Jacquie Ferguson kept her dark secret for more than ten years.
She grew up in the small town of Phelan, CA. raised by Christian parents Gary and Danielle Malkus. Her father was a deputy for the Sheriff’s Department and also became an assistant pastor, making church and faith a family priority. But unbeknownst to her parents, between the ages of seven and eight-years-old, Jacquie was sexually abused. In her young mind, Jacquie began to experience self-hatred and confusion about what was happening to her. In the process, she “hardened her heart toward God.”
By the time Jacquie entered middle school, she made the decision to move further from her family’s faith in God. She started to smoke cigarettes and dress in skimpy clothes. By high school, Jacquie was lying to her parents, attending parties with alcohol and drinking heavily.
“I couldn’t have just one drink. Because of my self-hatred that stemmed from the abuse, I wanted an escape,” said Jacquie. “I was trying to fill that hole, but it was causing me to become more depressed.”
Although Jacquie’s drinking was leading her down a path of destruction, her driven personality pushed her to maintain her grades and her secret. Her parents could tell something was wrong and took her to the doctor who put her on antidepressants.
“Satan is such a liar. He made me feel like the abuse was all my fault so, I never told anybody.”
“They didn’t know what had happened to me. They were just trying to figure out what was going on with their little girl. I’m sure they thought ‘we’ve raised her in the Lord. What could have gone wrong?’”
By her senior year, Jacquie quit playing sports and upped the drinking which intensified her self-deprecating thoughts until her depression led her to attempt suicide. Her parents immediately took Jacquie to Christian counseling where her secret of sexual abuse was finally brought into the light.
“Everything I’d been bottling up for years came out—I finally told my parents,” said Jacquie. “Satan is such a liar. He made me feel like the abuse was all my fault so, I never told anybody.”
At eighteen, Jacquie moved out to begin her own life. She stopped counseling and began working three jobs and taking energy pills to keep up. One night at a party, a guy offered her meth to replace her energy pills. Jacquie was hooked.
“It took me down a dark road to places I never thought I’d go.”
It didn’t take long for Jacquie’s addiction to escalate. She lost her jobs, her money, and her place to live. She moved from house to house of so-called friends. About a year into her homelessness, Jacquie’s parents reached out to her.
“I’m sure my parents were in a hopeless state. But they didn’t give up on me. As it says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
“I’m sure my parents were in a hopeless state. But they didn’t give up on me. As it says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depar