Let The Bonds Be Broken
Power Of A Message
We all know the power a message can have. For example, a picture speaks volumes. The number of things that can be taken from an image alone are astounding. Some of my blogs are written out of pure emotional desire to speak about something that I am directly going through, my health for example. Other times I am compelled to write about something that I have observed and have strong feelings about. Each time, each blog is one done from heart, from bravery and from a place that I no longer feel silenced in. When I write, I write about my personal experiences and yes, my opinion creeps in there, but nothing that I write about is something that I have not actually been through or witnessed in my very life.
That all having been said, recently I have watched with a heavy heart words fall from others mouths on topics that need a bigger light shed on them. I have read things on Facebook that just compelled me to share the power of a message. Once again, like any other time, I have personal experience with and have been witness to things I will be speaking about. This is a way to show the world that you don’t have to be ashamed, don’t hide in silence, and don’t fear the dark place you might be. Come out into the light, rip of that gag and speak loud and be heard!
Used And Abused
Now, for some of you this isn’t going to be an easy read. This isn’t going to be easy to talk about either. Some of these things nobody wants to be reminded of, others many people in my life don’t even know about. Some things a person thinks they have to carry to the grave for shame and a world that would rather silence us then stand up for us. This today is to be the voice of those who have ever been raped, assaulted, mentally or emotionally abused, sexually abused or physically abused. Today I will share my personal accounts of a life lived in silence for the most part. Let me first start off by saying, I have some knowledge in regards to growing up in an above mentioned situation that I will refrain from going into any detail over as even though I am aware of things, they are not my stories to tell. I will leave it at this, I did spend a time of my young childhood growing up in a home that had certain forms of above mentioned abuse occurring in it.
I had a great amount of my life revolving around feelings of being used and abused. Many times feeling as though things were my fault, other times not understanding at all why things occurred. Like I told you, some of the things I will talk about here, not a single person in my life has ever heard me talk about, others only a handful of people are aware and some things a wider range of my personal connections actually know about. I have decided to talk now, to remind people just how important it is to speak up, to be supportive and stop the silence for all abuse. Nobody should have to live in that shame, that darkness and if we don’t all stand together, we cant change anything.
You Never Knew When I Was Young
Growing up, I never told anyone about something that happened to me on more than one occasion, why not, because of course I was made to feel ashamed and made to feel as if nothing was wrong with what was happening. I was a kid, I honestly didn’t understand then that what was happening really was something I shouldn’t have kept a secret. I can tell you now, that even though I am talking about it, I will never say who this person is. I do not hold any unhealthy feelings over it, I simply moved on and moved past it. That’s not okay though, a person should never do such a thing, because then its just made to appear normal or acceptable. It is never acceptable.
At the age of 11 something happened to me and it happened several times over the course of a couple years. The person doing it was not in anyway a parental figure, nor where they a relative of mine. This was someone that had a connection to my family though. Another reason I have always been hesitant to discuss this is because of that very reason, I was and honestly still am afraid that someone would get mad at me for it. I know, stupid right, why would I fear that at my age now? It is the way society is designed to make us think. I don’t know what exactly to call what happened to me, we are conditioned to believe rape doesn’t occur if you don’t say no, but an 11 year old shouldn’t be put in that position to begin with and certainly isn’t capable of understanding those choices. I was put in the position of having sex with someone, call it what you will rape, sexual assault or abuse, I am not sure what the proper terminology would be for it. I just know as an adult that no 11 year old child is capable of making the decision to have sex with someone and it be a mature thought out situation, and anyone trying to say otherwise is completely wrong for trying to make people believe it should be okay, especially not when they are of legal age!
Sometimes Once Isn’t Enough
I had long forgotten about the ignorance of some adults as I grew older. Far out of my mind never did I actually suffer any emotional damage that I was aware of from anything that might have occurred during my childhood. In fact I had a pretty strong opinion about ever letting anyone abuse me, having witnessed things as a child, I knew I never wanted to let anyone hit me. I never would be that girl who ended up in that relationship, and I was serious about that. It wasn’t right away that I even realized there was a problem once there actually was one. It kind of snuck by me super unexpected. Once I started to see something wasn’t right, and I asked about it, I was made to feel like it was my duty as a woman to please the man she is with at all cost.
