Guest Post by Dana Arcuri
It was the summer of 1966. Heartbroken, my newly divorced mother relocated to escape humiliation and gossip. Her plan was to raise five young daughters on her own. How she was to successfully accomplish that plan was a heavy burden filled with uncertainty.
Desperate to make ends meet, Mom obtained work on the evening shift. In an attempt to keep expenses low, she recruited a new neighbor to babysit. The caregiver, Janice, was sixteen and appeared, at least on the outside, to be acceptable.
On the inside, however, Janice was a vicious and disturbed individual who delved into witchcraft and drugs, and was quite promiscuous. It would be the summer my childhood innocence was stolen.
My earliest memory of Janice sends chills down my spine. That childhood nightmare will haunt me forever.
After my mom left for work one day, my sister Renae and I were playing together. Giggling, we joyfully played make believe and were caught up in our adventure. Suddenly, Janice began scolding Renae and me for no apparent reason. She yelled horrible insults, saying we were bad girls.
Crying softly, Renae and I were confused. Why were we being punished?
“Get into the kitchen!” Janice snapped. We dutifully followed her orders. She placed freezing cold ice cubes inside both of our panties. She grabbed our arms, forced us into the basement, and locked the door.
The lights were off and the basement was damp. We were alone.
Terrified, my sister and I screamed at the top of our lungs for help. No one opened the door or turned on the lights. We were left in blinding darkness.
Sobbing and confused, we clung to one another for what seemed like eternity. What did we do to deserve such harsh treatment? To two confused little girls, there was no logical explanation. We couldn’t comprehend the evil behind her cruelty.
For two years, we endured ongoing abuse without our mother ever being aware. Although our three older sisters were also affected by abuse, they chose not to discuss the issue. Our mother is appalled by the whole thing and accuses us of making up the sordid tales. In other words, this family secret is buried and never to be mentioned.
But how can we go through life without confronting what happened? Most importantly, how do we go about forgiving the unforgivable?
As for me, it took forty-five years to come to grips with my painful past. I have learned that on earth there isn’t always justice. Justifying rage and hurt actually contributed to additional bitterness and turmoil.
Instead, I turned prayerfully to God. It is only by His sovereign grace that I have discovered the key to forgiving the unforgivable: Complete surrender and embracing my Heavenly Father’s peace. Today, Janice is forgiven. My sisters and mother are forgiven.
The door of wrath has been unlocked. I was the prisoner, but God has set me free.
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Dana Arcuri is a faith-inspired writer, contributing author, blogger and licensed beauty expert. She is a passionate, heart-felt writer who provides her readers encouragement, hope and inspiration as she shares her love of Christ. Her articles have been published by Escalate Media for TotallyHer.com and she has been published as a contributing author in Inspired Women Succeed, released in 2011. Dana can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting her blog at http://writing4theheart-n-soul.blogspot.com/.
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