My Story: I Finally Forgive My Molester
Not a lot of people know my story.
I've been missing a piece of myself, a piece that was intentionally removed from me at a young age, and it left me empty and partially invisible. Worst of all due to this, for years I've been missing out on the gifts that might have come from it. I've been missing out on living my life to its absolute fullest because I was not whole.
For four years, I was molested as a child. From ages 8 to age 12, I was seduced, treated with “special attention,” given priority, and then molested. That innocent part of me was taken from me without my consent and it left me feeling empty.
The shame I felt was so deep that I've never been able to tell my family, and certainly no more than a handful of friends. In some way, I've always blamed myself for letting it happen. I would beat myself up thinking I could have prevented it. For many years, I feared true intimacy and the thought of being fully open and vulnerable with others would have me running the opposite direction.
But the reality of such situations is that one never plans or anticipates a sexual violation, especially as a child; there is no countdown or preparation for what will happen. But at that moment I lost a lot of things: my choice, my self-esteem and my voice.
The thing about trauma is that it has a way of muting those affected by it, making it near impossible to speak during or after that event. This type of silence, creates intense guilt, shame and confusion in the survivor.
I remember how I kept asking myself "Why didn't I stop him? Why didn't I tell anyone? Why did I stay around afterwards like everything was normal?" These questions haunted me for years, and still do from time to time, but what has helped me heal has been dedicating time to getting my voice back. I decided that it was time to work on healing, and because of that, I am able to say now what I couldn't say then.
It's so clear as yesterday in my mind, the night I went to bed knowing that I had to make some big changes to my life forever. I knew it was finally time to let go. I knew that from that moment forward I would forgive myself, my parents, the molester and everyone that I felt could have protected me. It was time to take charge of my life, my emotions, my thoughts and my actions. I was no longer a victim.
That night I wrote in my journal:
- I am done being afraid.
- I am done feeling shame.
- I am not a victim.
- I am a 29-year-old woman who chooses to set herself free.
From that night I was able to take baby steps towards making healing a priority. And this meant focusing on rebuilding a foundation that had never been rock solid, to begin with.
I had to learn to find compassion for that young girl who believed that the sexual assaults may have somehow been her fault and that her sexuality was something to run away from rather than celebrate. And as I began to accept this compassion I began to love and respect my body in the most beautiful way.
Today I’m a different woman and It took a great deal of courage, dedication and a willingness to ask for help. While the road to forgiveness hasn’t been easy, I’m grateful to have transformed what once felt like an unfair obstacle into one of my life’s purpose.
This is my story.