On a night, not particularly different from any other night, my door was opened and the shadow of a man I knew came into my bedroom. He picked me up from my bed and proceeded to step on my feet so that I could not move. In the moments that occurred next – I was raped.
Trying to get away, but not a single scream left my lips.
I had to have been around the age of sixteen when it happened. I can remember scrubbing my skin raw in the shower after it was over.
This man was no stranger, he was actually a boy that I had begged my mother to come live with us because his own home life was a roller coaster ride of crazy events. Yet, as time had gone on drugs had come into play and the once decent personality he once had no longer existed.
He returned to his own room and when the morning came it was not spoken of.
I thought that it would have been a disgrace to myself and to my family if I spoke of it. Now understand, that is not because of how my family was, rather just a strange thought within my own head.
It took many years to finally let go of that event. Nightmares, the inability to trust, fear, self-loathing – all wrapped up in the secret I was holding onto.
Yet there was something that I always understood – I could not allow this vile act to hold power over me. For to give it power was to take away my strength that I was a survivor.
To me it didn’t matter if people believed me, I knew the truth. I knew what had happed that night and I would be damned if I would let it dictate power over my life.
I have now told many over the years, to those whom I have met that have suffered the same ordeal. I have spoken to both men and women that have lived through such moments.
None would ever wish for you to go through these horrid attacks, yet if you have I am greatly sorry and hope that as time goes on you will find your strength, your passion, your power to state that you will not go quietly into that black night.
My silence was a terrible thing because it did not bring a voice to be put toward the fight to end rape.
Yet this message is not to pressure any who have lived through this. This is only a tale of what I experienced. I have been raped twice in my life. Neither of those times dictates who I am. I will not say that I forgive my rapist, that also is not who I am.
However, I will say this – Gather your strength warriors, for life does not care if you are harmed. Yet you have a fire inside of you that can burn with such fierceness that no matter where you go or what you do you will always know it is you that can conquer this world.