I have been listening to your show for a very long time now and just as I could no longer suppress the abuse that took place, I found I could no longer keep my story from the listeners out there who may be in need of hearing it.
When you’re 3 years old and someone is taking sexual advantage of you, somehow even at that age, it just doesn’t feel right. I only know that I was 3 because I can relate childhood pictures to the awful memories I have. At around 6 years old, I actually tried to have sexual intercourse with a boy in the neighborhood. Very sad, but even more true.
By the time I was 8, I was filled with an ineffable sadness and bitterness that seemed to be torturing my soul. I innately felt that I was not like the other children I was around daily. At 9, I could no longer bury my thoughts and decided I’d be much better off dead. I took a handful of pills and waited in terror as I thought I was dying. Fortunately at this age, I had no idea what I was doing, so taking a handful of acetaminophen tablets simply left me with horrible stomach pains.
Time passed and I grew more withdrawn. I redirected painful thoughts to boys at school. I went further and further with my sexual actions until I lost my virginity at 13 with a man much older than i was. I was never satisfied with boys my age, I wanted them much older and that’s what I began to seek out. More time passed and the fulfillment began to diminish again. The memories forced themselves back into my mind and my emotions strangled me. I placed myself deep in thought and tried to counsel myself. I told myself repeatedly I didn’t get to be a victim. I’ve always been extremely strong willed so I believed it. I turned all of my negatives into positives and worked hard to suppress bad thoughts. More time passed and I felt pretty good about life. My mind was truly aiding me in forgetting that I had been molested every summer after summer for years. As I became much older, I still held on to my “don’t become a victim” attitude. I went on to get married and have a daughter of my own. All I wanted to do was keep her from ever experiencing my same hurt. As more time passed and I had more children, my heart ached as I realized something more hurtful than ever. Every effort for me to breast feed my children was an experience that I cannot truly explain. It gave me a nausea very similar to the bad feeling I got in my stomach as a child whenever I knew what he was about to do. I fought through it because I knew breast feeding was best. I would find myself crying in the middle of my breast feeding sessions – there were even occasions when I vomited from the nausea. Yet and still, I moved forward and dug deeper for my strength. I never even told a soul until I was about 21 years old and to my surprise, til this day, he has still never been confronted by anyone. Since then, he was even caught peeping at his stepdaughter while she was taking a bath, but even that went ignored. He even randomly told my brother to relay a message to me that simply said “tell her I’m sorry.” In a conversation with my grandmother shortly before she passed away, she asked why I treated him so badly, without hesitation, I told her exactly why – her response: “I had an idea that was it. I never liked how he kissed his daughter in the mouth and the way he held her when she was younger.” I had another conversation with my older sister and explained to her what happened – her response: “He always sat me in between his legs inappropriately and it felt weird, but that’s all I can remember.” I can’t quite explain it, but the hurt I felt knowing maybe all of the summers locked in a room in the basement with him, my grandmother could’ve saved me. Tears are streaming as I write every letter of every word. I couldn’t protect myself and apparently those who could weren’t willing.
Parents, please have conversations with your children no matter how uncomfortable you feel talking about it. I am certain I could’ve been saved had I been taught to simply tell if this ever happened. My mother’s brother lives as a free man while for years his actions kept me imprisoned. Today I am a successful business woman raising amazing children with my wonderful husband. My children know exactly what to do if anything should ever happen to them. If you can’t say that as a parent, stop
what you’re doing and go train your
children! No matter what my strength is today, I will never forget the horrible things that happened in that basement.
Cogee, I am so grateful for your show. I know undoubtedly that you are not just helping, but saving the lives of children and there aren’t many people who can say the same.