My story starts at the age of 6. The worst part about it is not my age but the fact that I remember everything, every word and every moment of each attack is on replay in my mind driving me insane. So today I’m going to share every single detail and hope that someone will learn from my mistakes or take something from my experience. When I was 6 my parents and I moved in with my elderly grandmother until we could find a place to live, my grandmother lived in a 3 bedroom full house up and down two bath basement and attic. My two boy cousins already had been staying there all of their lives because their mother was a drug addict they were born crack babies so my grandmother took them in to raise them. At this time they where 15 & 17, my mom and dad slept downstairs in the basement while I had the couch and my grandmother and two cousins had the bedrooms. During the day no one was home, my father would be on the corner selling drugs, my m other would be at work, and my 17 year old cousin would just be out. It would just be me my grandmother and 15 year old cousin Jay. My grandmother was old at the time about 70 something I guess I can’t really remember but she’s 84 right now still living but the point being she really didn’t watch my and Jay she would be downstairs all day watching TV in her chair while me and Jay where upstairs playing. At first I loved being with Jay he was like the big brother I never had and he would call me his little sister, everyday we played together and went places together and we would always introduce each other as brother and sister. I really thought that he was my brother and my protector, when ever I got bullied he was there and even taught me how to fight and stand up for myself but all of that was short lived and then the abuse began. One day me and Jay were in his room playing 2k even though I didn’t know how to play he enjoyed beating me and teaching me h ow. We were just playing the game when he got up and closed the door, my grandmother always said to keep the door open but if people came over and were being loud downstairs we would close the door so I really didn’t think anything of it. He paused the game and said he was tired of beating me and he wanted to play a new game, me being 6 I was down to do anything he wanted to because I looked up to him. He told me it was a game only teenagers and grown ups played so if we were going to play I couldn’t tell anyone or I would get in trouble (notice how he said I and not we). I agreed and asked how to play, he told me to pull down my pants and lay down on the bed, I knew something was up my mom always told me not to let anyone touch your privates but I was so eager to be a big kid it was no big deal in my mind. He sat down next to me and put his had up my shirt and started touching my chest, it felt weird to have him touch me like that but it was just a game right? He pulled down my panties and started fondling me vaginally then put his finger inside me, it hurt but he was gentle it felt weird and good and I never said stop. When he finished he said it was my turn so he laid down and told me to touch and rub on him, after I was done we went back to playing the game like nothing happend. This turned into a everyday thing and it went on for about a year, I knew it was wrong and we shouldn’t be doing it but it felt good and I was proud to be doing what the big kids were doing and I actually started looking forward to him touching me. Now I’m 7. Just after my 7th birthday my dad went to jail. My mom now even more stressed out that my dad’s in jail and without his extra income it became harder to find a place we could afford so she started taking extra shifts and things began to escalate between my cousin and I. We still touched each other but then he started asking for more, oral sex. I was fine touching he but I never wanted to go any further to put my mouth on him that was gross and I said no. For what happened next I learned the term for it to be grooming. He would say if I did it he would take me to the store or I could play his DS since he never let me and if I put my mouth on him he would do it to me. Foolishly I agreed because what 7 year old doesn’t like going to the store getting money or being able to do something your not usually able to do. All I can say is I hated it. I hated having him penetrate my mouth and I hated the way it felt when he put his mouth on me but if I cried or said stop he would tell me to be quiet or my grandmother would hear us and I would get in trouble so I let it go on and another year goes by. 8. My father doing 3 years my mother never home and no one watching me. Just me and Jay. Still having oral sex and still touching each other but of course Jay wanted more. As always I had to lay on the bed while he fingered me and fondled me but this time was different, instead of his fingers he tried to put his penis inside of me. The pain was unbearable I quickly pushed him away and told him to stop because it really hurt and I was bleeding a little. He said he was sorry and he wasn’t gonna do it again so lay back down, I obeyed and he began poking my entrance with his penis just to watch me wince with pain so he could laugh. He said he wanted to see if it could go in but I was too little so he just rubbed his penis against my entrance and lips until he finished then make me run to the bathroom to wipe it off and make sure nun of it goes into me. This was something that I didn’t want but I knew if I told I would be the one who got in trouble and Jay always said if I told they would believe him because he was to the older cousin and he would bring up all the times we had oral sex and say that I wanted him to do it because I did say that. He raped me like that for 2 years and I never said a word I just closed my eyes covered my mouth and took it. At 10 my dad comes home we finally move out and I don’t see or hear from Jay for 3 years but the flashbacks and nightmares are always with me and I go into a downward spiral. From cutting to drugs to lying and stealing I did it all but in my best interest because when I was high I felt better about myself, dealing with school being bullied talked about and laughed at myself esteem hit rock bottom so cutting wasn’t enough I needed to get high to feel something otherwise I was nothing. So here I am 14 smoking pot cutting and living on edge. I did see Jay from time to time but I never stuck around long enough for him to do anything to me. A couple months go by and I find out Jay moved in with his sister who lived 2 blocks away from me. A grown 22 year old man who didn’t graduate high school still living with his grandmother now staying with his eldest sister just to terrorize me. At this point my life can’t get any worse right? WRONG! He’s at my house almost everyday chilling and messing with me, my mom and dad had split it was just me my mom and little brother who was very young at the time. if my mom stepped out just for a second he was all over me touching me, whispering dirty things in my ear and forcing me to remember the game we used to play when I was little. He would always say now that I’m older he knows I knew what was really going on and that I liked it, he would say how much he missed being on top of me and being able to feel me and touch me and he knew how much I missed it as well and whenever I was ready we could do it again. After that same day Jay began messaging me on Facebook and when I blocked him he got my phone number and started texting me. I quickly realized I couldn’t avoid him forever no matter what I did he would always be apart of my life and I didn’t want to be afraid of him anymore so I buried my pride and began talking to him again. I told him how I was feeling about what he did to me and we agreed not to speak about it anymore and move on with our lives, we became cool again and I started to trust him again which was the biggest mistake of my life. A week before my 16th birthday Jay texted me and asked what I was doing and I told him I was home alone bored, next thing I know he’s knocking on my door. I hesitated but I let him in the past was behind us and things were going back to how they used to be, I let him in and immediately things went south. He had never seen the upstairs of our house and asked if he could see so I took him upstairs and showed my room, he just walked right in and sat on my bed. I told him he had to come out but he instead of leaving he shut the door behind me and pushed me down on the bed I screamed so he covered my mouth and straddled me so I couldn’t move. He tore off my shorts and pulled down his basketball shorts and exposed himself to me, he already had a condom on. He laid down on me with all his weight I couldn’t move or breathe so I couldn’t scream, he took his hand off my mouth and entered me violently and hard, he knew I was still a virgin because he asked me if I was dating anybody and I told him I never even had a boyfriend. He raped me for hours the whole time he kept asking me how much I liked it and if I enjoyed not being a virgin and this deflowering he was giving me. When he finished he got up to leave and he said just think of this as an early birthday present and if I wanted more just call. To this day his words are ringing in my ears. I never told anyone how could I it was my fault even if I did no one would believe me because of my past. I’ve been through so much and I feel like I don’t want to live anymore. I’ve been debating on suicide and I just wanted to get my story out before I did anything, weather this gets published or not I won’t know but all I want to say is don’t end up like me a broken girl.
— Survivor, age 17