I am about to talk about a very sensitive subject for me, something I thought I would never have the courage to speak out about. And that is being raped as a young teen. It’s weird to be telling my story because I was only 14 years old, so it’s not like I had a lifetime of things to say. It’s also strange to know this will be published for everyone to see. I’ve always kept everything inside. No one ever knew about the conflict raging inside of me; people always described me as bubbly and upbeat.
I was repeatedly raped for 3 years straight by my “then” brother-in-law, it was one of the most horrifying experiences, especially for an already confused 14-year-old girl. After the rape my brain shut down. I felt numb, I felt like a shell. All my feelings; the hurt, shame, anger, guilt, sadness, and confusion were all locked away. I felt like I was seeing myself as an outsider. I watched myself smile, laugh, and have fun, but I didn’t feel any of it. When I looked in the mirror I didn’t know the face that stared back at me. That’s when I started to look for ways to try to escape all those feelings I had been feeling, so I started harming myself by cutting. It allowed me to feel my existence, and feel pain, but a different kind of pain. A controlled pain that I was in charge of, I had some sense of control over my out of control life. My parents thought it was just my depression getting worse, and were scared I was going to kill myself, so they admitted me in a psychiatric hospital. I never told anyone about the rape because he made me promise not to tell anyone. So, out of fear, I never told a soul, not even my social workers. I wasn’t really ready to talk about the rape, well not yet at least. If I talked about it I would feel it, it would be real. I wanted to pretend like it didn’t happen, and if no one knew it was easier to pretend.
During the time I was being raped, my father and mother separated for a short period of time because my father was having an affair. At this time I was 15 years old. I stayed home from school for at least 2 weeks because I was severely depressed, between the rape and my father leaving us. At that point, I blamed myself for my father leaving because I thought he left because I was a problem child. But, my mother told me to never think that, that’s not why he left. On my 16th birthday, my father and mother got back together and my little brother was born in January of 1992, and by this time the rape had ended. I grew into an even more problem child because I used to be the baby of the family, and I felt I was being replaced by my little brother. I vaguely remember my mother never being home too much, so me and my 2 older sisters practically raised my little brother, and till this day I love him dearly. So, at age 16 I was on my own and raised myself.
My parents took me to a therapist to be treated for my depression. I decided a therapist wasn’t the solution, I decided the solution was to leave. If I left my city and went to a boarding school I would be away from all my problems. That, of course, didn’t work. I couldn’t run away from my problems because I couldn’t escape myself. By this time, I realized I felt like I hit rock bottom, I had already been through countless therapists and social workers. I wouldn’t talk to any of them. I was still cutting and starting to get really depressed. I started to act out even more, I skipped school almost every day and my grades dropped drastically.
Then, June of 1993 I graduated high school at 17 years old, and found out I was pregnant but the guy I was dating at the time thought it was his and so did I. Well, it turned out it wasn’t his after all, and I realized this after he made me get an abortion. I was too scared to go thru with the abortion at first once I got to the clinic, and backed out for like a minute. I went thru with the abortion and went straight home after. I felt like a horrible human being for killing another human being, my unborn child. So, I not only suffer of chronic PTSD from being raped, from my parents separating, but now the abortion.
Fast forward, when I finally came home from a dual hospital, because I started abusing crack from age 25-35, I finally told my parents after 18 years that my sister’s husband raped me repeatedly. At first, I didn’t think they would believe me, but they did. But my sister did not!! I still feel they judge me and look at me differently.
Anyway, to make an extremely long story short, till this day my rape haunts me. Even though my rapist passed away February of 2017 from brain cancer, it still fucks with my head. I have the dreams; horrible frightening nightmares, vivid replays of the trauma. I can’t handle it, I feel like I want to explode. I feel alone. I was afraid word would get around if anyone knew. I was afraid of how they would react and how they would treat me. I was ashamed by what had happened. I was afraid it was my fault, that I was guilty, and would be blamed. There was so much I had bottled up inside all this time. It’s hard to deal with all the emotions that are overtaking me. I get very moody, and spend a lot of time at home and in bed. Everything is so overwhelming. I have no motivation to do anything. I’ve been thinking about suicide a lot. Thinking about all the years ahead of me make me panic. I keep thinking, I have to kill myself, I don’t care if I go to hell, anything is better than the hell I am going through.
I stayed up one whole night writing my suicide and goodbye letter, that I still have tucked away. When I was admitted, I’ve been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder. About fifty times a day someone would ask me, “What are you here for?” and “How do you feel?” I hated the blunt questions and having to say things, if you didn’t talk about your feelings you had to stay longer at the psych ward. I felt like my parents didn’t love me anymore and that was their way of getting rid of the “problem child.”
But I felt safe at the hospital. At home I have a constant fear that someone was after me. Things aren’t really getting so much better though. I still feel depressed and suicidal. I see a psychiatrist who prescribed me antidepressants. I didn’t want to take “happy pills” but she explained to me that the pills were there to stabilize me, and help me in my down times. I switched to a therapist I like better. I’m able to open up and talk to them, but I feel it’s not beneficial for me. I feel no amount of therapy is going to help me, but I will be on psych meds for the rest of my life. If I stop my meds, I’ll fall off the wagon again. I have a lot of regrets I’ve made in my life and the pain from those regrets, I can’t seem to get rid of. It still tears me apart inside. But, the “good” regrets made me stronger and wiser. I still have a lot of things to work through though.
Looking ahead still has me scared, but I lift up my head and stare down the long road.