Warning: This blog may contain content that may affect some readers
When I was a little girl, I was sexually abused.
With one man’s actions, my entire family was and is still affected to this day.
You may ask ‘why write a blog about this now?’ well in short the answer is in six months I start my own family, and I refuse to let it affect us.
I have been waking up night after night after having dreams about what happened. I know when you are pregnant, crazy dreams can occur, and I guess I wish these ones were just that, crazy dreams. Instead they are memories of what occurred when I was a little girl, I’m just having them whilst asleep.
I am a lucky girl, with an amazing husband, and great males around me. I have always been aware of things that don’t seem right, and wary of those that make me feel less than confident around them. So what these nightmares have me thinking is how do you protect your child from the world? How do you protect your child from your thoughts? Your memories? Of the things that happened to you? After days and days of analysing my thoughts (as one does) I have come to the conclusion that you can’t.
You can teach them and educate them on stranger danger, what is right, and what isn’t, what they should do in a situation that makes them feel unsafe, but you cannot shield them from all the danger in the world. If my child ever asked me, I would tell them the story of what happened to me and my sisters, I would share with them how it made me feel then, and now.
What happened to me was no one else’s fault but the man who did it. It was not my mother who could have protected me more, it is not my sisters, teachers, friends, or strangers fault. Most of all, it was not my fault.
When these actions were no longer secrets, the walls came crashing down around us, and we had to find something to hold on. I never really understood what was happening, I was in Grade 5 at this time. But all of a sudden, I knew that he wasn’t going to be coming home anymore. From this moment, I became the Kelly Clarkson song, Miss Independent.
Back then, I was younger, and I felt a lot differently than I do now. I was too independent, I was distant, and did not connect emotionally with many people, and situations. We moved house, and we stopped communicating. We didn’t talk about it with each other. I was now a me, instead of a we. Whether or not this was my decision and actions, I am still not sure.
I never really went through life thinking about marriage or children, having my own family and things like that. I was focussed on being the best person I could be, and do things that made me happy. After spending the last decade working on me, knowing my strengths, determined to work on my weaknesses, I met the man I was going to marry.
I did, and it is the thing that makes me the happiest.
These days, I make a conscious effort to connect to those I love, I pull myself in to people when I know I’m pushing away, and I am emotionally connected to all the things I do. It makes me more girly, but the tears are worth it.
My relationships with my sisters have changed. I am in awe of the elder, and supportive of the younger ones. I want to be a part of their life, I want to band together to create this family unit that is strong, big, happy and supportive. I want my children to have cousins and aunties and uncles. I want Christmases to be a big deal, and days that have no special meaning, to be memorable.
I know I cannot protect them from things like what happened to me, but I can educate, I can teach, and I can be a role model. I can do the best I can, and trust myself that I have done everything in my ability to show them ways to walk in this world, and that’s all I can control.