For too long I have been hiding behind the shame. For too long I’ve been afraid to tell my story. Afraid of hurting the feelings of the people who have hurt me. Afraid that if I really tell the truth that I will no longer have a relationship with the people who created the pain.
My story needs to be told. I know that I am not alone in the ugliness that was my childhood. I have seen so many young people dealing with anxiety and depression, and if my story can help just one person feel like they are not alone, then it will be worth it.
My intention of telling my story is not to point fingers at the people involved. I am hear to speak my truth. What I went through made me who I am today, and I am stronger for it. In order to truly release it all, I cannot hide it any longer.
I have been molested, raped, sexual abused, sexual harassed, physically and verbally abused and controlled. I have been made to feel less than, ugly, and disgusting. I have been made to feel that no matter what I did, it would never be right or good enough no matter how hard I tried. My feelings have been dismissed, disregarded and ignored. I have been ignored. I have been treated as if I were invisible. I’ve been called a bitch. I’ve been beaten and I’ve been told that I’m the worst daughter just for standing up for myself.
What is a childhood? What does it look like to be a child? My innocence was taken away before I was even born. I was a wished for child. The child who came into the world to fix a marriage. The child who got to stay up at night with her mother so she wouldn’t commit suicide. I was the child who got to call the ambulance when her mother tried to commit suicide, and I was the child who got yelled at by her father when she called to tell him what happened. “I don’t have time to deal with this shit” was all he could scream at me. My mother would be dead today if I would not have called 911. That leaves a lasting scar on a 21-year-old.
Having blacked out most of my memories from the ages of 3-12 years old, I can’t really say too much about what happened during that time. I remember taking care of my brother. I remember trying to protect him from the vile and disgusting environment we lived in. I remember having to basically be his mother, as my mother was too unstable to really take care of us. I remember my father screaming at us from the time he walked into the door. If we were sitting in a chair he wanted to sit in, we had to get up. If he wanted to watch something on TV and we were already watching it, he changed the channel. We could not dry ourselves off on the bathroom rug as that was not allowed to get wet. Instead we had to dry ourselves off inside the bath tub, dry off one foot, step over onto the rug and then dry off the other foot. We also had to be very careful of how much toilet paper we could use and were told the proper way to wipe ourselves. The most terrifying one of all was when I would be getting dressed. My father never knocked on my bedroom door. He just entered because “this is my house and it’s a privilege for you to live in it.” Needless to say if I was getting dressed and I heard him barreling up the stairs, I would have to try to get dressed before he walked in on me. I was so scared of my father, and my mother was so caught up in her own depression and everything that she didn’t deal with, she was never emotionally available.
My parents have never taken the time to know me nor do I believe they ever will. In fact even as an adult they really don’t take my thoughts and feelings into consideration. Yet there is still a part of me that wishes and hopes that some day they will love me and value me for the person that I am. I have spent a great deal of my adulthood healing from the trauma of my childhood. I know that my experience has made me a stronger person. It has also helped me to relate to others who have gone through similar situations. In the chaos can come the most beautiful awakening of the soul. I’m blessed that my soul has awakened, and I have the opportunity to raise my children in a loving a supportive environment. I now have the chance to parent them in a positive way. I have a chance to teach them how to love and honor themselves. I have a chance to change the way the generations to come will parent their children.
To my parents, thank you for showing me what not to do. Thank you for showing me how strong of a person I am. For anyone out there feeling alone and misunderstood. You are strong. Stay true to you and love yourself more than anyone. You are not defined by the way in which you have been abused. Take your experience and blossom in the most beautiful flower that you can be. We are all here for a purpose. Honor yourself and shine your light unto the world.