Tomorrow I will be 42 years young, Lord willing. I am so happy to report that I am living life to the fullest and have survived every attack the enemy has thrown at me thus far. But no one really understands the reason why I am so excited. After I turned 30, I had it set in my mind that I was not going to make it to 40. I was very depressed and battling bipolar disorder, in and out of mental health wards across central Ohio. I had devised several plans on how to kill myself and the enemy had me bound. My mind was not right, and I was barely surviving for years.
Not only that, but when I turned 27 I was involved in a life-threatening car accident 10 days after my birthday. Even before then, when I was 21, I downed a half a bottle of sleeping pills then laid in my bed with the door blocked by my dresser listening to Anita Baker ready to die. I often wondered why all this centralized thought of destroying myself was even there. It didn’t matter what I did though, because God has a plan for my life and it shall come to pass no matter what I do.
One of the things I used to wish for when I was a little girl was to see my father for my birthday. I had the recurring fantasy that he would come back into our lives and everything would be alright with the world. However, when I came of age and had my first intimate encounter I remembered an awful atrocity that has framed my life and health since. I realized that I am a victim of CSA. My father was the perpetrator and it shook me to my core.
This past weekend, just 3 days before my birthday a stranger commented on one of my Facebook post that my biological father was searching for me and wanted to talk. Again, I was shaken to my core and went into a fit. However, I reached out to my brother and sister immediately to help me nullify the episode that the enemy was hell bent on putting me through yet again. My husband, mother and favorite aunt camped about me and prayed feverishly for my strength. To date, I am just fine and walking in the victory of my savior Jesus Christ.
As a child I wanted nothing more than to see my daddy for my birthday, but after I realized the horrific act he executed I did not want him in my life and my family protected me the best they could. Now don’t get me wrong, I have forgiven my father for his sins against me, but the wounds are still there and very present. They have affected every relationship I have ever been in, even the healthy one that I have with my husband of almost 4 years. However, I am not foolish nor willing to offer reconciliation currently in my life. He may not understand it or admit that he raped his own flesh and blood, but it’s my life and I must live it in the healthiest way I know how. I hold no ill will towards the man and often pray for his healing and redemption.
One day I may call him, just to finally hear his voice again. Until then, I will use my medium of writing to contact him. I hope my testimony will show other CSA survivors that life will go on. I have a degree is psychology from the Ohio State University and studied for a master’s degree in social work from Howard University. I am a published author, poet and song writer. I am married to a good man and every month I stay committed to taking the medication that helps me conquer bipolar disorder. I want CSA survivors to know it does and will get better and you do not have to be a victim forever. I am redeemed and finally free of the cloud of depression and self-hate that bewildered me for many years.
Now, I love who Toya Raylonn is, who she was and who she is becoming. I know that God loves me unconditionally and that my father here on earth is alive. That’s all a daughter can ask for considering the cards I was dealt with. My birthday wish was finally granted in a strange way and I’m glad about it. Still though, I am moving on and will continue to live my life in God’s peace.