“It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past but the past refusing to let go of the person”. PTSD is a mental illness that affects 7.8 million Americans . Most people believe PTSD only affects people who were or are in the military and they are wrong because I am one of those people. PTSD is a disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. My PTSD derives from my abusive childhood. Something that started over 17 years ago still affecting me today. I have been victim to PTSD and I have also been the culprit to pushing my pain onto others.
For me PTSD is not sleeping well at night because I am still afraid that someone will come through my door and abuse me. PTSD for me is having nightmares when ever I do sleep so I wake up multiple times throughout the night. It’s crying uncontrollably. It’s being paranoid of every man who I see. It’s being afraid of being alone. It’s only sleeping when there’s someone who I trust near me holding me. I tend to lash out emotionally when I feel I’m unsafe or scared. PTSD for me is a reminder that no matter how far I’ve come my past will always follow. PTSD comes in many forms and for me PTSD is fear.
Growing up in my teenage years my step father also had PTSD. He was a former marine and couldn’t cope with the thought that something was wrong with him. He was prescribed medication to take for his condition but to him he didn’t need them so he didn’t take them. As a result, he would randomly spaz out. It was usually the simplest things that would set him off. Anything that resulted in him feeling weak ended with my him breaking anything in his path. Whether it be Tv’s, furniture, anything in his path was destructed. As a result my younger brother and I would lock ourselves in our rooms until he was no longer screaming at the top of his lungs, threatening to kill us or trying to break down the bedroom door. Until we could hear no more chaos. After it was silent we would go out to see what damage had been done. All of his episodes usually resulted in his blood being splattered everywhere from breaking or throwing everything with his bare hands. Me and my mom would clean up what looked to be a massacre and she would try to get him to take his medication which never ended well. This was denial and rage what we most often associate with PTSD in our military personnel when they have “snapped”.
At the time of my step father’s out cries I was 15 years old while my younger brother was 11. This was something we had never witnessed before so it scared us. I feared for my life at all times of the day or night. You never knew when he might flip or what would set him off. Often times while under attack he would threaten to kill us, you hear something so much you start to believe it. My mother and younger brother and I stayed up all night one night just listening to him , taking turns watching the door, waiting and praying. Although we weren’t really young that still affected us. No child should have to ensure this.
PTSD is our minds reaction to us being unable to cope with a traumatic experience. PTSD is another topic that is rarely discussed but should be. There are people dealing with this constant fight within themselves everyday and need help. If my step father had allowed us to help him, if he had taken his medications all those times he switched on us wouldn’t have happened. My brother and I wouldn’t have had to see something that dramatic at a young age. We shouldn’t have had to fear for our lives in our own home.
If you suffer from PTSD or know anyone who does I beg you to get help or help them get the treatment that they need. They may go through a stage of denial but at the end of the day you’re doing what’s best for them and in severe cases what’s best for you as well. With treatment PTSD can reduce and even elimate the symptoms of PTSD. The thought process one has with PTSD can go away and in that sense PTSD can be improved or “cured”.
In severe cases you have to think of your loved ones. You don’t want them to fear you. You don’t want to be afraid of what you’ll say or do around them either. Take the first step in understanding your diagnosis and begin getting treatment. In getting treatment you allow yourself to be able to lead a better life. The nightmares can stop, The thoughts can stop, it can all go away. I don’t know about you but I want to be able to have a full nights sleep without waking up from a nightmare paranoid. I’m 22 years old and I deserve to live as normal as I possibly can. That’s why I went and got the help I’ve been needing. It’s never too late to better yourself So, what’s stopping you?
“Our spines can’t define us, no matter what degree it’s at”. Often times I don’t think people realize how fortunate they are. People joke about scoliosis but unless you suffer from scoliosis you can’t grasp how severe the pain of Scoliosis can actually be. I’ve always had back pain and for so long no one could tell me why. I tried physical therapy, pain medications, back braces, back massages but at the end of the day I was still always in pain. Pain so severe that for a while I didn’t sleep because I couldn’t. For me my scoliosis is only minor compared to many others I was fortunate enough not to have to have surgery to correct the curve that’s in my spine.
