Hi. I guess my story starts when I came to America to start a life anew with my family. I remember my parents were busy a lot back than, trying to set stable beginnings for us, their children. Because of this, I remember being left in the care of family friends and relatives when my parents and one sibling at the time were out. As a child, I loved this since it meant I got to get to know my other family members. This joy didn’t last long. I was between the ages of 6 and 7 when it happened on the two different occasions, seemingly in the same month. I was raped not once but twice, each by two different people. One is my great uncle’s son and the other is my great aunt’s son. My great uncle’s son lured me to the bottom floor, underneath the buildings stairs after telling my mom that he was bringing me to my grandma. Of course, he lied and when he was done with me, I remember not really being mentally there as he brought right back up. I heard him tell my mom he couldn’t catch my grandma in time and then left. I don’t remember the rest of the day’s activities. With my great aunt’s son didn’t have to lure me, he and I were left alone in someones house (I can’t recall whose). I remember being laid on the floor, watching as he smirked, pushed down his pants, and have his way with me. When I got picked up to return home, my older cousin was the only one to notice that the zipper of my pants was down and that the button wasn’t in correctly. She did ask me what happened but I don’t remember my response. I don’t remember in what order that these occurred. All I can remember is the pain and feelings of distrust to these people as well as shame that I was just a little girl who couldn’t help herself. To this day, I hate myself for not going to my parents or grandma for help and I hate that I have breast, a vagina, and that I’m just so weak. I hate looking at myself in pictures, mirrors, and wear only lipstick and mascara to keep myself hidden. Whenever I talk, people don’t listen because I know I’m not important. I don’t think I can ever love myself, I mean how could I?? To this day, my family still keeps in contact with my great uncle’s son. In fact, my mother invited him to attend my graduation party in June. I feel so weak because I have to pretend, like every other day in my life, that this is ok. I have to look into his filthy eyes and smile and give him a hug. I believe that he either doesn’t remember what he did to me or that he chooses to forget. But thanks to him and his cousin, I can never forget those vivid, distant memories. As a senior in high school, most of days are spent pretending things are ok. Whenever I feel depressed or the memories start reoccurring, I’m just going to plainly say that I masturbate or read a romance novel or even fanfic because in those stories, I’m not the victim or at least someone is getting the happy ending type of life they wanted. I do want to find love but as broken as I am, will anyone love me?
— Pris, age 18