So this one is quite a bit different from my normal posts, but I think it’s very important to talk about. Not just for my sake, but for all those who had to endure any sort of uncomfortable situation like this or harassment of any kind, but especially sexual harassment.
If you’re not in the right head space to read about this topic, please use your discretion and don’t be ashamed to skip the post. Just know that I empathize with you, and want what’s best for you. And I hope you do as well. 💌
I remember feeling a little shaky and nervous, but I also felt sort of paralyzed because I didn’t know exactly what was going on or what I should do, or if I should even do anything for that matter. He was my friend’s older brother. I was about 10 or 11 years old, and he was about 14 or 15…. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before, and I didn’t even know what it meant at the time. It wasn’t until over a decade later when I told someone about it. It was my psychologist…and she told me that I was molested.
(Actually, I did tell someone who was a neutral party, and they said that I was just being sensitive, and because I didn’t say “no” that there was nothing wrong with what this guy did….)
I can understand that it’s difficult for someone to believe allegations of harassment or molestation, especially when it was something that happened a long time ago. There was no tangible evidence. Nothing to prove what happened other than someone’s word. And, admittedly, a person’s word on either side can’t always be trusted. That much is true.
I tried to confront him about it a couple years ago. It’s not that I wanted him to beg for forgiveness or anything extreme, though an apology would’ve been nice considering how the experience still affects me now, almost 20 years later. I merely wanted some closure.
Unfortunately when I first tried to jog his memory about the situation, he said he had no clue of what I was talking about. Obviously I didn’t say, “hey, so do you remember the time you molested me?” I just asked if he remembered certain things leading up to the situation. And realistically, I knew it was more likely that he would deny he touched me in that way. But because of the fact that he said he couldn’t remember anything about that day made it seem more like he was lying….
Why I didn’t tell anyone.
It’s hard talking about something that has caused trauma in your life. Talking about it involves other people’s emotions and opinions, and it also makes the traumatic experience even more real.
A big reason why I still didn’t want to tell my parents and family was because I didn’t want them to feel hurt because of it. Talking about it takes you back to the event, to how you felt, to what you were thinking, to what you now think you should have done. And to add whether or not someone will believe you on top of it all….
Considering I was 10 at the time, I didn’t say anything because I thought I would get in trouble for getting into the situation in the first place. I was far more worried about what my parents would say rather than attempting to comprehend what had actually happened, and whether I should do something about it.
I must have blocked it from my memory from then all the way up until it came up during my therapy session. And now that I remember it, I feel the effects now more than I ever have before. I feel it mentally, emotionally, and physically. There are times when my shoulders tense up and I cringe from imagining the feeling of someone’s hands on me.
However, I still believe it was important for me to realize what had happened. It’s definitely better now that I’m older and can process it better. But having held it in for so long has made me feel ashamed, like I am holding onto this feeling of guilt that keeps weighing me down, and I’m still searching for some sort of respite.
As I said before, and will continue to say, PLEASE don’t feel like you can’t talk with anyone out of fear that no one will believe you. I know what it’s like when you feel violated, bad, and dirty because of what happened. It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t ask for it to happen. Regardless of what you were wearing. How you may have been looking at them or the way you were acting. That DOES NOT mean ‘yes’. That DOES NOT mean you consented.
If you felt uncomfortable with the situation, or it made you feel dirty, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it. And if it happened when you were younger, I pray that you will have the strength to let go of any guilt you have for not doing anything. You were young, you didn’t understand, and you didn’t know how to stop it.
I wish you all peace and love. 💌