Today's guest blog is written by a survivor of sexual and emotional abuse who wishes to remain anonymous. Her story illustrates how victims of abuse often enact the abuse they suffered from others on their own bodies. Today, she is battling to feel whole, to feel lovable, to stop the abuser-abused cycle. As her title suggests, there is hope on the horizon. Note: some descriptions may be triggering
" If my mom ever found out I was writing this and essentially telling the world our dirty family secret, I believe I would be disowned. If her husband ever found out, I would be killed. I’m sure you think I am exaggerating, but by the time you finish reading this, you will believe me.
So why would I want to share my story and risk so much? I believe that it is important to own our stories. And by sharing our stories with others, perhaps we can find purpose in our pain. Maybe my story will encourage someone to reach out for help. And if I can help one person by telling my story, it is worth the risk.
I thought I was fat when I was a toddler, and by the time I was six, I refused to sit on anyone’s lap. I was terrified that I would somehow break them. So, although I believe the abuse played a significant role in my eating disorder, I cannot say that it was the total reason for it.
My mom remarried when I was about nine or ten. Almost immediately he began making weird comments, trying to touch my chest, and sleeping naked with his bedroom door open. I didn’t quite understand what was happening. When I found money all over my bedroom the next morning, I thought something magical had happened. What kid doesn’t like finding money?
But then it happened. I can’t say I remember everything that happened. The abuse happened in one form or another until Easter 2011. I was watching TV. It was a school night. He started touching my legs. I froze. What was happening? What was about to happen? I knew it wasn’t right, but I couldn’t scream or move or do anything. I was terrified. Then he moved my underwear to the side. I was so scared I couldn’t move.
After he was done, he went to my mom and confessed what he had done. Instead of my mom being angry at him, she told me to pack my bags. She sent me to stay with my aunt and uncle for a few days. So many people knew what had happened. No one did anything about it.
During this time, I began starving myself. I thought that if I looked like a little girl, he wouldn’t want to touch me anymore. When I did eat, I would purge. I would restrict until I passed out. I tried so hard to make my body disappear. I thought that as I got older, I would learn to accept my body, so the purging and restricting wasn’t a big deal.
Except now it has been over twenty years of purging, bingeing, abusing diet pills and laxatives, etc. I continue to abuse my body. I have picked up where he left off. I’m not sure why I feel like I deserve to be miserable. I push people away who try to help.
When you’ve been abused, it’s really hard to trust people. And when no one cared about your wellbeing as a child, why on earth would anyone care about you now that you’re an adult? And maybe I don’t deserve for people to care. Maybe I don’t feel like I am good enough to have people love me or care about me. But I’m trying.
It’s a battle every single day, but if I give up, then they win. I can’t let that happen. And if I give up, who will tell my story? Who will help the kids who are falling through the cracks of the system?
I believe I have my story so that I can help others, and I can’t help anyone if I give up.
Hope appears in the distance
Your selfish needs met
At any cost
Afraid to fall asleep
No one can know
The secrets I keep
Broken and torn
Shattered into pieces
He’s the monster under the bed
The nightmare never ceases
Cutting and starving
Trying to disappear
No one comes to help me
Why am I even here?
The silent screams for help
The tears I’m not allowed to cry
People know and remain silent
I just want to die
Resurrection of my soul
My story finally spoken
No longer wishing to die
No longer feeling broken
Becca recently earned her Masters Degree lives with her dog, Charlie, somewhere in the United States. You can follow her blog, Broken Pieces: My Journey To Freedom.