Friday, January 13, 2012
It's a hard life, coming from an abusive home and living in society trying to be all normal like. It's never easy to feel like you fully fit in with those smiling happy people who all talk about their wonderful parents and siblings. There are many days that I truly wish I could of had a normal life too, a life where my biggest complaint is that my parents grounded me for staying out too late with my friends, a life where I got into trouble and my punishment was a time out. Yeah, I have my moments where I feel like having a pity party and wish I could just smack someone, fortunately those moments are becoming fewer and farther between.
It's this time of year where I find myself feeling it the most, the few weeks before my birthday. I tend to reflect more and think about where I was, where I am, and where I want to be. I'll spend this week thinking about where I was, where I came from, my horrible nightmare of an existence. I'll spend the following week thinking about where I am currently both mentally and emotionally. That week will be a good week I am sure, since I know I am in a better place than I was last year. The week of my actual birthday will be the week where I think about where I want to go and what changes I want to make before my next birthday. This is where I make my New Years Resolutions, I don't make them on January 1st, I make them on MY new year, my birthday.....it just makes better sense to me.
So this week...Where was I? Where did I come from?
I came from a really bad life...plain and simple. I grew up in a home where I was raped by my sperm donor, my evil older brother, my uncle and my egg donor's boyfriend....and I was beaten and abused by the egg donor as well. She even tried to kill me! I was constantly reminded by her and my siblings that I was supposed to be a little pill, I wasn't supposed to be born, I wasn't supposed to exist. I was the bane of their existence. My life was a living hell! It was the kind of life that most people don't even believe exists because they don't want to believe that there are those kind of people in this world, no one wants to believe that a child of 2 years old can be raped and they want to believe that maternal instinct prevents people from beating the children they give birth to.
I remember one year in high school, I think it was 9th grade but might have been 10th, where we were assigned a paper in English class. We had to write a speech and present it to the class, I don't remember what the full assignment was exactly but I remember the paper I wrote. I wrote about child abuse and I personalized it. I don't remember the exact words but it started like this:
"Imagine you're a two year old little girl and your daddy just came home from work. It's late at night and everyone else is asleep"
I told the class to close their eyes, then told them to imagine themselves as a 2 year old being raped by daddy, a 4 year old being raped by your brother, a 6 year old being raped by your uncle, a 10 year old being raped by your mothers boyfriend. I took that class into my world, I told them the details, the smell of cigarettes, the weight of the man you were supposed to trust crushing down on you to keep you quiet. I told them about the beatings at the hand of the woman who gave birth to me, her words echoed in their ears. I took that class into my world.....then I said this line:
"You have just imagined my life"
I'll never forget their faces when I said that. There were students in that class who grew up with me, who knew me before I went into foster care. The same people who watched that nice lady with the long brown hair take me out of my classroom that next to last day of 5th grade. They had known me and thought me a weird kid. They had laughed at me and picked on me for being weird...and now they understood. Some looked shocked, some looked appalled, some had no expression and I wonder if maybe they too had suffered a similar fate. That speech was a HUGE step in my healing process, it was the first time I had fully disclosed my abuse to anyone other than the people directly involved in my case or my therapist. I recall standing at that podium literally trembling and on the verge of tears. A part of me was worried about what they would think, how those in the class would treat me afterward once we left the classroom. I recall my teacher whispering in my ear:
"That was really brave!"
and thinking that I didn't feel very brave at all. I felt small and scared, I was worried that maybe I had gone too far and maybe I shouldn't have done that, maybe I shouldn't have taken them into that world. The speech was meant to explain that 1 in ever 4 girls is sexually abused by the time they turn 18, 1 in every 9 boys is also sexually abused. The majority of those cases happen with someone the child knows and trusts. I wanted to make them aware that there was a good chance that the person sitting next to them could be suffering inside because of their life, I wanted to take their teenage blinders off and make them aware that bad things do happen and that's why we need to be sensitive to those around us. I wanted them to understand that they should think twice before laughing at the weird kid because that weird kid probably needs a friend more than they will ever know and that one friend can make a huge difference in their life. I wanted them to see that teenage bullying and cruel jokes aren't funny and that maybe they need to think twice the next time they spy that weirdo in the hall. I also wanted anyone in that class who might be getting abused (or who might have been a victim of abuse in the past) to know that they were not alone.
Now that I look back to that day, I think it really was pretty brave to do that. To stand in front of my peers in high school and lay out my heart to them...it was either brave or crazy....or maybe it was a bit of both. I realize that it made people not only look at me differently but also my siblings, but at the time I felt it needed to be shared. I was tired of hiding who I was, tired of trying to put on a brave face every day and wear a fake smile. I wanted people to know me for who I was on the inside and how I got that way. I wanted them to understand, to see beyond the facade that myself and all abused kids put up. I felt it was important for them to hear because maybe in hearing it they would become more sensitive as they ventured out into the halls of our school and then out into the world outside our small town. I truly hope that I made a difference in at least one classmate, if I did, then it was totally worth it!