This is going to be by far the most difficult piece I will ever write in my life I am certain. I would invite you to pray before you read this. To my brothers and sisters who have or are struggling with sexual addiction or sexual trauma this may be hard to read. I am going to touch ona subject that no one wants to talk about, a subject that no one wishes they would ever have to approach.
Children are often and frequently the victims of sexual trauma. It’s heartbreaking as it causes so much confusion. It did for me. I’m not going to go into great detail, but I will share enough to help you better understand how to better protect your children, what goes on in the mind of a child and what often happens to a parent. As I mentioned in my Bio I was only four years old when I had my first encounter.
Years ago, Bob and I were counseling with a Bishop about our children. He told us that we live in a day and age where you cannot trust anyone with our children, not even your Bishop. I’m certain this was his way of saying how bad things have really gotten.
So often what happens is, when a child experiences sexual trauma, they often mimic what was done to them with another child. This is often done in families with siblings, cousins and friends. It’s hard to think about, hard to go through, but sadly so prevalent. These children are often innocent and/or hadn’t been taught yet about the dangers because it’s a conversation that you shouldn’t have to approach at that age.
I don’t bring this up to shame or blame any one, but to simply let you know it is very common and it happens a lot at different ages. If you were a child who experienced this type of trauma either as an offender or the offended, please know you are loved beyond measure by a merciful Father in Heaven. Please know the Savior’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemene most definitely applies to you. There is help and healing for you just as there has been for me. If you haven’t recovered, please take the time to find a professional to talk about it. I feel there are many still carrying the shame of this type of experience.
If you are a parent that has discovered something like this, likewise take the time to talk to a professional and be very careful not to shame your child. Don’t tell them they are bad for what happened. If you did already do this, likewise get counseling and approach your child with help in therapy, so healing can take place.
Now let me explain what Satan does to an individual who has experienced something like this. He has been around for years and knows the craft to a science.
To the parents of both the victim and offender, he will whisper what a bad parent you are, you’re to blame, you’re the only one that has gone through something like this, he will place shaming words and thoughts in your mind to direct at your children and will work on getting you to overreact. It’s part of his plan, and he’s been doing it for centuries. You will both go through periods of anger/hurt because of the offender. You will have powerful emotions that must be worked through. The hardest part will be forgiving those who have harmed your precious children, the offender and the offended. It often comes out that the offender has also been offended. It’s such a horrible thing to have to go through for both.
To the parent of the offender who injured a child, Satan may whisper in your mind, “Not my child, my child will never do anything like this. It’s all lies.” He will place thoughts in your mind trying to get you to reject the idea that your child has done anything of this nature. His design and goal is to prevent the offender from getting the help they so deserve and need to get too.
What is happening to children so often, is once they are given a taste of those God given sexual feelings, it’s hard to put them away. It’s so devastating. A little at a time, in my home and the homes of other children, I was taught things no child should be taught by other children. They had all been hurt by someone else. (Usually family) Some by adults, some by teenagers. The last piece placed in my path was pornography.
I want to share what could have been done differently that could have prevented it. But as in all things, man has agency and we are not guaranteed to keep our children safe from everything. We have all been sent here to be tested and tried. But doing these things will significantly reduce the risk. We must do all we can to protect our children. In sharing this, I want to assure you my parents did the best job they could do with the knowledge they had. I don’t blame them. There was a time I did, but healing has helped me see things as they are. So let’s move on to protecting our children.
First, when you have children over to play, keep them in an open area where they can be watched continuously and where you can hear and observe what is going on. Having play dates is even a better way.
Many times when I encountered something it was because we were playing back in a bedroom behind closed doors, and a parent was home.
Second, whenever possible, don’t allow sleep overs. This is where I learned everything else. Professionals who treat sex offenders will tell you that almost every individual who is in therapy for child molesting or rape started down this path because of a sleep over where they were innocently exposed to things just like I was. Only, they never received the help they needed until others had been hurt. I know this is hard to hear, but necessary to know.
Satan is so crafty, he knows exactly how to destroy the brain, how to get you to think unnatural thoughts, he is seeking to destroy the family at every corner. I can see how easy it is for individuals to become confused with ideas of same sex attraction. Pornography coupled with shameful childhood/teenage experiences of this magnitude, cause so much trauma that it can take a long time to recover, but recover you can.
Children cannot be tempted by the adversary until the age of accountability which is 8 years old. Gratefully, God does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle. This is why the adversary works on others to get to children. He wants to groom them for destruction. If we are going to win over the tactics of the enemy, it’s important to understand what they are.
Satan loves to place thoughts in the mind of the injured child as they grow older, thoughts like, “your sick, you are worthless, you are alone, no one understands, you are used, you’re dirty, you’ve done too much to be saved so it doesn’t matter, do it again, it’s too late, you will never qualify for the blessings of heaven now, and there is nothing to live for.” He places lie after lie in their minds doing everything possible to destroy our precious sons or daughters. If the child or teenager doesn’t get help, what can happen is the adversary continues to pour even darker and darker thoughts in the minds of our precious children. Suicide is one of those thoughts. He stirs up thoughts that generates those God given sexual feelings, and because those feelings and urges are as a powerful keg and difficult to control, the addictions continue. Sexual addiction turns into a way of coping with the anxiety of the addiction. It truly is heartbreaking.
If an individual doesn’t get help they can spend years trying to make sense of what happened in their childhood and will continue to be plagued by different thoughts. The adversary will whisper thoughts suggesting there can’t be a God, because what kind of God would allow something like this to happen. Then there will be thoughts and feelings of being angry with God and blaming him for what happened. What the adversary does is places thoughts in the mind in such a way to make you believe that his thoughts are your thoughts. He is a clever deceiver, but we always have a choice to refute those thoughts. We must teach our children how to discern the voices of the destroyer and the spirit.
I’m so grateful for the healing that came into my life and continues to come into my life. I’m so grateful for the individuals who were and continue to be placed in my path. The Lord is mindful and he sends angels in many forms.
I want you to understand that the greatest most beautiful gift you can give yourself is forgiveness, forgiving yourself and forgiving others. By going to a place of empathy, I was able to recognize and see that hurt child in those who hurt me. They were once an innocent child who had something terrible done to them, and they didn’t have the blessing of receiving help in time or at all before I was injured. They are a child of a parent who is likewise grieving and feeling the pain of the awful situation. Praying to see the offender as the Lord sees them can free you from the other damning consequences of abuse. These are hate, anger and the desire to see them suffer.
I think we sometimes forget that we agreed to come forth at this time. Our purpose here is to be tested and tried. We forget that God sent his strongest most valiant men and women to earth for such a time as this. It’s been prophesied that the earth will be plagued before the Savior comes again. I’m certain that sexual addiction is one of these plagues. We have been sent to experience opposition in all things, to learn, to grow, to repent, learn wisdom and to help others return to the presence of a Heavenly Father. God is no respecter of persons and loves all His precious children both the offended and the offender. He has provided a way for all to be healed, if they will repent. It isn’t easy and often very painful, but in the end worth it.