I write mostly about encouragement; therefore I try to write only about things that will affect positively. The thing is, I’ve kept most of my blog posts positive. Life isn’t always positive and sometimes, knowing that other folks are going through pretty much the same stuff as you might be a source of encouragement.
If anyone decides to go through my past posts, that person would probably come to the conclusion that I’ve had an easy life. Well, I will not dispute that because when I think about what some people have gone through and are still going through, I know things could have been much worse for me.
However, I still want to share this experience with the hope that if there is anyone who is going through the same, that person may know that she (or he) isn’t alone and what’s more, you be a stronger, better person for it.
When I was 12 and 14, I was sexually abused by two different people I called ‘uncle’. Although there was no sexual intercourse, it was still a harrowing experience. It caused a lot of psychological and emotional damage inside of me. It totally destroyed my ability to trust anyone and my belief in the goodness of human beings.
I could not understand what happened to me, all I knew was that it was somehow my fault. I didn’t know how it was or what exactly I did to elicit those attacks on my person, all I knew was that it was my fault.
This feeling grew and stayed with me all through my teenage years. I was sullen and bitter. I had a deep dislike of almost everybody (though I was careful not to show it). My parents had no idea what was wrong with me, they just assumed it was a teenage crisis. I was scared, I was bitter and I was angry. I didn’t know what at, I just knew I was very angry.
In the midst of all this, I was crying out for help. I had told nobody about what happened, I just kept it deep buried inside me. But I wished and hoped someone would just look at me and know that I desperately needed help. I cried silently to myself in the middle of the night. And even in the broad daylight, I cried tears no one else could see. I cried and I cried and I could not stop crying. I cried for so many years. But the tears
all fell inside me; my eyes remained dry.
Well, I finally learned to forgive myself. I realised it could not have been my fault – I was only 13 for goodness sakes! I told my cousin and my best friend and suddenly, it didn’t feel so terrible anymore. And as each day went by, I let go of the bitterness and learned to trust. I had finally gotten over the whole ordeal. Or so I thought.
Today, over 10 years after this all happened, I was telling my husband to be about my experiences and suddenly, the tears started falling – this time they fell outside, on my cheeks. I tried to stop crying but I could not help myself. All the old feelings came back again.
He held me and just let me cry. Later he asked if I felt that I was abused. Everything in me revolted against the term. I am NOT a victim! I shouted in my mind. I opened my mouth to tell him that and for the first time, the myriad feelings inside me found articulation.
I felt betrayed. I told him. He could not understand. Did I feel betrayed by the people who abused (I really hate to use that word) me? That too. But it was more than that. I felt betrayed by those who should have made sure that kind of thing did not happen. I felt even more betrayed by all those who saw and interacted with me after it did happen but never noticed that things were desperately wrong. And it was that sense of betrayal I had carried along with me over the years long after I had let go of the bitterness in my soul.
It was an IT moment. Because I can now put a finger on my feelings, I can begin to deal with them.
I wish I did not go through the experiences I had. Those years were years I will not go through again if I can help it. But I am grateful I went through them. They made me the person I am today, less dogmatic and more compassionate.
It is easier for me to offer encouragement because I know what it is like to be on the brink on drowning without a lifeline. I know first hand how far a little encouragement can take someone.
I know my experience was worse than some and much better than others. Still, it was my reality. Everything seemed so senseless and purposeless. I still don’t know the reason for what I went through, but each time I am able to help anyone see some meaning in life, it makes a little more sense.