From time to I will be posting submissions from our fellow & sister unconquerable souls. This is a post from a survivor who chooses to remain anonymous. We are grateful for her courage.
September 29, 2017
She slowly closes her eyes and tells herself to be brave enough to be in the moment, to go back to the time where her memory had left her, but her body never forgot. She wasn’t a kid anymore – she didn’t have to fear his retaliation if she spoke her truth. She tried to have the courage to heal. She had worked hard to no longer need his validation to believe her version of her truth was accurate.
She doesn’t remember ever feeling safe. Feeling comfortable around him – his gaze would linger so she learned to cover up around him. Babies should not be sexualized – but that summer she learned that even a bathing suit left enough skin showing. She knew what he was thinking – she begged her mom not to leave her with him, she became so clingy that she made her mom promise not to go anywhere without her every night as she tucked her in. She will always wonder how many people knew what he was doing and yet said nothing.
When you lay hands on a child you make them part of a sick legacy of abuse that they never asked for.
When you lay hands on a child you rob her of all sense of who she is. Who she is for so long was a thing to be used and disposed. She will hate herself for not saving her niece from the same fate. When he stopped she was about 10, old enough to shield the baby as best as she knew how.
When you lay hands on child you will make her wonder if he would have ever stopped if her niece wasn’t there to replace her. She will wonder if life is worth living, and will question her sanity.
She never knew that a finger could do so much damage. He knew just how to run it down her body, his intent clear, his power overwhelming. Hard enough to scare, soft enough to leave no bruises. His favorite spot was to drag his finger down her arms – he kept the other touches behind closed doors. When you lay hands on a child you send a silent warning – that no matter where you go, you are never free from them and you will never be safe.
The marks that he left lingered in her soul. When you lay hands on a child she will learn to hate you almost as much as she hates herself. She will not know why she shies away from mirrors, and she will have to fight the urge to hide from herself. A product of her parents, she will hate when she sees him staring back at her.
When you lay hands on a child she will associate her worth with her usefulness to others. She will blame herself – maybe she asked for it, maybe she didn’t say no loud enough, maybe she made it all up. She will rack her brain night after night going through her memories like a rolodex of horror. She wasn’t scared of monsters under the bed – not when her monster lived down the hall.
When you lay hands on a child you set the path for so many others to trespass. You will prepare her to stay silent, that somehow she wanted this, so she best learn to shut up and take it. You will teach her that she is nothing more than body parts, twisted to meet his pleasure.
He violated her sense of safety long before he put hands on her. With every lingering gaze upon her barely formed body a piece of her died inside. She learned to float up, up, up, her mind shutting down, what was happening is too much to comprehend for her 6 year old brain.
When you lay hands on a child you will rob her of years of memory. She will learn to doubt herself, her memories, her feelings, her sense of perception and reality. You will make her wish that she could just disappear, she will long to escape and will use anything at her disposal to make the images stop.
When you lay hands on a child she will start to hurt herself almost as much as you hurt her. She will cut, bruise, and punish herself to feel anything. She used to feel too much – now she feels nothing at all.
When you lay hands on a child you will change their life forever.
When you lay hands on a child you are killing their childhood, their spirit, their sense of self.
When you lay hands on a child you will ensure that they will be slow to trust and quick to leave.
When you lay hands on a child you leave a lasting stain, making them feel dirty for the rest of their life.
When you lay hands on a child you will reduce them to nothing. She understood that her experiences shaped her – but she will always wonder is she who she is because of him or despite him?