When children or teens are in unsafe environments sometimes they will lie in order to secure a place of safety. This was the case in the following testimony:
Contributed by Rachel R.:
Good morning everyone!
What I am sharing today is some deep stuff that I rarely share with anyone. It has hurt my family on both my dad’s and mom’s sides. I believe that it is worth sharing because it may help someone in the same situation or someone who has been through the same situation.
As I was growing up, my dad had a serious drug problem. It wasn’t just a happy pill or marijuana. It was one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs that there is. It was methamphetamines.
My dad would be mentally and physically abusive towards my mom and my brother. It wasn’t as bad with me, but he would go a little too far when he spanked me with the belt. Sometimes I would sneak out or run away just to be away from all of the screaming and fighting that happened with my parents. Often my brother would grab me into his room and turn up the T.V. so I would not hear the fighting.
As I got older, I started finding my dad’s drugs and his porn. I would beg my mom to do something about it, but she was just as frightened as my brother and I were. One particular day, I remember my dad spanking my mom with a belt because she wouldn’t get up out of bed. He called her all kinds of demeaning names. My mom had definitely had enough and moved us to my aunt’s house. At that time, it wasn’t very safe there either, but we stayed for about four months.
My mom then decided to move me to Alvarado to live with my Meemaw. Although I was afraid of my dad, I thought staying with him would be better than moving away from Waco and all of my friends. Kicking and screaming I ended up moving to Alvarado. Needless to say, I ended up liking it there and met a guy named Junior who would end up being my son Corie’s biological father.
While I was dating Junior, my mom was considering going back to my father, even though he was still actively doing drugs and being verbally abusive. I begged my mom not to go back and gave her proof that he was still doing drugs, but she wouldn’t listen. I made up a lie that my dad raped me so that she would not go back to him. Immediately, she took me to my aunt’s house to figure out what she was going to do. Making up the LIE sounded much better than living with a drug addict at the time. At age 14 I figured what’s the worst that could happen as long as I am not with my dad.
For many years it hurt me that I told that lie, and I constantly had to refuse to listen to my conscience. After I gave birth to my son at the age of seventeen, I told my mom that the story about my dad raping me was a lie. She ended up letting my father back in our lives.
Since my dad was still on drugs and stole a lot of things from us, I once again told her that the rape story was true. After that, I kept going back and forth about the lie. Eventually, I finally let my mom know that it wasn’t true. But by that time she didn’t know what to believe.
As a young teenager, I just wanted to be safe and my father didn’t make me safe. I regret telling the LI, but since my dad has been in jail because of many more poor choices he made while on drugs, I do not actively speak to him.
I know deep down that my dad wants to be a man who is free of drugs and of bad skin condition, but he just hasn’t been able to do it all these years. I would like to have a relationship with him, but not if that means dealing with the drugs and poor choices. So I have kept him at arm’s length.
It took me several years to forgive myself for the lie I told and for hurting my family, especially my mom and dad. Today the pain I caused still makes me teary eyed, but I have peace in knowing that I now can help younger teenagers learn how to speak out without telling lies in order to enter into a safe place.
I know that I am forgiven by God, and I am thankful that I still have a relationship with my family. I have definitely tried to restore the broken relationships from not just this lie but many other behaviors throughout my childhood and adolescence years.
This is a good verse to remember when trying to aim for restoration. We can’t make people change, but we can change how we react to certain situations from the past and present. We can’t change our past, but we can use it to encourage and help others.
2 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV) “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”
Are there any decisions you have made because you were scared? We don’t have to live in regret because through grace we are forgiven. Through true repentance (asking for forgiveness and turning away from our sin) we have a new start. Share your story no matter how ugly it is and it could help someone in need. Thank you for taking the time to read this.