So here I was a newly single mother of three in my early 20’s 24/25 ish. I was getting some interest from the young and extremely attractive neighbor. He was 21, so not too young, just younger than me. I thought it was really going to be a decent thing, and then I started having health issues that cause major problems with my ability to have intercourse. I’m talking massive amounts of pain, completely unbearable. It was then I realized something wasn’t right, because the first time when I couldn’t take the pain and I needed to stop, he wouldn’t have it. I pushed through it, miserable didn’t even describe it, but once it was over it was over. I honestly couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want to stop, so I decided to talk to someone and was told it was my duty to satisfy him at the cost of my discomfort.
I was not okay with this, it continued to occur sometimes I didn’t have pain and that was great, but the times I did I would be in tears and begging, “please stop, please stop” that’s how bad it hurt, and it didn’t matter, he just wouldn’t stop. we stopped being intimate and started arguing. This is when he started to show signs of physical violence. Swinging a bat wrapped in barbed wire at me and striking the bed instead and then attempting to choke me. I defended myself and choked him till he was on the ground, however it didn’t end so easily. I wanted it too and thought it would, but no. One last blow up and I was drug out of a vehicle by my hair and then after getting towards the middle of the yard, I was hit in the face. Let me say, I most certainly hit him back! That did put an end to that horrible situation. This time not leaving me so emotionally undamaged. I suffered and didn’t even realize this. For a long time I wouldn’t let anyone touch me and would flinch if they did. It took a great deal of work to get beyond that. I’m talking up until here just very recently I would shut down if someone so much as looked at me with the wrong potential look.
History Seems To Keep Repeating Itself
Like I said, some things are not my stories to tell but lets just say that my life took me in a direction that for many years left me questioning and blaming myself for something that I may or may not have been able to change the out come of. To this very day, this is something that has changed the balance of factors in my life and honestly probably will forever. This is once again something that makes me believe it is all that much more important to stop the silence. It has got to become easier for people to talk about all aspects of these situations. Families need to be able to lean on each other as support and for understanding and guidance. Friends need to be available for the same thing.
Once it would seem life was improving, my past would begin to catch up to me. I had met someone I thought was going to be a good husband. I was married for the second time. It was during this time I discovered quickly that I was not in a healthy place at all when it came to trusting people intimately. During those times, I didn’t want to be intimate, or due to my health I couldn’t be intimate, it was a real struggle for me to understand if it was acceptable for my at the time husband to be viewing me as and referring to me as someone who was simply there for his pleasure. This started arguments, and then religious beliefs being stacked to make me feel defeated and as if it was some how my soul purpose and intent by GOD to be a mans sex slave. Sorry, but that’s not my desire. I have a body that deserves respect. Of course this marriage didn’t last long, 1 year and divorce was finalized, but not before after waking up in the recovery room after a surgery and being told how difficult it was for him to resist just taking sex while I was unconscious. What kind of person even thinks that way?
Then Life Gets Worse
One might think I have been through and seen enough. Life didn’t have it that way, in fact the worst was all about to just get started for me. Things began with me starting a new relationship, one that I knew very quickly was a mistake, but the way narcissistic people work is getting under your skin and making you believe you need them. Of course the shame is so high and real that you don’t want anyone to know what is really happening in your life. Smiles and false presentations of a happy life is all you are capable of. Once again, I have never told most of the people I know a few of these things. Maybe even none of them know about some of these things. This journey started instantly with emotional abuse. Even before we were actually dating, I was being told that I didn’t dress right, my hair was the wrong color, length, I didn’t fix it right. I had bad taste in everything. I had not one single thing about me that was a good or positive thing according to this person.
I knew from the start this was a failure, but I didn’t realize how this person was getting inside and destroying me and creating the control they wanted. I once had a Madonna style beauty mark on my check just above my lip. I was teased about it a lot as a kid, so no I wasn’t a fan of it, however, it was part of me and I couldn’t change it. Not until this person came along anyway. Never in my life had I ever been faced with someone wanting so badly to change a person that they wanted to change their physical appearance at all cost. I was told how disgusting it was to kiss with “that thing” on my face, how it was the only thing they could look at, and how I was ugly because of it.
One day I woke up and felt something odd, I was bleeding and didn’t know why. It turned out that this individual had placed wart remover on my beauty mark while I was asleep. It had caused it to bust open and was now bleeding. I went to the doctor and they said the best thing was to remove it. I now have a scar on my face that everyday I see and am reminded of what lengths a person is willing to go to in order to break someone down. Granted, I am a million times more confident about myself with it gone, but it shouldn’t have been something done in that manner I should have been able to keep it, or remove it based on my own thoughts.
