Story 37

When I was a kid, I loved animals. We had a lot of animals growing up. I remember my house was like a zoo. Fish, hamsters, birds, cats, and dogs galore. One in particular made me feel so safe and protected. His name was Major and he was a German Shepard. My parents had to put him down because he attacked a man that came to our house. A man that would later become one of my abusers. They didn’t know it then but Major was trying to keep me safe. He did the right thing. He sacrificed his life for me and I will forever be grateful to him. 

I didn’t realize it then, but losing him left me feeling vulnerable in ways I couldn’t understand back then. I was already exposed, being raised by emotionally unavailable parents operating on autopilot. One of seven children, mostly girls. And I had no idea how to use my voice, I just kept everything inside and learned to numb myself. 

I didn’t have a normal childhood. I was introduced to sex at the age of 12, before I even understood what it was. For the next 5 years, I would experience trauma in more ways than I thought possible.

That was my normal. Being so young without any protectors, I thought it was all normal. That this is just how life is. Not for everyone, but definitely for me because I must not be worthy of happiness. My love doesn’t look like the movies. My love hurts. My love eats away at my self-esteem, my dreams, and my spirit. Because I wasn’t good enough.

I’m 34 years old now and have healed a great deal but I recognize there’s still more to do for me to let go of some of the pain from my past. There is one memory that keeps coming to mind and I don’t want to keep it there anymore. This is why I write. It’s coming to mind because I’m ready deal with it now and getting it on paper will give it somewhere else to live. 

Of all my experiences with sexual abuse, this was the absolute worst. There was a guy, 21 at the time, that I met through mutual friends who told me I could be his girlfriend. I was 14 years old and remember being happy that he chose me. ‘Someone wants me so I must be special after all,’ I thought.

He bought us some Coronas and invited me to hang out in the basement of his friend’s house. That guy was 18 or 19. I was supposed to go to work too, but instead chose to hang out with my new “boyfriend.”

The rest is a blur. I remember waking up to someone that was not my boyfriend doing things to me I did not consent to. I started crying. I cried so loud that the younger guy’s mother came down to see what was going on. She asked me if I was okay and I said yes even though I was hysterically crying. She asked me if my mother knew where I was and I said yes even though she had no idea. She looked at me concerned and then looked at her son angry and then said something that I don’t remember. I do remember her leaving the room. I do remember the two of them continuing to do things to me that I didn’t and couldn’t even consent to. Because I was just a kid. 

But I don’t remember all of it. I was so drunk I was barely conscious and that was different than all of the other abuses I’ve faced. In those cases, I had been groomed and invited and asked and made all the wrong decisions, but at least I was able to decide. I don’t know what they did to me while I was blacked out. 

Sometimes I think of his mother and that room. Of the girls who came before I arrived and those that were lured there afterwards. I wonder if she ever stopped them. I like to think so. I hope something stopped them. 

I don’t remember their names. I don’t remember which house it was. I just wanted to forget. I woke up the next afternoon alone and walked out the house disheveled. The guys were outside and I hesitated, not sure if they’d let me go, but they didn’t even talk to me so I made my way to work because I was scheduled again. 

When I arrived, my boss told me that I no longer had a job. The reason he gave was that $20 was missing from the drawer and he thought I did it. But I didn’t. I think he just didn’t want to deal with an employee missing her shift and worried family members coming to look for her. 

I don’t blame him for that but I do wish he had been honest. I may have been naive and made some poor choices but I was never a thief, at least not until he believed I was one. I stole a lot after that. I was whatever others thought of me because I had no idea who I was anymore. I don’t know if I ever did.

I’m 34 years old now and am grateful to have been able to meet and fall in love with myself. I know who I am and who I am not. I no longer accept less than I’m worth and I am worthy of everything. I am enough without doing anything. I am strong, fierce, smart, beautiful, sexy, kind, compassionate, and resilient. 

I am enough because I am me and I don’t need to do anything to prove it. I know it now and although I wish I didn’t have to learn it this way, I can appreciate the lessons now and wouldn’t change a thing because I. love. me. and that’s enough. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s