“I Saw Men As Disposable”

Sexual abuse is at epidemic levels on the island of Jamaica, reports Julie Mansfield, author of Maybe God was Busy. She inspired all of us at our December 1, 2015 Women’s Recovery Conference. Julie shared her story of recovering from being sexually molested by four of her eight uncles. She shared how like many abused children she became incredibly promiscuous and that she had a child at a young age. She shared how she came to realize that she saw men as disposable. This is how sinister sexual abuse is. It numbs one to the peril they are placing themselves in. This buried anger is turned upon oneself and reveals itself in self-destructive behavior. This anger will never produce good. The demise of so many good marriages can be traced back to childhood sexual abuse. It is a menace to society that wrecks lives.

Julie expressed the tremendous weight off of her shoulders when she decided to share her story. She is now a strong advocate against child molestation especially in Jamaica. She has established a non-profit organization called Give Me Dignity to foster dialogue aimed at preventing child sex abuse, and to facilitate the healing of those affected, turning victims into survivors and champions of ‘breaking the cycle.’ Listen to Julie share what happened to her family when she finally shared her story.

Regardless of its prevalence, the devil plants a destructive seed in every person who is sexually molested. Among other things sexual molestation causes confusion, anger, a twisted sense of self and others, isolation and fearfulness. The shame of being abused one must carry until they are able to share their story and learn that it was neither their fault nor transformed them into something less than everybody else. God doesn’t make junk. All of his children are beautiful creations.

The struggle to recover from abuse is difficult. But not impossible. The survivor of sexual abuse must learn to see value in themselves rather than victims. They must understand who their real enemy is. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. It is not people who are our enemies. Satan is our enemy. When people become our enemies we begin to focus on destroying each other. This is the plan of Satan. Like Cain who killed Abel, we can easily focus on the human source of our pain and think that revenge is the solution. But it is not. When we seek to destroy others we end up destroying ourselves.

Forgiveness is the solution. If God gave you the privilege of surviving the abuse you must now move on from the abuse. You may have to confront your abuser(s) and maybe hold them accountable. However, you don’t have to be forever defined by your abuse. When you forgive you release them and the abuse from its hold on your life. Abuse can keep you down.It can hold you back. It can cause you to live fearfully rather than boldly. But when you forgive you open yourself up to be who God created you to be.

Recovering from childhood sexual abuse is an individual journey. But it begins with a decision to deal with the negative emotions clouding your mind. Recovery is being restored in community with others. It is feeling free to interact with others without feeling self-conscious or anxious. It is freedom to be yourself. It is freedom to love and be loved. Recovery is the ability to feel and express your emotions in healthy and productive ways. Recovery is no longer using substances, vices, things and people to make you feel better.

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I feel honored to be a tool in God’s hand to bring healing to women who have been abused and neglected as children. It is a joy to see them begin walking with their head up and a smile on their face. To see them take a new hold on life is so inspiring. To their children better behaved and happier. If you want to take part in our recovery work you can make a donation to support a woman who needs treatment but can’t afford treatment. Click here to make a donation today.

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