Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

There is Hope. That’s My Message.

Posted on: November 14, 2012

I don’t ever remember not being abused. The memories I do have are sporadic, with gulfs of darkness spanning the length from one memory to another.

However, I will never forget him.

He was supposed to be my father’s best friend. He was married with 3 daughters. I was friends with his oldest. Our families lived in Norfolk, VA. My father was stationed aboard the USS John King, just like he was.

I was afraid of him, *JP. Apparently he had already done something to me the night his daughter asked me to spend the night. They were eating dinner at my house. NP and I were upstairs playing Barbie wedding (Barbie married G.I. Joe since I didn’t have a Ken doll).

“My dad said I could ask you to spend the night.” NP casually told me.

Immediately I stiffened. “Oh, I don’t want to.” I told her.
She understood, “Okay.” NP said and we continued playing.
My father called up the stairs to tell NP her folks were ready to go. I followed my friend down the stairs to the living room.
“Cheryl,” my father looked at me. “Get your stuff to spend the night.”
Fear gripped my heart.
“Why?” I asked, petrified.
“Because you’re spending the night.” My father said.
“But, I don’t want to.” I said, silently pleading my father would take notice of the fear on my face, and forgive me for even thinking about disobeying what he told me to do.
“Why not?” He asked, already irritated that I would make a fuss in front of company.
“Because, I don’t want to.” I said. My heart was pounding in my throat. I couldn’t breathe. I’m sure the whole room could hear the fear running through my veins.
“Don’t be stupid.” My father said sternly, “go get your things to spend the night.”
Fear took over and I began to run from the living room, into the dining room and into the kitchen screaming and crying. “I don’t want to go, I want to stay home!” I pleaded with my father when he came to pull me back into the living room.

He was angry.

“Give me a good reason why you don’t want to go?” My father asked.

Did I tell him what his friend was like? Would he believe me? Would he protect me? Would he still make me go? So many questions went through my mind at that moment. I looked from my father into JP’s eyes. Was he afraid I would rat him out in front of everyone? Would he say it was my fault? Would my father believe JP over me?
“I just don’t want to go. I want to stay home.” I finally told my father with tear filled eyes.
My father swore.
“Cheryl Ann, stop acting like a @#*#@ baby, you’re going and that’s final, now, GO GET YOUR STUFF.”

There it was; I didn’t matter.

I walked up the stairs to get my nightgown. NP followed me. “NP, I want to sleep on the top bunk. Is that okay?” I asked my friend. Since my father wasn’t going to save me, I had to find a way to make it difficult for him to get me.

“I’m sure it will be okay,” NP told me. I felt a little better.

Walking to their car was like a death march. My heart continued to pound. I apologized to my friend for making a scene; she held my hand the whole way to her house.

By the time we were told to go to bed I began to climb to the top of the triple-decker bunk bed. NP stopped me. Her father said I was too big to sleep on top. I had to sleep on the bottom because he didn’t want my weight causing the bed to fall on top of his daughters and suffocate them. I was big for my size, but not that big… maybe this is where my weight struggle began?

I felt doomed. He was going to get me and he knew there was nothing I could do about it. He had won. “Maybe, just maybe, I could fall asleep really fast and he would leave me alone.” I thought. “Maybe I would be okay.”

I heard the soft sounds of sleep from the girls above me. I prayed he had fallen asleep too. “Please God, keep him away from me. Just make him fall asleep.” I prayed. “Please, don’t let him get me. Save me, God, please save me.”

I don’t know where I learned about God. Mom didn’t take us to church that I can remember. Although, there was one time, I can recall standing on the stairs of a Presbyterian Church mom wanted to check out. The Pastor, in his flowing robes, stood there and told me how much God loved me. I remember a hatred welling up in me, and thinking, “If God loves me so much, then why does he let men do bad things to me? Why won’t he protect me?” Other than that, I have no other memory of being anywhere near a church.

About an hour had passed by when I heard the creak of the floor coming from his bedroom directly across the hall. “Oh God.” I thought. “NO. God, please, let him just be going to the bathroom!” I was prepared to beg God, to promise God anything in order to save me from this man.