I hear people mentioning Scoliosis on songs and in jokes but scoliosis is more than just having a curved spine. Scoliosis can be walking with a limp because one of your hips is higher than the other. Scoliosis can be not being able to stand up straight or like me trying to use correct posture but you can’t and it only hurts you more. Scoliosis can be having to sleep with a pillow between your legs to take the stress off of your back while you sleep. Scoliosis can be not being able to stand, sit or lie down for long periods of time.
For me Scoliosis is a hassle to live with on a daily basis. There are treatment options,but there is no cure. Some days I wake up and I am fine. Yet, other days I wake up with my back muscles aching, so bad that often times it hurts to stretch. Having to sit for long periods of time or stand for long periods of time is something that I just can’t do so I switch in between them both to limit the strain I put on my back.
The last I checked which was a few years ago the degree of my Scoliosis was only at 20%. I have a C shaped curve in my spine, which curves to the left at the top of my spine near my shoulder blades. So, most of my pain is felt on the upper right portion of my back as it’s pulling. 1 of my hips is slightly higher than the other, but you wouldn’t know unless I told you. So when walking or standing I do walk on my tip toes. The least effective treatment for me was physical therapy as I’d come in pain and leave in even more pain having to be iced down each time before I left. I did the exercises the stretches but the pain never stopped. When it came to taking pain medication the medications either suppressed some of the pain for a moment or did nothing at all. So, on most days I am in pain.
Now my case is only 1 of many. My case is also minor compared to some of the people with this diagnosis. My C curve is only in one portion of my spine. There are people out there with a S-shaped curve which is exactly what it sounds like a S-shaped curve in their spine. These more severe cases of scoliosis results in the person(s) having to get surgery so that they can be able to do normal activities like; walking. There are people who can’t take off their brace as it’s what’s helping them stand up correctly. My scoliosis is only minor compared to some of the cases out there but the pain I endure is devastating. If my 20 degree Curve can cause that much pain imagine what someone at 30 or 50 or 100% goes through on a daily basis.
Scoliosis isn’t a topic that gets discussed on the regular but it should. As there are people out there unable to enjoy their daily lives because of their condition. People take the simple things for granted everyday like being able walk, run stand up straight and just enjoy their life without any worries. There are some people who have never gotten the chance to do “the simple things” because their scoliosis hinders them from being able to do so. So, the next time you hear someone making fun of someone for having scoliosis ask them how often do they wake up in pain? How often are they unable to sleep because there back is having a spasm? How often do they have too stop doing an activity because the pain becomes too severe? People with Scoliosis fight a physical battle everyday with their own body do you? Or the next time you see someone who looks a little different because they walk with a limp or are hunched over due to a curve in their spine don’t hassle them or give them a hard time. We have a lot that we already deal with on a daily basis don’t add to it.
To anyone suffering from Scoliosis you are not alone and no matter how the world may perceive you, you are strong. The curve of your spine does not deter you, it’s merely another obstacle to conquer. You defeat odds everyday by being 1 in a every 40 in the fight against Scoliosis. You still being here another day says your strength can not be matched, and you win because you made it through yesterday! You endured and conquered! I hope one-day we can say my Scoliosis is gone. June is Scoliosis awareness month so, Help me in raising awareness to scoliosis!
In the words of nelson Mandela “Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” It is our job to help shape the young minds of our time. Children will one day be our future doctors, nurses, teachers, policeman etc. The young children of today will one day replace us expected to keep the world running. To be able to do that they need to be raised right, especially when it comes to their mental health. A person’s mental state of mind determines their behavior and their future.
“Your mental health is just as important as your physical health”A person’s state of mind plays an important role in the choices that we make as human beings. An unstable mind can be detrimental to a person’s prosperity. Having mental issues left untreated especially beginning at a young age will have a major impact on them leading all the way into their adult lives.
I grew up mentally and physically damaged. Since childhood I’ve had depression and anxiety. I’ve always understood what most my age can not and I always knew that something was indeed wrong. I wanted help and so I went and asked for it. But, because I was a child it was put off as if I didn’t know what I was saying. That I was too young to know what that meant. But, I did. The key is to listen. You may think your child is wrong, or that your child doesn’t know but sometimes they do. We know our body better than anyone else ever could, even in childhood. “An estimated 3.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the united states have had at least one major depressive episode.” Depression is real and if left untreated can lead to so many other issues; suicide being a major one.
