Social media has become the greatest way to find long lost friends or family, missing people or pets and gain support for people going thru horrible trials. It has also become a place where feeling get hurt, comments get misunderstood; people get deleted and blocked in a routine manner. Some find the strength to hide behind their social media account to say whatever they feel like, be rude or down right disgusting. But for the most part, it is a great tool to see friends on vacation or wedding and graduations that are too far for you to attend. It can announce the birth of a new baby or the death of a beloved parent. It can also bring up a past event that aren’t so nice.
This morning as I was looking thru the new feed of my social media, I came across a friend who had tagged someone in a post. Normally, no big deal but this name sent me back to 1975 to something that happened to me that I don’t think about often. I was transported back instantly to what happened.
The entire buzz in the news are the women coming forward to claim sexual harassment, abuse or rape in years past. Many have asked why now? Why didn’t they report it when it happened? I am here to say; it isn’t that easy or simple. The hardest thing you can do is to stand up to your abuser.
I personally am a victim of several different men or teen boys thinking it was okay to sexually abuse me. My first abuser was my babysitter’s husband. He abused all the girls there. I can say with absolute certainty this man was a sexual pedophile. He picked the innocent girls his wife brought to their home to watch for their parents. I don’t know if his wife knew but I have to think she did and just looked the other way. A portion of me wonders how many girls he abused. I also wonder if he ever got caught or apologized for his actions. An apology does not erase what happened but it goes a small way to help.
After Jo Beth (my adopted mother) died in 1975 my Daddy, finally being a free man, began to date many women. One such woman had four kids roughly around my age. The only thing that this woman was interested in was having sex with my dad. So, of course all us kids had to go outside and play or do something. The very first home visit with these people found all us kids going to the drive-in movies to get us out of the trailer. This was the first time that the high school boy began to molest me.
This began a several month nightmare for me. I was 9 years old and my daddy wasn’t thrilled about leaving me at home alone. I tried to find other places to go besides going there, but because she had kids he didn’t understand why I didn’t want to go. When we were forced to go outside, this guy took me to an abandoned trailer that had a dirty mattress on the floor. There is no telling how many other people used that for sexual purposes. I would cry and he would tell me, be a big girl and take it. He also told me I couldn’t tell my dad because he would hate me. My dad was all I had. This was the abusers way to use his words to keep his victims quiet.
The last few weeks as I endured this abuse this teen decided to let his friend from the trailer park join us. Then they both took their turns with me. I can remember saying yes to all their questions and just wanting to go away. These teen boys would make me go to the trailer by telling me they would tell my dad what a dirty little girl I was and that I asked them to do things to me. Being young and naïve, I believed them and I would go with them. I never said no, don’t or stop it. I never told anyone that could have helped me. I never told my dad either.
Just a suddenly began it all ended. The teen boys got in trouble and one was sent to military school and then other boy was sent away. Shortly after this event my dad broke up with the lady. My abuse stopped and was over as fast as it had begun. I never had the opportunity to confront these boy or men and tell them they had no right to do that to me. I never stood up for myself.
I did have the opportunity to stand up to my birth father when he blatantly tried to have sex with me and flat out would not take no for an answer. I was able to tell him he was horrible and he had no right to do that to me. Being able to confront him as my abuser was hard but it felt very good and was very freeing.
So, why this story of abuse now, well the name that was tagged was on of the teen boys who thought it was okay to molest me. I looked at his profile and couldn’t really see much and I am not sure what I wanted to find. I messaged my friend and asked how she knew this man. We exchanged several messages and she admitted he was a troubled teen but had changed when he grew up. I am not sure if this helps or not. He was married and raised daughters by himself. I wonder if he has regrets about what he did to me. Suddenly a past traumatic event slapped me right in the face. I remembered the smells and sounds and that dirty mattress. I am a 52 yr old woman that suddenly felt sick to my stomach, panicked and disgusted.
I want the world to know that just because I did not come forward being a 9 year old little girl, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It doesn’t mean it is okay. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t still affect me. I don’t give the men of my past power over me anymore. If I were to see them in person, I would get some answers for sure. I at least deserve an apology
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” ~C.G. Jung