Survivor’s Story: Lawanda Hall

IMG_8684This is another survivor’s story of childhood sexual abuse. These stories are shared by survivor’s of CSA to let other survivors know they don’t have to suffer in silence and they are not alone on this journey of healing. Below is the Lawanda’s survivor’s story:

“I lived with my mother until I was 14 years old. I had heard many things, none good, about my father and I had never actually met him (at least I had no memory of meeting him). I grew up knowing his mother (who lived two blocks from my maternal grandmother), his brothers and my cousins. At 13 I felt very different from my mother and sisters and arrived at the conclusion that the delta could be unpacked /explored by knowing my father (who is not my sisters’ father). My mother made me feel unwanted, unloved and as if I was a burden. After some deliberation, I reached out to my paternal grandmother in order to get in touch with my father and was soon connected to him. Within a week I met him and his wife… his side of the story was told and many unknowns were filled in.

It was immediately clear that this man enjoyed life to the fullest and subscribed to no limits.  His smile was perfect, his voice arrested your spirit and his eyes literally sparkled.   He was a hobbyist pilot, a real estate agent and an investor.  His wife, a Canadian farm girl turned chemist had a great corporate job and no children.

From the time we met, we commenced to spending weekends and the summer of 1989 together.   It was a world of difference between life with my mom and life with my dad.   A struggling single mother of three in an urban apartment community with no car vs a dual income household with only one child (me), 4 cars on the corner lot of an upper middle class suburban sub division.   We traveled, enjoyed life and had great adventures fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, spending time on the farm in Kelvington,  Sasketchewan; indoor water parks in Saskatoon and many evenings at the NCO Club themed restaurant near the PDK Airport.   It was a real life rags to riches situation!   It was clear that I had access to more opportunities and could explore more success possibilities with my dad.   As such, I decided to live with him and learned that age 14 was the age of consent in Ga.

A week after my 14th birthday I went to live with them and a few weeks later they were granted sole custody.  Okay, I ran away from home and then my dad hired a lawyer to make it legal and permanent.   I felt rescued, significant, appreciated, wanted, loved.    And I was…

The day we left court he took me home, informed me that he had saved my life and it now belong to him…  and then he raped me.   A few hours before that I had told a judge that this man was my best friend and that I loved and trusted him and wanted to live with him permanently.

My mother was verbally abusive and made me feel like a burden. I had attempted to run away several times as a child and she told me if I ever got away from her that I could not come back, so I stayed with my dad and he raped me when ever he pleased.    I was suicidal, depressed, confused, betrayed and broken with interrupted expectation and an inability to trust myself.   I didn’t trust my ability to decide what was best for myself. I stopped looking in mirrors and felt betrayed by my body.  A body I was once loved had turned on me by appealing to the sexual nature of my biological father, who insisted that he could not resist me.  At first I fought, but my 140 pounds medium adolescent frame was no match for a 250 pounds grown man.   So eventually I just let him do it, so that it would pass quicker. It always passed and ended quickly… 4 strokes. Each time 4 strokes.

If given the choice to live with my mother’s words or my father’s perversion, I am not sure I would  have chosen differently.   No child wants to hear her mother say, “I should have flushed you when I had the chance”.     I am the by-product of their pleasure and yet it seems that they both elected to erase that moment of pleasure by playing a game of darts wherein my heart & soul were the targets.

I continue to heal and am practicing trusting myself again.  One thing I know for sure is that life will ebb and flow in order to shape you for whatever your purpose is in life. God uses the good and bad for the ultimate good of His glory. And I am thankful for that.”

#LiveLove #SpeakLife #FreePeople #IntelligentIntentions

Lawanda “Elle Michell” Hall

About the author

Lawanda Hall is a seasoned risk management & insurance professional and has held progressive roles over the last 20+ years.     She recently took her own advice to dance in the intersection of who she is and what she knows by launching a life, career and business coaching platform, Intelligent Intentions, LLC. This platform effectively manages the risk of people living unfulfilled lives.  Intelligent Intentions is an online platform managed by Lawanda’s alter ego, Elle Michell; and exists to encourage people to access the full arc of their freedom and connect them to fulfilling possibilities, intentionally.    Lawanda continues to hold a Risk Management & Insurance role with a global company in Greenville, SC; and serves on the board of several non profit and professional organizations.   Her signature hashtags are #LiveLove #SpeakLife #FreePeople #IntelligentIntentions #WisdomAccordingToElle

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