This relationship didn’t get any better. I was forced into believing everything was my fault, that I couldn’t do anything right. I was stupid. I didn’t want to be intimate because I was compared to the ex and told I would never be good enough to be as satisfying as the ex was. In fact, I was cheated on, and it wasn’t done secretively, I received a phone call as soon as they were out of town and told, “I am spending the weekend out of town with my ex. I don’t regret it, and it is your fault I am here.” I put up with any and all behavior because I was made to believe I couldn’t be anything or do anything without them. I was kept in a financial bind by my money being controlled. I was forced into doing many things I didn’t want to do, out of threats of other things happening if I didn’t.
Until You Are There You Just Don’t Get It
I never thought I would be in such a situation that I not only wouldn’t know how to get out of it, but wouldn’t have the needed qualities to do so either. I lost all self esteem I had, my confidence was zero, and I was so depressed that I honestly thought everyone in my life would be better off if I was dead. I was nothing but a useless screw up and my life had proven that over and over again. This person made sure to constantly remind me of that. Things escalated beyond the emotional abuse and it became physical. Instead of standing up for myself I just apologized and begged and pleaded for it not to happen and for this person to just love me instead. Arguments picked constantly just so they had a reason to push me to the ground, or smack me or kick me. It went as far as me being choked in front of my children. I thought this was as bad as it could get.
It just never stopped gaining momentum at this point they realized they had all the power and control they wanted and it was going over board. Cracks made about how they could easily push me off a cliff while hiking, and nobody would question it being an accident, or watching snapped on TV and saying, “you make me want to do that to you.” I was left stranded in a parking lot in another state, the kicker here, is it was my own vehicle. I was left stranded on a few occasions after my car breaking down and being told I would be offered no help. On two different occasions during an argument the car was actually used as a weapon towards me. Once this individual drove into the yard trying to strike me with the car. Other times I would be getting into the vehicle and not be all the way in and they would start driving off, one of those times I was knocked off balance by the door and grabbed ahold of it and they kept driving, me hanging on to the door. It could have gone to a very bad place, but thankfully I finally was able to get away from that situation.
Then Again The Innocent Children That Suffer
Of course I have talked about a lot of ways that abuse has factored into my life. No, I am still not done, however, thanks to hard work those days will forever be gone from my life. My children didn’t get to walk away from life unscathed from any of this. Sadly the emotional abuse rolled onto them, I found all of that out after the fact. This entire situation of events has led to a difficult, trying and stressful relationship for me and my children with lots of resentment of things and lack of trust that I could and would be their protector. I failed them thanks to my inability to believe in myself. My son, not only suffered from these things, but was struggling with depression during all this because of fear of telling me, or letting me find out. To top things off, he is hanging out with what is supposed to be some friends of his, and he is at the time, 14 years old and like I said depressed and struggling form issues already that he was keeping secret.
This 18 year old girl decided to take advantage of his vulnerability and talked him into trying alcohol for the first time. After doing so, she then took advantage of his lack of ability to make good judgement calls, or to protect himself properly. She cornered him in a bathroom and when he tried to get by her, she tripped him easily as he was off balance from the alcohol. She then held him down and physically left bite marks taking out a couple chunks of skin to restrain his arms and allow herself to try and force him into sex. My child was left feeling very confused because he was a boy, why was this happening to him. Then he was also afraid he would get into trouble because he had drank alcohol. Thankfully he came to me, and we were able to do something about it. Unfortunately, I cant take it away, I cant change that my kid has had to experience these things.
This Is Why The Silence Must Stop
This is why this is something that does touch me close to home. It is so important that we stop and make it known that abuse of any kind at any age is not okay. These things can be stopped and prevented. With the right knowledge, and awareness to signs a person can protect themselves and others. If we talk about it more, we can rid the world of the shame of bringing it out into the open. Lets get real, and vulnerable and deep! We need it in order to change things. I am here to tell you first hand, I know because my family is one of those statistics, it does not discriminate, age, gender, race, financial status, its all irrelevant. Spread the word, and if you don’t want to talk about it, then don’t, but share this in order to get others taking action too. Lets do more to protect each other. Be there and offer support, let those who have experienced such things know that its not there fault and that they should never feel guilt, shame or fear that telling someone will ever be harmful to them in anyway.