First, I want to thank you for what you have done, inspiring countless amount of young girls through therapy, this website and your book. I also want to express great thanks to every girl who shares her story. It is unbelievable the amount of courage you all have.
My story is complex and painful, as each of these stories are. I wish I could be open about my past for the mere purpose of helping other girls, even if I can only reach one person. However, I don't have the courage...yet.
I am almost 23 years old. I have graduated college, with honors, and am a pediatric nurse in a major city. I live at home with my "happy, close-knitt family" and new puppy. Many people would say I lead a perfect life, but the truth is that I hide in my work and overindulgence in activities. On the outside, I am a happy go-lucky girl, living out her youth-hood. However, on the inside, I am depressed, I feel pathetic and I am disgusted with myself much of the time. I am too ashamed to get counseling but I will be the first to admit that I need help.
Im stalling...sorry. Fhew, ouch, this hurts. I was sexually abused from about 4th grade until the end of senior year in highschool....a very long 9 years. I have amnesia as to exactly when it started but I can recall what house I lived in, narrowing it down to about the age of 9. I have no idea how many times it happened but at one point it was happening everyday, for years...incest that is...by my brother.
I can specifically recall the most minute details of the first time it happened. My family had a "no door locking" policy. I have three siblings, all boys, and all four kids within 5 years of age. I remember getting out of the blue porcelain tub, with a rubber ducky curtain. The smell of Melalucca soap running down my innocent naked body. And there he lay, my brother, on the bathroom floor, asking me if he could take a look. I said "no" and finally 9 years later he listened. At first it was looking, but rapidly became touching. By high school there was oral sex and penetration.
I know that it is NEVER the survivors fault...but I still blame myself. It became worthless to put up a fight...it was easier to give in. He manipulated my thoughts and I believed that if I didn't "do it" he would kill himself. He was my brother, I was supposed to love him (and I still want to love him). So not only did I "do it" but I pretended to enjoy it and sometimes even initiated it (when he looked sad, or to get him to stop yelling at my mom)...and this is what makes me feel guilty. It makes me sick to my stomach now, but I used to self-injure in my "private area."
The details of the past are endless and grooling, so I must move forward. But moving forward I face many challenges. I am obstructed by my emotions and memories every time I try to start an intimate relationship. I have moved home since graduating college, making it nearly impossible to "deal" with the past...as it is still ever so present in daily life. I had intermittent counseling at college which was the best thing I ever did for myself. However, I am petrified to go now because I don't want my naive parents (whom I am very close to) to see the insurance bill...LAME excuse, I know.
I have recently concluded that I do not manifest my pain in an emotional way. Everyone always comments on my constant smile. Rather, I manifest my emotional pain in a physical manner. I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease two years ago and although it is a real disease, I know my emotional health plays a large role in my physical health, or lack there of.
I greatly appreciate you reading this, sorry it was lengthy. To conclude, I can't emphasize enough how amazing, strong and courageous every girl is who has shared her story, inspired other girls, taken the step in acknowledging that abuse is not right and knows that it's not their fault! You have all inspired me.