Dear Loved One,
The loop plays in your brain, over and over again, searching for the place where you went wrong. You’re looking to find the place where you did something wrong. You are analyzing the spaces in which your body was being violated, and wondering where were the adults who were supposed to be protecting you? Some of you are noting that the adults who were supposed to be protecting you, were the ones stripping away your innocence by penetrating you with their fingers and probing looks of malice and ill will. You are searching for your young self and wanting to protect your young body from the predatory hands of someone you trusted but learned far too soon, they were not to be trusted at all. You as an adult never realize when you’ll have a moment of flashback until you’re drowning in tears and unable to catch your breath because you’re being suffocated by the silence and rage you’ve had to swallow for years because NO ONE took the time to make you feel protected, wanted and like they would bring justice to your cries for help. This is for those of us who have sat in silence because there have been no examples where we have ever felt like our bodies mattered enough for anyone to care. This letter is for all of us who are so scarred by our trauma of not being believed or being brushed off entirely. It’s not your fault.
It is easy to believe that you somehow caused your sexual assault. Somehow you were being too fast, your body was too grown for a young girl, and there’s no way your daddy/stepdaddy/uncle/cousin/neighbor/brother could resist your growth. It’s easy to believe you are at the cause of your own rape and sexual assault when we have grown ass women telling little girls that their bodies are too seductive for grown men. It’s easy to believe you are to blame when the people in charge question you about what you were doing prior to being assaulted. These are the reasons why you could be in a relationship with someone you love and trust, and one episode from one show about a deeply buried secret about sexual assault triggers your own memories of not being advocated for when you told. It’s enough of a dark secret that brings you to your deepest and darkest times, while your partner and your closest friends have no idea what is at the root. You want to share but you’re being held hostage by the voice in your head and the memory of the pain of not being enough to ever utter a word. You’re in distress and you need help but you can’t speak up because you’re paralyzed. You want to say, I was sexually abused, but when I told, nobody did anything about it. For some, it’s not JUST that no one did anything, but you probably had to see your abuser AFTER you told at family functions, holidays and in your nightmares because the secret was out, and it did not matter. You did not matter.
How does anyone find their worth or believe they are worth anything if you tell on the person harming you, and nothing is done. Your pain is met with shame, disdain and YOU are questioned but not comforted. The adults in your life were supposed to advocate for you. They were supposed to ensure that you were taken care of by bringing your abuser to justice. They were supposed to take you into their arms, pull you close and rally around you. Your abuser should have been banished, exiled and humiliated so they could never violate another human being’s life again! There should haven’t been an opportunity for you to be violated again by having to see them in the same setting that was supposed to be your safe space. Who allowed this? Where were the men who were supposed to beat your abuser’s ass? Where was your mother who is supposed to be your greatest advocate and protector? Where was child services? Where was your therapist and all the people who rally for you like on SVU? Where was Olivia Benson? Nowhere apparently. Missing just like the protection you’ve needed, along with your innocence and trust in anyone.
I don’t have sweet words of confidence for you. This is one of those things you’ll have to struggle through every single day, but I don’t have to tell you that. You live with that shit every single day. It haunts you when you want to trust the guy who gives you every reason to trust him, but you can’t let go of your safe space for another human being. You want to tell the women who you’ve grown close to but you can’t be sure they will advocate for you the way you know you need. So you have days where you are numb, and cannot muster the words for anything, zero positivity and every reason why you’re not worth a damn thing. Well, let me tell you, what happened fucking sucks and the adults who failed you also fucking suck. However, YOU, the person to made it here, reading this shit, feeling the pain of those memories, you gotta KNOW you’re better than your memories of yourself. You aren’t helpless, you aren’t a forgotten, worthless, child. You are a person who made it this far, who has struggled to get here and you deserve to live a life free of trauma. You’re worth the therapy you need, you’re worth the letter you need to write to the people who failed you, you’re worth whatever you want to say to your abuser, or the right to say nothing at all!
You MUST step out of the prison you put yourself in when you were protecting yourself. You gotta love yourself enough to stop allowing those memories to assault you all over again. You owe it to your little self to advocate for your voice. You gotta ride for yourself because you are your own savior. The moment you choose to speak up and speak out, the secret will die. The moment you tell those mother fuckers that you are mad at them, can’t stand them, do not forgive them for bringing further harm to you. Speak on the shame, the shadows and the haunted way you’ve had to live your life. Speak up and leaving not a god damn thing unsaid. Vomit out all of it. Then create a damn plan to get your life back because you owe it to yourself. Do this whenever you’d like, but how many more cycles of pain will you need before you there’s no coming back from incredible darkness? How many more conversations at family functions with your abuser being in air shot will you suffer through? Enough. The burden is not yours to carry, but you carry it anyway. It’s time to put this baggage down. Your little self wants to be free and you have the power to release.