I was a little girl who thought the world was a place of protection and comfort. I guess my positivity proved me wrong. That night I remember thunder and lots of heavy rain hitting the roof as I sat still, he was whispering in my ear telling me not to say anything, tears running down my face, heart beating faster and faster, I thought it would never stop, I would never get free. I was only 6. He was someone I looked up too. Someone I played dolls with. All I have ever asked myself is why? Why me? Years later I saw him again, it was Fourth of July. I remember walking in and seeing his face for the first time in two years. My face showed my emotion, petrified. Later that night I stayed up gossiping about life with the daughter and somehow talking about clothes and shoes turned into my deepest darkest secret, and it let to justice. I moved on and began to build myself up. Years later I’m 20, living my best life and happily in love with my bestfriend. We had friends over and I had to work the next morning, the boys kept coming in and being loud, finally they settled down and passed out. (So I thought ) I heard what I thought was my boyfriend at the time coming to bed. He got in and started messing with me, rubbing me and kissing my next, putting hands down my pants, and he finally pulled them down, his and I got a knot in my stomach and something told me to turn around. I did and it wasn’t my Jared, I couldn’t believe it was happening again. I screamed and ran to get him to wake him up, sobbing, begging and pleading for someone to help me. One year later, I’m married and moving on trying to rebuild my self esteem. Trying to sleep without nightmares, or his face looking at me. I’m trying to believe in myself again. It’s so hard not to feel like your worthless because those men made me feel miserable for my whole life. I started giving my worries to God and let him protect me. I am my Lords masterpiece and I’m strong, and know now that they can and will no longer have control. I’m free, finally.
— Sydney, age 21