It is never easy for best-selling Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer to talk about her traumatic childhood experiences. However, she recently decided to talk about it at length in the hope that this will give hope to people facing a similar situation that recovery and healing through God is still possible.
Meyer has already said that she was sexually abused by her father while she was growing up. But in an interview posted on her website on Monday, Meyer said using the term “sexual abuse” is not a sufficient description of what happened. In truth, Meyer said her father raped her until she was 18 years old, according to The Christian Post.
“He didn’t force me physically, but through lies, and manipulation, and fears, and threats, I was still forced,” she said. “My father did rape me, numerous times, at least 200 times.”
Meyer said her father employed several strategies to abuse her. Whenever her mother would go out shopping, her father would take her swimming and take advantage of her. “There was no place I ever felt safe growing up,” she confessed.
Her father would even make her watch porn and asked her how she felt about it. “For me to have to pretend that I liked something that I despised, I think that was one of the most damaging things,” she said.
Meyer wasn’t her father’s only victim. In fact, he even tried using Meyer to get her friends from school to visit their home, where he planned on molesting them. Meyer somehow found excuses not to bring her friends over from school, but her father found a way to lure their neighbour’s daughter into their home.
“I was ashamed of my parents,” Meyer said. The feeling of shame was so overwhelming for a young girl, she added, and she did not have anyone to talk to. “Sexual abuse is so shaming that nobody talks about it. Nobody knows how to talk about it,” she reflected.
Meyer is thankful that she managed to find God amid her difficult upbringing. She might not have been able to open up about her struggles to people, but God understood her fears and weaknesses.
“I want people to know how good God is, and that your struggle is worth it, your journey is worth it. Don’t give up,” she told her followers.