Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When Being Molested is Part of Your Life Story

Until this moment, there are very few people that know about my childhood. I am the kind of person that usually has a very tight, inner circle of people that I actually will trust and talk to about what I really think and feel.

I have been able to enjoy having a lot of great friends and acquaintances in my life, but I have not let too many people in at all. In fact, I usually would be the person that everyone else brings their troubles and worries to. This doesn't bother me, I enjoy it. I love being able to help others overcome their pain and disappointment in life.

Over the last several months, I have been striving to be more open about who I am, what shaped me into who I am today, and what I really think about things. I hate conflict, and will go along to get along to avoid it. However, I have reached a point where I just want to be me. I want to be myself. I do not care if who I am offends people right now. I just need to do this for me, so that I can continue to grow and progress in this life.

Right now, I feel that it is important that I talk about the things that I have hidden throughout my life. The pain that I have experienced. Prior to now, I have written a booklet that I self published that mentions some things. I am currently working on a novel, that goes into my experiences a lot more, but those experiences are not clearly stated like they happened. They are written in a fairytale/fantasy world way.

A few days ago, I realized that I was still hiding. I was writing about things, but I was not really revealing things. I determined to have more courage. To tell my stories. To reveal those things that I kept as secrets. Recently, I have had many friends and associates talk openly about abuse that has happened to them. One of them has been working through things very openly and on social media.
Utah Wolf Productions

I personally am sharing my stories to help others. I do not want those who are being abused to stay quiet. I want those who are still healing to find people that they can turn to, to talk about it. I want them to hold the people who abused them accountable. And then, I want them to find forgiveness, for themselves. That is why I am sharing one of my stories of sexual abuse. When I feel moved to write, I will share more of them.

There is a small little brown brick house in Orem, Utah. Whenever I am visiting that area, I still drive by it sometimes. It is easy for me to spot. It is a dark brown brick, and has the house number 69 on it made from old wood.

I have many memories there. Some that are good, some that built faith, but many that caused me pain. In one of my books that I started to write and never published, I referred to it as the "Monster House." I had memories of a private school teacher leaving bruises on my arms while I lived there. I remember having several pets die in the short time I lived there as well. I nearly choked a couple of times as well. I stumbled on some stray cat's frozen dead kittens in the garage one morning. It was one of the saddest memories that I had there. Looking back, I understand that at 4 years old, this was a lot to go through. But, there is one thing and one thing only that determined what I called it, and that was being molested.

My parents had been divorced over a year. I was living with my mother and two younger brothers. My mother dated a lot. One particular night, she decided that she was going to go out. I do not know if I just went to bed early, or if she left after we were asleep, but I was not aware that she was gone..

I was lying warm and cozy in my bed. I suddenly felt an uncomfortable feeling, and I woke up. I noticed that the hall light was on, and both of my brothers were laying on the floor in the hallway outside my door.  I felt a different presence in the house. I was filled with fear. I heard creeping footsteps coming down the hall. I instinctively knew that they were not my mother's. Her step was much lighter than those were.

I saw a dark shadow fill the doorway. I was terrified. I could not see any features at all. I could just tell that it was an older boy. I was not sure why he was there. I did not dare call out for my mother. I simply decided to pretend to be asleep and hoped that he would go away.

He didn't. Instead, he came right up to my bed. He pulled down my covers a little ways. I held my breath. I thought that if I pretended to be dead, that he would just leave me alone. It was then that he slid his hand into my panties. He touched me for a short while. I immediately thought about what to do. I wanted to get away, but did not know how. I decided to pretend to be waking up. I started to moan and make sounds. I quickly rolled over and shoved myself between my mattress and the wall. I kept going down the side of the bed, until I knew that I was unreachable. He left the room.

I was so shocked, I did not know what to do. I did not tell my mother or discuss it with anyone. A few days later, while I was at my grandmother's house playing on the floor with my brothers, she said to my mother, "Something is wrong with Charity." My mother decided to take me in the other room and ask me if something was wrong. I told her. I honestly do not remember how much I told her, but I remember that I let her know that I had been molested by the male babysitter that had come to the house.

My mother was not sure what to do. At that time, abuse was not talked about much. She did go to our church leader and talk about it. However, she was told that I probably made it up. She never went to the police, and that was the end of what was done about it. I do not blame anyone for the lack of support or therapy, they had no idea what to do. I do not know if my mother knows the name of the older boy who did this or not, but even if I knew his name, I would not smear it in the mud right now. This is not that kind of post.
Little Me Before Being Sexually Abused

For years, I felt that something was 'wrong' with me. I believed that I was 'broken'. I felt unworthy of love, and I trusted very little. Other experiences of abuse also occurred after this, which caused me to become even more silent and withdrawn. Those who feel they know me well are shocked to learn anything about my past, or my childhood. They can't believe that I could go through all I have, and be the person that I am. And while it definitely is the most painful types of experiences to go through, I have accepted that I am who I am because of it. And I like who I am today. However, it took a long and painful journey to get to this point.

If you have been abused in anyway, there are some things that I want to say to you:

  • It is NOT your fault.
  • There is NOTHING wrong with YOU.
  • You are NOT broken, you just need to HEAL.
  • You DO NOT just need to survive, you can still live.
  • Learn to TRUST again. (not the abuser, but others)
  • TELL Someone (No matter how long it has been since it happened)
  • SEEK Professional help
  • FIND a support system 
  • Your LIFE is not over.
  • You are NOT dirty
  • You are STILL you
  • You can OVERCOME the side effects.
  • You are Worthy of Love
  • You are Loved
  • Learn to Love Yourself Again

I am not going to go into all the ways that being molested affected me in this post. I am sure that it will come out bit by bit as I continue to share my life story with you. However, I want to also say that knowing these things I mentioned above can limit the negative side effects. It is important to reach a point of wholeness so that you can enjoy your life fully. 

Being molested did take away my innocence at that age. I did not have that care free attitude inside that most kids do who are not molested. The world became a dark and scary place for me early in my life. However, I determined as an adult, that I was not going to let him rob me of the rest of my life. It was not until I was in my late teens that I realized decisions I made and struggles that I had that were rooted in this one experience. And that is why I share this with you now. If I can help one person find healing sooner, then it is worth it.

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