In Truth is Healing - Awareness Month

This month, April, is Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Awareness Month. We can all say we are aware that these crimes happen, but to be truly aware means to look at the horror of it all dead in the face and realize the negative impact they have on our society.

We need to look at the resources our communities have.....we need to bring the stigma's out of the closets and not consider the truths victims have lived as "dirty laundry"...we need to realize that when a person shares their stories...their matter how tragic it may all be, that they are on the path of surviving, and facing it all is something we all need to do.

This past month I was introduced to a couple of new web sites where the goal is to unmask the truths behind the abuse....both domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse.

Violence Unsilenced - is a blog where survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault share their stories. The people who share their experiences on this site are truly heroes in my eyes. It takes courage to open up for the world to see the wounds they once had, and may still be dealing with. However by doing so they are not only showing the courage a survivor has, but also the truth behind so many doors in our can and DOES happen to ANYONE!!!

Let Go, Let Peace Come In - Is an organization dedicated in giving adult survivors of child sexual abuse a place to let go of their stories, and share what they experienced as a child and how it has impacted their lives.

Recently I have shared my story on both sites - below is the one I just submitted to Let Go, Let Peace Come In.

The picture is of me and at the age I was when first molested.

My Story...

I was fourteen years old when I told my mother what had happened to me, and why I wanted to die. Through my sobs I told her how I had tried to take my own life that very day by swallowing an entire bottle of aspirin. I remember this clearly. She was sitting on the basement stairs that just so also happen to be the entrance to my bedroom. The show Trapper John, M.D. was playing in the background on my television just feet from my bed, where I laid facing the wall as I spoke.

I felt as if my life had no value, as up to that point it consisted of being ill in hospitals, and men pawing at me. I can remember telling my mother that when I saw the future all I saw was a blackness, a long dark black tunnel. I was a shell. A shell in which doctors poked at as they tried to figure out what was wrong with me, and then men grabbed at for their own pleasure.

I told her how I was only five years old the first time a neighbor of ours cornered me in a foyer, and told me just to stand still and "be a good little girl." I explained to her the reason I didn't want to take the school bus to school when I was 11 had nothing to do with me not wanting to go to school, but rather because that neighbor we once had was the school bus driver.

I then told her about how after we moved to another apartment it was also there where a neighbor, the Vietnam Vet, that my father so much enjoyed his company, often grabbed me when I would go down in the basement to get my bike while he was doing the laundry. Then I was only 8 and 9 years old. I explained to her where his hands would go, and how sometimes when he knew I was home alone and ill (which was often since I spent most of my childhood in and out of hospitals) that he would knock on our backdoor waiting for me to answer. I answered the first couple of times, but quickly learned how to crawl into a closet and wait for him to leave.

I told her about someone close to our family who one night came home drunk while I was at their house. I had been sleeping on the couch and was awoken to a sharp pain in between my legs and how he then got on top of me and told me to be quiet, and explained that if I ever told anyone he would "kill" my family. I explained to her after that I couldn't remember anything except the smell of alcohol, and wet leather from his boots that laid only feet away from head. I was 9 when that happened.

I then told her the reason I didn't want to baby-sit for this one woman was not because of her children, but rather because of her boyfriend. How just weeks prior to that day he had come home while I was babysitting. He was drunk, and how he held me down in a chair while he stuck his tongue down my throat. I told her how I didn't tell my brother even after I ran out of the apartment I was in, and to where he was in the same complex at a friend's house. I told her that the song "I Love the Rainy Nights" made me sick to my stomach because the boyfriend of the woman looked just like Eddie Rabbit, and that song played on the car radio on the way home from that night.

I didn't tell her about the one doctor at the hospital who once pulled me into an examining room when I was 9, to check my catheter that was still in place after my surgery, how he did this without a nurse present, and how I was confused because he wasn't even my doctor. I didn't realize until I was much older what he was actually doing, so she didn't hear about that one.

I explained to her that it was because of all of that I had tried to kill myself that day with the bottle of aspirin, but instead I ended up vomiting it all up only a little while later. I can remember feeling numb as I explained this to her.

It was when I was done telling her everything that I rolled over to look her in the eyes, hoping see compassion...understanding...and maybe even some love. What I saw instead was a blank look. She then told me how disgusting everything I had just explained to her was, and that I was never to mention it again. She told me if my father knew of any of it that it would "kill him." She told me never to tell anyone. She then took her leave of my room and me.

Looking back I am not really sure why or how I found the strength to stay alive through those teens years. I carried so much shame, so many fears, but something else I carried were so many questions. Perhaps it was my ever curious mind that drove me forward to seek out help once I was old enough to do so on my own.

The growth, the grieving, and the understanding took many years to come by. I was always looking for avenues to understand what happened to me and why. Constantly searching for a reason. Wanting to be whole ...wanting to make all those memories and pains go away. So much time and energy that I didn't realize I was married to a man that would one day abuse me in much the same way all those before him had. It took 15 year of marriage before the subtle abuse turned into a nightmare of overt emotional abuse which eventually lead to physical and a final sexual assault.

Healing for me started to come when I let go of the secret, and their shame.When I no longer protected it from being discovered. It was then that I realized all of what I had been through wasn't a shame I needed to carry as my own. I had to grieve all of what happened, and that is when the healing started.

I also now know all that happened, all those crimes that my body and soul suffered, do not define me as a person, nor as a woman. I am so much more than the words I've just written convey. I also know that I am not alone in my journey. That many have walked a similar path - and that I have stepped out of the dark tunnel I saw as my future when I was so young...I now see tomorrow's daylight rather than yesterday's night.


Just Be Real said…
I am so very very sorry your were abused as a child!!!! Thank you for sharing you story here.
You're a very courageous person for sharing such a painful story ... and more so for surviving that kind of hell.
Khris said…
I agree with the comments above. By exposing the truth, you take away much of the power of the evil done to you. I really hope this will help someone dealing with the same situation. I wish you well. Very courageous, and well written.
Eva Marie said…
Thank you for all the kind words. It is freeing to expose the truth for what it was. One of my goals in doing so was to reach out to others and let them know they're not alone..and yes, they can move past it too.

Again..thank you!
Angel said…
I found your blog on "A Voice From Silence", and just wanted to say hello. I hope that you will add me as a friend, and visit my blog as well:) Take care!

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