My earliest memories are all very good memories, at least until the age of five, it is at this time that my life would begin to change forever. My cousin David came to live with us, he was much older than me in his teens at this time. I remember thinking it was kind of cool I had an older brother when I was the oldest in my house hold. I adored David, but my adoration turned to fear not to long after he moved in with us.
It is funny somethings you can remember quit clearly and others you can not, I remember the first time that my parents left us alone with David while they went out with their friends. I was five as I said and my sister about three maybe a little older. David was baby sitting while my parents were out. Momma had bathed us and gotten us into our pj’s that night I remember they were a strange poly blend but they were my favorite ones they were light yellow and green and pink and blue.
My sister and I were playing in our bedroom, the house was small, there was a nice kitchen and living room and then my parents room, the bathroom and our room were all connected with no doors. This particular night David was watching TV, and we were playing with our dolls in the bedroom, when he called me into the living room and made my sister stay in the bedroom. This was the first time that I had touched a penis let alone seen one as he made me give him oral sex. I remember wondering why was he doing this, Daddy never did this with me, anyways that was how it began.
And how I began to retreat into myself, from the fun energetic little girl to the hidden secrets that lay beneath. That was the beginning for me in a journey that would span a life time and that I am still living to this day, although in a much healthier and productive way than back in those days.
There is much about the past that seems to be an enigma even to me the one who lived it. Living with a disease is never easy but most assuredly it is not easy when it is mental illness, growing up there were a lot of indicators that I would eventually have depression and that I would eventually have to deal with it on a daily basis. What I did not realize was the impact that it would have on my life and the decisions I would make along the road to becoming the adult I am now.
The reality that I have this dreaded disease something that as I understand now is quit common and can be hereditary began to show itself in the formative years and shyness and quiet retreat, as I got older it showed in other ways, drug use and promiscuous behavior. Self-destructive behaviors were normal for me. It began though in the early years, having suffered at the hands of a family member, sexual abuse that would continue to define my life and lead me to more and more reckless behavior.
Looking at it now I know it for what it is, but it would be many years before I would come to terms with the things that caused trauma in my life. And many more years before I would be well enough to discuss it openly with so many people who have found themselves in the same dark place. In my family it was normal, I do not believe that there are many family members at least in my generation who did not suffer some kind of abuse during those years of growing up.
We all carry the scars from that time and now must learn to define our lives as something other than broken abused children. It is for me cathartic that I was able to deal with and find peace with the ugliness of the past that we grew up in, suffering at the hands of our own family members. So I had to ask myself where and when did it begin? Who allowed this hideous past to continue trickling down into every generation that followed? How many more lives have to be shattered before they realize that by keeping silent they are destroying lives?
All good questions yes? but one problem there are no answers, so what am I supposed to do? At least these were the things that I asked myself while I was going through the healing process. As my mamma always said ” Pick yourself up and dust yourself off” yes but somethings are not so easy to get away from and this is one of those things. How do I live day to day with the after math of sexual abuse by someone I loved?
Getting right with myself was the first step in making it through the quagmire of lies and secrets that have kept my family in silence for many years. For me, the fear died when I was 21 all that was left was rage, and depression and a need to destroy the very person that I should have been healing and protecting, Myself.
This is my journey, along with some poetry and other things I will use this space to begin a trip through my journey in the hope that some where along the way I might help someone in need so that they know that like me, they are not to blame for the things that happened to them and that there is hope at the end of that darkness.