Children can be faced with so many other mental conditions. A common condition is ADHD which is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This was something that I personally never had an issue with but I watched as my younger brother did. “6.4 million children were diagnosed with ADHD between 2003 and 2011. If left untreated ADHD can lead to lifelong problems ; including adult ADHD or add in their adult hood. ADHD disrupts concentration, and enhances hyperactivity. ADHD is now so common among children and must not be ignored. Treatment is necessary in the growth of our future leaders. It’s the simple things like Concentration that most people often take for granted because to us it comes so natural. But, that isn’t the case for everyone. No matter how much people with ADHD try to settle down and be less hyperactive they can’t. With treatment and constructive outlets to channel this extra energy and sometimes behavior it helps to shape and prepare them for understanding and control as they grow older into adult hood.
Autism is another illness that also begins in young children. Autism can begin to manifest and show itself as young as the age of two. Autism like other mental illnesses must be caught early on and treated properly in order for the child to have a chance at leading a normal independent life. This disorder affects the mind of the child. It slows the development of speech and learning disability as well as makes social interaction, communication, and obsessive interests difficult. There is no current cure, but treatment gives people with autism a fair chance at being successful in their adult lives without being dependent on someone else to be able to do so.
There are so many other illness’ that affect children. Children are who will one day take over and teach the future generations to come. If mentally they are unstable they will be incapable of success and taking care of the world. In order for humanity to thrive we have to be ensure that our future leaders are mentally stable and prepared to do so. To my parents; Listen, Pay attention and Take care of your children. These young people are the ones you expect to look after you when you become too old to look after yourself. So, take care of them so that they may be able to one day take care of you. If you hold guardianship over an adolescent my test for you is to Listen to your child, to pay attention and lastly; learn. To learn the signs to be able to notice when something is wrong.” Our greatest natural resource is in the minds of our children.”Take care of our children as they are young so that they will lead our future to be prosperous when they become adults.
” Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic!” Often as women we tend to take on so many different tasks. In the process of taking on everything and trying to be super woman or super mom for some, we often neglect to take care of our-self. This week is Women’s Health Week and Although it’s almost over its never too late to take time out for yourself and make sure you are indeed healthy. I understand that most women have so many people dependent on them, but if You’re always taking care of everyone else who takes Care of you? Roles can always reverse and it doesn’t take much. So, It’s time that you took care of you.
“Take care of your body and it will take care of you.” Something I’ve had to learn all to well. Most days I’m putting myself in overdrive just so that I make it through. I’m the Getting minimal amount of sleep and often times skipping at least one important meal. We get to the point where we get it in our mind that no matter what we’ve got to push through, and so that’s what we do. This works until we have over worked our selves to the point that our body can’t take it. Our bodies begin to slowly shutdown and go into defense mode. This can happen in many ways. It could start off by being sick; maybe with a cold. Your body could ache from the constant stress that’s been placed on it. Lets not forget Fatigue! My point is that we need to take care of our bodies. Our body is what helps us to get through. Taking care of ourselves ensures that we can push on , push through that extra hour, or that extra day. Go to bed earlier, take that nap, pack a lunch. Rest your body and replenish yourself with healthy nutrients so that you have that extra strength to make it through.
As women, we have so much to live up to. There are women with children who are expected to be fantastic mothers all the time. Women are expected to hold a job, care for the children, take care of home and still keep themselves up in the process.A lot is pushed on us because we are women, and we manage to take it all on no matter what obstacles are placed in our way. So, to my women I want to say that you are strong! women are so underestimated, we do so much. We are very important people. In the words of Beyoncé “Girls Run the world!” We as women push our men further when they are on the verge of giving up. We as women birth children and raise them up as young queens and young kings hoping that they take with them the lessons we instilled in them. As women we work until we are tired and then work even harder because if we didn’t do it who else would?
