Thank you Linor for highlighting the importance of sharing our stories with one another and the world.
I was raped by my step father from 7-12 years old. The first times I told my mother, but she didn’t believe me. She said that it was a dream or that it wasn’t his fault because he was high. He was a heroin addict and she had many serious unresolved mental health issues (where I lived in Canada at the time, these things were still not a focus in public health). I always say that his drug of choice was heroin and her drug of choice was him. There was absolutely nothing I could have done differently as a child to get her to protect me, eventually I gave up on the idea of her protection entirely.
He was my living nightmare. The more I fought him, the more angry he became. He started drugging me to make me more cooperative. When all of my strategies to protect myself failed, I eventually gave up fighting. That day, was a sad day. I will never forget how powerless I felt.
When I was 13, they taught us how to use Google in school that year. When I googled, “help, my stepdad rapes me”, an author’s name came up, as she had published a book that year recounting how she had survived being assaulted by her father. They had also just taught us how to create an e-mail account and I e-mailed her. I finally disclosed pieces of my story to someone who wasn’t my mother. Though we lived 4000 miles apart, she helped me to find the resources I needed to move, get help and begin my healing process.
That was 20 years ago.
Today, I share my truth no matter what. I shed light on what was kept hidden in my family. This makes many of my family members very uncomfortable for it forces them to think of their inaction or compliance at that time. I never had the chance to reconcile with my mother as she passed away just years after my disclosure, but I have reconciled with myself.
In just a few short weeks, I will appear before the Court. I’ve been waiting for his trial to begin for 4 years. I ebb in and out of being brave. On most days, I got this thing, but on other days, it feels terrifying. I haven’t seen him since I left that home we all lived in when I was 13. Thank you for sharing your stories here, they will certainly carry me through the trial.
— Survivor, age 33