Kristin’s Story: Imagine

Kristin’s Story: Imagine

I recently spoke at a high school graduation and for the first time went public about my experience with Childhood Sexual Abuse & domestic violence.

Imagine being 7 years old, walking into your bedroom after taking your nightly bath, and knowing your next door neighbor is watching you through your Disney princess curtains. Knowing that you’re going to be at his home in a few minutes to have dinner with him just like you do every Monday night, and knowing that you will have to go home and act like this 80 year old man didn’t just put his mouth between your thighs. You have to go home and not show that your private area is sore because this man who your family loves and trusts forced his fingers inside of you. Imagine being labeled a “bad kid” because you act out… you are labeled without anything taking the time to figure out what is really going on. Do the teachers know that you were molested last night? Do they know that you are molested almost every night? Do they know that your virginity was robbed from you at the age of 7? Do they know that you live in constant fear that someone might find out and that you keep it a secret because in your mind it’s your fault? Imagine protecting this secret for 7 long years!
After many years and a battling a mind that has convinced itself that what is happening isn’t “so bad” the news comes on and focuses on the catholic church sex abuse scandal. People are speaking out, psychologists are describing the trauma, and your mother expresses her disgust for the individuals who victimized those children so many years ago.

“Well if my mother is so compassionate towards these now grown men she will certainly feel compassionate towards me and relieve me of any guilt and belief that what was happening is my fault!” I said to myself. . .

Imagine you tell your mother. Imagine she says, “Just don’t go to his house anymore.”

Something inside of my couldn’t stand the thought of my now 87 year old neighbor on top of me again. I couldn’t stand the thought of sitting in my shower at night while the hot water washed away the feeling of his mouth on my skin. Enough was enough!
I went to school… I walked into my counselors office. . .
“I have to tell you something” I said to my counselor.

“Ok. . .”

“ You know my neighbor? The one I’ve talked about that lives next door?”

“The older man, yes?”

I became silent and began playing with the strings attached to my hoodie.

“Kristin? Is something wrong?”
“He touches me…”
My counselor closed her office doors, pulled her chair closer, and said, “Kristin, what do you mean? I need you need to tell me.”
I took a deep breath and said, “He has sex with me. He’s been having sex with me since I was a little, about 6 or 7.”
Now, imagine you FINALLY used your voice! You FINALLY spoke up! You FINALLY reached out for help & NO ONE HELPED YOU!

I sat in the District Attorneys office for countless hours, went through every graphic detail, was forced to relive some of the most traumatic moments of my life . . . for what?

My neighbor was given a warning and told not to come in contact with me again.

THE SYSTEM FAILED ME.
I still went to bed in the same bedroom knowing that he was watching me through his kitchen window. I saw this man every single day until the day he died.

I am not angry. I am not bitter. I am afraid for our children.

We need to do better.

We need to protect our children better.

Enough is Enough!

Tags:Child abuseVictim BlamingI reported itI knew my rapist, Raped by a family member, I didn’t think anyone would believe me, I blamed myselfFears, Shame, Guilt, StigmaI remember what happenedI was a virginOver a decade agoI still can’t sleep, Nightmares, Flashbacks, I’m in therapy

Author

WYR

WYR

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

Related