Monday, August 13, 2012


WRITER: Anonymous 

My problem is very widespread, and very little talked about. I am married now, and my husband is a therapist. This is how I know how big of a problem my burden is. I have carried it the majority of my life, and it has been one that has almost swallowed me whole. Many, many young women carry this burden in silence, for fear of what might happen to them if they talk about it. My story is a nightmare not just because I dared to talk about it, but because I held onto it for over 30 years in silence. My hope is that sharing it here will help other girls in pain.

I come from a large family. I am the youngest of 9 children. My oldest brother is 21 years older than I am. When he was 28 and had a family of his own, and I was 7 years old, he raped me. It was a nightmare that I will not describe. I cannot, and I will not. I have moved beyond that. He told me that if I told anyone, my mom would think it was my fault, and I would be in trouble. I loved my mom more than anything in the world, so I kept my silence.

I was so silent, my undeveloped brain stored that memory further and further back in the dusty corners of my mind until I was able to suppress it altogether. For 30 years I feared my brother and stayed away from him as much as possible, but I did not remember the events of that awful day.

I was a tedious child and a very obnoxious teenager. I tried everything and got into all kinds of trouble. I didn't care. While the other "cuter" girls got asked out to prom, I stayed home and cried. I was beautiful, but made myself unapproachable. I knew what I was doing. I didn't want the boys to want me. I didn't want to be faced with those choices.

In college, I was engaged to a wonderful young man. Then he dumped me. A short time later I was married to a different man, who dumped me by committing adultery with any number of women. Before too long, I met the love of my life. We dated for a year. He treated me like a delicate flower, his princess, something so precious he would never dare cause me harm. And nearly a year to the day from when we met, we were married. We both wept for joy. We have now been married for 20 years, and he still treats me like I am his queen.

30 years from the time my brother raped me, my memories flooded back to me. I don't know if it was the safety and security that I felt in my loving husband's arms, or what it was that allowed me to remember, but the memories came - demons out of their hiding places. And my husband was my knight in shining armor. He helped me stave off my nightmares and keep them in check. He went with me to my parents, to tell them this awful thing that had happened to me in my childhood.

And that was when the worst thing ever happened. They didn't believe me. My dad called me a liar, and my mom called me a whore.

I sobbed. I was devastated. It was so unexpected, I couldn't believe it was happening. And then to top it all off, our transmission went out as we were driving away from their house! I felt utterly betrayed by everything and everyone that I had believed in, even God!

It went from bad to worse. When my siblings got wind of what had happened, they each turned their backs on me and stopped all communication with me, telling me I was a liar. My brother was a convicted sex offender! They all knew it! And yet, none of them would stand by me! I had lost my family because of this lying rapist who called himself my brother.

I became utterly despondent, and attempted suicide a couple of times. I could see no light ahead of me. I was drowning in my own sorrow, and everyone in my life was telling me what an ugly person I was. I had no hope. I had no vision of a reason to live. Even my husband and children could not possibly benefit from my being alive, because I was obviously such a horrible person, as to not be believed about this heinous thing that I KNEW had happened in my life. I just wanted to die.

But then, something changed. My husband and children brought me back to a place where I could see my self worth. My parents and siblings never did come around. I had to find strength within myself, a will to live, a love of self and God, and a deeper understanding of the way people work inside, and then I could come to a place where I desired to live again. I found joy! I found life! I found the sweet song of the earth and the universe around me. And now when I breathe in it is glorious to me. I found my self-worth so slowly, through time and through my husband, children and God. It just took time. I still struggle with it, but I know my place in the world now. I know who I am. That's a gift that the Lord has given me and no one can take from me. It was a long, uphill struggle, and I won't pretend that I don't slide backward sometimes. The trick is just to remember where I once was and that I never want to go back there again. I have to be strong and hold tight to the lessons I've learned. That makes me stronger than ever, and anchors me so I don't sink any lower. Then I can begin my climb again.

There had been a time in my life where I would climb mountains in the dark just so I could watch the sunrise in all its splendor.

Then the sun went out.

And now, once again, I see the sun rising over distant mountains with promise of all the joy and beauty of a new day.

Just the way I know it will rise for you too.

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