world topics

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

“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?

Breaking The Silence, Letters From A Pedophile, Wake up

Letter from A pedophile pt. 2

Jade,
Was up girl how are you doing why have you not wrote me a letter back. I hope we can be family again never be afraid to ask me anything. I’m here for you.just send me your number so I can call you, you have been on my mind now so tell me the real how are you for real. Tell me you’re a strong black woman. How is our relationship going to be. Now i intend to be the best so can i have a chance at making you happy for once in life. I have a lot of things to tell u. I was so in love with you girl was i wrong for loving you so much? Please hit me back. I know its things on your mind. Just like it’s on my mind. I want to start my day knowing we are ok and getting our goals out the way. But i understand if you hate me, i don’t want you to hate me if you do. When i come home i need you by my side because at the end of the day we are family and i need your support too, not money i have that but love i promise to never hurt you again but i feel sorry for the nigga who try to. How old are you now? and can you send me your birthday so i can keep up with it. My only concern is getting right with Allah and you so teach me the way. And don’t be stubborn. I always loved you and i cant lose you my heart is yours jade. love you

Love always tevrous bomer
Write me back

This letter was the second letter I received from him and I had not even replied to the first letter. Looking in the mail I honestly didn’t want to read it but curiosity got the best of me. I thought, I didn’t reply to him so what is he writing me about. Not even a month after the first letter he had sent this one. He didn’t send it himself though another inmate sent it off for him. I know because the name and number on the outside of the envelope weren’t his own. I opened the letter and read the first few sentences and a rage grew over me. How dare him, I thought. He doesn’t even know me or anything about me.I began to go over in my head the things I wanted to say to him. I am a very strong Black Woman but, him saying it irritated every nerve that I have. To me it was something he shouldn’t say because he hurt me. Reading the first letter I was like okay this may not be so bad, but this letter made me want to give up. He said that he was in love with me. Me?, A 5-year-old child at the time. We are 9 years apart, how? I tried to comprehend the way he thought. Tried to understand but I can’t.

This letter was the eye opener for me. This letter helped me realize that I wanted to study Psychology and become a victim advocate. I say this was the determining factor for me to choose psychology over social work because this letter was written by someone who thinks of me as someone I am not. He wrote to me as if we are in love. Not as if he had hurt me. That made me feel sorry for him because I realized he would never understand how wrong that is. The way that he thinks isn’t normal, it’s far from it. It’s a sad reality.

Everyone that I let read this letter was angry or sad. My older brother just kept apologizing to me as if it were his fault. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, that doesn’t change a thing. I want people to realize how they feel when they read the letters doesn’t compare to the emotions it causes me. I want people to understand how serious this is. I want people to read these letters or hear my story and want to make a difference. Don’t just say you’re sorry try to save someone else from being abused, change their lives. I have been through this, don’t let anyone else.

My response to this letter was bunt and straight forward. I told him we aren’t friends, we aren’t family and I don’t want to be. I believe he got the message because his third letter was different from this one. I hope he got the message. This letter wasn’t cool at all, it crossed boundaries. It bothered me a lot. The thing that bothered me the most was that he doesn’t even realize how this letter impacted me and probably never will. I wish he could… because certain parts of this letter will forever stick with me. It’ll stick with me as a reminder that I need to go harder than ever and also that I don’t need to give up. This letter was really an eye opener and truth is I still don’t completely know how I should feel about it. As stated before no one can prepare you for talking to your abuser. Unless you are a victim then I believe no one can completely grasp how it feels. I want people to be able to understand but not at the cost of losing a piece of who they are. This is my letter from a pedophile, my first pedophile, my cousin, my family. Within 2 letters I was able to see him for who he was and how he thought. So, my question is why can’t society see a pedophile for what they truly are and treat them as such? I believe in second chances but not when someone else’s life is unwillingly affected by your actions. There are consequences to actions and I believe My abuser and the many other’s that are out there should not be free. Tevrous has been in prison since 2009 and yet in writing a letter to me he’s still comfortable enough to express how he was in love with 5-year-old me. If you ask me ,they don’t change…… They only get better at not getting caught.

