Recently, I blithely told one of my friends from high school that my experience in our church youth group had been largely positive.
Here’s why I felt that way: the group was my first time in Christian fellowship. I served in leadership for three years, was there for almost every event, made a tight group of friends, and formed the foundation of my faith.
Youth group was my life in high school.
I was writing to my friend because I knew that time had not been positive for her, at all. No, in high school, she’d been abused and broken. But I was going to be writing about the youth group and I wanted some of her insight. I wanted to write honestly about the positive and the negative. I wanted to be authentic.
Then I started typing. And I realized that I’d been in denial about high school. Because calling youth group “positive” was laughable.
I mean, I knew that my friend had been sexually abused—raped—for years by our youth leader. I knew that. But somehow the fact that the leader had been emotionally manipulating all of us in leadership, isolating us from healthy adults, that he’d groomed us all for abuse and—very easily—I could have been the one he chose instead—all that had not really sunk down into my bones.
Image credit: Mayselgrove
I’m glad to be able to write this post, but it’s hard. Oh, this topic is still raw, but I can’t NOT write about it right now. Won’t you join me over at SheLoves to read the rest?