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Owning My Truth



For a while I've let the sexual abuse I've experienced control me. It was like this forbidden thing to talk about. It felt so taboo to own my truth, say it out loud, and finally be okay with it. I could not give myself the permission to be okay with life. How could I give myself permission to live a happy life when I experienced trauma, and had to say good-bye to the little girl inside of me too soon? 

There were times in my life that holding my truth in made me live an alternate reality. I started to feel the sexual abuse had never happened, because I just had to have been in a dream or coma that I was getting ready to wake up from at some point. As a result I would feel like a liar... 

I felt like a "victim" at the hands of everybody, and everybody did me wrong. I would say things like, "Watch me try this and see it go wrong for me" or "Everything always goes wrong for me." The world was always against me. 

I felt like every time I set out to do something the world/universe was telling me no. For example, I was doing the classic art thing in the mail, you know the one, where they send you the dog or the little girl to draw. Well, anyway, they were sending me recruiting pamphlets, and they even came to my house! This was my dream to become an artist! I showed my mom in excitement, but my mom stated she did not have the money. My mom knew nothing about financial aide, and it went over my head that obviously we were a low income family, but all I heard was no and my mind ran with it. And I eventually chose a different career route because all I heard was I was not good enough, but I know better now. 

And because I couldn't communicate well, because of the anxiety, I felt the world was calling me ignorant. I was angry quite a bit, and when I would get angry, my words would come out like jello, making me even madder, to the point of feeling rage. The one thing that saved me from my rage, is that, by nature, I'd never want anyone to feel the great deal of pain I'd felt. 

I had a distorted thinking that I was the bad kid because I felt I "willingly" did the sexual acts at times, and I fabricated the story stating he forced me to sit on his lap, in fear of I would be the one getting into trouble. It made me feel I was ugly. That there was something wrong with me. That I was broken. That I was damaged goods. 

I was tired of living life in that revolving door. I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm scared. I would have dreams of doing the acts. I remember putting the images on glass screens in my mind and throw bricks or rocks at it, shattering the glass. I would put the image on an old TV, that had the knobs, and turn the knob to an instant frying station. I didn't know it at the time, but the shattering and frying really helped me to cope. 

I developed thumb sucking to cope, and it still sticks with me, but it something I'm working on. I was an emo kid and listened to a lot of dark music; rock, R&B, etc. Instead of wearing black, I wore all blue, too afraid of being stigmatized. I expressed myself in art and drawing. I was sexually promiscuous at 14, looking for love in all the wrong places, and had a slight drinking problem.     

I also had sympathy for one of my abusers. I was, and a part of me still is afraid of the dark, from being awakened out my sleep. A lot of things happen in the "dark." 

But I've said all this to say I've learned to take little gold nuggets, here and there from life and I'd like to share one with you today. It was a necessity for me to have to sleep with the TV on. The other night I made it two nights in a row sleeping in the dark, getting back to sleep quicker for a change, and not feeling the need to get up and cut the TV on. This is a milestone for me and it shows I'm heading in the right direction.

I've said all of this to also say that this took almost 20 years to adapt and get it right on my own. Get your children psychological help when they need it. The more I  say it out loud the better I feel. I am thankful that I did change my degree to psychology, because it was hard for me to ask for help because of the stigma of African Americans. I was set on the mindset that no one was going to see me cry. Changing my degree helped me to understand that I had PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), in which I thought only happened in war trauma. So in that sense things happen for a reason. I don't regret changing my degree because of this added understanding. I would like to say that I live a life now trying to understand, "what lesson am I supposed to be learning from situation to situation?" Instead of, "why me?"