I felt as though I had lost my innocence, like I had sinned. I was wrong and dirty. I could never be loved.
I was five when it started. Too young to fully understand what was happening, and old enough to feel violated. As a little girl, there’s no way I could have known it wasn’t my fault. There was no one there to tell me. Yet, the little girl still inside my soul, hiding back in the corner afraid of another attack, doesn’t know it’s not her fault.
I had fallen deep into this hole and it took me a while to remember why, but when I did, it was like a flood.
“Shh, I’ve got you.”
“No, don’t tell.”
“This is love.”
I fell deeper into my depression, a hole so deep and dark nothing could grow. Not my heart, not my love, and not the reality I would make it out alive. I became so fed up with the little girl I used to be. I pushed my problems back in the corner where she was hiding.
I have my own life to live now. How can I carry around the burden of being a victim when that little girl I used to be felt like an entirely different person? She was weak. She wasn’t even brave enough to open her mouth to make it stop. She has caused me so much pain and agony. She is why I’m here in this place; this place of distress and confusion; of fear that I’ll never make it out.
That little girl I used to be is why I’m still here. Because she kept fighting against the odds. Because, for over 19 years she has never given up no matter how deep the pain, no matter how many tears I shed, no matter how many times he whispered, “Shh, it’s okay.”
No matter how deep and dark it got, we worked together to survive. I grew up convinced no one would help me, so I learned to help myself.
I stand today, not as a victim of circumstance, not as a victim of child abuse, not as a victim of a sad story people cringe to, but as a survivor.
Because I am a survivor.