Katja’s story is a lot like my childhood. “I’m gonna beat you senseless” was not a threat, it meant exactly that. Blood & terror was the norm, broken bones were not unusual. I was seven years old the first time I attempted suicide. It was the 1950’s & no one would believe me or help me. That’s also when I began sleeping in a little nest under the house. The family dog slept there with me, and sometimes risked her life to protect me. No human has ever done that for me, so I became the one who does. I dealt with it by dedicating my life to rescuing & healing the tiny victims.
The first one, when I was 12, was a little neighbor girl who I found hiding in my tree-fort late one night. I raided the fridge, grabbed a sleeping bag, told my dad I was gonna “sleep out.” I didn’t really know her but I knew the bruises, the limp, the missed school. I also didn’t really know much about rape, or incest, ’til she explained it to me.
I have rescued many since then, sheltered them, got them off the street, got them help. Or stepped right into violent or sickening situations, physically placed myself between the child & the abuser. Never felt the slightest fear, never got a scratch. Helped raise a few, stood by them from preschool through high school. They came up with MY values rather than those of the twisted, drug-addled fools they lived with. I was surprised and delighted the first time I realized that, even as I asked myself,
Why was I surprised?
Eventually earned BA in Special Needs Education, became the in-house teacher in a childrens hospital. Technically there for teaching & tutoring but it was more of a ministry. The little ones said they could see an actual angel inside me, or right behind me, and I sometimes felt a hand on my shoulder when no one was there… technically. Such moments were deeply wonderful.
Healing happened then, for everyone present.