When Cornelia Jude came home drunk from clubbing at 5:00 a.m., she would see her husband sitting on the bed, praying, and she hated him for it.
“I would get so mad” she says on a CBN video. “ I felt like that was his way of trying to manipulate me.”
Cornelia felt like all men were manipulators ever since her mom’s boyfriend sexually abused her as a child.
“I didn’t tell my mom in the beginning because he manipulated situations,” she says. “She always believed him. She never believed me.”
Born in Germany, Cornelia was the victim of sexual abuse from 12 years old. When she grew older, she started sleeping in the park with the homeless, taking drugs and alcohol, and cutting herself as an emotional release to ease the inner torment.
At 18, she escaped home by marrying, but her young husband was also a drug addict who beat her so badly that she had to have her teeth fixed by a dentist.
“The beating was better then the sexual abuse,” she says.
After four months of marriage, she left her husband. She met and married an American and followed him to the United States. But her second attempt at happiness was also far from a fairytale.
“He was out all the time drinking,” Cornelia says. “I don’t know how many times he cheated on me during that time. I was cool with it. I was fine with it. I wasn’t being sexually abused. I wasn’t being beaten.”
Cornelia began to suffer panic attacks, nightmares and breakdowns. A therapist diagnosed her with PTSD.
“I isolated myself a lot and really really cried a lot,” she says.
After two years, she left with her two children.
“I always said there was no God because there’s no way he would allow one person to go through all of this,” she remembers with tears.
For five years, she raised her kids alone and numbed her pain with drinking.
Cornelia met a man named Lawrence and they had a daughter together.
Lawrence had some experience with God and tried to set a good example for his new wife, but Cornelia didn’t readily give up her vices.
“I was out drinking and clubbing, and Lawrence was home with the kids most of the time. Sometimes I would come home at 5:00, 6:00 in the morning and I’m still drunk and I’ll see him, he’ll sit on the bed and he’s praying.”
After years of abuse from manipulating men, Cornelia assumed her current husband was just manipulating and she resisted.
God finally moved in her life in 2015. She got the sudden urge to “check out” a little church she noticed during her commute. However, the devil would not give up without a fight and she thought: “I’m not going to go in there. Why would I go in there?”
But the inner prompting persisted. So one day she suggested to her husband that he accompany her. Read the rest of how to overcome PTSD from sexual abuse.