Have you ever thought about an event that took place in your life and wondered how different things would be if that event had never happened? I was 7 years old when the unthinkable happened to me. Something that turned my world upside down. I was molested.
I was always a quiet kid. I didn't talk a lot and I guess you could say that I was introverted even back then. Most of the times I was in a corner playing by myself or reading despite having siblings that were close to my age. When I was in 2nd grade I used to have to go my aunt's house after school to wait for my older sister to pick me up. I liked going there because I got to play with my cousin that was a year younger than me. My 3 older cousins lived there as well. All of them were boys. The 2 older ones were teenagers.
The first time it happened, I was upstairs doing my homework. My then 14 year old cousin came upstairs and started to talk to me. This wasn't unusual. But what came next was. I won't go into full details, but he started to touch me inappropriately over my clothes. And I didn't like it. I knew even back then that it wasn't right. But he didn't stop, even after I asked him to. He only stopped when his little brother came up. It happened 2 more times that I can remember vividly. The one that stands out the most and that I've played over and over in my head countless times, is the time that he touched me underneath my clothes. Up until then he hadn't done that. I was wearing a romper type outfit that was really stretchy and he made me come stand in between his legs while he did it. In front of 2 of his two younger brothers. I remember feeling sad and confused. And wanting to cry. But I learned that if I protested or got upset that it only made things worse. So I said nothing. Not long after that incident, my family moved and I switched schools so I no longer had to go to my aunt's after school. But the damage was already done.
It Changed Me
After those incidents, I remember becoming angrier. At little things. And more frustrated. I never told anyone about what happened. Partly because I didn't want to get into trouble. And I didn't want him to. I was a 7 year old and even though I knew something wasn't right about what happened, I guess I was still in the not wanting to be a tattle tail phase.
I also noticed that when playing with my sisters I became more bossy and a bit meaner. We were big house players. We didn't have any brothers so we usually just never had a "daddy" in our pretend house. After the incidents happened I no longer wanted to play "mommy". I now wanted to play "daddy" and I wasn't always nice. I even went through a phase where I did inappropriate things with my dolls. And wanting to be a boy. Thinking back on it, having that happen to me pretty much set the tone for how I'd interact with guys later on in life. I didn't even know how to act around them for the most part. Middle school was especially hard because the boys were so mean to me there. I was a lot more developed than other girls my age. Those same boys that would tease me in front of everyone would corner me when I was by myself and make me let them touch me. They'd tell me that if I let them put their hand up my shirt that they would be nice to me in front of others. So I let them. But they were never nice, and if I refused to let them, they were even meaner. I was noticing a pattern now with guys. So I stopped trusting them and pretty much started to hate them. I even tried to make myself like girls in a romantic way, but it didn't work. I couldn't stop myself from liking guys, even though I didn't trust them. I met my first boyfriend and thought that I had finally found a good guy. I was wrong. He cheated and broke up with me because I wasn't ready to have sex. Same thing with my next boyfriend. I went to college and still ended up losing my virginity before I was ready to, but I was scared to say or do anything to stop it. And that just became another secret that I kept to myself for years.
After losing my virginity, I pretty much swore off guys. I didn't want anything to do with them. For a long time I willed myself to not think about what happened when I was a kid. I locked the memories away. I actually thought I had forgot. Until I had to face my cousin. I hadn't seen him in years. Everything came rushing back. I was angry and devastated at the same time. And I wanted nothing more then to run to my mom. But I couldn't. Because she still didn't know. No one did. But I had to let it out. So I mustered up the courage and I told my best friend everything. Including losing my virginity. And I felt a little better afterwards.
What I didn't realize was that I was blaming myself all those years. I felt like maybe if I had said something after the first incident I could've saved myself. But there shouldn't have been a first time. He was old enough to know better. I was just a little girl. To this day I still haven't told anyone in my family. I've wanted to but just never knew how. I know my mom. I know she'd blame herself. And she'd want to go straight to him and I don't want that. So I just have always hid it. But lately I've been thinking a lot about breaking my silence. I feel like it would lift a weight of my shoulders. So I've decided to write her a letter. And hopefully I'll be able to give it to her.
I saw a few questions on here about this subject so I decided to share my story. Maybe it'll encourage someone. Maybe it'll let someone know that they aren't alone. I encourage you to talk to someone. Keeping it in only causes more problems in the long run. And always remember that it's not your fault. I can't say that you'll forget I know that I never will. But letting someone in and actually talking about it does help. It helped me realize that I am not what happened to me. It doesn't define me. It doesn't make me who I am.
So whatever you may be going through just remember that. And thanks for reading.