What My Message Would Be If I Were To Die Tomorrow

Why did I wait so long to speak up about being sexually abused?

At the time, I was scared.
I was told I would get in trouble.
That no one would believe me.
I was embarrassed, I didn’t want anyone to know, not my neighbors or friends at school.

I was afraid of getting rejected by my Mother.
I knew someone who was thrown out on the street when she told her Mother that her step-dad was molesting her.
I feared the same thing would happen to me because my Mother and I never had a good relationship.

I also felt I had to be loyal to my abusers, since both of them were family members.
They were people I looked up to for safety and comfort.
So when they started molesting me, I didn’t want to get them in trouble.
I didn’t want to cause problems in the family.
I worked extra hard to make it seem like everything was okay.
Like we were a normal family, because what I wanted more than anything was to be a normal family.

There were so many reasons why I didn’t speak up, but the main reason is that I didn’t know I could.
All the women in my family experienced sexual abuse, but never talked about it.
It was always hush, hush, sweep it under the rug and act like nothing happened.
So when it happened to me, I did the same, because as a kid you live by example.

This is not a dig at my any of the women in my family.
I’m not calling them bad examples or saying it’s their fault.
They just weren’t taught how to speak up either.

If I were to die tomorrow, my one last message would be this.
Speak up.

If you’re a teenager being molested by your dad, speak up.
If you’re a wife being abused by her husband, speak up.

Tell someone you trust, like a teacher or a friend.
I know this sounds scary, but it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
Not a day goes by that I wish my fear hadn’t stopped me from speaking up.

Please know that you have the power to speak up against sexual abuse.
You don’t have to live with it.
You don’t have to keep the secret.
You can use your voice and stand up for yourself.

Whether you are 16 or 61.
Whether it happened yesterday or 30 years ago, it’s never too late to speak up and seek help.
You can do it.


*If you or someone you know, is or has experienced sexual abuse, here is a free resource that can help, https://www.rainn.org/

Rainn helped me a lot when I first started seeking help, and I will always be grateful to them.

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