This is a very personal post for me. As It’s an open letter to Those Who Sexually Abused Me (and My Husband)—And For Every “Christian Grey” Out There Who Was Abused
You might not remember me. Or maybe you do.
I was the skinny little girl with dark hair and freckles.
I didn’t understand what you were doing. That you were hurting my body, and wounding my spirit, my heart, and my mind.
What you did flipped a switch inside me, making me sexually aware. Making me feel inferior. Making me feel “sex less”—neither male nor female.
What you did taught me to behave in a certain way. To do things I shouldn’t have known about, let alone done with others, even before I was old enough to understand what I was doing. I look back now and I know that even as a child, I hurt others by doing what you taught me to do.
What you did made me crave. At the time I didn’t know what, but I do now.
I craved being touched in the right way at the right time by the right person.
During my teen years I didn’t know that the ache inside me, the feeling I didn’t really matter came from what you did to me. I didn’t know that the “separateness” I felt when with my peers was because of wounds you inflicted. I didn’t know the source of my hurt.
When I first married, it didn’t make sense that I often cried while being with my husband.
There’s more. So many more results of what you did to me.
But those results don’t compare to the healing God has brought me.
I’m no longer afraid of you, no longer afraid of randomly running into you.
And I don’t hate you. Rather, I feel compassion for you. Only God can help me think this way, but I do.
How far were you from God when you were doing those things to me and others? Were your actions because of your own wounds?
Don’t misunderstand. I walked through anger. Seething, ferocious anger. And grief. Oh, the grief over what you took from me. From the loss of innocence and purity. The realization that I never had a chance to have many of my first sexual experiences be with my husband.
I know I’ve forgiven you. Completely and fully forgiven you—because I’m no longer angry and I’m no longer grieving.
Even you—you know who you are—who pretended to be my friend while you did horrible things to the one most dear to me.
I know what you did. I know all of it. At first I wanted to hunt you down and hurt you. Really, really hurt you.
But God has healed that, too. Somehow He’s removed a spirit of vengeance and replaced it with sorrow for you.
Evil one, you used others to hurt me and steal from me and destroy me. But it didn’t work.
I am changed. I am healed. I am new.
I vow to share with all who ask what God has done in me. To Him be all glory and honor.
Shellie Louise Bryan Arnold
Key words: Shellie Arnold, your marriage, Fifty Shades of Grey, Christian Grey, sexual abuse, healing, forgiveness, wounds, God, grieving, innocence, purity, first sexual experience, relationship advice