Dear Inner Child

“One in four girls will experience sexual abuse by the time she is sixteen, and 48 percent of all rapes involve a young woman under the age of eighteen. It’s not surprising then, that in a society where sexual abuse of young women is rampant, many women never share their stories. They remain hidden and invisible.”

I share my story in a way that helped me heal and release a heavy weight I carried for years. As I began to heal and surrender my abusive past, I found that I was drawn to helping others. Never be ashamed of your story as it will inspire others and help others take that first step to truly healing. I was 8 years old when the sexual abuse started, but the physical abuse started before I could even walk.

January 16, 2018

Dear Inner Child (Becky),

Coming from a home with little food, no electricity, and worn-out clothes in which you washed what you had to wear in your shower was a normal routine.  My mom at the time struggled with self-worth, beating down herself and allowing her health to decline.  She was depressed, obese, and had two outfits to her name while trying to hold a professional teaching job.  I would wash her clothes as well and remember how worn out they were.  I watched as a scared 8-year-old all my Dad’s belongings being thrown into the front yard.  I remember crying, but yet relieved the beatings would finally stop for my mom my brothers and sister, and I.

Soon after, the state took all 4 of us and placed us in a Children’s Home.  I remember the day on the playground and Dad driving up to visit, but just through his car window.  I couldn’t believe that this man, visited his kids through a car window, but today, I realized it was all he was capable of. 

We made it! It was the fire I had deep inside that consumed me, but also saved me.   I had to be tough which meant not crying or showing much emotion.

Being forced by the courts we had no choice but to go to Dad’s every other weekend.  I see you sitting in the bathtub, the day it happened for the first time. My father had a cigar hanging out of his mouth while touching me, still to this day it is hard for me to see a claw foot bathtub or smell a cigar. 

After my weekends with him, coming home was confusing and scary.  Telling my Mom would ruin “our little secret.”    I see you in the shower, scrubbing your body until it started to bleed.  No matter how hard you scrubbed, it was still dirty.  Never clean enough.  Your body will feel clean again, I wish I could have told you so that you could understand what “Daddy”  did to you.   I hurt, I hurt today as the adult of you.  I hurt today that I couldn’t protect you, that I couldn’t talk, that I was so scared to say a word, and that I saw this happen for many years. 

I often thought, was this everybody’s life, or just mine?  It was the most, lonely feeling in the world.

Why was my dad praying in the morning, on his knees saying the rosary, and then hurting me in the afternoon?  You were confused with church and God.  At 12 years old, when most girls were busy with regular girl stuff, you tried to find out as much as you could about the subject of touching.  In our world, sex was taboo, not talked about   

Lisa and Wayne came into my life at the right time.  They had a farm up the road and we went to the same church.  I stayed with them after the Children’s Home.   I gained a Mom, Dad, and 3 brothers.  I had a loving life filled with unconditional love.  It was so hard to comprehend at this time, yet the feeling of family, sitting at a dinner table, and being responsible for chores was pretty damn amazing.   I will never forget the time Lisa White took me shopping for new clothes, I had no idea how to shop, and it felt so awkward and I felt so undeserving.  I had never been to a mall. The feeling of something new and not washing clothes in the bathtub was overwhelming.

You will go through a voyage of self-discovery, you will bury this deep inside and try to hide that this ever happened.   Leaving you with the challenge of being your authentic self.   

You just swallowed a bottle of pills.   Your stomach was pumped and you were finally able to tell your story.

Our peace doesn’t come the way you think it does. It doesn’t come by hiding or avoiding difficult situations or people, it comes by embracing them.   For me, it came by burning a box of old pictures and projects my Dad had kept from my early years.  To some, this would be treasure, to me it was heartache.  I kept a treasure box for my kids so that they can look back at their journey.

I now find myself about to turn 50 with two young adult sons beginning their life journey.

I want to thank you for helping me find my innocence and living life through those strong-willed eyes I see every time I look in the mirror. 


Me … And You

Becky Shaffer

Published by beckyshafferliveinconfidence

I did the crazy and left my career teaching job after 19 years to work on and build my coaching business. I took a year off to follow my dream of being a life coach and using my skills, life lessons and training to help others find meaning in their life. While I do this, I am always growing, learning and finding more purpose and meaning in my life as well. Currently, I am life coaching and fitness coaching part-time , I continue to blog, meet with clients and I am back to teaching full time in Columbus City Schools, working with gifted students, teaching. U.S. History.

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