It didn’t matter. My prayers hit the ceiling and fell like lead around me.

His foot steps were now in the room. Fear choked my breath. My mind, screaming silent cries to a silent God, whirred: “What can I do? Where can I go? Who will save me from this horrible man?”

He sat on the bed. His weight causing my body to turn toward him. I pretended to be asleep. I felt my nightgown go up and my underwear come off. He spread my legs, I closed them. He opened them, I closed them. He cursed under his breath and opened them with more force.

He took my hand. I became frightened by what I felt. More prayers hit the ceiling.

Pain. Hot searing pain.

 
I cried out.

He ran out.

After a few minutes I went to the bathroom and locked the door. I checked to see if I was bleeding. I held myself as I sank to the floor in the corner. I wanted my mom, but I was too afraid of what my father would say. I didn’t think he would want to come and get me… no, I didn’t think I mattered to him.

I froze when a soft knock came on the door. “Cheryl, it’s me.” NP whispered through the door. I unlocked it and let her in.

“I’m sorry my dad hurt you.” NP said. I cried as I told her how much he had hurt me. I told her I wanted to go home, but was afraid of my dad. NP told me not to worry, that her dad would probably leave me alone for the rest of the night.

We stayed in the bathroom for a good 15 minutes when JP knocked on the door. By that time she had been able to revive my spirits, but his knock and voice caused fear to well up in me.

“It’s time for you girls to quit playing around and go to sleep. N., your mother has to work tomorrow so go to bed.”
I think I flipped him off through the door. N.P. laughed.

The next morning, Saturday, was hot. I had brought my swimsuit so we could swim in their pool. NP’s mother was at work and her dad was inside. All three of the girls and I were splashing in the pool when they said to go ask their father if we could have some Pepsi.

“You ask, Cheryl. He’ll let you have it, he likes you.” They begged me.
After a half hour of begging, I gave in to their request. When he came out to check on us, I asked. They were right. He said only I could come in to get them. Once inside he made me open the Pepsi bottles and pour them into each glass. The whole time he fondled me under my swimsuit.An hour later I was allowed to go back outside.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That took place in the summer of 67 or 68 (I thought it was the early 70’s, but I was informed my dates were wrong) but I remember it just as if it happened yesterday.

My whole life was affected by the abuse I suffered, not only at his hands, but also at the hands of four other friends of both of my parents during the same time period. One taught me how to masturbate so I could “think of him” anytime during the day or night. The other took pornography pictures of me.

I went from being a straight A student to struggling. Teachers sent notes home about my decline in school–those that dared to notice.

My parents never noticed my soul had died that night. I don’t blame them, they were broken and trying to survive with 6 kids in a hostile marriage.

We moved numerous times, but, I seemed to attract the pedophiles.

At the age of 14, I became a Christian. Too many issues associated with that to list, but, I struggled with “being good enough” for God.

After an abusive, short lived marriage I turned back to God, and eventually, in my late 30’s, sought counseling. I had wanted to just die, but I couldn’t take my own life. God seemed distant, harsh, uncaring, oblivious to my pain. I could barely be both mother and father to my three boys. Through a wonderful woman, God slowly began to peel back the layers upon layers of wounds in my soul.

Today, I still struggle with who I am and God’s love, and I continue to experience some depression, BUT, I am just about 100% healed. It took almost 5 years before I could talk about my past without breaking down, and another 5 before I begin writing about it.

Currently, my book “Whispers” (which was published in 2009) chronicles the issues I dealt with during my walk toward freedom from the past. The above story is found in chapter 8, “Dear Daddy Know You Know.”

I maintain a Facebook page under the same name, dedicated to helping survivors overcome the issues of abuse.

2 Corinthians 1:4 gives my suffering purpose.
“…who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” ESV

As well as, Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes.” I look at it this way; What Satan meant for my destruction, God is using to lift up other women (and men) whose souls are devastated because of what happened to them.

There is hope. That is my message.

Be Blessed and Walk in Truth today.
~Whispers
Cheryl A. Thompson
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