I am 23 years old and still living with the childhood trauma of being manipulated into performing sexual acts on my brother.
He would manipulate me by saying “I will do to you whatever you do to me.” I was 6-7 years old.
I have 4 very vivid memories of these childhood experiences, but I know the abuse went on for over 6 months. I never told anyone about the abuse. It was actually my brother who came forward to my parents about the abuse.
My parents didn’t know how to respond to this situation. My father went to one of our church leaders and told him what had happened. The church leader responded to my dad with, “be happy this only involves your daughter. Can you imagine the crisis we’d be in if he had touched the neighbors?”
Because of this “advice,” my parents did nothing. They didn’t want my brother to be sent away. I never received any kind of counseling or help, nor did my brother.
Growing up I didn’t know how to deal with these feelings and nightmares from my past. I grew up hating myself. I hated grew and grew and my body became more and more numb. That’s when I started to hurt myself. I used to cut my wrists, ankles, and thighs. I cut myself because my body was physically numb. I just wanted to feel something.
Then came high school…Maybe if I found someone to love me, then I would stop feeling numb? My sophomore year, a senior started to flirt with me in class. One day we skipped class. He drove us into a parking lot behind a church where he proceeded to get all the way undressed and masturbate on top of me. After he finished, he drove me back to the school, kissed me, and never spoke to me again.
My body was numb for years after this experience. And I never told anyone. I also attempted suicide twice in high school. I just wanted the pain and memories to go away.
Because of my past experiences I have grown up struggling with depression, anxiety, binge eating disorder, and multiple personality disorder. I also have blocked out the majority of my childhood.
If I could have one wish from sharing my story, it would be to give young boys and girls the strength to speak up. No one can help you if they don’t know what’s going on. If you have been taken advantage of, know you are not alone. There are so many people willing to listen and help any way they can.
I am 23 and just beginning my journey of healing. I am going to try to love myself again so that I can help young children, like me, see the light they hold in their heart.