My mother and father separated after a marriage of 3 years and two children 20 months apart. They had not spoken for 6 months, which was the age of the youngest when my father came into her small on campus apartment intoxicated and violently raped her. I was conceived on one of the most frightening nights of her life. My mother finalized her divorce shortly after and before she even knew she was pregnant, relocated north the be closer to family. After finding out she was pregnant with me she was excited even though she was carrying a constant reminder of that night. My grandmother, however, was distraught because my aunt was pregnant with her first child and she didn't want this to steal her unborn child's thunder. Her resolution was cash and a business card to planned parenthood on the other side of town. She instructed my mother to "take care of the problem." As my mother drove through the newly built highway, tears painted her face in the color of rainbowed emotions. How could she abort a life? Was her mother right? Was this baby going to bring in too many problems? She mulled over these questions on a constant loop. In her grief she landed at the lakefront, not the clinic. The strength to return home, confront her mother, and fight for my life was incredible. Fast forward to 3 years later and she would remarry, this time to a man with kids. To the outside world, we were happy and healthy family of 8, but looks can be deceiving. What happened behind closed doors would dominate every memory of my childhood.
My older step-sister must have had a terrible childhood herself. How she knew to prey on me as she did, to hurt me, touch me that way. It was mind-boggling how at 8 years old, she perceived what sex was. I was only 4, and every single day for two years after school I was molested and raped by her. What made it all worse was that it wasn’t a secret. The person meant to protect me, keep all the bad things away knew. My own mother knew. She stood by, while the door was locked, and the tent was closed. While we disappeared under the deck, the stairs, the bed, she knew. She alleged she didn't, then claimed she didn't know what to do. There isn't a measure to identify the real truth. I was much too young to make a judgment call. All I learned was that my mommy failed me, and I was not protected.
My mom and stepdad went on to have a child, and very soon afterward divorced. We bounced from place to place unsure where to go until we ended up back in my hometown in Columbus Ohio. After several poor financial decisions the single mother of four found herself along with her kids homeless. At 8 years old, bouncing from homeless shelter to sleeping on the floors of friends, and trying to find food wherever we could was our norm.
After about a year my grandfather had enough of his grandkids living the life of a vagabond and bought us a house in northeast Ohio. This would be a place where I would finally experience what childhood truly meant. Here was the place I could finally heal and try to grow up and have a normal life. I don't know if it was because I looked so much like my biological father, or if it was something else, but even after remarrying again and having 2 new step-siblings, and being a family of 8, I was ignored. I was forced to sleep on a small bean bag behind the couch instead of a bedroom. I was only allowed to go out, not have friends over while my siblings were given everything. I was constantly at arms with my mom and stepdad.
May 13th, 2004 was enough. My mom called the police and told them they had to take me because she could not handle me and didn't want me back home. I was in 7th grade and that afternoon the cops showed up to take me in. Her statement to them drove the point home that I wasn't wanted. At age 13, I was placed into foster care, becoming a ward of the state and up for adoption when I would turn 18. With zero interest from any family looking to adopt, I aged out and was let go. I was in foster care 1789 days in total.
During the years after, I had nothing but time to attempt to sort through everything that happened and how I felt. I was alone, abandoned, and unwanted. I didn't see a way out and all I wanted to do was die. I attempted suicide too many times to count and ended up just leading a life of destruction. I had always had God in my life as my mom made sure to go to church every Sunday for as long as I remember and my foster dad was a pastor. I dedicated my life to Christ February 5, 2005. Healing has been a process. I was led back to my hometown of Columbus, Ohio and then found Faith Life Church. Nearly immediately my life was changed. I finally started understanding how the Kingdom was operating, and more importantly, I was introduced to a freedom group. Freedom wasn't just a small group with a friend though, it turned into a way of life! After following the teachings, reading the book, and attending the conference, not only was I able to let go of my past, but I could forgive my family, my abusers, and most importantly myself. I could put away the old guilt, and hurt. God broke my chains, and I am a free man.