I Was Silent For Fifteen Years
Note: the following discusses child sexual abuse.
I was fourteen when the first girl came forward.
It was New Years Day. I wasn’t there when it happened. Do I wish I had been? I’m unsure. I wish I could have been there to protect my little sister who was only eight years old at the time – but otherwise, I’m glad I wasn’t there, around all those adults that defended him in front of the children.
I was seventeen when I started to take antidepressants. I was living with my nan and my uncle because my family didn’t feel safe living around people who were still defending a paedophile, even though this man had admitted to most of his crimes and was in prison for them. Members of my extended family were visiting him whilst he was in prison.
I was seventeen when the flashbacks started. I would sit on the coach home from college and it would play like a glitching film in my head.
I’m sitting on the sofa.
Something happened. I could see it. Feel it. I didn’t know if it was real or not.
Something happened to me. I saw it as clear as day, but I was scared. I was seventeen and I didn’t realise that I was just a kid so instead I’d beat myself up and tell myself that I deserved to die if I had been silent all these years.
Deep down I knew the truth.
My flashbacks were real.
I was eighteen when I told my mom and my sister what the man in our family had done to me. I accepted it was real. It happened. I still went blank when I spoke and felt like I was choking as the words got lodged in my throat and passed my lips. I’d try to tell the story but there’d be a white space in my head and a voice deep within me saying don’t do it. Shut up. This is going to make you ill.