Mentally we turn off that voice within us that’s telling us we need to rest. Mentally we push away all those helpless thoughts because we have so many things to do and to us we are the only ones to get the job done. Being in the right state of mind is also so very helpful in remaining healthy. If your mind is in overload your body will be too because it’s having to work extra hard. There are days where I want to give up, pack up and disappear but I know in doing that when I return the problems will still be here waiting on me. So, when mentally I become tired I pray, I rest and I have most recently started to do yoga and meditation. Taking 10 minutes out of my day and just taking some deep breaths or stretching my body helps put me in the right state of mind so that I am not mentally overwhelmed by everything going on around me.
I know as women it seems everything will fall apart if we don’t take care of everything. But, to take on the world we have to take care of ourselves first. Start off making sure you get enough rest, getting the right amount of nutrients in your body, and taking a break. Things will not fall apart if you take 10 minutes to yourself everyday. Go to the doctor for your annual check ups to ensure you’re in tip-top shape. If you’re feeling under the weather don’t ignore the signs, listen to your body. Your body is your temple and it lets you know when something is wrong. All you have to do is listen. To ALL the super women out there trying to take care of everyone and every thing please take care of yourself first. When was the last time you had a day just for You ?
This was the message that I sent to my step father after he declined to meet with me to talk. I would have rather said everything in person but I wasn’t given the chance :
Before I say what I needed to say I gotta know why are you so small?I hated seeing you like that. That’s not the Drico that I know. So what’s going on? I know you probably won’t tell me but I hope you do.. If not I understand.
I Wanted to start by saying that I really do hope you’re taking care of yourself. But for a while I’ve been wanting to talk to you I was hoping you would accept my offer to talk in person. But since you didn’t I’ll accept writing to you. Whether you respond or not doesn’t matter as long as I say what I need to say.
When you first came into our lives we accepted you and loved you. I’m glad that I was fortunate enough to have some good memories with you in the beginning. Things were great. Unfortunately towards the end of you being in our family majority of the memories were bad, things that I wish I could forget. And those are things I wanted to talk with you about now. With all the things you’ve done I still care about u.
First and foremost I do want to say thankyou for trying to talk to me when you all found out about my past. For that I’m grateful you got me to open up and talk about the things that had been done to me. You taught me a few things like how to cook things which I didn’t know before. So thankyou for those things.
But of all the things that you did teach me you also taught me not to trust people. In the beginning of 09 you were a great guy one we all loved and didn’t mind being around. But, it seemed when you moved in with us all of that changed…. You switched like someone had turned a switch and you became a completely different person. One that I really don’t like. In case you don’t remember ill explain.
When first moving to Arizona you threatened to leave my mother after a dish was left in the sink to soak by me. Blaming me for being the reason that you were leaving. In my opinion that’s was very cowardly of you. If you wanted out you didn’t have to use us kids as an excuse to leave. Secondly, You made me sleep on the floor when I had a perfectly good bed because of your own insecurities and no I don’t feel that was right in any way. Moving forward over the years you and I weren’t close. None of us were really close with you, and no one is to blame but you.
You called Jarrett names and mentally abused him on the daily, that I didn’t like nor did he. The things you say affect the people you say them to. Both you and my mom are wrong because you shouldn’t have said it and she should have spoken up for Jarrett. I hope you treat your new family better than you did us.
You used to make us take cold showers only turning the hot water on for yourself or my mom that’s wrong. I dislike that you made us do things we didn’t want in order to even get shoes for school. That was a game to you but wasnt cool. I know how they feel but I can’t speak for moe and Jarrett they’ll have to tell you themselves but for me you ruined what we’re supposed to be some of the best times in my life.
I disliked how I was forced to walk 2 miles back and forth to school each day rain included. It was pouring and I asked granddaddy for a ride one day he brought me home and because of that I got in trouble. With 2 vehicles at the house I couldn’t even get a ride when mama was going that way anyways. That was ignorant on both of y’all. I don’t like that you opened all of my mail before giving it to me. I don’t like that you stole money given to me by my dad it wasn’t yours to keep. I don’t like that you tried to have me help you sale weed in order for me to get money. I asked if I could get a job y’all didn’t want me to have 1 of them either. Unsure why you were so difficult but it wasn’t the right way.
