The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Freedom from a Sexually Abused Past

By Audra Smith Haney
The 700 Club -““I knew that as soon as I walked in the door, my life was going to go into a dark place,” Tammie Best said. “I knew that I was going to be abused in some way.”

Tammie Best spent her childhood in a house full of dark secrets. She grew up in a large blended family, and when she was only 4 years old, an older stepbrother began to sexually molest her. When she told her parents, they ignored her claims. “I felt betrayed by my parents. I felt like I wasn’t worthy. I felt like nobody cared. I felt like it didn’t matter.”

The abuse continued for years, at the hands of several stepbrothers. “I’m not sure how I could have articulated at that age how I felt. I know I just felt really bad all the time; deep sadness, trouble, pain, heartache, a feeling of loneliness and nothingness.”

Tammie hid her pain from the outside world. She became an excellent student. But, it wasn’t long before the abuse she suffered destroyed every area of her life. “I did become promiscuous. I was introduced to sexual perversion so early that my mind and body were conflicting. (There’s) something about sex that men like. And if I can use it to control somebody, then why not be the person controlling the situation instead of being the person being taken advantage of?”

In the 8th grade, Tammie got pregnant and gave birth to a daughter. The 13 year-old mother saw no hope for the future. She began to drink and do drugs to numb the pain. “I realized that every time I took a drink or every time I smoked, it was because I started thinking about my childhood. I started thinking about how I never really had one, how I had no choice but to see myself as an adult. And, it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair.”

Tammie planned her final escape. “I tried to commit suicide by ingesting some pills; a large amount of pills. But it didn’t work. Nobody ever asked me why my I tried to kill myself. They never asked me why.”

Tammie’s suicide attempts stopped when she had her second child at 16. As her children grew older, she tapered her smoking and drinking. But, food became her drug of choice. “Now I’ve gone from being abused by others, to abusing myself. And at top weight I was about 313 pounds, (that) is where I topped out at, a size 26.”

As Tammie was dating the father of her second child, his mother showed an interest in Tammie’s well-being. “His mother was a church lady. She would pray. She was what I would have liked to have growing up. She would say, ‘You need to pray. You need to go to church. You can’t keep having kids.’ I wanted to live right and I was ready.”

One day, Tammie cried out to God in her desperation. “And I remember saying, ‘Okay God, here I am. If You’re listening, I need Your help. I need Your help.’ That’s all I said, ‘I need Your help.’ That was my first step in my changing.”

After Tammie’s prayer, circumstances in her life began to change. “My brakes went out and somebody volunteered to fix the brakes. Car insurance was going to get cancelled. Somebody gave me the money to pay it and said, ‘Don’t worry about it. You don’t have to pay it back.’ I knew that was God. His hand was on me.”

Six months later, Tammie met and eventually married a Christian man named Ronald. They started going to church together. “The void was going away. The more I said ‘Yes’ to God, the more that space began to fill. It was like I could literally feel a hole closing. It was just closing and closing and closing.”

As Tammie grew closer to God, so did her desire to be free from her addictions and past hurts. “My deliverance went hand-in-hand with my ability to forgive. Once I was able to forgive, I was able to let go of all of that residue that was left over from the abuse. And I was able to move forward. It wasn’t a weight carrying me down anymore. “

Today, Tammie and Ronald have 4 children. She is free from her addictions and has lost over 100 pounds. She has also written a book called Secret Survivor to help others heal from sexual abuse. “He took all that grit and grime and He cleaned it all up. I share my testimony because I want to bring awareness, but I want people to see that God is no respecter of persons. He delivered me. Surely, He will deliver you.”

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