“IT’S MINE!!!”

“IT’S MINE!!!”

We usually hear little kids yell that as they grab back something precious that was taken from them.  That little child may then be educated by a parent, teaching the child how to share and that grabbing and yelling is rude and selfish.

What if that something that is taken from a child is their purity?

Mine was taken from me from the time I was a baby until I was 21.  It is only now that I feel myself searching for things that I want to be just MINE.  A rocker.  A bath towel.  A toothbrush. I have thought it odd that it makes my blood boil when someone else uses MY toothbrush or I go to use MY towel and it is already damp from a shower earlier, not from me.  Or I come home from work and someone is sitting in MY chair.

I was reflecting on it yesterday and it occurred to me that I was trying to reclaim something that was just MINE. Because my body, that was supposed to be mine, was taken and used by person after person after person.  It started with the fondling, the touching and the violations, over and over and over.  After I became a wife, I was told my body belonged to my husband.  Then, I was a nursing mother.  My body pretty much has never been mine.  And that is a fact, not just my feeling.  And I don’t think that is right.  As a matter of fact it is a tragedy.  And it happens to 1 out of 4 girls out there.  Tragedy.

So it appears there is an inherent need to claim our bodies as our own.  And when they are taken from us, we actually begin a journey to reclaim it.  I would even suggest that the origin of the women who say that their bodies are their own and they have a choice when they are pregnant are reacting to this situation, the longing to claim their bodies as their own.  It makes me sad that a baby dies in lots of these situations, but I can now understand that intense longing that drives their decision.

So the desire to claim our bodies as our own is a very real circumstance, however I need to do it in a way that doesn’t hurt or even kill someone else.  I also need to be aware of the truth that my body IS NOW MINE!  The abuse is over, the nursing is done.  And I can say no.

But wait a minute.  There is a little matter of stewardship that the Catholic church teaches that everything we have comes from God, that we belong to him.  So is my body mine or his?  I am choosing to believe, check that, I NEED TO BELIEVE that MY BODY IS MINE.  I need to reclaim it.  Own it.  Take care of it.  I really don’t give a shit what any theology says.  I have found, as a sexual abuse survivor, I struggle with lots of messages from the church that I feel they just want us to swallow.  Well, my body is MINE and I am choosing what I digest.

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