I shared my story last week, and I pray that it helped someone conquer their own nightmares. Having something happen as an adult is terrible, but few things in this world are worse than being molested as a child. I have several friends with stories similar to mine, and one of them allowed me to share their story.
Trigger warning: her story starts and ends between the cross lines. Her story is real and could be graphic or disturbing for people. Read at your own risk.
I was 12 years old and staying the night at my friend’s house. I had spent the night there many times before and this time started like every other time. We were playing games and having fun, but I was exhausted, so I fell asleep on the couch in the middle of all our fun. My friend decided to go sleep in her room and left me in the living room.
I woke up when I felt someone climb next to me on the couch. I knew it was my friend’s dad (D). I was scared, and I didn’t know what to do. I completely froze, glued to the couch in fear and embarrassment. D fondled me over my clothes, then started pulling my pants down. I wanted to scream and yell, but could hardly find my voice. I didn’t know what I’d done to make him do that to me or what horrible thing I had done to deserve that.
Finally, my friend’s mom (M) came in and told her husband to leave. I felt so relieved, someone had come to save me. She and her mother-in-law (ML) sat me down and explained how D had gotten drunk and thought I was M. I ignored the part of my brain that screamed at me saying M and I were completely different, there was no way anyone would mistake us. M and ML reassured me it was a mistake, even though it didn’t feel like a mistake and I couldn’t ignore the bile in my throat. M told me she would talk to my mother.
I couldn’t wait to leave that house. I listened in while M talked to my mom. They talked about our animals and their jobs, but M never brought up what happened. I felt like I was so unimportant. Even though it felt like a huge deal to me, no one else cared. I took a shower to try and clean off the memory of D’s hands on me. It didn’t work.
I went months without telling anyone. I thought I had it under control. Looking back on it, I know I didn’t. The longer I went, the dirtier I felt, the uglier I felt, the more out of control I felt. I wanted to die, and I couldn’t stand anyone touching me.
My mother finally had enough of my spiraling attitude and made me tell her what was going on. Somehow she knew all my lies weren’t the issue. She didn’t believe a single excuse I told her. I told her the truth. I cried, and I cried. My family found a close friend to take care of me and went to the police. That opened a long drawn out case and ripped off a scab I’d been trying to ignore.
Just telling my mother about what happened lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and I wished I’d told her sooner. It didn’t change how she or my father looked at me or how they loved me. I saw how much they loved me and fought for me when I couldn’t fight for myself. Maybe not everyone has a mother like that, but everyone has SOMEONE like that. It’s ok to tell what happened.
After a couple weeks, my mom sat me down. She told me that it wasn’t my fault, that I did nothing wrong and didn’t deserve what happened. She told me I was strong and brave for telling her. She told me I didn’t need to feel ashamed or ugly or dirty. She told me that even if it felt good, that didn’t mean I asked for it or wanted it. D took something from me, but he didn’t need to keep taking from me. She told me it didn’t make my body any less special and I shouldn’t give my body to anyone because of what happened. She told me I was beautiful and wonderful and the opposite of all things I felt. Maybe my confessions helped save someone else from going through what I went through.
Sexual assault against anyone is wrong, but that doesn’t make the person it happened to bad. We can overcome our circumstances, we don’t have to be victims of our past. We have the power to be better than that. The first step to healing is talking about what happened. It doesn’t matter if it’s been a day or 50 years, talking helps. Rise above.
We are supporters of The Joyful Heart Foundation , an organization to change society’s view of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse and help survivors. SnoozieQ Creations gives 10% of sales to The Joyful Heart Foundation. We all want to help survivors and stop this forever.
Fee Fi Fo – The Cranberries