Why Was This Happening to Me?
I was so young when it all happened. When it all started. When I lost my innocence. Before anyone get’s confused, three different men sexually abused me throughout my childhood. The first was all new to me. He was my cousin (we will refer to him as S). He was in his late teens and I was maybe 7 or 8. He told me that he was trying to make me feel good, but it really hurt and I didn’t understand what was happening. Over the course of months, it came to the point where my privates hurt and had tearing. I tried to distance myself as far from him as I could, which worked to prevent any more abuse for a few years.
The second abuser was S’s best friend (whom I will call D). I was 11 years old and he was 19. D was very nice at first, seemed very quiet, and spoke softly to me. After receiving my IM address and phone, I asked him to help me download songs into my iPod, he had the chance to get to know me. Over the course of time, he made me believe that I was worthless without him and couldn’t do any better. He was the reason my depression started. D sexually abused me for 2.5 years. He took my first kiss, made me touch his privates, took naked photos of me and threatened to release them in public if I were to ever leave him, pressured me to give him oral sex, threatened to punish me if I didn’t listen, held me down, made me swear that I’d give him my virginity at age 14, and kept tabs on me throughout my day.
After any physical abuse occurred, D would take me to see a movie. Maybe he felt like he had to rid himself of the guilt. Those 2.5 years made me feel like I was dying inside. I hoped for my death everyday, often questioning God as to why something like this was happening to me. Before I went onto 8th grade, I finally built the courage to leave D and avoid him entirely. I had tried on several occasions before but he often persuaded me not to. I thought nothing as horrible could happen to me ever again. I was wrong.
The third abuser was a distant relative I was staying with during vacation. While I was sleeping on the couch, he slid his hand through my pants and tried to touch me. When I woke up to find his hands touching my privates, I kicked him off of me and he ran out the door. He didn’t return home until he knew I had left with my family to go back home.
So you all may be wondering, did I report any of these men? No. It took me three years before I told anybody what had happened to me. I knew that if I were to say something, my father would have killed each and every one of them and he would be sent to jail. I knew that I would rack up thousands in legal fees. I knew that I would be seen differently. I knew it would bring my family a lot of pain. I could not let any of this happen. I believed I was a martyr. If I could sacrifice my own happiness for the sake of those around me, I was more than willing to do so.
You may wonder how it affected me. I was a different person after everything had happen. I had built up walls, could no longer trust, suffered from depression, cared more for others’ happiness than my own, and grew up at a young age. People often questioned me why I was so mature for my age and why I wanted to run away to a different universe. I couldn’t help that fact that my mind had changed from naive to cautious. I could not help the fact that I wanted to get away from where all the pain had happened and find peace for once in a very long time.
I often looked towards finding love because it was a form of purity I didn’t have and I would also have someone to rely on. I was content and never single until my junior year in high school. That is when everything changed. My boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me and then a few months later another boy I was with for a several months broke up with me, too. I had to learn to rely on myself for the first time in a long time. I had an emotional breakdown. I would have anxiety attacks and serious side effects from my depression medication. Everything had built up and knocked me down. I did not know what to do with myself anymore. I felt broken. My school sent me home and to the hospital multiple times. They insisted on counseling because they did not know the origin of my anxiety attacks. But I gave up the medications and the doctors. I felt the only way I could get better is if I made myself better. So that’s when I sat in my room for hours, days, and weeks looking for enlightenment. In that time I learned to forgive my abusers, find peace in myself, and faith in God. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom before we can build ourselves up again.
Victoria, 17-year-old child sex abuse survivor. I could go on for hours about what happened, but that’s just a summary. This isn’t my best piece of writing but this all came from the heart.