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.
If you’ve struggled with the aftermath of sexual abuse, consider picking up a copy of Not Marked. If money is an issue, the ebook is only $3.99.
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?
I was sexually abused by my brother when I was just a child. He touched me inappropriately and said things to me. When I told our grandfather who was taking care of us at the time, he told me that it was normal and that he would stop. He laughed it off. Growing up in an extremely abusive and dysfunctional home, didn’t help.
Lately, I have been feeling dirty and have asked myself all the questions you have asked yourself, and have felt marked for abuse, too. It has taken me twenty years to understand why I have been so angry all of my life. It is hard to trust God, but I see that not trusting Him makes it more difficult and my heart fills with hatred, both for Him and others.
I know I won’t last in a relationship unless my heart is His. Thank you Mary. One of these days I shall read your book.
I am so sorry this happened to you Maja. What a great grief! I pray you’ll continue to find light, healing, and new levels of un-bitterness.