I was sexually molested from the age of five until I was twelve. That sentence just made every single one of you reading this uncomfortable. You’re probably sitting there right now debating on whether or not you even want to finish reading this. That’s the thing about speaking up when it comes to uncomfortable issues. It may be difficult, but it is necessary.
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, I’m sure you’ve read some of my tweets and thought to yourself “Why does she keep posting Affirmations? No one can be that positive all the time!” That is 100 % correct. I am not related to Stuart Smalley in any way. I am not perfect either. In fact, if we could get rid of ISIS with F Bombs I could take care of that singlehandedly in my morning commute to DC.
I just happen to know a thing or two about speaking up because I didn’t for a long, long time. Up until the age of nineteen, there were a handful of people who knew my secret. I never told my mom, or our Parish Priest. I was too ashamed.
I probably would’ve kept quiet too except for that one chance encounter that my mother had in a grocery store. She ran into my old babysitter from our country days, and she called me up to tell me about it. There was a part of me that had started to tune out a little but then came the sentence “Oh, and Peggy is running a daycare center out of their home now”. Peggy was the wife of my abuser. I told my mom I’d call her right back and abruptly hung up the phone. I ran straight into the bathroom and threw up. The news physically made me ill. I leaned up against the bathroom wall and cried for an hour.
I was so angry! I angry with myself for keeping the silence; because I already knew those kids were being touched. In that one moment, I knew that I had a decision to make. It was either step up, or do nothing. I got off my bathroom floor, threw on my shoes and drove to the sheriff’s office.
Of course, I had no idea what was headed my way when I got there. Back then, the statute of limitations in the state of Virginia was seven years. I had barely squeaked by. I had to convince the Police that I wasn’t making it up. The female officer was wonderful, but I thought her partner was an ass. I finally stood up, looked him right in the eye and said “If you don’t believe me, let me take a lie detector test. Right now! Let’s go!” He was surprised. I guess he wasn’t expecting that reaction. Never stand in the way of a woman who is irritated and on a mission come hell or high water, let me tell you!
It took a tremendous amount of effort by the police, but somehow they got him to confess. He also got time in Prison. Unfortunately I was correct, and when the story was released other girls came forward. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about that.
A friend of mine asked me once if I could go back in time would I change that part of my life. We had just finished watching “Back to the Future” for the billionth time. I told him no, and he was quite shocked by that. In fact, he looked at me like I had a hole in my head. My answer was no because it made me who I am.
If you’ve hung in there with me this far because this has happened to you I am so incredibly sorry. I don’t have some magic potion, pill, or device that will fix it. If you’ve hung in there because you know someone that this has happened to, I’m sorry for that too.
Social media these days is just such an amazing and powerful tool. I just felt that it was time for more everyday people to stand up with a positive voice. It only takes one person to speak up and create a ripple that is more powerful than you can ever imagine. The chapters of our lives are blank pages that we fill. So far, mine is filled with hope. You chose how yours is filled.
(And for those who don’t know who Stuart Smalley is – He was a character on SNL that was played by Al Franken back in the mid 90’s. That skit always made me laugh. I’m attaching a link for you. It is relevant I think) 😉