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Jul 08

Anonymous Story: Everything was supposed to be safe

“Our sorrows and wounds
are healed
only when we touch
them with
compassion.”

-Buddha

I cannot even begin to put into words how much you have ruined me. You have completely damaged me. Because of you, I am not the best possible me.

I hope writing this I can explain how you have broken me. I wish I was able to view the world like others, see the beauty and positivity but sadly I do not. This I blame you for. Having anxiety simply by walking past someone that faintly looks like you sickens me.

You have taken a part of my life, one which I could never take back. A part of my life where everything was supposed to be simple, innocent, and SAFE.

I have tried to avoid you at family gatherings, I act as if I didn’t notice or hear you.

Even if I have to greet you, I give you a quick side hug and no eye contact.

I have good memories of my childhood than I have memories with you.

A cousin is supposed to be your first friend, someone that is there to protect you and share stories with. You were not that kind of cousin.

I remember the first time you came into my room. The first night you crept in while everyone was asleep. How you pulled my nightgown up and start touching me. I remember pretending to be asleep and my body being frozen out of fear. My little brain could not wrap around the thought of what was happening. That night you kissed and fondled me. Do you remember that? I was only 6.

That night I cried myself to sleep after you left.

That was the first of many nights that I lay awake, you took away my safety of sleep and security. I feared bedtime and having to spend the night at grandma and grandpas. You did that!

During the day you would hug me for too long. Whisper in my ear that I was sexy and that you wanted me so badly. Can you believe that a 6-year-old was sexy? How is that even possible.
When grandpa would say we all had to sit on the couch and watch TV with him you would use this as an excuse to place a blanket on top of our laps and caress my legs. I remember always looking around the room hoping someone would notice. Nobody did. Grandpa was always asleep and grandma was cooking or out shopping.

Until I was 12 years old, anytime I had to stay the night at grandma and grandpas you would crawl into my bed and rape me. I would stare at the fan that was shaped like a glove and baseball and count how many times it went around in my head. I would count until you would leave. 15 was my number because at first, all it took was 15 seconds for you to finish. After that 15 was just a number. I would count to 15 and start counting all over again. Counting helped it go by faster.

After my 12th birthday, I begged my parents to not let me stay over at grandma and grandpas. After my 12th birthday the only time I would see you were when my sister and I were over after school til my mom got off of work. That’s when grandpa would watch us. You lived with them for years. So there was no escaping you.

You would think that the sexual assault stopped there but it didn’t.

Do you remember asking me irrelevant questions while I was doing my homework on the computer so that you could place your hands under my shirt and bra? Or breathing on me like an animal in heat? I do.

Do you remember the countless times you locked me in rooms and forced me to touch you? I remember.

I remember getting dressed for softball practice quickly in fear. A child should not have to get dressed in fear. But I did.

For years you convinced me that I was going to get into trouble if I said anything, that no one would believe a little girl like me. You told me this was my fault and that I wanted it.

The guilt and embarrassment were slowly killing me. Why did I not tell someone?

I tried once. My grandmother, I told her and she didn’t believe me. It made me believe that you were right. That’s all it took in order for me to stay quiet and never tell anyone again.

You changed me. I wish I could remember the way I was before. I wish I could go back and be in someone else’s body. Try to live a life as a normal 6-year-old little girl.

I have tried for years to get over it. I have tried to forget, to store it in the back of my mind and never think about it again. I can’t though. I wish it were that easy.

I have nightmares of you trying to rape me again. I have nightmares of locked bathrooms and bedrooms, of not being able to escape from your grasp. I am 22 years old now and still live with fear and anger.

My anxiety and depression take over my life. For this I blame you.

I have attempted suicide three times in my life.

I am now in a happy, healthy relationship with someone who loves me and knows what you did.

Someone who believed me when I told him. Someone who tries every day to make me feel safe and comfortable.

I wish I could be a better girlfriend but because of you, he now has to live with my anxiety and depression too. Has to help me when I have night terrors or when I freak out because of the way he touched me. A simple thigh touch can send me spiraling down. This is your fault.

I wish I had the courage to ask you why you did what you did to me. Why you decided to prey on me. But to this day you still manage to whisper inappropriate things that leave me feeling sick to my stomach or groping me when no one else is looking. I wish I could just tell everyone (family) the truth and never have to feel this way again.

The fear of not being believed stops me from doing so.

I hope you look in the mirror and you are disgusted at what you have done. I hope you have sleepless nights like I do. I hope the guilt keeps you awake. I hope you are haunted with that you have done to me.

I hope, you never forgive yourself for the things you have done. I know I will never forgive you.

I do not want revenge.

I do not want anything from you. I simply want to heal and help others.

I want to be a survivor and advocate. I want to help stop child sexual abuse.

I want people to read this and find the strength to speak up.

If you were abused and someone, anyone, didn’t believe you, know that I do. I am and always will be with you. I will always believe you. I stand with you and next to you, in any way that I can.

Speaking the truth after being abused takes incredible courage and strength. No matter how long ago or how recent it was. I am proud of you!

I am a survivor. You are a survivor. Never stop telling yourself “I am strong.”, you are the only person who can make your life the best that it could be. Always remember that you are not alone. I stand by and with you every day.

About the author

WYR

When You’re Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

Permanent link to this article: http://whenyoureready.org/anonymous-story-everything-was-supposed-to-be-safe/