Lasting Response to Painful Touch

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The word molestation speaks volumes to those who have experienced it. Why did the person do it to me? What did I do for this to happen to me? Where was God when this was happening? 

I grew up in a middle-class home, the oldest of three children. I lived a relatively sheltered life. If my parents told me to do or not do something, it never occurred to me to disobey them. Socially, I was behind my peers because I am also hard of hearing and visually impaired. I did not get hearing aids until I was almost 5 years old and so didn’t start speaking until after receiving these aids. I asked few questions and was very trusting.

The molestation began when I was 13. I would be allowed periodically to spend the night in the home of a trusted family member, and the molestation took place after the other person went to bed and I had gone to sleep for the night. Because I don’t hear anything with my aids out and have night blindness, I never saw the molestation, but I definitely felt it. It went on for three years and I was confused. It didn’t feel right to me, but since the perpetrator was a family member I thought it must be OK. It never occurred to me to discuss it with my parents or the other person staying in the home because I trusted all of them. It also never occurred to me that they had no idea this was taking place. And so the molestation continued.

I was extremely shy, had almost no friends, and never shared what was happening to me. Because I blocked out this tumultuous period, I have very spotty memories of those three years in high school. 

I grew up, got married, had two children, and did OK—except in the area of touch. If someone touched me unexpectedly, it absolutely terrified me. My hypersensitive response to touch affected my marriage, but I couldn’t figure out why. When I finally took time to look at the period I had blocked out of my memory, things started falling into place. Due to our financial situation and my husband’s crazy work hours to support us, we did not go for professional counseling but tried to resolve this on our own; we were only partially successful.

When I went for counseling following my husband’s death, I finally learned that the person who molested me did not have any right to do this to me. Still, I wondered where God was in all of this. I had become a Christian at 17 and struggled to understand why a sovereign God would allow molestation to occur. 

When I remarried in 2011, I chose to have a marriage as healthy as possible. I am still hypersensitive to touch, but when these situations occur I try not to blow it out of proportion. We may not comprehend why horrible events occur, but we can trust that our sovereign God never releases us from his control.

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