Story 36

Photo by Angie on Unsplash

This story is about a long lived childhood of constant trauma. Insomnia, panic attacks, psychosis, anxiety disorder, insecurities, silence, and self-harm are all the things that were caused by multiple experiences I have had. I have picked my skin until it bled, making me feel something other than guilt towards something I had no responsibility over.

2 people took my innocence from my childhood, my brother and my cousin. What is the root of the problem? Who started this behavior in my family? According to my mother, most of the problems are my fault. I have been taught to take responsibility towards other people’s actions, so that is what I am doing now. I will not stay quiet about the sexual abuse I have witnessed and experienced myself.

I was barely learning to add numbers when I first witnessed my older brother molesting my little sister. I remember running towards my parents room to get their help, but I could’t even describe what was happening because I didn’t know what “sex and pleasure” meant. “I love how it feels” I heard my brother say to my sister, while he was enjoying rocking her on top of him. Since my parents decided to avoid confronting the situation, I had to step in and be the “big sister” by switching places with her. That was the last time I witnessed him doing that, but that does not mean he did it again to my sister. My brother is 6 years older than my sister, how could he have taken advantage of her innocence? 

All I have is questions, the answers remain hidden, and I am searching for them. 

I can only think about my grandmother who got dementia when I was still in elementary school. She was taken advantage of her by my uncle who grabbed her boobs and mocked her while she wasn’t able to defend herself. The memory is vague because I was less than 10 years old, but the laughter of my family members remains. Last year I remember my female cousin arguing with my other cousins about how people treat my grandmother. I could’t be there for her because I wasn’t confronting my own trauma. Now, at 22 I am tired of ignoring reality. I have to make things better for other people, and for my children if I ever have any. 

It all comes back in flashbacks. I remember writing in my journal when I was 12 years old that “life was is not worth the try”. I was giving up on life. 2 years before writing that my cousin started abusing me, but in his perspective he was “teaching me what people do when they are married”. There is no chance that I would enjoy having my partner grab me and push me on my back in bed. 

All of the touching of my body when I was wearing a bikini reminds me of the first time I got sick as a child. It felt like pain and pleasure at the same time. 

When I was 14 I remember been woken in the middle of the night with loud music playing from my mother’s room. The song was “One More Night” by Maroon 5. That was my favorite band, and now I am triggered every time a listen to their music. I can remember getting out of bed at 4 am that Saturday and finding my mom and my dad in the 2nd floor of the house fighting. I am not sure what I saw, but I could see my dad forcing himself on her. My mom screamed at my dad and told him to leave, so he went back to his room. 

I stayed with my mom for 1 hour, while she was drunk and crying on the floor. Then, she smoked a cigarette which she had stopped doing once my grandfather got lung cancer for the first time a couple of years before. 

When I was 16 I thought about killing my self, jumping off the building I live in and flying away like a butterfly. I asked my mom while she was hitting me for no reason “do you want me to kill myself?” as I lay on the couch trying to fall asleep. At 16 I thought about calling my grandmother and ask her if I could move in with her, but I didn’t because I was scared of my grandfather because he physically abused my mom when she was growing up.  

The past is clear, but the present is confusing. My parents remain married, I continue to see my cousins every time I am back home, but my insomnia has worsened. 

2 years ago was in an abusive relationship. Right before the pandemic started.  

When the pandemic started my brother told me in a fight that “I was immature and everyone leaves me because of it”. 3 months later I tried to kill myself. I got very drunk at a birthday dinner with family friends and got in a fight with my dad. I hit my dad next to his heart that night, and he hit me for the first time in my life. We got in the car and they took me to the emergency room for intoxication. I tried to open the door and jump off the car multiple times, but my little sister was trying to stop me. My mom made me talk to my therapist while I was drunk.The next day, my therapist said that all I told her was that “life is not worth living”. 

My entire body was paralyzed for 3 days after that night. I couldn’t get up from my bed, I couldn’t shower and my mom had to put my clothes on. I couldn’t speak, I felt that I was disabled mentally and physically. 

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