Reclaiming My Life – Tara’s Story
Well I’m now 25 years old and last April I started a blog in which I chose to speak out about my abuse. I am a survivor of childhood molestation by my stepfather and my uncle. Before I had spoken out I was silent for over ten years. The reason I didn’t speak out when it first happened was for two reasons. The first is because when I told my mom that my uncle molested me she didn’t want to believe it since it was her brother. It went on for a few weeks. He would touch me in places he should not be touching and then he would kiss my lips. I didn’t know what was going on. I was never taught good touch bad touch. I thought it was ok for an uncle to treat you like that. I’m not sure when this happened but it was around the age of 9 or 10. I say that was the first person who abused me but it was actually the same time my stepfather started molesting me. It started one day when I was sick in bed and I needed some Vicks vapor rub to be rubbed on my chest and back. Since my mom trusted him she allowed him to rub it on me. He started to rub it on my chest and when he did that, he began to rub my nipples. I felt really uncomfortable but again I didn’t know that it was an inappropriate touch. After that I’m not sure what else happened. I only remember a few things that happened.
The next abuse I remember was again when I was sick. My mom had gone to Florida to visit my sister. She left my brother and me home since we were in school. I had gotten sick and stayed home from school. I was in my parent’s room which was also the living room at the time. I was on the couch resting and trying to watch the television. He began to kiss me on my neck and then made his way up to my lips. Again I didn’t know how to react to that but my body deceived me at that moment. My body liked that attention even though I felt disgusted and scared. I didn’t know what would happen next. Then he would bribe me with money and sweets since I was still young. Again I’m not sure when it happened but it was around the age of 10 or so maybe younger. Anyway I believe it was that same that this next thing happened. I had gotten up to go to my room and he followed me. The next thing I know is that he pinned me against the wall with my back facing the wall and moving his body back and forth as though having sex with me. I can still see the look on his face every time I talked about this part of my story. Smiling like he was proud of what he was doing. I felt really scared and disgusted at it. I didn’t know what to do. Anyway after that moment it was your usual inappropriate touching that lasted until about a year ago or so. Even though he did what he did he would still try to touch me in places he shouldn’t and make these strange noises and facial expressions. I had kept silent for so long and I was tired of dealing with so much emotion and hurt. My mom also wouldn’t let me tell her. She told me she wouldn’t believe me because my sister was also abused and she didn’t believe her because she also waited a while to come up to my mom. So she believes that since we held it in for so long that we must have enjoyed it. Anyway my mother doesn’t know and as much as I want to tell her I cant right now because she has a heart condition and I do not want to be the blame if something happens to her.
So here I am now sharing my story in the virtual world and hoping to help others speak out. I am a psychology major and will become a counselor for victims. Being a survivor of sexual assault has changed my life. Before I couldn’t even admit that I was abused. It was hard to speak out the first time. I tried so hard to deny what had happened to me. I felt so disgusted with myself. I felt like I deceived my body but I know it wasn’t me nor was it my fault. That’s thing we all believe that it is our fault, that we provoked the person to rape or molest us. We did nothing wrong. It’s not our faults. We shouldn’t blame ourselves. We have to stop being so hard on ourselves and stop blaming ourselves. The hardest part of my story is the fact that my mother doesn’t want to believe. I never did tell my mom the full story but I have tried to tell her some things like the way he would look at me which was in sexual ways and such but she just shut me up. Also the fact that not only I was molested my older sister was also molested by our stepfather. She was also silent for a few years and when she told my mother, my mother didn’t want to believe her. So I didn’t bother telling her because if she didn’t believe my sister she wouldn’t believe me. So that is one of the reasons why I didn’t tell her besides the fact that she has heart problems.
Anyway even though this is a tragic story it has made me a stronger person. I know most of you reading this must be thinking why and how has this made you a stronger person. Well the way it has made me a stronger person is that I was able to CLAIM MY LIFE BACK!!! So many people have remained silent and will continue to remain because of fear of being rejected or being hurt again. You know what it wasn’t until RECENTLY that I realized that it’s ok if I were to get rejected. If I’m rejected it’s OK. I remember reading this quote and it made a good point. I can’t remember if this is the right way it goes but it said “You can’t go through life thinking everyone you will meet you hurt you in the end” Well as hard or scary that may sound especially for victims and survivors, it’s true. If we continue to go through our life with that fear in the end we are hurting ourselves. We are going to get hurt by people and that doesn’t mean that you are going to get raped again or sexually assaulted.