Even now, I am struggling with how exactly to word it. I don’t know how I want to put it on paper because part of me doesn’t want to. I guess the only clear-cut way to put it is, that as I child I was a victim of prolonged sexual abuse. Something that continued to happen over a longer period of time. How long did it go on? I honestly am not sure. I was really young, and I don’t really have a way to figure out when it started and when it ended. It happened until I got old enough to fully realize that I could say no. Thankfully, once I was brave enough to say I would refuse to do anything anymore, it stopped and never happened again. I have kept quiet about the situation for such a long time, and there are reasons why.
I Blamed Myself
This is not the typical blaming yourself that you hear about when sexual abuse is brought up. When I say I blamed myself, I am not saying that I did something to make someone else make a bad choice. I literally thought that the decision was mine and I chose to do something wrong and dirty. I believed that because someone didn’t threaten to harm me that it wasn’t actually sexual abuse. The first person that I ever discussed the situation with, was as an adult to another adult. Talking through some of the thoughts and memories, I realized how wrong I was. First of all, I was way too young to be able to consent to such a thing. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I know it was somewhere between the ages of 7-9 years old. Second of all, I remember hating every second of it. I remember things that were said to manipulate me. I remember saying that I didn’t like it. I was an adult with my own children before I realized that I could not take the blame when I was so young and had expressed how much I didn’t want it. I think back and wonder how I ever could have thought that I chose it. I never wanted it, I felt trapped and unable to remove myself from it. Truth be told, until that moment I never actually thought of the other person as an aggressor.
I Put it Behind Me
Because I had considered the whole thing one really messed up choice that I had made, I moved on from it. There was a time that I encouraged my little brother to try something dangerous and stupid. He ended up getting really hurt. He was okay but I remember feeling a lot of guilt that I had been a party to it. However, there was nothing I could do to change the event. So, I tried to learn from it and move on. I looked at the sexual abuse much the same way. I did something horrible and there was nothing I could do to change what I had done, so move on. Until the conversation happened again, I realized how much that I didn’t remember about it. I had blocked out some of the worst parts and some of them came crashing back down on me once I actually put it into words. It was more than a little confusing to have all these new emotions on something that I thought I had put behind me. However, the emotions that I was having was not the same emotions that I had then. Because I thought of myself as the bad guy instead of victim.
This is probably one of the biggest hold ups for me. I don’t like the idea of any family or friends reading this. I don’t want them to think of me any different. I don’t want them to look at me with pity. I don’t want them to look through my history and try to figure out who all was involved. I worry about those loved ones wanting to talk about it and get any extra information. I know that I can tell them no, and I most likely would for most of them. I am not ashamed of what has happened to me, and I share it because I want to help others who may need to hear it. The thought of discussing it with others who may need help or reconciliation is the whole reason I decided to do it. I just don’t want those around me thinking that they need to help me.
I am NOT a Victim