I was five years old the the day that I walked into my very first church. It was a rainy Sunday morning on which I would have loved to have stayed in-doors curled up in a ball on the sofa, watching Yogi Bear.Yet, there was something that made me wonder what this whole church "thing" was about. Even at a young age I knew that there had to be something more to life than the mental and sexual abuse that I had been experiencing and I wanted a part of whatever that something was.
Walking into my first Sunday school class was one of the most nerve racking days that I have experienced even to this day; Did I wear the right dress? Should I bring my bible? How am I supposed to act? Will they like me?
As the teacher began class I realized that nothing that was said or done was about me at all, but rather, it was about this man named Jesus that I knew nothing about. I was lost in my world of thoughts. How could a man that I had no knowledge of be this important to so many people? Wouldn't you think that if this man was truly as amazing as the teacher was saying, I would have heard about him? Neither of these questions got answered this day but, I was content in finding out just why he was so important.
I continued to attend church for the next year, just yearning to know more about his man named Jesus. This is the year that I met Nic. Nic was sitting a few rows ahead of me at a district convention called "The Teen Talent Expo". I had never seen anything like this before. Over a hundred people gathered in our small church to watch local teens perform the talent that they thought was good enough to share with the world. As I sat awestruck, watching the kids sing and dance with an ease that I had never seen before I looked around the church. There was a blond boy sitting two rows ahead of me rocking back and forth to the beat of the song. He had this aura about him that amazed me. Something about this blond boy intrigued me and I had to find out for myself what exactly it was that caught my eye.
As I sat down next to this stranger that smelled of freshly washed clothing and soap I began to smile. I don't know exactly how it started, but Nic and I talked and talked. Our conversation went well into the night and continued even when they presented kids with awards for their talents. But that isnt where it ended. I found out that Nic went to a church only 20 minutes away and we became quick friends. That was the summer that it all started.
Nic told me about this camp with mile long Evergreen trees and rivers that went on for centuries, but never in my mind did I ever think that it could be this beautiful. Nic explained all about the camp; it was a Christian camp that had amazing worship, great home cooked meals, awesome bonding experiences, and the best thing: 4 days away from home....AWAY FROM MY FEARS.
As much as I didn't really want to go to camp because of the ackwardness of being thrown into unknown surroundings with random people that I had never even heard of, I knew that I had to get away. I couldnt take feeling like this any more. Nothing that I did could ever make the thoughts away and I felt worse and worse ever day. So, I went to camp and I am glad I did. The first day of camp was a little ackward, but by dinner Nic had introduced me to some amazing people that I am still friends with today. Every activity throughout the first three days made us all best friends...and just when I let my guard down, is when I needed it the most. The last night of camp I wanted to share a part of me with Nic that no one else knew...but I didnt know how. I had been thinking of a way all week and still nothing had come to mind.
"Nic, if I tell you something, do you promise to not think that I am a bad person?" I asked with a sense of urgency and sadness in my voice. I am sure that Nic could hear my voice quivering with ever syllabul spoken but he didn't say a word.
"Adreanna, I know you for you and nothing that is said can make me think that you are a bad person...unless you ate my food or something." Nic jokingly said as a tear rolled down my cheek.
"I want to tell you something that happened to me...but I am scared. I want to share it with you because you are my friend, but I don't want you to make fun of me."
Nic looked at me with a sadness in his eye that I will never forget. A look that still lingers in my memory even today, many years later.
"Nic, I want to die. I am a bad person. I am bad, that is why he does it. It is my fault. I want to stop being bad so that he stops making me cry at night. Nic, how do I be good so that he stops?"
I know that he knew what I meant, even without any words spoken. Nic grabbed me in an embrace so loving that I thought I could die right there. Never before or since have I ever been told so much, without a word being spoken.
Nic never did tell me that answers to my questions, but he did ask some of his own. "Just because he makes you cry, why does that make you the bad person?", "Why does him makind you feel bad make anything your fault" or something like "Why don't you see that you are special and he is jealous???"
He didn't have to put in his two cents on surving the sexual abuse and he sure didn't have to stay by my side when I use to cry on his shoulder about me being at fault, but for some reason he stayed.....for some reason he cared.