I understand in you being an ex marine you have ptsd. But, You having it and knowing that you do you need to get help. We watched you flip out too many times. Watching as you tore the house apart breaking anything you could. Then you would turn into a child. Going around the house with blood just everywhere looking as if it’s a murder scene. We as children shouldn’t have had to witness any of that. You up yelling until 3 am screaming at the top of your lungs something we shouldnt have to see. You threatening to kill us saying you wish that we were all dead isn’t something we should have to go through. Especially from someone who claims to love us as his own children. You having a problem doesn’t excuse your behavior especially if you aren’t trying to get the help that you need.
With all that was going on in the home I needed an outlet and I found it by talking to other people. That guy I sent the nude pictures to I know I shouldn’t have but at the time that was my outlet my way of asking for help but you and mama as parents were supposed to be there but weren’t. You all were too wrapped in your selves. It was wrong on my end im not saying my behavior was ok because it wasn’t. But I was pushed to go outside to find another outlet. Although I was wrong for taking the pictures the way you handles things was wrong. I know you downloaded and printed the pictures saving them in that folder. That was inappropriate of you as someone who was supposed to be my step father.
Another issue I have with you as a step father you crossed so many lines. You asking to give me head and for me to lose my virginity to you was inappropriate and sick. You know you were wrong because you tried to hide the fact that you asked me that to my mom. You forcing me to watch porn was so wrong on many levels. You trying to make me pull down my pants and touching me was wrong as well. You don’t deserve to have the step father title. My mama was wrong for marrying you, especially with knowing all the things that you did. With you knowing my past knowing that I was molested as a child why would you ruin me even more. As a man in my life, you being my step father you’re supposed to protect me not prey on me! You’re sick for that. In my eyes That makes you just as sick as the men having sex with children! You were wrong and I hope you know it. I want you to know it. On april 30 I will be posting a vlog telling my story I will be saying your name and telling all that you did. You as well as the 3 other men who hurt me. I don’t care how you feel about it. You made the decisions that you did so you have to live with the consequences to your actions. You always said man’s worst fear is being found out, I guess we will see on monday. My one question to you is why?, why did you do it?
In your message you stated I didn’t invite you to my graduation which it seemed was your reasoning for not wanting to meet with me. The last I heard you didn’t want anything to do with us. You didn’t even want us to come to Mississippi to visit our own mother. So no I didn’t invite you to my graduation that’s not something you deserve. People who were there for me were at my graduation and going away party before I went to the military. You never checked on us or anything so how you feel you were right to be at my graduation is beyond me.
Then the next time I did hear from you was after I messaged your friend cameo telling her the truth. And you got mad and refered to me as a “Skinny Bitch”. Yeah I heard that part too, and that you all felt I shouldn’t have spoken about that but I did. Y’all are married but that marriage involves me and my siblings as well because whatever you put her through you put us through too. I told my mother before I did it too. And I did it because I feel if you are Okay With moving on with your life having a new family you should be able to sign some papers to be divorced. She spent her money you didn’t have to Pay anything all you had to do was sign The papers but ignorantly of course you didn’t. Don’t you feel you’ve put our family through enough? You have moved on my mother deserves to be able to do the same.
Overall my point in writing you was to clear my chest of the pain which you have caused. I don’t know what happened to you over the years but whatever it was I pray you never turn into that guy again. I pray that in reading this you reflect over yourself from past to present and are able to become a better person in the future. I wrote you because for so many years I resented you I hated you. But in doing that I know I only hurt myself more. You were once a good man one that I was proud to call my step father, proud you were dating my mother back in 2009. I only wish you could find that guy and be him. That bitterness and evil ness that grew about you isn’t right nor healthy. You hurt people when you become bitter and if you hurt everyone who’s around you who loves you then you will end up by yourself. Some things you did i may never forget i wish i could though. And hopefully 1 day i will. But my point in writing you is to tell you that even with all that you have done I forgive you. I’m forgiving you for myself because holding on to the pain was killing me. I’m a completely different woman from the little girl you knew with a different mindset and personality. I have so many dreams that have been put on the back burner because i was trying to rebuild myself from being hurt in the past. I wish this life on no one. But i have grown so much as a person and found myself and my calling in the process i also found my voice. So, im going to say how i feel no matter what anyone has to say about it; including you. Seeing you the other day was hard because it brought back so many memories. Also because you look so sick, I don’t know what’s going on with you but you need to get yourself together! I’m speaking as your step daughter not as your friend. I care what happens to you even with how our past is.
