It was not my fault (For those struggling with blame and shame.)
Recently I bought my daughter a little red bag to use as a makeup bag in the future.
This morning when I saw the bag, I thought it could serve another purpose. I could fill it with feminine products for her so she will have what she needs when the time comes. I wanted to make sure she was ready and prepared. It sounded like such a great idea, until big crocodile tears rolled down my cheeks as I was applying mascara…
I was eleven years old.
I didn’t have a bag.
I didn’t have a clue.
I didn’t know that the sticky part of the pad went on your underwear. I screamed the first time I pulled my pants down.
I was convinced when my period came early the next month that I must be pregnant and started crying at PE because I had heard someone say if your period is not on time, then you are pregnant.
At the time, I had never had sex but I was convinced that drinking purple Kool-Aid would also make me pregnant so I would not drink it – at all.
I was clueless, confused and afraid.
I read Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume several times.
I remember asking for “The Starter Kit” that included sample pads and brochures so I could understand why I was bleeding.
Finally it came in the mail.
I never learned to wear a tampon. I could never get them to work. Just the thought and especially wearing them made me very uncomfortable.
I am 43 and will only buy them if I have to wear a bathing suit, and I am more likely to skip the bathing suit and the tampons. I hate them that much.
The tears this morning were for how confused I was about something that every girl will experience.
And yet, I was schooled in things that NO little girl should ever have to experience.
The CONTRAST was overwhelming, and it broke my heart again.
That same little girl who didn’t understand the normal things that were happening to her body, certainly couldn’t understand or comprehend the twisted, messed up, and detrimental things that were happening to that same body.
So, this morning I took a minute to feel that pain, and to grieve. I thanked God for giving me the strength and courage to want to prepare and talk to my daughter about her body. I thanked Him for His guidance and the wisdom that He imparts. I thanked Him for giving me clarity. I thanked Him for His love because I know His heart swells even more so for me the way my heart swells when I think about my daughter. I thanked Him for perspective.
I thanked Him for His presence, now and then.
Maybe for you it is completely different, and our circumstances may not be the same. But, those who have been sexually abused and/or violated need to hear, know and believe: “It was not your fault.”
I pray God will give you a memory that confirms that and seals it forever in your heart. It was not your fault.
Not your fault.
Not your shame.
The following books have been great resources:
The Care and Keeping of You (Book 1) The Body Book for Younger Girls – American Girl
The Care and Keeping of You (Book 2) The Body Book for Older Girls- American Girl
It’s Great to Be a Girl! (A Guide to Your Changing Body) by Dannah Gresh & Suzy Weibel
Raising Body Confident Daughters (8 Conversations to Have with Your Tween) By Dannah Gresh
I LOVE this article you wrote, Michelle! Isn’t God so good? He helps us to see our innocence, even when we can’t remember for ourselves. I hope you don’t mind, but I would love to share your article in our group. There are some group members struggling with the concept that they were only children when their stories of abuse began.
Let me know if that is ok:)
All my best,
Crystal Sutherland, author http://www.crystalsutherland.org http://www.JourneytoHealBook.com
Yes, God is so good! Thank you so much Crystal for writing Journey to Heal and leading the group! I completely understand the struggle and I am thankful for His healing and grace. Yes, please feel free to share the post. I am thankful to connect with you. You are a blessing and God is doing an amazing work through your obedience! Blessings to you!
Michelle , this is such a timely topic for me in many ways ; for my own tween daughter and for our talks about her body and it’s changes! It also is so timely for me for myself as I am needing to be freed from shame from abuse that happened to me As a child ! I thank my God for giving you this article to write as it has helped and blessed and shown me more of how God can heal every little area of my childhood that was stolen from me!
I am so thankful you were encouraged! Yes, praise Jesus as He heals it all! Thank you for being here!
Thanks for sharing this, Michelle- I relate to it a lot. I love that God used it to show you that you were just a little girl and you were innocent. So glad we’re never alone.
Hi Carly, thank you for your encouragement. I am also thankful for you sharing your words as they bless me. I love reading your posts! YES, never alone! So very thankful. Blessings to you!
Your transparency is inspiring Michelle. You’re so brave to rip open such a deep wound so we can see it. And so wise to reveal Gods redemption and healing.
Thank you Ellen. Your encouragement means so much to me! You are such a blessing, and I am thankful the Lord brought us together.
I so look forward to getting to know more of your story as we lead the Come with Me group together! Don’t you love how God can take our greatest pain and use it to extend comfort to others? He is so good.
Hey Lee! Thank you for being here, and yes God is so good! I look forward to getting to know you better and I am excited to lead the Come With Me group with you and I can’t wait to see where Jesus will take us!