"Shhh...Be a good little girl, don't tell."

"If you tell, you will be punished, they will not believe you."

"I will kill your family if you tell."

That is #whatIremember.

#IRemember their hands on my young skin.

#IRemember time standing still.

#IRemember holding my breath, being frozen in place.

#IRemember being sexually assaulted at the age of 5, at the age of 8, at the age of 9, at the age of 13...maybe I was 14, and then also as an adult.

#IRemember each one of my predators.

#IRemember holding on to the secrets so tightly that my entire being became those secrets I was hiding, I lost touch with myself.

#IRemember wanting to die, many times over.

#IRemember fearing what people would think of me if they knew my truths.

#IRemember not even knowing how to start telling those secrets.

#IRemember telling my cat about my secrets.

#IRemember after attempting suicide as a teen and telling my mother about some of those secrets, how she rejected me and told me never to talk about them again.

#IRemember how that rejection felt like a kick to my soul and feeling like I was falling off a cliff.

#IRemember the nightmares I have had over the years, running away from a dark figure chasing me.

#IRemember the panic attacks, the PTSD I have being triggered by simple things, like the smell of alcohol on someone's breath or having my mouth covered.

#IRemember so many small details like the rain falling outside, the odor of the wet leather jacket sitting next to the couch when I was being molested, crawling down a hallway and hiding in a closet until one of my predators stopped knocking on the back door...#IRemember that right before one of the attacks I had just purchased an old Elvis Presley album from a thrift store and the week after the take Elvis died.  #IRemember little things, like the crack in the ceiling, the sound of a fan, the foyer to the apartment building and the dust in the corners and under the mailboxes. #IRemember that after each attack I felt emptier than before - each one taking more and more from me.

#IRemember the night I finally wrote out my truths and started sharing them here on this blog - I was terrified of what the world would think of me but at the same time I started knowing what the feeling of freedom actually felt like. #IRemember when I first spoke up and out and how that is #WhenIBecameFree

#IRemember the triggers last night after watching the news and listening to the President of our United States mock the accounts, the testimony of a victim of sexual assault - triggers that brought me back to being a once little girl holding on to secrets - crimes of others- because of... "Shh...Be a good little girl."

Mr. President, I wish I didn't remember, but,,, #IRemember


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