Breaking The Silence, Letters From A Pedophile, Wake up

The conclusion

Beginning my journey of reaching out to my first attacker I was unsure how things would go and if I actually wanted to do it. I usually go to my older brother when I need to talk because I know he’s blunt and will tell me the truth. He told me that he was proud of me for confronting Tevrous but I needed to prepare myself for everything, me reaching out could go many ways and I could end up not getting what I wanted. Initially I wrote my attacker because I wanted to visit and tell him off for hurting me, I needed him to add me to his visitation. I wanted him to see me, see the pain I feel, and I wanted to tell him that I forgive him to his face so that I could be done with all of this. So, I reached out to him via letter and since November 2017 I have learned so much more about myself. After writing back and forth with my abuser, I have come to 3 conclusions.

The first conclusion is that he can’t change. I will be posting the letters’ that he has written to me and some of the things he says is like whoa. The first 2 letters are the ones that really made me feel some type of way. The second letter in general is what made me wish I hadn’t reached out in the first place. After he wrote me back the first time, I didn’t know how to respond so for a while I didn’t. In the process of thinking and waiting I received a second letter from him asking why I hadn’t responded yet. Truthfully, I never anticipated a response from him. I was expecting to not hear from him at all. Before sending off my first letter I had it in my head that he wasn’t even going to reply to me, I think because if I were in his position that’s what I would have done. I would be too ashamed to reply, but that’s the difference between he and I because he’s been very persistent in writing me. I say he can’t change because in the letters you will see his overly expressive affection for me. He wrote to me as if I were his wife or girlfriend not his cousin or the girl whose innocence he stripped away

The second is that I no longer needed to go visit. After reading his letters I know me going to see him would be just a win for him. He feels he has me back in his life, and I believe he thinks of me as his girlfriend or lover. It’s bad enough he’s comfortable enough writing me the things that he has. I don’t need to go meet him face to face so that he knows what I look like. He actually asked me for a picture in his letter. Wanted to know what I looked like now, of course that request was shot down. But, me sending him a letter brought many emotions for him all of which he didn’t mind sharing in his letters. He’s overly eager to take care of me, see me and make sure no one else hurts me. Mentally I don’t believe he understands how I feel or think about him. To him what he did is long gone and we are supposed to communicate like nothing ever happened. After his second letter I decided I would no longer be visiting but I would keep writing him because I wanted answers from him and was hoping for a meaningful apology. Let’s just say I realized I won’t be getting that either.

Lastly, Reaching out to my abuser helped me realize what I wanted to be in life. It’s crazy it took for me to talk to the guy who hurt me for me to be like boom! This is what i want to do and this is who I want to be. I juggled for a while with what i wanted to go to school for; social work or psychology. The deadline to enroll for school was approaching and after talking with him I decided on a major in psychology with a minor in criminal justice. Psychology is defined as “the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context.” I am already a very observant person, so I feel I would be great at this. I love learning about people and reading people. I specifically want to be a victim advocate. I enjoy helping people and I know victims don’t always have anyone they can go to but, I want to change that. I guess in a way communicating with him helped me remove the cloud in my head and I became able to think clearer. I have since enrolled in school and have began to develop the idea of getting young girls together on weekends and taking them on trips. I have been in the position of being abused and not feeling like I can tell everyone. So, I want to create a safe place for girls where they can escape whatever they are facing and can talk freely without feeling like they have no one. I want girls and boys to grow up better than I did, no one should experience being abused. Everyone should be able to go somewhere where they feel free and can be themselves. The children are our future leaders, They will be our future voice so, we should treat them as such.

Overall I am split in the middle; between this was a good idea and I shouldn’t have done this. I am proud of myself because I did what I said I would do. Never in a million years did I think I would actually write him and he would actually respond, but I did and he replied. I definitely wasn’t prepared for his letters. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for that. Not knowing what he will say or how he will respond is probably the hardest part in this. None of his letters have given me anything I have wanted verbally from him. But, they have made me want to go harder. Every letter I have received I have cried and talked to my brother about. In every one of his letters he says something that irritates me more than anything. After every letter my mind goes to the same place, this has to be stopped. I think no child or adult should ever have to go through this. I begin brainstorming and to myself I always say my children will not go through what I went through. For so long I feared having children and wanting children because I have been afraid that they would go through what I went through. Family hurt me, and I can’t protect them from everyone, that’s been my thought process. But, after his letters I am no longer fearful for my future children because I know in my heart I will one day Break The Silence and Break The Cycle. That’s truthfully the reason I started my blog. Victims need to be heard and Abusers need to be prosecuted.

