A Helpless Victim No Longer
HELPLESS VICTIM NO LONGER
I used to see myself as a helpless victim of child sex abuse, but now I'm a survivor if it.
It started around the time I was eight, and it wasn't until I was fourteen that I was able to get away. For six years I was paralyzed by fear and confusion because somebody I trusted abused their power.
He used to tell me I was his special girl, and that I was so lucky I got to experience the ‘special feelings' that grown-ups gave each other.
I'd had a very unconventional upbringing and no one had ever explained sex to me very clearly, so I didn't really understand what it all meant. He convinced me that his actions were normal. He told me that all girls were frightened when they first started, so it was a good idea to practice with an adult you trusted.
I was told no one ever talked about it, that's why my parents and everyone else hadn't told me about sex. He told me it was very private and it was a bad thing to talk about it to anyone else. I guess I was naïve enough to believe him, so for years I sat back and let him do things to me. Soon enough, drugs became my only way to escape the reality.
When I was fourteen my own personal miracle occurred- he took a job in another city and left and I have never seen or heard from him since. But even though he was out of my life, the psychological scars remained for years.
I've just turned 21 and it's only now that I really think I'm beginning to move on. For the first few years I had no real concept of meaningful sexual relationships and got into unpleasant situations all the time. I've been assaulted by a whole string of men emotionally, sexually and physically. I had really poor self esteem and even still at times have this feeling that no one will ever really love me for who I am- I'll only ever be someone's play toy.
But I believe that one day things will be different. But nothing will ever fall into your lap while you're waiting, so I'm working hard at becoming the best person I can. I've thrown myself into building a good career and started studying at college. I'm rebuilding my relationship with my family and I take time out to do things I enjoy. Probably the biggest change in my life is that I now only have people in my life who mean something to me. I've learned to walk away from people who hurt me or try to own me.
It's doing all this that has helped me realize I am good enough. I am good enough for myself, and if I'm good enough for myself – then I'm not going to let myself fall back into the cycle of abuse again.
What I've been through has made me stronger, has given me a different outlook on life and has taught me lessons I may not have otherwise learned. And when you walk away able to see you're a better person for it, that's what makes you a survivor, not a victim.