Speaking My Truth

TW: Sexual Abuse

I’m pretty sure my fingers would go numb if I tried to share my whole story. (Again…I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one) There is one subject though that I’ve got strong, possibly controversial, thoughts on. I will say first, I mean no offense – if I offend, PLEASE tell me. And also, please understand that these are my opinions. You don’t have to share them, and I’ll always show respect for those who don’t. That being said…

When I was around 6 or 7 (I think. I’ve blocked it out mostly – it’s just something abuse victims do), I started being sexually abused and raped by my older cousin. At first, it was confusing. Though it disgusts me to the point of it literally physically makes me want to puke, I wondered if it was okay because when not forceful it almost felt… okay.

– A little backstory, real quick, because I recognize that a child that age should know roughly how to determine if something like this is right or wrong. My mother bounced from boyfriend to boyfriend, eventually ended up staying with a man who was extremely physically abusive, along with them both being heavy drug users and him a raging mean alcoholic. So… suffice it to say my hold on reality was understandably a bit skewed. –

This went on until between age 12 and 13… and though it seems impossible, in hindsight, that no one had a clue… no one ever said or did anything. I didn’t know enough to talk about it. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t.

So, yeah, not a pretty picture. I’ve spent my life trying to overcome the plethora of emotional obstacles this experience caused, and I most certainly have a long way to go. I’ve accepted, for the most part, that it’ll just never go away. I’m kind of okay with this. Maybe that sounds crazy, but this made me who I am. Even though I have days when I feel completely worthless (more than I like to admit) I’m a warrior. I know that in my heart.

If you’re still reading, thank you. Thought I’d say that real quick.

The point of me writing this is not at all what you might think. I seek no solace or sympathy (though I’m always thankful for kind souls). I chose to share this because of what came after this experience.

Long story short, because of a friend’s mom noticing things weren’t quite right with my home life, I was told (by the police or maybe social services, I don’t remember) that I could no longer live with my mother, and had to go live with my father (NY – GA). That’s a story for another day. Here’s the one I want to shed light on –

I never told anyone. I tried, but I didn’t try hard enough. Because of that, my sister (4 years younger than me) basically took my place with the sexual abuse from the same cousin when I left. I honestly don’t know how long it went on. It took her until she was older, as it did with me, to realize just how wrong it was. She didn’t take it well. It crushed her soul. I wish I could say I was exaggerating. Watching her go through those emotions… that might be the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. That’s saying a lot.

But… what if I had told someone? What if I had kept telling someone until one damn person just listened? Would it have made a difference? I’ll never know. Because of this… I literally get mad when I hear about sexual abuse going unreported. Understand this, before I go on – I get it. It’s hard. Impossible. Embarrassing. Scary as hell.

(Told you I was a rambler…)

I went through this, and I survived. My sister survived. But how many victims out there find the burden too heavy and just decide to end it all? It happens, and that’s horrible. So… my point, I guess – PLEASE, tell someone. It’s gonna be the hardest thing, but think about what happens if you don’t. Are you okay with knowing that you could have saved someone else the pain you have inside? That pain that doesn’t go away?

I really wish I had an idea of how to end this…
I have a daughter now… she’s 7. And it’s terrifying. I think a lot of you out there might understand that without me having to explain that. (More terrifying – so does that cousin; she’s a couple years older than my own. I pray she never experiences anything like what her father caused my sister and I to go through.)

Submitted by: Marissa

4 thoughts on “Speaking My Truth

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. It takes such courage to write this. When I write about it my fingers are numb. Sometimes I can’t feel my legs and I want to throw up. But we speak and then others know they aren’t alone and we empower ourselves and others. I’m so so sorry for what happened to you. I have a daughter too and it has been the most terrifying thing I’ve ever gone through just trying to keep her safe. It’s scary when you’ve been through it to have a daughter. I know this fear.

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