For years I’ve blocked out these horrible images I have in my head. I see the younger me; volnerauble, and letting this man take advantage of me. I see myself hurting, and no one noticing. I’m sorry to my younger self, sorry for not being strong enough to speak up. For years, I was abused my someone in my family-someone who was supposed to love me, and protect me from everyone.
It took me a long time to realize that what happened to me wasn’t ok. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college in 2016 when I was exposed to all these. I started realizing that it didn’t only happen to me, but to so many others as well; people like me who never asked to become what everyone likes to refer to as “victims.” As I came to understand what was going on, I thought it was my fault. Maybe my boobs were attracting him, or maybe I was provoking him? I replayed those scenes every single time trying to reason with myself. For years I had no reaction, no emotions, and not one tear. I feel so disconnected with myself, and my body. My body no longer feels like it’s mine, because at some point I had no control over it.
It wasn’t until March 2017 when I came to the realization that this wasn’t my fault. I didn’t provoke him, or ask for that to happen. The only thing I feel guilty for is not speaking up, but how do I? How do I tell the people I care, and love that someone they look up to has done this to me. I can see the disappointment in my parents face, and I can hear the questions and doubts everyone else will probably have. I’m tired of people not realizing how big this is, and how triggering words can become
I’m sorry that if you’re reading this you feel like I’m rambling on, but as I write I’m trying to find a little bit of peace within myself. I’m learning to be more open to myself, and allow myself to feel. If you feel the same, please reach out to me; I’m trying to connect with people who understand. I still have a long way to go and I’m not sure if I’ll ever heal completely, but I know that today I am not a victim, today I am a survivor, a daughter, a college student, a sister, and most importantly a human that is accepting to love herself.
— Survivor, age 19