I hope in reading this I receive a response or you at least understand. Read with the intention of understanding not to reply. You’re a very intelligent man why you chose to sale yourself short I don’t know but I hope you hear me! I hope you understand. And I do forgive you Drico and I hope you take this as criticism and use it to work on yourself. You overall aren’t a bad person you just make bad decisions. My suggestion is you think before you act and think about the consequences to your actions and how it can affect not only you but those around you as well. Its 2018 and in moving forward I hope you learn to forgive yourself as well as let go of whatever it is that turn you into such a cruel human being. You are more than the troubles you face. Instead of holding it in you need to let it out if not you will do nothing but continue to hurt yourself. Now I have said my peace. Have a good day!
After reading he replied two days later. He said to me…
“Dear Jade, I remember a very different story, however if you choose to do you then do it. I have no problems with you. Somebody really lied to you because I chose not to pursue. But, it’s okay I am a Christian, which means I am not perfect, So moving forward start whatever trouble you feel like you need to start. But always remember when you plotting revenge does 2.”
It was Short which in all honesty I didn’t expect to hear back from him at all and if I did I expected it to be bad. If you know drico then you know his mouth will cut you deeper than any physical wound could ever do. But, I didn’t get that this time and that both shocks & scares me. I don’t know where things will go from here, I just pray that they get better and not worse.
Bill Cosby was given the guilty verdict with 3 counts of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand. The way the public has taken this and twisted it is sickening. In reading the comments left by people of society, I have to disagree with vast majority of them. The comments that were left only furthers reasoning for people not wanting to speak out on their abuse.
Majority of the people were asking ” if it’s true why did the women wait so long to speak out?” The part that got me here was the “if”. Sexual assault isn’t something to play around with, why someone would lie about being victimized is beyond me. But to answer everyone’s question Andrea Constad went to the police in 2005 filing a case against him but due to insufficient credible and admissible evidence the district attorney decided not to press criminal charges. Andrea Constand then filed a civil suit, the case was settled out of court in 2006. This brought more of his accusers out resulting in Andrea Constand’s case being reopened and his records unsealed. She was assaulted in 2004 and spoke up in 2005 the courts waited so long to bring his case to trial, it wasn’t his accusers. Secondly, I’d like to point out if you are a victim to any form of abuse you become traumatized and hurt and talking about being assaulted is probably one of the hardest things to do. It took me 17 years to openly be able to speak on abuse that happened when I was 5 years old. It takes time to heal and be able to be comfortable enough to tell your story especially with the world that we live in today. People get criticized every day for telling their story; the truth. Even with telling their truth there’s no guarantee that the abusers will even be charged. You have to learn to look at things from a different perspective than your own. Think outside the box sometimes. If it had been you who were assaulted would you think the same?
Another common comment left was one that I felt was ignorant. It stated “why would he assault “ugly women” when he worked with such beautiful women on his show.” The way you look has nothing to do with someone assaulting you. I was 5 when my abuse began. 5 meaning undeveloped and a child at the time and that didn’t stop me or many people whom have a story like me from being abused. Beauty doesn’t determine if you will or will not be raped it just isn’t logical. A predator will go after anyone, some people just happen to be luckier than others because they aren’t assaulted. If looks determined everything then children wouldn’t be victims.
Another comment and misconception was that because Cosby was wealthy he didn’t rape those women. If you are wealthy that doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of doing what is mentally in you. Our own president is wealthy and holds one of the strongest positions in the country and still even he has openly admitted to assaulting women. Oprah Winfrey is very wealthy, top of the class for african American women but yet and still even she was raped. Wealth does nothing but put you in a higher class in society it does not exclude you from being a victim or a predator. It does not exclude you from being human.
