Stories make up our lives, we all have them. Some are harder to tell than others, this is one of those stories for me. By telling this story I hope to take away more of its power over me, so it no longer has the capability to cause me anxiety. It has taken me a long time to have the courage to tell this story, and I will warn you now it may not be easy to read. My hope is that by sharing this story that others will find hope, and know they are not alone.
When I was 13 the last shred of my childhood was taken from me, I was raped. They say that more times than not when these things happen it is someone you know, this is true in my case as well. In the apartments where my mom and I lived there was a nice older man that would let me sleep in his spare bedroom when my mom was drunk and belligerent. He would even take me to school in the morning so I wouldn’t miss any more days than I already had. It was nice to have a quiet place to sleep, one where I wasn’t getting woken up in the middle of the night for ridiculous reasons.
On one particular night the neighbors 20 something-year-old son came home after a night of drinking. He didn’t usually come over, and I had only met him a handful of times before. He climbed into to the bed with me and started taking advantage of me. I told him to stop, I tried to get him off of me, but he wouldn’t stop. When it was over I went to the bathroom and cried, he just went to sleep. That night I slept on the couch instead of going back to my apartment, I didn’t want to deal with my mom. I wanted to just be alone, and I had never felt so utterly alone before that night.
I didn’t tell anyone what had happened to me for a very long time. I felt ashamed, I felt like it was my fault, and I was worried about what would happen if I told. I kept it to myself and started drinking and being an altogether bad teenager; I was trying to numb the pain I was feeling. I felt broken, and like I was going to be just another statistic. I certainly didn’t feel like anyone would have cared even if I did tell, no one had seemed to care about much else that had been going on in my life up until this point.
Years later I finally sought help, and I was blessed to have a wonderful counselor that helped me deal with the trauma of what had happened. After all those years of not talking about it I was finally healing. I have learned I am worth more than the bad things that have happened to me. I am not just another statistic, and there is hope and healing to get over the pain of traumatic events. While this story is a part of my past, it does not define me. It is now simply a part of where I have come from, a place where I have had to rebuild, and a part of what makes me who I am- a survivor.