I recently received a sweet email from a reader named Lesa. She summarizes so beautifully why I wrote the book Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse.
Thank you for writing in my opinion one of the most authentic revelations of the personal struggles and journeys of a childhood sexual abuse and rape survivor. You are courageous in telling the difficult and painful details of how the rape changed you at the deepest level of personal and spiritual identity. I saw my late husband’s and my own struggles validated in the pages of your story and I am grateful. Thank you for not glossing over the pain, loss, grief, and distorted perceptions of life and self. As a reader, I find it hard to relate to an author’s proclamations of God’s promises of healing and plans for my life without first being able to identify with the author through shared experiences.
Why I Wrote Not Marked:
For far too many years. I resigned myself to let the rapes from the past mess with my head and heart. Flashbacks invaded my sleep. I startled far too easily. Sex within marriage became scary and complicated. I often wondered if I’d ever be normal. I even disconnected from those I loved the most.
The mark that sexual abuse gave me felt indelible, permanently inked with a Sharpie pen. And no matter of scrubbing erased it. (Have you ever felt this way?)
But they didn’t erase.
The pathway to healing came when I realized I needed to face the past again, to choose to heal for my sake and for the sake of those who loved me. I desperately needed freedom. Have you had this same ache?