No one chooses whether they are assaulted or not. But, the predator makes the choice to hurt the victims that they do. Bill Cosby has admitted to drugging women and having “consensual sex” with them. How is it that someone can give consent while passed out from Benadryl? You can’t. I was a huge fan of the Cosby show growing up like so many other people but still that doesn’t take away from holding him accountable for the choices that he made. You have to separate Bill Cosby from his character on The Cosby Show. Society shouldn’t be able to pick and choose when a victim gets justice. Nor Should they judge people for telling their truth. Bill Cosby made the choices and should be held accountable no matter the time frame, looks of his victims or his status in society. Stop making excuses for people who knew the consequences and willingly made the decisions to affect someone else’s life.
As I was paying for my lunch today I heard someone call my name as I turned to see who it was I froze. Although I haven’t seen or heard from him since 2013 The voice was too familiar. I knew that voice but the persons image puzzled me. It was my step father, the man who tried having sex with me in 2011. He smiled said hey daughter I love you as he reached to hug me. I hugged him back because in that moment I felt that’s what I had to do what I needed to do based off his looks alone. Standing Looking at him he looked as if he was on his death-bed, weighing a mere maybe 90-100 pounds. When growing up I always knew him as this big stocky guy always weighing at least over 200 pounds. Now he’s smaller than me and that really took a tole on me. After he said goodbye to me I just sat in the car crying because I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. For so long I hated him and used to wish that I could tell him off for hurting me. But in seeing him today I only felt sorry for him and wanted to know what it was that was killing him (cancer, drugs? aids?). I want him to be held accountable for the things he’s done but I still don’t want to see him going out the way that he is and looking the way that he looks now. I’m unsure how I am supposed to feel about any of this, I want to be enraged but my caring heart won’t let me. And overtime I have learned that is my weakness I still care for people even after they have hurt me.
After the encounter I went to my mother’s house and cried in her arms because I couldn’t understand. I couldn’t understand why I still cared about this man, the man who tried forcing himself on me, The man who threatened to kill me and my mother and brother, The man who when I last spoke to him refereed to me as a “Skinny Bitch”. When in my mother’s arms she just held me until I gained my composure she said to me that I had to forgive him or it would consume me. As much as I’d like to disagree part of me knows she is right. So, I messaged Aldrick on Facebook and requested to set up a time and place to meet with him so that we could talk.
His response to my request was stand offish. He basically came up with every excuse in the book as to why he couldn’t have this talk with me. They varied from him working third shift all the way up to I didn’t invite him to my graduation. That part was funny to me and that was the Aldrick I knew the smart ass Aldrick always trying to get back at you, not the guy I ran into at the gas station. I say the statement ” You did not even invite me to your graduation, so that pretty much tells me everything”, was funny because I graduated in 2014. It is now going on 4 years that I have been out of school why bring it up now? Secondly, the last I saw him was in 2012 so why would I invite him to my graduation? He believes he’s entitled to things because he has the title of step father but he is no step father nor father figure and never has been.
This encounter with his brought back so many emotions for me. I was sad because I always wished things would have went differently. I was angry because he’s caused me so much pain. I also felt sorry for him. I still don’t know what it is that’s wrong with him but I still care enough that I don’t want him looking that way. During the visit it was like he was his old self the one that we all loved. He laughed, and even introduced himself to my boyfriend and before leaving he even brought up an old story. Of course it’s one we both remember very differently but it was the fact that he remembered, the day he tried to teach me to drive. He still sounded like himself and still had that loud contagious laugh. The visit with him was one I dreaded for so long but I am glad that it happened because it went very smoothly.
Even with all that went on I wish I could still sit down with him and have a genuine talk. But after messaging back and forth I know it won’t happen in person. He stated that he would listen if I had things to say but that was it. I gave him a time frame in which I hoped he would get back to me and let me know if he would be meeting with me or not he hasn’t gotten back to me. So, I will be sending him a message in detail of all the things I wanted to say in person with him. I’ve been thinking maybe this way would be better anyways because seeing his image may yet again send me into a crying frenzy.
