Most of my life I have lived in shame. I walked around with my head held down or pretended to be just fine. Shame is ” A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. Merriam-Webster defines it as dishonor or disgrace. Shame causes a lot of psychological issues that lead us to not knowing why our behavioral patterns change. Shame can leave you broken, depressed, suicidal, lack of self-esteem and possibly with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD).

How many of you have ever felt disgraced, dishonored or humiliated? What caused you to feel that way? I suffered from all of them. Living with the shame of what happened to me growing up and what I did on my own that caused me to feel even more shame. I was flawed, damaged goods, if you will. I was beautiful on the outside but felt filthy on the inside. I felt shame because I felt dirty, inadequate, not worthy of being loved or having anything that I ever dreamed of. In my inadequacies, I believed I was not intelligent. I would claim that I only had two brain cells not knowing that I was speaking death to myself. Due to some lack of memory, I did not believe I could conquer the inadequacy of being intelligent, or a better person. I also believed I was not adequate enough to write a book, return back to school or begin my own business. I had no belief in myself what so ever.

I struggled with all of the above due to the abuse I suffered and because of my lack of self and my feelings. Boyfriends, sex partners(male and female), young or old, did not matter. No, I never abused another child, but my selection of sexual partners were younger than I. I became the teacher, if you will. Not because I wanted to, but I was so advanced in my sexual being that I could. I knew what felt good to me and I had performed it so much, I knew what would make them feel as if they were floating on a cloud. I remember being with a gentleman that was probably twenty years my senior. We met at his jewelry stand and later that week, I became his dirty gem. I remember just laying there allowing him to do as he pleased and to this day I remember the unattractive faces that he made as he pleasured himself via me. There were weeks that would go by when I had been with two to three different men in a day. Sometimes, it was them and then friends.

A whore, skank, nasty, dirty ________, there are so many names I am sure you are calling me as you read this, but what is your claim to shame. Mine was being the pillar and post for anyone to lay inside of and float like a butterfly. You know that high where you don’t want to come down, but eventually you do, that was me. I aimed to please. Whether it was just you, you and your friend or a room full of friends, watching and participating, that was me. I never gave thought to how this would affect me, my family, my health, my daughter(who was not even a thought at the time), my life overall.

My mental state was a disaster until I learned just how precious of a gem I am. I still struggle with my self-esteem at times, but overall, I know how wonderful and beautiful I am. I went through my periods of celibacy off and on, but now I am on the road to being completely pure for my husband. I had a lot of soul searching to do, through all of the filth and feeling of shame. I had to take the time to find out who I was created to be and why I was created. I had to ask God to forgive me and I eventually learned that I had to forgive myself. If I did not go through the shame of being molested and being a sex dump, would my self-esteem have been higher long ago, would I be married at this moment, would I have been a better mother to my deserving daughter. Maybe, but my life was not grand at all, so now, I am trying to right my wrongs.

I cannot change my past, but I have since dropped the feelings of shame, no matter what it cost. I knew I was no longer ashamed of what I did when I was able to tell people what I had endured and it no longer bothered me. Start with being honest with yourself and others. Tell someone you trust about your abuse, your carelessness, your low self-esteem, your suicidal ideations, your lust, your feeling of uncleanliness and all the other things you may be feeling.

Today, I am loving myself more. I take better care of myself, I am in school working on achieving a degree, writing my memoirs and creating a ministry so that I can help others like me. It was not a quick or easy process, but I am still working on me. I know there are a lot of people who still feel ashamed of their past, but it is time to let it go and live a shameless, beautiful and fulfilling life. You can do it and I know you can, because I did. Yes, you did all of it, but God forgives and it is time to forgive yourself. God hears you and he wants to clean you up and make you whole. Be sincere when you go to God. He can create in us a clean heart and a right and renewed spirit. Tell shame that it no longer has a right to dwell in you and you no longer stand in agreement with it. Let God do it today!

Always Retta
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