The Snake in the Bedroom

by | Nov 4, 2013 | Woman

On that day, my grandparents’ two-story farmhouse was full of company. Grandma’s closest friend in the world, Minnie*, and her husband, Fred*, were there. Even though I was 11, when I spent the night, I would either sleep on a pallet beside Grandma or on the living room couch. I was afraid of “Boo,” the ghost from stories I told my cousins as we hid in the big closets. Grandma told me Minnie and Fred would be sleeping upstairs. I shouldn’t be scared.

At bedtime, I reluctantly went up to the first room at the top of the stairway. It made me feel closer to my grandparents. Their room was directly below. 

The windows were open to the summer breeze. I could hear the rumbling of Papaw and Grandma’s voices as they talked before going to sleep. I heard Papaw pray with her as he did every night. Then I heard their soft snores. It was a security I loved. I fell sound asleep. 

The next morning, Minnie went downstairs early to help Grandma fix breakfast and get ready for the fish fry later that day. 

The day before, when Fred asked me to sit on his lap and give him a kiss, his hands seemed to stray accidentally. I ignored it, got up quickly, and left thinking I must have been mistaken. Those kinds of imaginary acts happened often when Fred was around. I was keenly aware I was developing quicker than most of the girls in my class. I was the first of the girls I knew to reach puberty.

That morning, though, imagination played no part. As I lay asleep, Fred tiptoed into the room. I woke when I heard the door open. I saw him come in. I quickly shut my eyes and pretended to sleep. In my mind, I fervently prayed for God to intervene. But Fred was still there.

“Wake up, little darling,” he said. “Come on, time to get up and give your old Fred a kiss.”

He leaned his entire body over the bed and gave me a kiss I was sure would bruise my lips. I still pretended to sleep.

He jerked back the sheet. I could feel the morning breeze on my skin. I was well aware my short nightgown covered very little.

“Come on, now. I know you’re awake,” he said. 

In my mind, I pictured Grandma’s reaction when she encountered a Copperhead on the path to the creek. She froze. It was her reaction to danger. Following suit, I became a statue. Inside I prayed, “Help me, Jesus. Help me, Jesus. Help me, Jesus.” 

Every second of the next few minutes is etched indelibly in my mind. His snake-like hands were all over me. I attempted to go elsewhere in my mind to think good thoughts, but it wasn’t working. I prayed for God to send Grandma or Minnie up the stairs. 

Instead Fred began touching me in places my mother had said boys should not touch me until I was married. The touching felt painful. I willed the tears away. Frozen in time and space my mind went numb, my body limp. I prayed as never before. Again, I begged God to intervene.

I was afraid what Fred might do. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I was mortified by his actions, and I was sure it wouldn’t be long before something very bad would happen. In sheer desperation, I sent up a final, silent prayer: “Help, God. Help.”

When no lightening bolt appeared, a million thoughts crossed my mind about how I could stop what appeared to be the inevitable. I could claw his face. I could kick him. I could scream at the top of my lungs. I saw the actions in my mind but could not make my body move.

Then I heard the answer to my prayer. 

“Fred, time for breakfast.” It was Minnie’s voice calling from the bottom of the stairway just outside the room.

“Be right down, Sugar,” Fred called back.

He leaned close and said gruffly in my ear, “Open your eyes.”

He smelled of cigar smoke. I disobeyed. My eyes stayed shut. I played dead.

I heard the door close. He had left without doing what I feared. Several seconds passed. It felt like an eternity. The stairs creaked as he descended. 

I told no one. I didn’t know if the adults would believe me or not.

For years, I felt what he did to me must have been my fault, not his. My blossoming body must have caused him to be led astray. 

As an adult, I began to learn more about adult men who molest young girls. Most pedophiles don’t molest just one child but many. They choose those who are vulnerable.

Although I will not blame my extreme weight gain on Fred, I do know that from that time on, I was scared of Copperhead men. In many situations, young men tended to take after Fred more than the wonderful role models I had in my father and grandfathers. Those role models made me want to keep trying to find the right man—one of the good guys. 

As a kid, all I knew was men like Fred stood their ground, like the Copperhead on the path to the creek. If I was going to be protected, I was going to have to come up with a plan. This plan had to be all-encompassing, something that would keep Copperheads away.

And so, whether consciously or unconsciously, I began to gain weight.

*Not their real names

Excerpt adapted from Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor by Teresa Shields Parker. To read more, check out her book, available on Amazon. Teresa is a wife, mom, editor, publisher and business owner who loves to speak and minister to women. She blogs at TeresaShieldsParker.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

We spend a lot of life figuring out if we “measure up,” a phrase someone coined in the mid-1800s. Even in childhood, we begin comparing ourselves with siblings and kids at school, and it never seems to stop. The problem goes back to Cain and Abel, doesn’t it? Most of...

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

”Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (Rom. 2:4). Looking retrospectively at my past as an atheist, I can see where God...

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why speak with tongues? There are many reasons for speaking in a spiritual language. Primarily, though, the Scriptures require it. The apostle Paul commanded us, saying, “Pray in the Spirit always” (Eph. 6:18). Jude commanded it in verse 20, saying, “Pray in the Holy...

Why God’s Rebuilding is Better Than His Restoration

Why God’s Rebuilding is Better Than His Restoration

Often, I have prayed for the Lord to restore something in my life. Whenever I have gone through a hard season or a broken relationship, my prayers automatically petition the Lord to restore my situation. Whenever there is a loss, and you are going through the grieving...

Why America Must Adopt the Battle Cry of Isaiah

Why America Must Adopt the Battle Cry of Isaiah

A battle cry is used to summon armies to war. A loud, unified shout could intimidate the strongest of enemies. Confidence in battle often tilts the scale toward victory, whereas timidity, fear and cowardliness will surely lead to defeat. In these dreadful times, don’t...

RECENT ARTICLES

Intentionally Raising a Godly Generation

Debbie put her faith in Christ at age 11. In fact, her whole family met Jesus at just about the same time. As her parents began growing in their faith, they nurtured growth in their children as...
Dream Big: How to Cultivate Divine Revelation While You Sleep

Dream Big: How to Cultivate Divine Revelation While You Sleep

Do you have any dreams from God that you have allowed to fall by the wayside? For some of you, it’s time to dream again. For some of you, it’s time to dust off your previous dreams. For some of you, it’s important to realize God is not late; He’s always on time. For...

Prophecy: God Is Bringing About Swift Turnarounds

Prophecy: God Is Bringing About Swift Turnarounds

In the month of August, God is bringing swift turnarounds so that your hard places will become a wide-open field. God is bringing about divine connections in order to strengthen the body of Christ. He is releasing faith for radical generosity, divine strategy to...

End-Times Truth: The Rapture Reveals a Split Church

End-Times Truth: The Rapture Reveals a Split Church

There are several resurrections and raptures in the Bible. I cannot understand those who argue that because there is no mention of the word "rapture" in the Bible they do not believe in it. They only believe in the Second Coming of the Lord. Some arguments are no...

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

What does an authentic world-igniting revival look like? And, how are the seeds of revival planted? This we can learn from the life and work of William Joseph Seymour—God’s chosen vessel and apostle of the Azusa Street Revival.  Bishop William Joseph Seymour, was a...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]