I am the 1 in 4

I usually don’t trigger warn, but this needs it, my friends. Child abuse, sexual abuse. I am utterly fucking terrified to hit submit. I am utterly afraid to post this. I kept quiet for years. I didn’t speak for years. I denied it for years. But it’s time to speak out. Perhaps this will bring healing. Perhaps this will bring peace. Perhaps I will regret posting this. It’s time to be vulnerable and it’s time to no longer be silent.

 

 

 

Image is of a smiling eight year old female child. She has full bangs/fringe and shoulder length brunette hair. She is wearing a multicolor leotard with a tutu, black tights, and a multicolor bow. She is grinning and leaning against a chair.

Image is of a smiling eight year old female child. She has full bangs/fringe and shoulder length brunette hair. She is wearing a multicolor leotard with a tutu, black tights, and a multicolor bow. She is grinning and leaning against a chair.I am the 1 in 4

 

I am the 1 in 4.

I remember the smell of his breath. Bear tainted with potato chips. I remember the sound of his footsteps in the hall. Clip. Flop. Clip. Flop. Shuffle. I remember the creak of his bedroom door, and the creak of mine. I remember the feeling of holding my breath – not daring to breath, not daring to move. Absolute utter silence as I waited. Waited. Waited to see if my door would open that night. Waited to see if I was safe, or if it was another night in hell.

I am the 1 in 4

I remember. I remember the feeling of the sheets under me, the blankets over me, the stuffed animal in my arms. I remember. I remember it all. The posters on my wall, the dances of light in the hallway. I remember. Oh, how I remember.

I am the 1 in 4

I remember the thoughts and emotions that raced through my mind. How young I was. I remember being afraid I was going to die. Being afraid that I wouldn’t make it any longer. Being afraid that I could no longer keep the secret, and he would hurt me worse. That he would hurt me again. That I would never grow up to tell my story.

I am the 1 in 4

I remember what others told me, as a victim of abuse. Before they knew it was sexual, before they knew it was physical, when they merely knew it was emotional. “Just forgive him.” “Walk in his shoes.” “He loves you.” “He’s a very sick man.” “He’s hurting himself.” When they found out the truth, when they found out what he did, their attitudes didn’t change. It was him that should change, not me.

I am the 1 in 4

I remember reading the stats, and how I became one of them. Victims of abuse often turn to self injury. I did. Victims of abuse often turn to eating disorders. I did, as well. Victims of abuse often develop depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Hi, that’s me. And not only are disabled children more vulnerable to child abuse, but are more likely to develop particular health problems later in life. Again, hi, you’re looking at a textbook statistic. It went on for over a decade.

I am the 1 in 4

I remember deciding to speak out. To be there for others. To be the voice for the ones whose abusive parents slaughtered them. To be the voice for the ones who can no longer speak. To protect and help the living, and to mourn for the dead. I remember when I decided NO MORE, and no longer allowing him to have that power over me. I am not brave. I am not an inspiration. I am not courageous. I did what anyone would fucking to do survive a hellish childhood. And as an adult, it is over. I am safe now. He can never hurt me again. I may be the 1 in 4. I may be a part of a club that holds a stigma, a club that no one deserves to be a member of. But my trauma is a part of me and it will always be. Nothing can change that. What can change is what I do with it.

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