a passerby stopped to help her. She would likely have died that night if the man hadn't come along. My life would have been far worse if he succeeded.

   There were many drinking fests at our house. Dad's brothers or his friends would come over or sometimes they would go out. You'd think that would be a good thing, right? Not always because then it was either my drunken uncles "taking care of us" or it was the neighbors' kids.

   God only knows for sure what my uncles did to us when we were young because it is really dark and I can recall little of that certain time period.

   I do remember my little sister would scream at the top of her lungs if they tried to change her diaper so I always did that even though I was only seven or eight.

   The neighbors' girls were no better. They made me play something called the "zippier game" until they were finally caught. Turns out the girls were being molested by their grandfather. Incest and sexual abuse is more widespread than many think.

   Anyway, my mom and stepdad separated when I was about ten and ultimately divorced. Abuse continued for me though.

   When I was eleven, I went to a cousin's birthday party at his auntie's. My uncle gave me alcohol and then "sold me" to a neighbor for sex. That's how I started drinking.

   There were several other incidents of abuse and molestations. One of those times was when I was on my way home from roller skating. I took a ride with a stranger and he took me out to the outskirts, held a knife to my throat and raped me. I don't think I ever told my mom about that one.

   Another time was when my best friend's brother raped me as she sat on the floor and watched. Some friend, eh?

   My life was a mess and stayed that way for a long time. I did get married but it didn't work. It wasn't until I was a single mom with four boys—my oldest was nine and the youngest just over one—that I finally cried out with everything I had, "God help me. I don't want to drink anymore!"

  That's when I had the most powerful encounter with MY Creator right there in my room!

   He answered and did just that. He placed us beside a loving couple. I didn't even know that the night of my last binge, they were praying for me and trying to get out to the car and take the kids so I wouldn't end up hurting them.

   Of course, staying sober has had its temptations and trials. There have also been warnings in dreams which were, in an odd sort of way, unshakeable strength for me.

   About a month later I ended up at a church prayer retreat. A little later, I found myself at another church that helped me in my spiritual journey.

   In that growth period, I met the man who later became my husband.

   No, we have not lived "happily ever after."

  There have been many obstacles in our ife. One of which found my husband sentenced to life with ten years before he'd be eligible for parole. That was where my heart expanded even more.

   For more than ten years, I have loved and lived the sentence on the outside of the bars. Let me tell you it wasn't easy out here either. I had little or no previous encounters with legal proceedings and correctional places or staff until then. Unnerving how people treat you when things aren't pretty. It really sucks when you are under scrutiny too.

   It wasn't like I stepped up to the plate and said, "OK, I know exactly what to do." I muddled through with prayer and the Creator surely was there or I'd have run the other way from the start. All I could do and can do is simply love and be there for his support. And pray.

   We moved province to province twice. We were married inside those dark walls.

   One of the brightest times in a dark place was when a couple of family members and our friends made the trip to be at our wedding. It was a lonely time where we had no family or friends around us. All of us have encountered different trials and sometimes persecution as a result.

   I have walked through the doors of several correctional facilities thousands of times over the years. Each time is painful. I saw a lot of frustration, pain, loneliness, hopelessness. I saw many expectant moms come and go. Relationships go through hell at a time like this. This is no doubt one of the toughest times where one can easily lose it all in every way—freedom, family, hope, and sometimes their very breath!

   I do know the fear, panic, anxiety, frustration, battles, impatience, helplessness, anger, hate, and love. I have felt every emotion, pictured every worse case scenario—from my side of the bars.

   When you are in prison, you are not the only one who experiences the suffering and consequences. People you love and those who love you are deeply impacted.

   For those of you with loved ones inside, may God rejuvenate your weary spirit, body, and soul. Find rest, peace, love, and joy in Him.

   Circumstances are different for us all but loneliness and emptiness are very real for us. I would not have made it through the challenges in this life's journey which is uniquely mine without God.

   I will not promise that God will come and change your circumstances but He can give you what you need to go through them. If you are willing, He can help you to change things in your life that perhaps you need to change.

   Seek Him with your whole heart and you will find Him. I don't know what that will look like for you but it just seems to be very unique and personal for each one. Hope His wings keep you safe.

   Thinking of you ALL!

 

This article is from our July/August 2016 Indian Life newspaper. To read more Indian Life news, please go to our newspaper website at www.newspaper.indianlife.org to subscribe to our online newspaper or go to our Online Store to subscribe to have it delivered to your door!