Please share your story:
Hi my name is Marissa Colclasure. I am a survivor of rape. When I was a little girl between the ages of 3 and 4 I was forced to have sex with a grown couple. They were severely addicted to methamphetamine. For many years, I did not remember the rape. However, I had many emotional issues. I was severely depressed my whole childhood. I knew about sex and had knowledge of things I should not have known about and was definitely not mature enough to understand. I didn't know how I knew about these things. I didn't know that children weren't suppose to know about these things and I felt so different from all the children my age. I felt disgusting like I was lower than everyone else like I was less. But I never knew why. I was also physically abused and isolated as a child, which added to my low self esteem and self hatred. I never had a stable home. My whole childhood was just a mess. When I was 17, I was finally on my own away from the abusers and ready to start my adult life. Even though I had gotten away, I still had to deal with all the emotional pain and scars that were left behind. It wasn't like just because I got away it was over. Nope, everyday I was still tortured on the inside.
After I had my beautiful daughter at the age of 18 my repressed memories of the sexual abuse decided to resurface. They hit me like a train! Flashbacks, severe depression, anxiety, and fear that I would become an abuser because I couldn't understand what made my abusers do that to me so what if whatever made them do it was transferred to me. I know what an irrational fear this is now, but at the time I was going through it, it was torturous. I suddenly was afraid of children like the way a person is afraid of spiders or snakes and they run away, that was how I felt about children. I was so terrified and it was killing me inside because I love children so much. My daughter Selena is literally my whole world. She was about 1.5 years old when this was all happening. I even distanced myself from her. I would get scared if she hugged me too much or sat on my lap for too long. I would put her down or walk away, I was so afraid. I didn't have anyone I could really confide in or anyone that could understand and help.
I was so confused, my brain had made me believe it was my fault. It took some time but I finally started to heal. I turned to Jesus Christ for peace and strength, for help with forgiveness and healing and also for his love during the process. I started going to counseling for help to understand the psychological effects of sexual abuse and how it scars you emotionally. You can never forget but you can forgive, heal and make peace with what has happened to you. It doesn't happen over night but slowly you will get better and will get back to yourself. After it's all said and done you realize how strong you really are. I am a survivor!
How has your story shaped who you are today?:
My story has helped me grow stronger. I look back at all I have been through and how far I have come and it makes me feel like, wow, I really am a beautiful person. Maybe someone else would have let these things tear them down and take over their life, but I chose to stand up and face it. I took back the control that so many people had stolen from me. I love harder now because I know what it feels like not to be loved. I am so strong now because I know how it feels to be weak. I am so happy with my life and so excited for my future. My dream is to serve God anyway I can, and I want to help people who have been abused. I want them to know it's not the end of the world, that they are not alone, and they don't have to go through the healing process alone. I want to be an example of God's love and how He can turn even the worst situations for good.
What encouraging words would you give to someone who shares a similar story?:
That they are not alone. Not to try and hide it, forget it, or blame themselves. I would tell them that, yes the healing process is painful. It doesn't happen over night but it is better to work through it and face it, than to run away from it, and be tortured by it for the rest of their lives. I would want them to know that they couldn't control what happened to them and it was NOT their fault. They have the choice to choose how to deal or not deal with it. I would encourage them to get help, so they can have their control back.