Abuse, Incest, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rape

The Blame Game & Accountability

So who’s fault is it? Who is at fault for what happened to me? Who’s to blame for my grandfather’s sick inappropriate sexual behavior towards me? Are my parents to blame because he had access to me week after week for six years? Absolutely not! In the past, I blamed my extended family members; specifically my father’s siblings. Because they were aware of their father’s obsession of younger women. It was something that was considered “no big deal”, perhaps even amusing. When my grandfather would come visit on Saturdays, he would watch wrestling & Solid Gold. If your old enough to remember Solid Gold, then you’ll also remember the “Solid Gold Dancers”. My grandfather looked forward to those half naked dancers. I heard stories of prior rapes and even animal cruelty. Though my grandfather took a liking to younger women, I don’t believe anyone thought he was a pedophile.

I do not blame my family for what my grandfather did to me; not anymore. Had it come to their attention prior to me speaking up, he would have been stopped. At least that is what I want to believe. In some weird way I can’t even blame him because he must have went through some abuse himself to become the monster that he was to me. I have spent a great deal of time trying to figure out the root of such evil, but to no avail.

I want to take time to mention that there were six other victims for my grandfather that I know of; but only four of them are known to me. They were not raped by him but they were hurt and torn apart in ways they could not imagine. Those other victims are my father, mother, brother and sister. When I speak of “my family”, please understand that I am not speaking of my immediate family because my father’s Father manipulated my whole household; not just me.

Our family was a close (extended) family or that’s what I thought; however, when the family needed to be closer than ever – it did the total opposite. So though I may blame no one for the abuse from my grandfather, I do blame the elders (3 aunts, 1 uncle and my grandmother) in my family for something.

I blame them for NOT holding my grandfather accountable for his choices and actions towards me. They may disagree with me but let me shed some light on WHY I feel this way.

My family did not hold my grandfather accountable when:
…………they chose to shelter him while hanging me out to dry in the rain.
…………he was allowed to deny what he did and set free because the family decided to “handle it”. He was free while I entered the prison of my mind.
…………he was allowed to attend all our Family Christmas Dinners and our Annual Family BBQ. I was forced to be civil to him when all I wanted to do was slap him and create a scene. This is when I became invisible.
…………when they all swept this under the rug. By doing this, they also swept me under the rug; and I’ve allowed them all to walk on that same rug for 28 years. Each time they stepped on me, I sceramed out for help. But my screams went unheard and when they did hear me, I was given a band aid and swept back under the rug. Then they would walk on that dirty rug all over again. I realised that I wasn’t as invisible as I thought….they just simply closed their eyes, because seeing me would mean seeing the injured prey that the predator had captured. MY GRANDFATHER LIVED AND DIED AS A PEDOPHILE.

My grandfather may have knocked me down, but what my family DID NOT DO….CRUSHED ME!

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Abuse, Incest, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rape

Transparency & My Battle With Demons

Promiscuity; Depression; Confusion; Narcissistic; Bulimic; Obsessive Compulsive; Vengeful; Envious; Manipulator; Fault Finder; Risk Taker; Suicidal; Thief; Liar; Unforgiving; Full of Rage; Full of Anger; Self-Hatred; Self-Pity; Self-Destructive; Self-Sabotage; VICTIM. These are the demons of my past.

Like most demons, they sneak up on you; disguising themselves, making you believe that they are your friends. They tell you how much you need them and that they’ll keep you protected, safe from harm. Before you know it, they take control; control of your life then control of you. Eventually these demons destroy you…..if you let them. So, I decided not to let them destroy me.

Six months after giving birth to my daughter, my symptoms of abuse were triggered while changing her diaper. I made a comment to myself regarding how cute her “VA J J” was. I froze and became concerned that I had violated my little girl; I sobbed, promising never to do that again. You see, my other two children are boys (18 & 10 yrs at that time) and I had no strong reactions while caring for them. Nothing I did in the past could have prepared me for the hell that was about to be unleashed on my world.

I knew that I would never hurt my daughter; the problem was I could NEVER SAY NEVER regarding everyone else. I can never say that her brothers or her father wouldn’t hurt her. My parents made that mistake. I was there when my parents sat in the living room across from me sitting on my grandfathers lap. They had no idea that his hand was between my legs. My little girl became a constant reminder of what happened to me and now it was my job to protect her at all cost. For the next three years my symptoms became worse; it was time to get help because this hell & its demons were beginning to consume every part of my being. It took another two years before I was able to find the help I needed because I discovered that what was happening to me had a name; it’s called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am happy to say that I am currently in intense one-on-one truma therapy and those demons….gone. Ok, maybe not all of them but I can tell you that the demons that are present don’t consume me anymore. Where they once had control of me, I now have control of them.

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Abuse, Incest, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rape

THE TRUTH

The truth is, that at the precious age of 8 years old my paternal grandfather began to molest me with every chance he got. This was easy as I saw him almost every weekend for six years. He was one of my main caregivers. In 1983 at the age of 10, my grandfather raped me for the first time. He did this when my parents took a trip back home to Jamaica with my younger sister. My older brother and I were trusted in the care of my grandparents. My brother was sent away to our cousins’ house, while my grandmother spent most of her time at our family church that was run by her son-in-law. For two weeks or more my grandfather finally had me to himself. He took my virginity; he violated my trust; I lost my identity; I lost my sense of self. The truth is, I knew none of this at the time. The truth is, I thought it was normal. I thought I was special. I thought I was his favorite. He said if I told our secret that he wouldn’t be able to treat me “so nice” any more. He made me feel like I was his whole world. I loved him, but little did I know, because it was all a lie. He was the only one who made me feel special; and because I thought it was normal, I liked the way he made me feel. When I discovered that what he was doing was wrong, I was devastated but I was angry even more. Angry because this trauma controlled every part of my being for so much of my teenage years, and into adulthood.

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FROZEN IN FEAR & BREAKING THE ICE

I am not afraid; not any more. I am not afraid of what others may think of me. I am not afraid of the guilt and shame of being molested and raped by my paternal grandfather. I am not afraid of the backlash that will come from my extended family; especially because for 28 years I have been on my healing journey alone with NO good support. I am not afraid that this may very well destroy my extended family; but in saving my family’s good reputation, I am destroying myself. I am not afraid to be strong, courageous or confident beyond measure. I am not afraid to let people get close to me or to be transparent; allowing all to see the good, the bad and the ugly. I am not afraid to be me.

I’ve been on a journey, a very long journey of self discovery; one that seems like it will never end. Though I may not see an end in sight, I can start over. I was frozen, frozen in fear. Locked away in my own self imposed prison. For 28 years the key to the locked prison door hung around my neck, available at all times; yet only now am I able to release myself. For it has taken me this long to truly know myself. Now that I know myself, I love myself. I love myself enough to tell the TRUTH.

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