The truth is I was sexually abused throughout my childhood.
The truth is that I was told that I liked it and never to tell.
It forever changed my views on relationships and love.
I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t important enough to rescue and defend.
One day the thick wall of lies slowly started to crack.
The truth is shame and pain held me captive and in chains.
The treacherous path leading to freedom and wholeness appeared impossible.
The truth is the remains are difficult to completely overcome.
But what happens to you if you stop trying?
Not long ago a voice said to me “you know you can still press charges against your uncle”. I took a deep breath and said “I know”. I had created a million logical reasons in my head why I couldn’t or shouldn’t do it. When I finally said it out loud to another person I realized it no longer made sense.
The truth is I was afraid.
According to the Department of Justice NSOPW (National Sex Offender Public Website): About 30% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are family members.
Sex offenses represent under 1% of all arrests (cosm.org)
Less than 1%…
Almost a year ago I walked into the police station and spoke the truth. Not my truth, or a version of the truth, but the pure truth. Through trembling and tears I reported the uncounted illegal and immoral offenses forced upon me.
The truth is I honestly didn’t know if I’d survive that day.
But I did.
The fate of my case now lies in the hands of the district attorney, and I await the decision. Will it move forward or die? It’s been over 40 years and is now he said vs. she said.
And he said he doesn’t remember anything.
I fear my case will become just another forgotten statistic.
Lies will never become the truth just like sweeping it under the rug will make it go away.
Almost a year has passed since I found the courage to stand up for myself and make a formal legal complaint.
Will anyone believe me?
Am I wasting my time?
Will my family judge me?
Will this just open old wounds?
The truth is the wounds have always been open. I just learned how to live around them. I’ve tried to anticipate how I will feel if the case doesn’t move forward. Will I be crushed or devastated? Would the entire process been worth a disappointing outcome?
My heart skipped a beat when it dawned on me we both would be notified if the case was dropped. It was painful to know he would feel relief. For a second I regretted my decision, but only because I didn’t want him to think he won. Through tears I knew (no matter the outcome) I made the right decision.
A champion finally appeared and plead the case against my abuse. Did the fact it happened such a long time ago make it any less wicked? Any less criminal? Lack of accountability in my family was a era that was about to come to an end.
The morning the official police report was filed against my uncle I caught a glimpse of my champion. I was a ball of nerves and my stomach was in knots. I walked into the bathroom of the police station as I waited for the detective, and there she was.
So many thoughts raced through my head and it was hard to keep up with them all. I’ve always told my children the right thing to do is usually the hard thing to do. I was living these words right now. Tears filled my eyes and I looked directly in the mirror at myself. The woman looking back at me looked worn out and tired. Years of holding secrets and pain had done it. Living through rejection after rejection by her parents and others did it. Fear of what could or wouldn’t happen did it.
She just reached the point where she just had to leave this burden somewhere. She couldn’t hold onto it one more day. The journey to wholeness had brought her to this place but it couldn’t make her take the next step. She had to do it. As she stood there in fear and felt her haggard soul she knew the truth. She was right where she needed to be. Even if the district attorney didn’t move the case forward – she will.
I will continue to speak out and share my story.
I will continue to take steps to wash away the pain and shame.
I will ferociously pursue healing even when the path seems impossible. (As it frequently does).
As I looked at myself in the mirror that day courage washed over my tired body. I don’t know where it came from but it was long overdue. My champion was there to help make it possible. I finally understood she had never abandoned or betrayed me. Yes, today she didn’t look and feel her best and on the verge of tears but together we believed we would survive that day.
The truth is we did.