The world has become filled with too many victims and it’s sickening. Children should never know what it means to be molested, Never. Yet, too many do and that really hurts me more than anything. After communicating with the man who molested me beginning at 5 years old, after reading and feeling him not being remorseful I need there to be a change. I can’t change the things that happened to me but I can make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. My letters are proof that a pedophile can’t change or feel. Tevrous is scheduled for parole in 2022. That is a few years away but I’m not ready. The fact that I could walk into the grocery store and he be there is something I don’t believe I will ever be ready for. Honestly, I do believe he will hurt someone again I pray he doesn’t but I am not his first victim, nor was I his last. Reading his letters made things so real for me. Made me realize how strong I am now and also how weak I had been. I gained insight to myself that I may have never seen if I hadn’t reached out to him. It helped me realize hat he won’t change not to hold my breath. Also helped me realize I need to go harder so that I could make a difference. I know it won’t be easy but it will definitely be worth the effort. Going forward any letter I receive I will be posting it to my blog and writing how I reacted and feel reading it. Some are painful to read and others aren’t. I know one thing for sure no matter how painful it may be, I won’t let him win. He doesn’t deserve to. Have any of you ever reached out to your abuser? If so how did it turn out?

Breaking The Silence

Secrets

” Family patterns, Like family secrets repeat themselves.” According to The American Counseling Association ” Every 8 minutes a child is sexually assaulted in the untied states and 93% know their perpetrator. Many perpetrators of sexual abuse are in a position of trust or responsible for the child’s care such as a family member , teacher, clergy member, or coach.” All 3 of my predators were family to me, they were men put in a position to protect me but they didn’t. They abused the power. Over the years I have watched as accusations against family have come out and it has been swept under the rug. Watched as accusations against public figures have been made and the cases seemed to disappear. Watched in the media as men high in power have been accused of being predators to women or children and yet again people feel it shouldn’t be discussed. That things such as these should disappear. I disagree, I believe no matter the relationship, Status or power people should be held accountable for their actions. Especially those accused of being sexual predators. No child, little boy, little girl, woman or man should be abused by anyone. Keeping it secret doesn’t help either, secrets destroy lives.

In my last blog post I mentioned a close friend who had been accused of being a predator. Before posting I told him I would be writing about him. His response was more so concerned with me leaking his name and who he or his family was . “You know I’m a private person”, and “that’s a family thing.” Which I get, people don’t like everyone in their business. But, looking at things from a different perspective say you had actually been proven to be a predator would it still need to be private? I can tell you from first hand experience not saying something, keeping things ” in the family” is what in the end hurts the family the most. If you had been proven to be a predator and your family was like you and wanted to keep things private then what would happen when you weren’t charged? What would happen when you were placed around more children? What would happen when you got the urge and you hurt someone else; a stranger, a friend’s child, or even another family member? Would privacy still be the main concern? Would Pride and fear of what other people thought still be more important than the safety of another individual? People say they are for something until shit hits the fan, until shit gets real. I guess my step father was right about one thing Man’s worst fear is being found out. And you are part of the problem.

My first predator had been caught in the act with me two times. The issue is no one ever tried to stop it from happening again. His room was in back of the house with three entrances. One leading to hallway the other leading outside the last to the laundry area. All doors were closed except the one leading to the laundry area ; that door was cracked. In the mist of forcing me to participate in oral and stroke his penis my aunt his step mother had walked into the laundry area. To get there she had to walk past the cracked door. It was open wide enough that when she walked past the door I saw her, I looked into her eyes. Tevrous kind of jumped up fixed his self and then moved me , so that I sat in the chair beside him. After he had adjusted himself my aunt came into the room and asked, ” what y’all doing in here?” Tevrous response was “nothing” and my aunt said okay and turned around and closed the door. She never came back either. She saw what had occurred , you could see it across her face but it was as if she had seen it before. She didn’t say a thing and it never came back up. She saw the act happening but kept quiet.

