I've been writing and re writing this blog post for what feels like years, at least years in the making. Although it feels like it happened yesterday I have to constantly remind myself that it's been years. Because the nightmares, the PTSD, and the constant anxiety happens daily, which makes the trauma daily.
I didn't report it.
I am not brave enough to report it
and I may never report it.
But I wish I could.
I wish I had the bravery.
I wish I had the guts.
I wish I cared more about me and my justice than I care about the judgement and the consequences.
And I want to so badly.
You don't know what it's like to be a survivor, to be a victim. It's isolating, terrifying, terrible, and mind numbing. You feel at a loss. You feel completely alone. And it's a rollercoaster of "I need to report this" and "I can never report this". It's mind games that you play with yourself over and over again. It's blaming yourself and then having moments of complete clarity where you realize you were a child, you were manipulated, and you're not at fault. It's isolating from friends and family, and then clinging to them. It's hell. Hell is a place in your mind, and being a victim of sexual abuse/attacks is hell. One I wish I didn't know, one I wish no one knew.
My abuser was an excellent manipulator, perfect even. They convinced me that no one would believe me because I was just a "screwed up teenager" I mean...I "even went to a mental hospital". And them? Well they have a sparkling clean reputation. They threatened me with their reputation, having hundreds of character witnesses write letters about how great they are, including those with power, and high profiles. And when I did come clean, to the one person I felt like I could, my abuser convinced them that I was lying and "just a messed up teenager". And that person chose to believe my abuser over me. That's when I knew I could be silenced, easily. After that I stoped sharing my story. I vowed never to tell anyone again. I shut up, isolated myself, and kept my secret for another 4 years.
Being a victim has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with in my entire life. Some days I want to scream what happened to me and how this person hurt me and how much they affected my life. And other days I want to crawl in a hole and just forget it ever happened. Sometimes I get in the habit of thinking about all the others that would be affected by me sharing my story and getting my justice. Them, their family, their friends, everyone they influenced...and why? Why should I worry about them and those close to them when my life has been completely and permanently changed? I will probably never be the same because of their selfish actions but since they were so damn good at manipulating I am still concerned about their life. That's what it feels like to be a victim. EVERYTHING is against you.
I don't have enough evidence
I don't have a stronger voice
I don't have a better reputation
I don't have the odds in my favor
I don't have hundreds of letters
I don't have the courage
I don't have the bravery
All I have is my story and I have to hope and pray that someone out there believes me.
I have to hope that people will listen to my story
I have to hope that people will believe "the messed up teenager"
I have to hope that people will rally beside me
I have to hope that others will come forward.
I have to hope that my story will matter.
That it will make a difference.
and that it won't just be shoved aside.
Because in the end it's my word against theirs.
And why come forward, relive my worst memories, live out my worst fear.