The Invisible Loss of Childhood Abuse

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In America every 98 seconds someone is sexual assault (RAINN). This fact breaks my heart. I also wonder how many we don’t know about. Many are scared to report sexual assaults. I get the reasons why some don’t report it. I have been in both sides of this. Meaning I’ve gone to the police before and I haven’t. It’s a hard process.

I want to first paint a little bit of a picture of how I was dealing with life during the times I am mostly talking about. This was my life mostly from 13 till 20: Sometimes when I look back at the few older pictures I have I can see it. I can see the pain I fought so hard to hide. I want to run and give that girl a hug. I want to tell her it’s okay. I don’t think I would have made a difference in her life though. When I was a teen nothing could have broken me free …But myself. I somehow did do that. I honestly don’t know how I did it. I can think of moments that I chosen myself. I feel like those moments though couldn’t have been enough. I know this may sound odd. I think honestly mostly what got me through those dark days was time. I got lucky that I didn’t take too many sleeping pills. I slept away so many days. I got lucky for me at least when I ODed I would wake up in horrible pain. The pain was so bad that I’d make myself throw up. It wasn’t like in the movies . I didn’t just go to a peaceful sleep and never wake up. Though the pains of taking too many pills was great. The pain of facing myself was greater at that time. I would take them almost every day. I would do this because I could sleep away the pain. I could make my brain shut off. Even if just for a little while. I did this for years. I was always so sensitive and emotional. I had a hard time dealing with these emotions as a teen.

I want to write about something that is hard for me wrote about. Many times with childhood abuse people don’t talk about what I call the . I honestly don’t know if this is something others deal with. Maybe I am the only one. This year will be 21 years in September since so much was stolen from me. They talk about what the victim feels about the abuse. What about other people. It changes your relationship with other people. They will try to say it doesn’t but it does. Think about this if your father abuses you. What does his family think about all this? Will they just see it as not their(their child/their brother/their cousin/their uncle) fault? Will they blame you? Will they get upset with how you deal with it?

I was a 13-year-old girl asleep. It doesn’t matter what I had on. It doesn’t matter I was asleep in my parents bed. My father (Wayne) did the worse thing you can do. At this point I had suffered every other type of abuse from him. I was made to feel like this was normal. I was made to feel in many ways it my fault. But that’s all another story.

I was very close to Wayne’s side growing up. Growing up I saw them at least once a week for family dinner. I would run and play with my cousins and my uncle (who was year and half older than me). All my cousins were younger than me and I felt the need to protect them. Honestly most of my family on that side felt like more than just family. When they were in pain I would want to do everything to take it away. I wanted to protect them. I felt safer in that house than the one I lived in. 

Since my cousins were so much younger than me I feel extra pain in a way that I lost them. I am sorry I couldn’t stay close with y’all. I feel shame that y’all are strangers to me. I’ve thought of reaching out and kind of have a couple of times with some of you. I just don’t know how to be family to you. This is my fault not yours. I think y’all are such beautiful people. The world is better because you’re in it.

Everything changed that September day. I grieve for a loss I didn’t actually lose. I honestly sometimes find myself wondering if I hurt them. If I did I didn’t mean to hurt them. I can still see the pain in the eyes of the people I told what happened. I felt the judgement in the way I handled it. Some even told me they didn’t agree with how I went to the police. They thought I should have kept it in the family. Some still don’t agree with how I am with him. They didn’t like that I feared Wayne. I still fear him. I die a little every time I have to let him hug me. Sometimes I’ll be at a store and I’ll swear I see him. I’ll stand there frozen in fear. Sometimes to this day 21 years later I’ll have times when that pain will all come back and I’ll feel like I’m drowning in it. I don’t know what triggers it sometimes.

A few years after what happened with me I don’t know what came over me. I mean I partly know. I missed my family. The invisible loss of them was becoming too much. I could feel the difference in the way they loved me, the way they looked at me was different after that day. I talked myself into I could “get over it”. I decided to move in with Wayne and his new family. I thought I should deal with it head on to prove I was over it. I thought I could force things to go back to how it was before. Yes parts of me wanted to finally have a father.

I didn’t even last two months. There were so many issues coming up. And I saw how little Wayne had changed when it came to his many other issues. One night I woke up and swore I saw Wayne just staring at me. I know this may have been just my fear of him making me see things. But for me in that moment it felt so real. I laid there frozen in fear. I prayed that he wouldn’t do it again. I just laid there what felt like hours. It was early. I needed to talk to my mom. My step mother told me I couldn’t use the phone. We got into a huge fight. I will tell you she put her hands on me in a pull my arm way. She will say it never happened. I was 19 and scared out of my mind.

I left that day and for me any dream of getting back my invisible loss was gone. I was so heartbroken. I kind of had moments of darkness for a while.

Wayne stole so much from me that day 21 years ago. But he was stealing it before that day. I can look back and see that now. I can see how he was leading up to that day. Honestly I don’t see how others don’t see it. I’ve since have had some tell me they thought he was capable of that. They just thought he wouldn’t do it to his own daughter. I don’t know how we can write off what he did. He stole so much love from me. Love that I’ve been living without .

You then have your own thoughts. You wonder how many people know. What do they even know? Maybe someone in the family wish you didn’t go to the police. Maybe they get upset and call DSS. Maybe they get upset and say somethings to you. How does a child deal with all these things? How does an adult deal with these things? Some will talk about it like it was just something that happened and we move on. Some will tell you stories of their own abuse. They talked about how they dealt with it. You feel weak because you couldn’t be strong like them.

Some may wonder why I don’t say all this to them. What good would come from it? And there was a couple of times I started to. I would write a letter to them. But I could hear my mom in the head. She would ask me “How does this help anyone? Is this just for you?” I can’t answer those so I wouldn’t send it.

I don’t know I’ll ever make peace with this loss. I think with time it just gets …I just get more use to it. I worry though when I have a child things will come to the surface. I don’t want Wayne ever to touch my child. Honestly I would rather they never meet. I don’t want people to be upset with me about this. I don’t want my child to miss out on family. So I’m left with what do I do? I don’t know that answer yet. I may never really. But I will protect my future children. They matter more than hurt feelings. I won’t let them feel the invisible loss like me.

https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence

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