A Generous Person Will Prosper. Whoever Refreshes Others Will Be Refreshed-Prov.11:25
As she cried herself to sleep after being beaten 4 days in a row, she knew some day it would all be over. She contemplated running away and even ending her life, so she would no longer be a burden to anyone. By day four, she had run out of tears or a voice to cry. Her body was numb and swollen from the previous day’s beatings.
The only attention she received at home, was when she did wrong. It was negative attention, but it was better than nothing, right? Who knows? Should a 10-year-old girl know?
She was an A/B honor roll student who behaved and made mistakes like any other child her age. It seemed like anything she did GOOD, was not good enough and went unnoticed. She had no one to talk to about how she felt as she was always taught to keep quiet.
As she sat in class the next morning, disengaged but still required to perform at her best, she could barely keep her eyes open as she had not slept the last few days due to fear. She could barely stand the pain of sitting in her chair in class. She was covered in open-wound welts from her neck to her ankles from being beaten with the extension cord of an iron.
The welts were so severe, periodic trips to the bathroom were necessary to ensure the oozing blood did not seep through the turtleneck she was forced to wear due to the blue, purple, and red welts covering her entire body.
She struggled to fit in at school, as she transferred elementary schools every year, sometimes twice a year. Having to wear a turtleneck in 90-degree weather to cover her wounds, added to an already humiliating situation for her. This was one of many times she would endure this type of physical abuse.
She was broken.
Growing up, she attended church multiple times a week. This was routine in her household. She really enjoyed going to church as it was a place where she could escape her reality at home. She was loved for her smile, energy, and personality; things that were unnoticed and dismissed at home. She felt safe and trusted everyone there. It was a church.
She was staying the night at a church members home. This man held a prominently high position in the church. There should be no doubt in a 7-year-old’s mind regarding trust, right? He would treat her to restaurants, Dave & Busters, and other fun places. She enjoyed spending time with him. This was someone who gave her positive attention and took her away from negativity at home.
She trusted this man.
She was at his apartment one evening asleep in the front bedroom. The lamp was on in the bedroom and the remainder of the apartment was dark. She felt someone touching her leg then eventually progressing to her vaginal area. This touch felt unfamiliar. She kept her eyes closed as if she were still sleep. The hands removed her pants…the hands removed her underwear. With her heart rapidly beating and no one to cry help to, she laid there watching him remove his pants and his underwear. He sexually penetrated and abused her. This was one of many times she would endure this type of sexual abuse by this man and others.
She was broken.
SHE is, Destiny Jernigan, Founder of Destiny’s Giving Hand Incorporated. These are two of many true stories Destiny endured in her childhood. Destiny created DGHI as a self-coping mechanism. Her life purpose is to help and advocate for children who have experienced abuse as she did. Destiny understands trauma does not go away when you turn 18 years old and she aims to provide support for adults who suffer from periodic memories of their past. Her mission and purpose are to give individuals the comfort to speak their truth while helping rebuild children emotionally, spiritually, & mentally. Destiny and her team hold the sincere passion to help these children for a lifetime & beyond.
SHE IS NOT BROKEN!
Written by: Destiny K. Jernigan