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HERE'S WHAT YOU SAID, 42

PASTOR  (DR.)  MICHELE  REAPSMITH

Pastor (Dr.) Michele Reapsmith (Charlotte, North Carolina) - I read the information you posted and I believe that child abuse is a cause among many that needs pointed attention in all communities. I was told once that our children are a product of our society. What? Really? Not at all. Our children are a product of us, the parents. Love will force you to discipline your children and that same love will prevent you from hurting them. Our children need us. The misconception we have been taught is that the size of your television and how many computers you have etc. measures parenting.

I will submit that love will be sufficient through hunger, sub-standard housing, bad schools, no cable TV, etc. I believe that we need to define abuse. Now I have been told by a social worker that abuse is anything that makes a child feel uncomfortable. If that is the case, my son was truly abused as a child because I am certain that he was uncomfortable many times. Just an example, when he was around 6 years old we moved and he began at a new school.

He told his teacher that he needed to say grace before eating. She told him "no", because prayer was not allowed in school. He refused to eat. This went on for the first couple of days, and then I got a call from the Principal to come to the school. I explained that my son has been taught to pray before he eats PERIOD. She told me that she thought I was forcing my beliefs on my son and not allowing him to eat was abusive. Well I guess that is what I was doing, but the fact remained that he had to pray before eating.

To resolve this problem, I made arrangements with my employer to leave work EVERY day at 10:45 to be with him at his lunchtime so that we could say a 5 second grace. I did this from 1st grade through 5th grade. They called it abuse; I called it training my son to be the man that he is today, who by the way prays before eating today and is not ashamed to insist that whoever is with him pray as well I am proud of that as his Mother regardless of what the world thought about it. I believe this is a very small example of how we have left our children unattended, and then become angry with them when they falter.

There are some other things that I will share in the future regarding my own experiences with sexual abuse. Although, the term is new. I am 44 years old, and back then things like that was kept quiet and had no name especially in the Black households.

Generally, it is not a topic that I expound on, but I believe that relevance is important. I believe that victims, adults have to renew their minds and practice forgiveness. I simply refuse to allow what someone did to me to rule my life. (Edited).

Cheyenne Williams - Nice site. I would like to add a link to your site from our Church's site, with your permission.

Sherry Howard - I just found your website. Its great. I know I will get much inspiration from your materials. Thanks and God bless your work.

Linda Lawson (Beltsville, Maryland) - I am pleased to have found your web site by browsing the Christian Networks - I will continue to utilize the services from your web site.

T. Brown - I haven't had much time to surf through these pages but what I have seen, has been great. I'm sure I'll be here often.

Mrs. Irene Blackmon - I must say this site has been a tremendous help in many of my preparations. Thanks and keep up the good work. May God continue to bless this ministry!

Gregory Morris, Jr. (Annandale, Virginia) - Now I know where to find you, I'll be back periodically to check out what's on-line.

Mrs. Yvette Gray - Thank God that the LIGHT can shine even on the web. Thank you for a job well done.

Janice Smalls (Silver Spring, Maryland) - I am sure this site will encourage and strengthen me.

Anthony Wiggins (Annapolis, Maryland) - This website was great. I really enjoyed reading through it.

Patricia Clarke (Anne Arundel County) - I'm glad to have found another good resource site.

Jeanne Flood (Arlington, Virginia) - I was abused physically as a child, and molested by 'friends' of the family. Due to the molestations and abuse, I find myself emotionally detaching from the people I love that try to touch me.

D'borah Armstead (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) - Thank you so much for reaching out to the people who are too afraid. I was physically abused for 13 yrs, including torture, terrorizing, daily violent attacks and two serious attempts on my life. That's not to mention my watching these same things being done to my wonderful, courageous older sister.

I'm 37 now, and have in the last 12 months, begun to have flashbacks. I won't call them memories, because they're more than that. Flashbacks actually put you right back there, where the emotions, the fear and the horror are very real and very current. You don't remember how it felt; you actually FEEL it, like it is happening to you right now. I haven't gone to find help as I'm trying to manage it on my own, but it's so true - you do ok for a few years, even a couple of decades, then all of a sudden it all comes back to hit you like a tsunami, and it's like it all only happened yesterday.

Fears you had forgotten return in full force, emotional hurt you thought you had dealt with, returns with full force, and you feel as vulnerable and lost as you did when this was all happening to you. I don't know why it happens. I, like other people, thought that the older you get, the less of this stuff you carry with you, but it's the opposite. The longer you live, the more you realize just how unfair, cruel, unjust and criminal the way you were treated was, and you start to wonder why you were left to deal with it and protect yourself with no help from anyone, even though what was happening was obvious.

It's like you go through so much, and fight so hard to just have a normal life, while others glide easily through childhood. After all that extra hard work, you feel like there should be something great waiting for you in adulthood - like there will be a reward for all you went through and suffered. But there is no reward. You get the same (often less) opportunities in adulthood that everyone else gets. There's no special "reward" for making it, and for surviving and being able to function with the memories, fear and terror you felt for so long. It's the injustice that eats at me the most.

Mrs. Novella Franklin - I find it a difficult topic to talk about with others, mainly because of the effect it can have on the family. However, I'm really putting so much effort into focusing on myself and my own goals and how to achieve these.

Beatrice McCollum - I want to know how can I deal with my horrid childhood. When I made it known and no one believed me. They did no bother to contact me and ask if they could be a friend and maybe repent or severely apologize. People shy away and don’t want to get involved.

Cornelius Hailey, Sr. (Bridgeport, Connecticut) - I struggle because I can’t concentrate efficiently. I can’t sue them for what they did. I can’t do anything. I wanted to write a book but the tears get in the way. Why does society alienate us when we are not at fault.

Oletha Marie Oates (Warrenton, North Carolina) - Parents need to be held responsible more often, see we are allowing parents to just have as many children as they want with disregard for the well being of their other children.

Wannaco Murphy, Jr. (Southern Pines, North Carolina) - I was emotionally abused by my father my whole life, and sexually abused when I was very young. I've been working on my own self-improvement for the past 5 years, dealing with things that have happened in my life as a result of this abuse. Just recently I've been thinking a lot about the abuse and looking for a way to cope with it and move on.  About a month ago my father was arrested for trying to lure a 14 year old on the Internet for sex. This started a series of events that let me open up and tell people about the sexual abuse.

It felt good finally letting go of the dark secret I've been holding in for the past 30 years. Reading this article made me realize that I'm not alone in feeling the way I feel. Everything said in the article is how I feel right now, and it is a good start in my quest in moving on. One day I would like to have a healthy relationship with a man and have a more active social life. I hide myself away from reality a lot; I have been doing that since I can remember.

I'm very happy my father is in jail and I hope he stays there; he's getting what he deserves for the years of abuse I had to deal with. I'm very grateful to have found this article and reading what others have written makes me feel less alone in this world. These are my first baby steps in dealing with this and it makes me happy to know that someday I will be able to move on, if not totally forget about it, but accept it happened and learn from it.

Toya Brown (Nashville, Tennessee) - Thank you, Sister Brooks for the invitation to connect. If there is anything that I and/or Gospel 360 can do to assist you and/or your ministry, please do not hesitate to contact me.