Yesterday, we heard about Chelsea’s early years. Suffering at the hand of a sexually abusive friend of the family was only the beginning of her bad experiences with men in her life. Man after man in her life abused her, abandoned her and used her. Tragedy and loss have been a common thread in Chelsea’s life. Her story continues today…
Right around the time legal proceedings ended surrounding the sexual abuse, Chelsea’s parents began having major problems in their marriage. They fought all the time and fought loudly.
“We had those old lawn chairs outside and when they fought, my sister and I would cuddle together in one and make it like a teepee so we could escape. I remember one night, all four of us kids just hugged each other in my bed while they were screaming at each other for hours.”
That very night, her father left them. Her mother became barely functional. Guess who the burden fell upon to manage the household? Yep, Chelsea.
Now the age of 12, Chelsea became the woman of the house. Every morning, she would make breakfast and get her sister ready for school. She made sure her mother was awake in time to go to her classes that she was attending to further her education. She even went to class with her mom and helped her study. She made dinner daily…all the while keeping up with her own schoolwork. On weekends, her mom had a side job cleaning construction trailers and of course, Chelsea helped her mom with that. Are you seeing the pattern? The daughter became the mother. The friends that she had, she never spent time with. How could she when she was being an adult and a child at the same time? Chelsea still struggles with feelings of responsibility for her mother to this day. She also has a hard time accepting friendship and love from those who call her friend. I can understand why, can’t you?
Chelsea’s father was gone for a year, his family not hearing even a single word from him in nearly as long. Chelsea couldn’t understand how her daddy could just leave her and not even miss her. She was so angry with him and thought of ways to seek revenge on her father. During visits to his apartment, she would steal his cigarettes, pee on his toothbrush and shred his girlfriend’s daughter’s coloring books.
“Whatever I could think of to do, I did it. I was hurt by yet again another man who was supposed to love me.”
She associated her dad’s actions with the actions of her abuser. She viewed both men with the same hate and disdain. Older now, she understood a little more about life and decided to completely cut herself off from her father.
“I was bitter and angry and wanted no parts of him.”
Chelsea was blessed with a wonderful grandfather. He held the family together. He was their rock. He took his grandchildren to church every Sunday and made sure everyone had anything they needed. Chelsea adored him. But he had a bad heart and he died during this very hard year.
“I was crushed. Why were all the men in my life hurting me? Why did they have to leave me? What did I do wrong? Why was I even still alive?”
These were questions Chelsea wrestled with daily as a preteen girl.
She continued to cope with her feelings by overeating. It was the only thing that made her feel better, in control. Kids at school called her fat constantly and told her she was ugly.
“They said I was a loser and asked why I wasn’t cool like my brothers.”
Kids can be so cruel. Did an adult ever ask Chelsea if she was okay? No. But, she was making sure the adults in her life were okay. Is your heart breaking for Chelsea the way mine is?
Chelsea became even more withdrawn and depressed, only mustering a little happiness here and there with her family. Even that became a struggle. And once again, her mother became dependent upon Chelsea to keep her motivated and going. She was reeling from her father’s death. She wanted to give up, but Chelsea wouldn’t let her. Always taking care of her mother…she was 12 years old!
Chelsea felt rejected and abandoned by the father figures in her life. When her father left them, he left a permanent wound in Chelsea’s heart and emotions. I’m not sure all fathers realize the impact they have on their daughters. I read one time that the way a woman views God is directly related to her relationship with her father and how she sees him. So, if your father abandoned you, abused you, ignored you, etc., you may end up thinking that is how God is. I have seen it happen many times. It’s only by the grace of God that Chelsea understands and accepts her heavenly Father’s love now as an adult.
If you could sum up your relationship with your earthly father, what would it be? Distant? Abandoned? Hated? Absent? Disinterested? Though your father on earth may have let you down, treated you poorly, rejected you or worse, you can rest assured that your heavenly Father will never let you down. He will never reject you. He loves you so much. I have taught my own children that no matter how their father or even I let them down in life, always look to God. Know that He is with them, no matter what. Will you hear that today, too? God your Father loves you and is there for you always. God’s Word says…
Psalm 89:25 says, “You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.”
Isaiah 9:6, in reference to Jesus…”And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” EVERLASTING FATHER!!! I love that! That means He is there all the time, through any situation, no matter what!
Galatians 4:6 says we are sons (daughters) of God and we can call Him, “Abba, Father.” That’s the same as calling Him “Daddy.”
And your Daddy wants to shower His love on you today. I John 3:1 says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God!” You are a child of God! How more awesome can that be?
Chelsea has experienced the love of her heavenly Father. She knows that He is with her always and loves her so much more than her father or grandfather ever could. She now looks to her God her Father for validation, adoration and love.
If you’ve been touched by this story, please tell me. It matters to the women who are being so brave in sharing their precious lives with you. YOU matter to Chelsea. She wants you to find hope and healing through her story. So please, contact me at the email address below. All correspondences are confidential.