I learned early on that I wasn’t the only one. It wasn’t until I got older that I found out the number was greater than I knew. After being released from Tevrous one morning I ran into the hallway trying to get as far away as possible. In the process of getting away I ran into my cousin, his stepsister. She asked, “What y’all be doing in there?” Scared I would be in trouble, I said “nothing.” She looked at me with a sad look on her face, and said “I know what ya’ll be doing in there.” I didn’t understand how she knew until I saw her head in the direction of his room. She watched me as she closed the door to his room locking it behind her. That was the day that I discovered I wasn’t the only one.

When the accusations against Tevrous began to come out, family was divided. Some family members were angry but most wanted it to be hushed. At the time of the accusations the statute of limitations had not run out. If charges had been brought against him at the time of the accusations Tevrous could have been charged. He wouldn’t have been able to go on to Michigan where he was arrested for being with an underage girl. Tevrous wouldn’t have been able to go on and hurt more family members. People care too much about what other people think. Outsiders are going to talk about you whether you are doing good or bad. There will always be someone saying something. I would rather have someone talking about the truth. Family is family but if they do something wrong they should be held accountable You can’t and shouldn’t protect a predator.

Over the years I have learned my family has many secrets. Secrets no one was ever supposed to know about. My generation was not the first nor last generation to be sexually abused by a predator. Those who came before me, those who helped to raise me; my mother, aunts, grand parents, cousins and many others were victims. So my story wasn’t something new to them. They had either heard it , seen it, or experienced it themselves. Like experience though they hushed the things that were brought up. They continued to allow the men who were predators to be in a position that allowed them to be able to hurt someone else. Even if the people being hurt were family.

I learned that the home I enjoyed going over as a child was the home of a predator. Who in his younger age preyed on the women who came before me. People knowing that this man was a predator still allowed me and other family members to go over to his home and stay. Still allowed us to be left alone with him because they didn’t want what he had done to be known by someone else. Predators always strike again. A pedophile doesn’t stop wanting to be with a certain type of victim just because you tell him to. The ratio of women to men in my family is high. It is sad that there’s a small group of men and almost all of them have preyed on victims. Majority of the women in my family should not know what it feels like to be victimized. When someone does something they need to be held accountable. Not disclosing information and not punishing people when they do wrong only lets them know that they can do it again. Regardless of the relationship they should be held accountable. Those men not being held accountable is what led them to do it again and again and again. That’s what led to the sexual abuse victim rate within my family to be so high. They may not tell their story but unlike them I don’t care what other people think. I want to stop the victimization from our own blood. You stop it head on they won’t make into the community to hurt someone else. It starts at home.

“What’s done in the dark, always come to light. ” Secrets like these have found a way to manifest themselves up. Even after many years, they didn’t die down. Those predators who were allowed to be free preyed on someone else, again and again it became repetitive until there was no one new left. They knew they could do this without getting in trouble for it, so why not continue. After they were tired of the usual they went outside the boundaries family had created for them. They preyed on someone else someone new, only this time it wasn’t family. Family can’t protect you forever. Eventually you mess with the wrong person and you get caught. That is what happened to my first Predator Tevrous. If he hadn’t been caught he would still be out there ruining more lives.

I wrote this blog because speaking from experience Black families sweep molestation under the rug and protect the predators more often than it is spoken on. The victim is forced to live in silence while their predator is set free, able to live and see the person he hurt, able to live like they have done nothing. I’m ready for that to stop, because it needs to stop. My niece, and My future children will not be exposed. The next generations should not be exposed to this lifestyle, to the secrets and cover ups. Black communities already deal with so much. The odds are already stacked against us, why add to it? Why make the future generation, your future legacies go through more than they have to?

A pedophile can’t change the way that they think or feel. A predator will always be a predator, we can’t change that. We can change how we handle them and the circumstances people get placed in . We can change things by taking away the positions of power they are given, where they can freely can victimize someone else. In the moments that abuse has happened the predator needs to be charged. If they can be caught before they hurt someone that would be even better. Sexual abuse is something that has become too common. Predators have become too comfortable preying on people because they know that they can get away with it. They know that no one will do anything, it has to change. 42 million adults who were victims of childhood sexual abuse. 42 million, that number is too high. Of those 42 million how many of their abusers do you believe were caught? I am 1 of the 42 million with 3 predators. Of the three predators none were ever charged. I wasn’t the first victim and not the last. It should have never gotten to me. It should have been stopped way before me. Stop sweeping everything under the rug, because of your pride. Put your self in the victims shoes. How would you feel if you knew your pain, your innocence being stripped away was for nothing. That it meant nothing. That the people who hurt you could do it again and again with no repercussions. How would you feel if your child, your sister or brother was sexually abused and nothing had been done to their predator? It’s time to make a change. Its time to wake up before its too late. Its time to stop the secrets and time to Break The Silence! You can’t stop the inevitable and you won’t be able to save everyone. People will talk no matter the circumstances. It is how you handle those circumstances and the information that matter most. “Secrets and lies kill relationships. No matter how careful you are, you will get caught.” Speak Up…

