The Quiet Kid
Growing up, I was the quiet kid out of the six of us. I barely talked to anyone, including my teachers. Whenever we had company, I would run to my room and hide because I would hate that everyone would try and force me to talk. I would be so silent that people would forget that I was even around. But little did I know this quiet little girl was about to experience five years of sexual abuse at the mercy of my cousin.
It all started in the third grade when he was tasked with the responsibility of picking me and my younger siblings up from school and going to my aunt's house. After five years of this trauma, it’s hard for me to recall how it all started. But the vivid memories I do have all start the same way, with him finding a way to get us alone together.
I remember my aunt's basement from the tan couches to the crazy paintings she had hung up all around that house. That's where most of it happened, downstairs where I would have to drop my clothes while he masturbated.
The first couple times I did it, I felt ashamed and worthless, but then as it kept happening I became numb to it. I think even he could tell because that's when he stepped it up. I was no longer able to just stand there, I had to participate. I was told to play with myself at nine years old, whatever that meant.
As I became older and my body began to develop more into a younger teenager, that's when he brought sex into the mix. I remember the day he took my virginity like it was yesterday because that pain was unmatched to anything I ever felt before.
When I was walking past his sister's room he called me in and showed me a pen, and told me he was going to put it inside me. After he shoved the pen inside me, he began to pull his pants down and told me to sit on it. From that day forward, I was no longer just standing in the nude. But if I am being honest, I wished I was.
There was a time where I actually thought I was pregnant around the age of twelve. I can vividly remember going to the bathroom, throwing up and punching my stomach hoping to kill whatever may be growing inside me. I even took pills that I knew could put a baby at risk if there was, in fact, one inside me because the last thing I wanted was to have my cousin’s baby.
Today I can still remember every single emotion I felt during those five years. I can sometimes still see and feel that little girl who was so scared to the point that she became numb to her own pain. The nights I spent or still spend crying because of being afraid. I feel that little girl who was lonely and just wanted someone to be there. I can still remember trying to keep the focus on me so he wouldn't touch my younger sister.
The scariest moments for me was walking around a house where at any minute there could be danger.
I lived through five years of being brainwashed into thinking that what happened to me was normal and it's the complete opposite of normal. Up until recently, I struggle with accepting what happened to me because people would treat me as a victim instead of the survivor I am. After years of trauma, I have struggled with mental illness, whether that’s depression, anxiety or being claustrophobic. But as I type this I realize that I have completely forgiven him because I refuse to let this destroy my future as well.
Lastly, I just want to shout out my therapist, because if it wasn't for her, I honestly don't know if I would be brave enough to share my story. You believed me when my own family didn't and that meant everything to me. The fact that you see something in me that I don't even see in myself is kind of scary because I always felt alone and now I don't. I am happy that out of all the people in this world that I am finding my journey to healing with you. I really can't thank you enough. It's because of you I am finding my voice and allowing myself to dream again.