When I heard his voice call my name I froze and seeing his image it was as if my mind went into over drive. It wasn’t the fact of seeing my abuser it was the fact that he looked so ill. Seeing him is something I had wanted for so long, Being held accountable was something I had wished upon him for so long but in seeing him I wished I could take it all back. I wouldn’t wish bad on anyone not even my abuser’s because that’s just how I am as a person. My heart won’t let me hate anyone no matter how bad I wish I could and there have been so many that I wish I could gain a strong dislike for. It seems the people who hurt the most are those who care the most.In seeing my step father I just wanted to help him.I’m unsure if any other survivor has been in this same situation but I’ll tell you first hand it’s so confusing. Trying to be angry with someone but you can’t.
I have stated once before that I am attached to hurt because it’s all I have ever known. I guess I’m attached to my step father as well because he hurt me A lot! Although I used to wish hate upon him I can’t anymore. At a certain point I stopped being enraged with the men who hurt so that I could rebuild myself. I wish that in some cases I could go back in time and fix their mistakes which in turn would fix me. But, life works in mysterious ways , always teaching us something in every obstacle we face. In this case I guess my lesson would be to finally let go. To let go of the hurt, the pain, the anger the sorrow, tell him how I feel so that I can finally forgive him and move on with my life and gain emotional stability in the process. And that’s all I could hope for.
“The Me Too movement (or “#MeToo“, with local alternatives in other languages) is a movement against sexual harassment and assault. #MeToo spread virally in October 2017 as a hashtag used on social media to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace.” The MeToo movement is a movement that means so much to me and so many other people because it gives us a chance to connect with other people who understand us as well as allows us to educate those around the world about sexual abuse.
To me the MeToo Movement gave me the courage to talk about my past. I realized that I was not alone, I wasn’t the only girl out there sexually abused. This meant that there was someone out there who could relate to me and understand the things I say and the way that I feel. #MeToo is powerful because it shows the world in numbers that sexual abuse and assault is a major issue.The MeToo movement has received a lot of publicity both good and bad. There are those that disagree with the movement and those that support it. Overall any controversy is good controversy because it stays important and by everyone talking about it, no one forgets it.
To me, MeToo says “we are here together with a story to tell and you will listen.” I want to and will soon share my story with the world. In the months leading up to this I looked and searched for others like me and ended up finding a group. This MeToo group is a group of millions of people whom are just like me. In this group everyone supports one another and gives advice as to how to over come something that is associated with the past abuse. This MeToo movement helped me find a place where I finally fit in.
I don’t believe the media and the public truly understand how important this movement is to so many of us but I wish that could grasp that for once in our lives we feel at home. That for once in our lives we have people who relate to us and don’t judge us by our past but help in aiding our healing process. They don’t understand how it feels to finally be encouraged to tell your story because you finally realize that you aren’t alone and that someone will listen.
I am hopeful that the MeToo movement doesn’t end but gets bigger. Big enough that the world has no choice but to listen and do something about the wrong doing to women all across the world. I wish for a second people could feel the pain, the hurt that so many of us have been faced with everyday. Lastly, I wish that everyone could understand us and all of the things we have had to go through. Most people don’t like the MeToo movement because it’s something that we all know is going on in the world but no one likes to talk about it. The truth is often a hard pill to swallow. The MeToo movement is that pill for the world because in ignoring it people don’t have to deal with the consequences caused by abuse. In accepting the movement means that people who aren’t victims have the potential of being held accountable when they don’t do anything. People fear doing something because of what others may think. No one likes to go against the grain. Truth is whether they accept us or not We are here to stay, Our voices have been woken up from the pits of the past and we have lots to say I just pray the world listens.
My life has been torn between abuse after abuse after abuse. I am now 22-year-old and just now able to begin working on rebuilding myself from my past. My dream is to one day succeed in my career as a victim advocate specializing in abuse because I want to help as many people as I can over come obstacles and not be consumed by the things they have been through. I want to accomplish my goal so that I can go out and help as many people as I can. So, that I can sit each and every one of them down and say ; ” I made it and so can you.”” Your life matters, You are not your past” If they ask how I know my response would be “MeToo!”