Breaking The Silence, Wake up

Fear

” The fears we don’t face become our limits.” Throughout life I have had many things which have motivated me to move forward. On the other hand I have had so many things to hold me back.  Fear being one of them, I have for the most part always remained in my comfort zone because I feared veering out  doing something different. To this day I still have many fears most of which I have planned to tackle head on.  I have always feared losing myself , feared failing, feared  having children, and  Presently, I have been afraid to post my video telling my story.

” When you lose touch with  yourself, you lose yourself in the world.”  Losing myself could mean so many things for me.  Growing up I feared I would lose myself and I’d go on to become like the men who hurt me and eventually I’d go on to ruin someone else’s life.  For so long I feared turning this way because many victims do turn into predators as well but I made a promise to myself  early on that I wouldn’t and I didn’t. I feared that I would lose my kind heart and I would become this evil person always wishing bad upon everyone, being rude but I haven’t. I feared I would turn into a delinquent, tarnishing my character, name and hurting any future chances for me to succeed, but I never took that path instead I just bottled everything up. I feared losing myself because I had seen so many people like me do so. I seen so many people lose themselves while trying to deal with something that was bigger than them. But, I kept word to myself that I would always find a better outlet for myself and I have always kept word to myself because I want to be somebody, and want to remain true to myself in the process.

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough” Becoming stuck like most of the people in my city tend to do has always been a fear of mine. I don’t want to get stuck working a job that I don’t like living in a city that I don’t want to be in. Most people I come across are always tired and unhappy. I don’t want to end up that way. I don’t want to give up on my dreams and not accomplish anything I set out to do. To me that would be failing. When it is time for me to pass away I don’t want regrets, I want to say I was glad I went ahead and did that or I knew I could do it and I’d do it all over again. Life is what you make of it and I want to live my life in a way that I can be proud of.

” Let us Sacrifice today so that our children can have a better tomorrow”. The fear of having children has always scared me. As a child my innocence was stripped away from me more than once and I still pay for the consequences of their actions to this day. I don’t want children to ever have to experience the things that I went through. Of course no parent does but I know that I won’t always be around them at every moment and I won’t be able to shield them from the people or the  troubles of the world. My greatest fear is that my future child or children comes to me telling me that someone touched them inappropriately or did anything to make them feel that trust was broken. Family, friends and strangers are all suspects when it comes to this to me. You never know who’s the bad guy until it’s too late. For that I fear having children. I want to have children and one day hope that I will but the thought of what if will always haunt me. As a precaution I have decided that I will educate my children as much as I can and hope that the people around them make the right choices.

I have decided to post my #MeToo video telling my story. on April 30th of 2018. I chose this date because for so long I have been going back and forth on whether I should or shouldn’t and decided I wont let myself down its time to tell my story. I also picked this day because April is sexual assault awareness month, the 30th is the last day  of the month and by  that time I will have everything in order so that I could do this in a manner that I want. I’m scared to post this video because it would mean me becoming vulnerable allowing everyone from family and friends to strangers into my life. Allowing people to judge my life. Allowing people in. I am also fearful because I do not know how people will react, if they will support me or hate me. I don’t know if this will lead to violence or understanding. The thought of not knowing scares me. I pray that in posting my story even if people disagree they still try to understand.

Fear is often our greatest set back because it hinders us from reaching our full potential. I have accepted my fears and am now working on ways to over come them as a whole. Fear was once my enabler now it is my motivator because if I let fear take over me, I allow myself to fail and with all I have been through failure isn’t an option. I have to succeed and be the voice to people like me, I want to be able to say ” I made it, and you can too!” What are some of your fears and how are you working towards overcoming them?