TW: Abuse & Sexual Violence
I want to talk less about my anxiety and depression this year, and more about the abuse and trauma that caused it.
I want to bring to light what it feels to be raped as a 7 year old and threatened with “you’ll be taken away if you tell.” I want to talk about being so hungry that I’d scrounge crisps off other kids at school and always ask for seconds at lunchtime, because sometimes food shopping money was spent on alcohol.
I want to talk about there being domestic violence at home and it wasn’t a secret, everybody knew it.
I want to talk about being a child who was failed by the adult members of her family.
I want to talk about stealing food, bed wetting and staying up late at night to read stories because that was my escape.
I want to talk about my pleas and objections being ignored by a mother who felt powerless herself.
I want to talk about witnessing a family member being racist to a non-white aunt and wondering what that meant for me.
I want to talk about being coaxed and rewarded for repeating racist slurs againt my heritage by my alcoholic and abusive stepdad.
I want to talk about moving around so much that I couldn’t tell you which part of Birmingham feels like home or where my school friends are.
I want to talk about being in a relationship where I was emotionally manipulated to have an abortion I didn’t want to have.
I want to talk about a partner who cheated but gaslighted me to the extent where I doubted the reliability of my own mind.
I want to talk about waking up in the middle of the night to being held down and raped (because that is what the fuck it is.) I want to talk about how I don’t know how many times that happened, I just know that I struggled to be near men for years after that.
I want to talk about what it means to address your demons while trying to coparent with a narcissist.
I want to talk about what it means to be brave enough to share your story, establish boundaries and stick up for yourself, when certain individuals want to use that against you.
Yes, I am a strong, brave and resilient, but I was a victim first. Then a survivor.
And this year will be about sharing that story.