A guy I know from class approached me today on break. "Can I have your number to give my girlfriend? She needs someone to talk to." This guy had heard my story, which I've just started being open about in the past year. (This is a counseling/therapy group class.)
She called today and we talked for about an hour. I can see why he asked me in particular. So many things in her story were in mine. Molestation, physical violence from parents, biblical/spiritual abuse, abusive men, drug experimentation, suicide attempts, cutting, and eating disorders. The girl is only 17. It was a little bit heartbreaking, and a little bit hopeful for me. I'm glad that being open with my own screwed up childhood I'm able to help someone else. I know I would have loved to have someone to talk to about all I had going on. It's also frustrating, because these things are still going on in so many homes. Her parents literally beat her with the bible - using it as a blunt isntrument to leave bruises on her body as they told her she was going to hell. Like when my brother called HRS, when she called police, they did nothing because her father is a respected minister.
She moved out of the house Monday and is staying with friends. She's also seeing a therapist. But I'm glad for any little comfort or encouragement I can give. On the one hand, I'm so upset that she's been through all this. And on the other, I'm glad my honesty meant her boyfriend was able to match her up with someone who can identify with the feelings of shame and embarrassment that happen in abusive homes.