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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Dead End (02/06/14)

TITLE: An Open Road
By lynn gipson


Bailey ran as fast as her little four-year old legs could take her, but she couldn't outrun her attacker. He backed her into a corner with nowhere else to go and knocked her to the floor. The last thing she remembered was the side of her face hitting the hardwood.

What he did to her then should happen to no child, regardless age. She was sexually assaulted by a 200 pound man.

Her attacker was an uncle named Jack. Jack was a forty-year old retarded man. Her mother, aunt, and grandmother had left Bailey with him while they went shopping.

When the people who had so carelessly left her with an unfit baby sitter came home, they found Bailey crying and in a heap on the floor. Jack was hiding in another room like the child he was.

Bailey's great-aunt, Sarah, who was Jack's guardian, yelled for him to get into the car, and the two left immediately. Two months later Sarah placed Jack in an institution.

As for Bailey, she was not taken to a doctor, but instead treated with home remedies by her grandmother, and with time her physical ailments healed. Her emotional scars took a while longer. Fifty-four years to be exact.

After the attack had taken place, Bailey was lovingly cared for, but the it was never mentioned again. No one told her it wasn't her fault. No one asked about her feelings on the matter. People didn't talk about such things in those days. It seemed as if the atrocity never occurred. The only place it seemed to stay alive was in Bailey's soul.

So for fifty-four years Bailey carried this trauma, and she ran. She ran fast and hard from life. She remembered enough of the episode to give her panic attacks. She recalled it in dreams of running and being caught by a very large man, and she would have fleeting images of what had been done to her.

The event instilled great terror in her life to come. There was not a time she didn't feel anxious. The men she subconsciously chose in life were those that made her feel afraid. She carried guilt by the tons. She believed the incident was in some way her fault.

She never spoke of this tragedy with anyone until she was fifty-eight years old. Her anxiety was such that she sought help from a mental health facility. Finally, one day in group therapy it all came out, and it was like a dam breaking with water bursting forth. She sobbed until there were no tears left to cry.

Soon after the therapy confession, Bailey surrendered her life to Jesus Christ, and fear became of thing of the past. Her Savior took all that away when He forgave her for her sins. After a lifetime of self-destructive living, Bailey came to realize she was not at fault for what had happened fifty-four years earlier.

Christ did that for her. She was no longer that child in a corner with no way out. She was Bailey; happy, free, and at long last, on life's open road.

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This article has been read 392 times
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Member Date
C D Swanson 02/13/14
Oh my goodness! What a powerful intense and sobering story. I felt the MC's fear and the pain was palpable.

I thought of all of the children who are sexually abused and it made me so sad.

The ending was beautifully peaceful as the MC embraced Christ and felt "free" at last. Christ's all encompassing love can bring peace and joy into anyone's heart who is willing to surrender to Him.

Thank you for this compelling story.

God bless~
Marilyn Reicks02/16/14
Your story skillfully portrays that when a child is sexually exploited, the young mind never forgets. You describe the emotional tragedy of carrying the pain, anguish, and self guilt for years. Finally, when she turned it over to Jesus for help, she gained much needed mental freedom.
Toni Hammer02/16/14
You nailed the trauma so well. Absolutely spot on. Powerful, well told story.

Two small things. One, I believe there's an extra word here "After the attack had taken place, Bailey was lovingly cared for, but the it was never mentioned again. "

Two, I think you mean "became a thing of the past" in this sentence.

"Soon after the therapy confession, Bailey surrendered her life to Jesus Christ, and fear became of thing of the past."
Rachel Malcolm 02/16/14
This is a story that needs to be told and heard. So many children have been sexually abused, and the shame experienced is exactly as your story portrays.

So often, parents and other caregivers choose to never speak of the situation again, but it doesn't make it go away, and the pain stays with that child. Children need to be able to talk about this in a safe environment, and they need to know that it's not their fault.

I think that this story would be even more powerful if you "showed" some of Bailey's pain after the episode. Maybe you could describe a panic attack when someone startled her, so we could catch a glimpse of some of the fear she lived with.

This story shows God's healing power, even after 54 years! Victims of sexual abuse need to hear that they can experience this freedom too. Thank you for sharing this story!
Brenda Rice 02/17/14
Such a heartbreaking story that happens in the USA way to often. Child abuse cannot be legislated away. We all have to work together to stop it.

You did a good job of telling the story and of revealing the dead-end the child felt.
Bea Edwards 02/19/14
Chilling descriptions of how one horrific incident can color a persons entire life.

Thank God He is greater than all the evils machinated against the innocent.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/20/14
Wow! You gave me goosebumps while simultaneously made me sick to my stomach. How horrible for a child to have no place to run. Things are done differently today, thank God. I still wanted to reach through the screen and scoop Bailey up and protect her. Congratulations on ranking 8 in your level and 34 overall. Happy Dance! (I feel a bit guilty doing a happy dance on such a difficult topic but the more people know about it, the more prepared we can be. You will make a difference in someone's life with this piece.)