I am many things, but I am not a victim.
Victim is a word that brings shame to me. It causes the flashbacks to flood through my mind like an open river.
I am a survivor and this is my story.
I was ten years old.
I just moved from New York to Texas, to be a whole family with my father.
He was in the military and wasn’t around much for the first ten years of my life, until we lost our house and had to come together as a family.
At ten years old, I was proud of my father.
In school I always wrote about how proud I was of him and how much I missed him.
To this day, I still have those notebooks.
What I didn’t see, was the evil that lingered within the flesh.
At ten years old, I was molested.
My innocence, dignity, and trust was taken from me.
I was stripped away of my childhood at the hands of my own father.
My first kiss was forced by him. I remember the moment so vividly.
I remember me pushing away, but being too weak. I remember the tears I was fighting back. I remember the pounding in my heart and fear flowing through my entire body.
I remember running to my bedroom afterwards and crying. I remember the conversation I had with myself.
I told myself that I would never tell a soul.
My father was a dangerous person. He was an alcoholic and anger ran through his veins.
If I were to have told somebody, he would have killed us.
That was our biggest fear. We all feared that he was going to snap and harm us.
So I didnt tell a soul.
The molestation occurred for three years.
It was an everyday occurrence that I couldnt escape, but I tried.
At the age of eleven, I had my first suicide attempt.
At the age of eleven, my best friend was a sharp object that calmed my fears and pain.
At the age of eleven, I developed an eating disorder.
I should’ve been outside playing with friends. I should’ve been enjoying time with family and enjoying my childhood, like every normal eleven year old should.
Instead I was trying to escape the evil. I was trying to protect my family, at the cost of my own life.
At age 12, we moved away from Texas.
We got orders to move to Indiana, so we packed up and headed out.
We settled in well and things were okay. The molestation stopped.
However, my body was still an object.
Constant touching on the outer layers, no matter how hard I tried to stop it.
Then, I got a boyfriend.
My father hated him. You could feel the tension in the air and it was obvious as to why.
For the next two years, I was safe. As long as I had a boyfriend, he didn’t harm me.
March 19th, 2018 rolls around.
At this point I’m in New York visiting my sister. I broke down and told her everything.
Within a week we had lawyers and it was time to get my justice.
It wasn’t an easy process.
My father was still out roaming the streets.
We had an order of protection against him, to keep him away from me.
We did this entire process via the military because it was easier and had a quicker ending.
The whole process mentally killed me.
I grew depressed, I couldn’t focus anymore.
So I dropped out of regular school and switched to online.
At this point I had a job, so I started working during school hours to keep me focused and not overthink.
On February 12th, 2019 I sent my father to jail.
During trial I had to listen to my family explain how this whole situation changed me.
I was no longer happy.
I started wearing jeans and hoodies, even in the blazing heat.
I became underweight.
I didn’t see a future for myself.
My father broke down in trial and apologized to me, in which I walked out of the courtroom.
In that moment, i felt guilt.
I put family in prison, even though it wasn’t my fault.
That was, and is, the hardest part to overcome.
The day after trial, my boyfriend at the time ghosted me. A few weeks later, I broke it off.
Life seemed like it wasn’t going to get better.
Then, I went back to my job and everything fell into place.
I gained the best friendships
I learned my worth.
I figured out that I do in fact have a future.
I even learned that I was lovable, even with my underlying problems.
I struggle with PTSD.
I have many sleepless nights because I don’t want to deal with the flashbacks and nightmares.
However, I smile a lot more.
I’m becoming comfortable in my own skin.
I’m becoming me again.
I was once a victim.
I am now a survivor.