Linda Woods

Victim of Child Sexual Abuse Finds Her Voice at 50 and Forgives

Father Molested Her from 8 years old to 12 years old.

Linda Woods grew up as a member of the Odawa (Ottawa) tribe in Michigan. Her early years were spent with her grandmother until she was 6-years old. Then she went to live with her mother and step-father after they married. When she was 8, her step-father began molesting her and telling her not to tell her mother or anyone because no one would believe her. His sexual assaults continued until she reached the age of 12 when she somehow found the strength to tell him No. He stopped.

Because he told her not to tell, Linda went into a shell of silence for decades before she told anyone what destroyed her spirit. She grew up and went into the Air Force and went from one disastrous relationship with men to another. She tried to hide in alcohol addiction but that only made it worse. After her discharge from the AF, she and her husband moved to California where she found sobriety at 26. She still experienced years of emotional pain, failed relationships and spiritual starvation. Then at ten years of sobriety Linda had a spiritual awakening with a dream of Jesus and thus, began a long needed healing process. It wasn?t until the age of 47, that Linda returned to Michigan to face the childhood trauma and she endured now that her parents were sober. Finally, in her 50s, she had another spiritual experience in which she says that Jesus guided to forgive her step-father. Out of the forgiveness and compassion she was able to tell that she loved him right before he passed on in 2006. Now Linda is living a full life happy and free of the emotional pain she knew for so long. She is a proud mother of two sons and grandmother of five grandchildren and a great-grandmother of one. She is an enrolled tribal citizen of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians in Michigan. She is respected in her community as a veteran and tribal elder.