Time to add some background on me. Maybe I’ll add it permanently somewhere at sometime. A little less than two years ago, I started getting memories back of my father being sexual with me. Before this started happening, I honestly didn’t know whether repressed memories were “real.” I believed things could be forgotten, but years of sexual abuse…? Funny how we experience things so that we learn the truth, isn’t it? So, I’ve done my research… read both sides of the argument. I believe they’re real, I just doubt my own memories. Or perhaps, I just doubt that something like that could have happened to me without me knowing if for so long… and that I survived.
Unfortunately, I am heavily dependent on the logical part of my brain. I have no concrete evidence that my father abused me, just a LOT of circumstantial evidence. I know my younger sister was abused. In fact, her abuse started around the same age as I believe mine did (a hypothesis based on many facts from my childhood). I have few visual memories, but many emotional and “body” memories. I’m still trying to come to grips with those being real. In many cases, my visual memories go blank, but body memories pick up where the visual left off. That makes it more difficult for me to believe they are real… why can’t it just be my mind logically explaining what “could have been” next?
So, given all is real, I was abused by my father until I was 12 years old. I dealt with more assaults later in life, too. But, as of the wee hours of this morning, I am 20 years free of sexual assault.
So, why does this all matter? Well, it wasn’t until 2010 that I even tried to deal with any of what I’d been through (I remembered all of what happened after my father). I wouldn’t even label the rapes as “rape.” They were just unwanted and unpleasant sexual experiences. It wasn’t until I started getting memories of my father that I learned enough to KNOW what happened to me. I lived my life feeling like if someone wants sex from me, they will get it – no matter what. It didn’t matter if I fought or said no or begged… they would get it. It didn’t matter what I wanted, only what they wanted. NOW, I know better.
But, there are so many that don’t know that. People thinking they’re going crazy when they’re not – they’re just human and reacting to trauma in a normal way. Children who think that they’re only getting what the deserve… or that no one cares what they’re going through. To make it all worse… there are the people who refuse to listen, believe or protect. I want to change that. I want open conversation about sexual abuse and assault. I want the public to know how common this really is and how rare it truly is for anyone to be lying about it. I want people to actively PREVENT this stuff from happening so that it becomes rare. I want the predators to be caught and punished – which can happen with more awareness. Sure, what happened to me sucks… but I have hopes that we can save others from ever going through it.
I may have a long way to go in dealing with my life, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to help others. I didn’t tell soon enough about who abused and assaulted me to stop them from hurting others. I will always carry that guilt. ALWAYS. But I won’t lie down and die without fighting.
I have a few fronts I’m fighting on now. I am fighting the authorities in my religion over my molestation. When I first reported to them, almost 15 years ago, they told me to keep quiet and avoid the man who did it. They told me to make HIS life easier by avoiding confrontation. I was ignorant and shut up for far too long. I’ve come back to them and reported again. This time, they instated a punishment, but revoked it because he was dying of cancer. They wanted to show him compassion on his deathbed. And along with that compassion, they wanted further silence on what he did. To let it die with him. The problem is, he admitted to what he did… and he had several victims. They want to let a serial pedophile die in peace while his victims live their lives with what he did to each of them. THIS victim will NOT be quiet. I am expecting a response from them soon.