There is no going back…

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Here goes…the very last wall I have kept guarded and built up around myself like a protective blanket is about to crumble down, and I can’t turn back.

I am a victim of sexual assault. I don’t call myself a survivor, because during my ordeal I never felt that my life or “survival” was in danger. No, the only thing in danger in that dark garage on Huntoon Road was my virginity, my self-esteem, what little shred of innocence I had left, and my dignity.

At 11 years old, I had not even started my period yet. I had only ever kissed one boy {under the bushes at recess at my elementary school}. I only knew about sex secondhand, and I certainly was not “raging with uncontrollable hormones”, which is probably why staying the night in a garage with teenage boys my parents were “hiding” from the juvie police didn’t cross my mind as a “dangerous” decision. I was young. I was stupid. I was wrong.

The next morning, I slithered back into the house and headed straight for the bathroom. I was bleeding from having my small body torn, and I sunk into the bath. I didn’t even know how to shave my legs yet, but I knew what it was like to have someone on top of me.

I wondered if this meant I had to “love him” and that we were “boyfriend and girlfriend” now. The thought made me sick. I wondered if the other girls I knew from school that had “had sex” with this same person had also said “no..please stop” and cried as he promised in their ear that it was going to be okay and to just be quiet. I wondered if I should hold his hand now when I went back outside, because I didn’t really want to look at him much less touch him…or have him touch me, ever again. I wondered if you could get pregnant when you have never had a period. I knew a girl in my school that was pregnant, she was 13. I wondered if everyone would know, or if they could tell. These are the things you think about when you are 11.

I wrote about that night in the garage and about my (physical as well as emotional) pain and confusion in my diary, because that’s what you do when you’re a kid.

A few weeks later, after my 12th birthday and after the young men were long gone, my mother found it…my diary.

She was irate…

…with me. She beat me. She called me a little slut, a whore, a slew of other things and hit me over and over. I remember crying in the bathroom after, and shaving my legs for the first time. I don’t know why I remember that, but I guess that’s what a 12 year old whore does. She never told my father. For that I am still thankful.

Knowing with certainty now that what happened was definitely my fault, and I deserved to be punished for it changed and shaped the way I would view my body and what I could possibly give to another person for many years.

I buried the secret and allowed myself into compromising situations time and time again, because I just didn’t care anymore. There was nothing left to be “taken” from me. I actually have bile rising in my throat right now as I write this.

It took me many years and a new family before I could begin to forgive myself. I even started calling myself a virgin again, but when the words came out it felt like a huge lie. I tried to convince myself that I was… although deep down my biological mothers words and fists had pounded “whore” onto my heart, and deep into my soul.

My husband and I were married for 5 years before I even hinted at what happened in that garage. It was a part of my story I always kept locked away for myself. I never shared any details, and begged him to never talk about it again, and he has not since that day. Again, I am thankful.

No one knows my secret. Not my parents, my brothers, my best friends. Rather, no one “knew”…until now.

Why now? Why would I share this, knowing the insurmountable pain it is going to force me to face?

This is why. Today, 11 of my friends (and counting) shared different memes and opinions about a sexual assault assailant on social media. This person is rich, powerful, and a staple in todays politics. This person is vile, and yet the very people I see pledging their allegiance to him also do so in the name of “Conservative Christian views and Morals”. They do so in the name of “politics”. 

One meme shared said “If American women are so outraged by the use of Trumps naughty words…then who the hell bought 80 million copies of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’?”

{For the record, the leaked tape does not create outrage over his use of “naughty words”, it is much more over his verbal account and boasting of “grabbing (a woman) by her pussy” and pushing his hands up her shirt, putting his lips on her, while trying to use his power and authority to convince the woman to have sex with him.}

Friends, stop. Please. Just stop.

So far, there is 11. 11 friends that have shared dismissing comments on how he sexually assaulted a woman who worked for him, while shifting blame to ALL women because thousands of books about sex were sold. {Wait, what?}

For the record, “reading a book about sex” and having a man “grab” you “by the pussy” while trying to force you to submit yourself to him are TWO VERY VERY VERY DIFFERENT THINGS. I can’t even believe that has to be explained??

I just read the book “Finding Me” by Michelle Knight, a woman who was abducted and brutally sexually tortured for 11 years at the hands of a sexual predator.

This does not mean that I hope to be abducted and sexually tortured and beaten for 11 years, or that I think its cool and okay, nor does it mean that I condone or support the actions of a sexual predator.

It means that I read books.

This way of thinking is disgusting, and must stop. For the love of our children, just stop. It is not okay, it is not the same. The fact that “good people” are still throwing allegiance, while shifting blame once again back onto WOMEN (because this is exactly what a post like this does) is DEPLORABLE and DISGUSTING. It is what we have seen this man do over and over.

That victim was someones DAUGHTER. Every woman this man has ever called a “dog” or “fat” or “ugly” or groped, or sexualized, or assaulted WAS SOMEONES DAUGHTER. Think about that.

This isn’t politics, this is simply about right and wrong, and people perpetuating a rape culture..which is EXACTLY what these memes and comments {and your blind allegiance to it} do.

They shift rape blame from the perp to the victim.

They beat the girl for what the man did to her, just like my mother so many years ago.

Friends, this is NOT about politics. You hurt me today, but I am choosing to let down my guard to help you understand. Every time you dismiss these actions, you hurt me. You hurt girls who have been molested, sexual assault survivors, and women who are victim of sexual harassment. We will still pretend to be okay, but you just reinforced that tiny voice in our heads telling us that our assault was somehow our fault. YOU are a part of a problem far bigger than you understand, for the sake of what? Your candidate? You took another little slice of my dignity today. I will forgive you.

I do not care who you are “voting” for. You can vote for your Trump without condoning his every lewd comment and without dismissing his actions and behavior. Same goes for those of you voting for your Hillary. Voting doesn’t have to mean plowing over and shredding the dignity of others in the blind allegiance of your hero.

For me, I will post this, then reap the consequences..good and bad.

Someone will be helped by knowing that ‘she’ is not alone, and that her assault does not define her.

Someone will tell me all the reasons why I should still vote for Trump, because that’s exactly how disgusting and sick people are.

Some will play the role of my biological mother, and attempt to tear me apart..not knowing that I am far from ever believing those lies again.

But some might sit back and take a moment to let my story and the millions of others just like it “sink in”. They might change the way they speak of these terrible things, the way they blow them off and make memes indicating its okay and don’t think twice about the damage they could potentially cause to their “friends” before moving forward full throttle. They might even change the way they think about the men who hurt women with their words, their hands and their bodies. My hope for you, reader, is that you become one of the latter.

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