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Holding It In

When I was in 5th or 6 the grade, I can’t remember exactly when it started, I began to have dreams that someone was coming into my room at night. I didn’t recall much of what they were doing. A few months after it began I realized they were not dreams but my step brother doing things to me. Every night for years, except when I rotated two weeks at my moms house, he would wait for me to fall asleep. He would stare into my room at night through holes in the wall until I couldn’t stay up any longer, which some nights was 3 to 5 am. I was so young and I woke up at 6 am to get to ride the bus to school which I very often missed and would be in a lot of trouble for doing so. Anywho, the only time he would do things to me is when I was asleep. As soon as I’d move or try to open my eyes he would leave, so I don’t even remember half of the things he did. Sometimes when I knew all it took was to open my eyes and he’d creep a way, I’d struggle to open them but I was so afraid to see it happening and it was like I didn’t have a voice, and I was just a doll for his torture. I was young and so were my friends, they didn’t understand what I meant when I told them someone was doing bad things to me in my sleep, so they laughed and I thought that everyone would laugh or not believe me if I told anyone. I didn’t want to be laughed at. So years pass by and every night he did things more and more and going further past the threshold of brotherly. My grades dropped, I became a compulsive liar, and very depressed. I didn’t tell anyone for fear of ridicule until I had a late period one month. I was disgusted. I told my best friend and she convinced me to tell my parents. I told my step father, my mother’s husband, because I knew my dad and step mother ( mother to my step brother) would never believe me. They hated me. I was up till 5 am that night in the emergency room, telling cops my story, while family and friends and nurses all looked at me like I was an infant and as fragile as glass. I hated that. I didn’t want anyone to know I just wanted to be safe and to sleep a good night’s sleep and move on with my life. He was taken into custody at juvie, when my father and his wife found out they didn’t believe me. They thought I wanted it too because I never kicked or screamed. For two years they either ignored me or they would yell at me and demand I tell them the truth. That I wanted it. I hated myself because I had made them hate me. It was all my fault. They believed him over me, until he took two lie detecting tests and failed which put both my parents through counseling. All the while I was waiting for them to just listen and believe me and love me, I had tried killing myself countless times, the doctors had my mother remove anything sharp from the house, lock up all medications, and just keep an eye on me. I was put on antidepressants and I turned into a zombie. I lost all trust to my family, even the ones who didn’t hurt me. I don’t trust anything and I can’t even ramble off all the things that he has ruined for me. It’s been 7 years since I told my step dad and I just received counseling. I want to be human again. I want to take back the life I feel was stolen from me because I deserve that. We all do. He may have stole my innocence, my sense of worth, but it’s time I stop letting him hold that power over me. I hope that if someone has gone though anything traumatic, I hope that you will realize much sooner than I did that you aren’t what happens to you, you are not your past. You are whatever you want to be and I promise you are not alone. Reach out, and something will find you. I promise.

— Brooke Lamb, age 20


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