Family Betrayal

Where to even begin. When I was around 9 years old, (not quite sure of how old I was because I repressed the memory for years) I was sexually abused by my older brother. Thank god it only happened to me once, as I know many sexual abuse victims are not so lucky. He also terrorized me as a child in other ways, yelling at me, making me cook for him, throwing shoes at me, and one time terrifying me so much that I had to call my grandmother to pick me up so I could stay at her house. He abused me on my living room floor with my younger brother in the room. He promised I would be able to play Halo with him if I did something. I’m not sure how long the abuse lasted, all I know is that I’m not sure what was happening to me at the time, but I knew it wasn’t right and I wanted it to be over. I repressed the memory until I was 11 years old, and I realized what rape was and that that had been done to me. I told my best friend, who then told my principal, who then made me come in and tell him and another teacher what happened. I was so traumatized I had to write it down because I couldn’t say it. I’m an 11 year old, how could I face something like that? The police were called, and I had to file a report with my dad. I had to see a Social Worker once, my mom talked to me about it once, and then it was pretty much forgotten. No one got me into therapy, no one made sure I was okay. It seemed as though life “went back to normal”, and nothing had changed. And it was that way, for a time. Sophomore year of high school I began having panic attacks and was in an unhealthy relationship with someone who would mentally manipulate me into doing sexual things with and to him. He would manipulate me into sucking his penis and shove my head down without asking. He knew about my abuse and didn’t care. I wasn’t strong enough to say know because all I wanted was the affection and love of a guy. But I know now that he never cared about me at all. I got myself into therapy after my panic attacks, but quit prematurely because I got into a fight with my dad, who was the one who would take me to therapy. I got out of my unhealthy relationship and found a relationship with someone who did care about me and did treat me better. I opened up to him about my abuse as well. He claimed to be understanding and said that we wouldn’t ever have to do sexual things if I didn’t want to, but every time we would hang out he would always ask if we were going to do anything sexual. I told him that put a bunch of pressure on me, but he never stopped asking. We broke up my freshmen year of college, and that’s when I went a little wild. I was getting drunk and having one night stands because I felt like I had to be drunk to not worry about having flashbacks or to not worry about being uncomfortable in sexual situations. But then I started dating my current boyfriend. He is completely understanding of how I am, and he is the first healthy, sexual relationship I have ever had. I don’t worry about having flashbacks, and I never worry about being pressured into doing anything physical with him. At the Take Back the Night march last year, I spoke out against my abuser through this poem that I am about to post below. He may have taken away my childhood, but he will not take away my strength. I believe everything happens for a reason, and this happened because God knew I could handle it and that I would be a stronger person because of it. It is a daily struggle dealing with these emotions, but I am in a better and stronger place now than I have ever been. Here is the poem addressing my abuser:

And I will never know the reason, Behind your lowly, selfish treason
Pick through the sticks and brambles, and you will find me there in shambles
Because you left me there to rot, In that shameful, dirty spot
What did you expect me to do? All I could do was hide from you
Stuck inside that painful place, Too ashamed to show my face
I put up a facade for all to see, Because of the things you did to me
And now I’ll never be the same, I only have you to blame
What could I possible have done? From this noose, my neck you’ve hung
My life hanging in the balance, Because of your selfish malice
The pain will never cease, It infects me like a disease
Because of you I am lost, You never thought of what this would cost
You’ve compromised my very life, And me there alone in my strife
But here I stand, and I will fight, I am here to Take Back the Night
In silence I will no longer sit, I am crawling out of your pit
From the ashes I will rise, Free like the bird who flies
Up, up, and away I go, Away from you, to a place called home.

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