I have always been afraid to speak of my mistreatment. I carried it around with me because I was always told it was my fault. Everyone always told me who I was, I never had the chance to myself. So I have stayed silent. I took the pain and turned it into a smile. This smile wasn't just an ordinary smile, there were many elements to it. Confusion, fear, anger, sadness, hopelessness... It felt like the weight of the world and I felt it all alone. I also felt happiness. I felt it when I felt the warmth of my mothers hugs. I felt it when my friends told a joke and made me laugh until my ab musucles were sore. I felt it when I was surrounded by beautiful music and good friends. Most importantly I felt happiness through others. Giving all of my love and care for others has been easier than giving myself the love and care I needed. Something I continuously struggle with.
Seven years. Seven years I have smiled that crooked smile. The deceiving smile that hides my fears. I was fourteen, a child, when he grabbed me and starting touching me places that have never been touched. He made me bleed. He took pride in his blood stained hands as I cried myself to sleep. He decided my worth. That was only the beginning.
I was fifteen and he was twenty-two when he decided I was "old enough." He rubbed his lips against mine and his hands on my body. No one knew because it would have "caused trouble." He decided my worth.
I was sixteen and had no worth. I had no love for myself because I was use to the abuse. I began to abuse myself. I gave myself away even though I did not want it. Everyone decided my worth. I laid there but was not present. I was hopeless. I was worthless. I was nothing. They all told me, over and over again. Through the Internet, the phone, everywhere. I was trapped. I was destructive. Several times I was taken advantage of and assaulted because I was so intoxicated and helpless. But they all knew "who I was."
I was seventeen and did not want it. I laid on the bathroom floor lifeless. I can still feel the pressure of his hands digging my wrist into the floor. I was released and alone on the bathroom floor. No one knew I did not want it. No one would have believed it either.
I was eighteen and a freshman in college. It was a different state, a new environment, a new start... Right? I still took the bottle and drank until I was numb. My friends left me alone with him. He seemed to be a really nice guy. They let me go off with him (he was sober) into the night. He made out with my face. He tried to take me back to his dorm but I wasn't able to walk. He laid me underneath a bridge and he left me. He left me there and called someone to get me. It was my fault. New beginnings right?
I tried to forget. I tried to find comfort in a "real" relationship. I was eighteen and the emotional abuse began. All I wanted was his attention. I wanted something "normal" and I let him use and abuse me. I was verbally and emotionally abused for over a year. It felt normal. I did not know my worth, I let him decide my worth.
Please do not ask me why now or why not then. Do not ask me any more details. Do not question my story because for seven years I was alone and afraid that everyone would question me and no one would believe me.
I covered my face as I told him my story. I was shaking with fear, but I told him. I told him and he believed. He cared and he loved me regardless. He believed me and he started this journey with me and I feel stronger because of it. It felt as if a weight was lifted from my heart.
Not everyday is a walk in the park because I told someone. My anxiety continues and my night terrors stay consistent. The only difference is I am not alone. I have found strength in my past and strength in my future with the love of my life who was the first to believe me.