The scars from childhood sexual abuse have far-reaching consequences.
This is her brave, brave story:
I’m a senior in high school – you’d think I’d be able to control my thoughts and emotions by now.
Nope. Totally incorrect.
I hate people, well, most of them anyway. For being judgmental. For being jerks and assholes when they have no idea what I’ve gone through. No idea what I’m going through.
I feel so alone because there’s no one to help me cope with my fucked-up brain. Now don’t get me wrong: on the outside I appear to be a normal, suburban, teenaged girl. On the inside…on the inside I’m dying; just waiting for death to overtake me.
This is my story.
I have two brothers who live with me at my Mom’s house. My brothers shared a room with bunk-beds until I was twelve. When I was six, we had a babysitter named Bradley, who happened to be some sort of cousin. When he’d come to babysit, we’d all hang out on the bunk beds – my older and younger brother on the bottom bunk while Bradley and I were on the top bunk.
One time, I was laying on top of him and he reached his hands into my pants asking me “can you feel that?” over and over. He’d do this again and again to me, only stopping when it was his turn on the video game my brothers were playing. Naturally he wouldn’t have a free hand to stick down my pants.
I thought what he was doing was sex, so I for one, wasn’t going to tell anyone – I was afraid I’d get in trouble. I’ve not seen him since. I kept this secret until seventh grade, when I told my best friend and cousin, Catherine, as well as my best friend at school, Kameron.
That’s when all hell broke loose.
We saw the counselor who called my mother. My mother initially thought I was lying, but finally believe me. She took me to my Dad’s, insisting that I tell him about the sexual abuse. I called Catherine over for support.
I’d already sobbed to the counselor and my mom, so by that point I was numb. My dad continued to question me; scrutinizing every detail. At one point he asked:“Why aren’t you crying? If this actually happened to you why aren’t you crying? Why is your cousin the only one crying?”
That ended that.
Three years later was my sophomore year in high school, and everything was going really well. I had my first actual boyfriend, an amazing guy Daniel who he was all for God. On the outside, I looked like I was okay.
However, I’d begun cutting; self-injuring – constantly slicing my wrist open for relief of external pain. I was repulsed by anyone touching me – I couldn’t handle it. Not even my brothers. I even asked Daniel if we could stop kissing and he was okay with it; figuring we’d been moving too fast. Eventually, asked me if anything ever had happened to me.
I told him no.
I told my mom that I couldn’t kiss Daniel, and she knew that I needed to talk to someone. My Aunt Nina, Catherine’s mom, died the beginning of my sophomore year and I felt too guilty to bring my problems on her.
Three months into therapy, I finally understood that there was no possible way that I could’ve wanted what happened to me as a child. Despite the cliche from Good Will Hunting: “it’s not your fault,” but those words bring closure.
We were having a big family sleepover at my house with all the teenage cousins piled together on the couch. After I fell asleep that night, I felt something on my leg. I was so confused. I realized, it was my cousin Cole’s hand trying to pry open my legs. Baffled, I tried to close them; turned over and pretended I was asleep. That didn’t happen so I gave up.
My therapist asked me why I didn’t “wake up” and confront him. I was frozen, I explained, I was fifteen and my worst nightmare was reoccurring. He did finger me and when I “woke up,” he pretended he hadn’t done a thing. In the shower, I bawled my eyes out. When people say they never feel clean after rape or sexual assault, it’s true.
My therapist encouraged me to tell my mom, however, I knew our family would never be the same again – it would be my fault. Again.
For some reason or another I stopped going to therapy. I spent my junior year empty on the inside. Daniel and I had broken up before the Cole incident so I had no one but my friend Chance to talk to. The bullying began my junior year.
First and foremost, I’m not fat. I am five foot eight and 150 pounds, give or take a pound. I do have an unusual bra size, 32 FF. I’m “mooed” at for having “utters.” Eventually, jokes went around that I was on the cover page of a porn site. I’d never willingly done anything more than kiss my boyfriend on the lips and now people were making sex jokes about me for my fucking bra size? Absurd.
Then I met Chase. Weird dude, but mysterious. On our first date he forcefully unbuttoned my jeans and stuck his hands in my pants without my permission. I got up out of the movie theater, caused a scene, then left. Haven’t talked to that fuckface since.
I feel like I’m losing my mind.
I’ve become an insomniac, I’m always crying. I’ve prayed constantly, not receiving any answers. How can I be sure of myself? How can I be confident enough to trust not just others but myself? How can I tell myself over and over that I won’t let something like that happen to me again when it’s happened over and over?
I don’t know what to do.He took my innocence. I dreamed that God would be kind. I dreamed my life would be so very different from this hell I’m living. Life has killed the dream I dreamed.
—————–How have those of you who’ve been through childhood sexual abuse come to terms with the abuse? Can you give this brave girl some advice?