After the last letter that Tevrous sent I read his letter and his lies and wrote him back naming every name of every person that I and many others know he assaulted. He can deny having done them to those people but pain doesn’t lie. This letter was his response to me. Attached with the letter he sent a card he made and drew as an apology to me.
Look I know I fucked up but it’s not 4 people me and (His step sister) never did a thing we just acted like we did. Who is this other person you are talking about because I don’t know anyone by that name? The girl I’m locked up for lied about how old she was and I never knew her real age and she knew I was 21 and had a baby by me. So, that’s why I’m locked up. She sent a letter to the judge saying she was sorry for lying on me but I’m still locked up because she was young but I didn’t hurt her. I never lied to you all I wanted was to make my past go away. I’m mot saying because it happened to me and I did it to people that it makes it right. No. I used to think fuck the world and I would make them feel my pain but one day I opened my eyes and said fight back. I was never trying to hurt no one. I beat him up because he was a white supremacist . Him and his white friends were going around saying ” fuck black people and fuck y’all nigger bitch”. So, yes I feel good for beating him up. So, I will keep it 100 with you the first time you wrote me I knew what it was about just wish I could go back in time to fix it. But at the end of the day i have to live with what I did so just let me show you I’m sorry for hurting you. Tell me how I can make it better for you so you can know I’m sorry for real. Just tell me if I can have you back in my life. Please know that I am truly sorry. My words and actions are to follow what is in my heart.
My response/ Reaction:
This letter like the others he asks about having me back in his life, which no matter how many times I see it i will never be okay with that. As I stated once before he’s writing to me as if I were his lover not his cousin or the person he sexually abused. I personally don’t believe he feels sorry for the things he did. This letter I haven’t responded to yet part of me just wants to be done with the letters now because they are getting me nowhere. I know of 5 females he assaulted all at a very young age and he can’t or won’t even admit to it. The first sentence sounds like b.s. You don’t “act like” you’re doing something like having sex especially not as a child. I witnessed actions taking place and on top of that I was told by another victim at the time of the abuse that it was happening to them too. I initially set out to only write 5 letters and after receiving 5 letters if I had not gotten the outcome I wanted then I would end the communication and cut all ties. If I do respond to this letter it would be short and straight to the point. I may just list every name over and over again as well as the relation to him and be done. Or I may just write how what he did to me affected my life and still affects my life 22 years later. I want to tell him these things but, I don’t want the way I feel to only be turned and twisted into a sick love game for him. At this point I haven’t decided how I will be responding, guess I’ll just give it some time for me to think it over.
The Global Rape prevention organization stated, “We believe the key to ending the global rape epidemic is to empower both girls and boys to create a culture of mutual respect.” No Means No, was a mission set out to help decrease the high percentage of rape. Colleges used the slogan and most have changed it to be Yes means Yes. I’m on the fence about both of these to be honest, both to me won’t prevent all rapes from happening. Isn’t the point in a movement to make a change?Trying to decrease the high percentage of rapes is a good start but to me it isn’t enough, the goal should be to seize them all together. Ultimately No means No and Yes means Yes will not do it.
I may get people looking at me side ways for this but, Question How many times have you told someone No and they didn’t listen? How many times have you told your son, daughter little sister brother or anyone in general and they still did or took what you said after you said not to? No means No is a great campaign but No alone won’t stop everyone. Some people have gone their entire lives getting anything they have ever wanted from family, friends maybe even the public. My point is everyone won’t grasp the concept of No especially if it’s not what they are used to. Does that give them the right to rape No of course not but No alone will not work. If the word “No” worked there wouldn’t be a high percentage of rape because the word No alone would prevent the act from happening.
I say this because I know first hand that saying no doesn’t save you. In my childhood I have said no and the molestation still occurred. In my Adulthood I have also been a victim. I’ve only discussed this with 2 people a very close friend and the person who did it. Discussing it with him I don’t believe he really grasped the concept of what he did to me. November 30, 2017 a date I’ll never forget. A guy I had been dating took me out to eat, afterwards we went back to a spot that we often hung out at to be secluded from everyone else. We had sexual encounters here before but not always. This day I just wanted to eat and go home. I was tired and wasn’t feeling well and was just ready to leave. He overly insisted on me staying. We were talking having a regular conversation and he got aroused, I’m unsure if he had been drinking or not but he was very aggressive that day. He had become overly excited and aggressive. It had only been 4 days since we last had sex, 4!!! He began trying to pull at my leggings as I tried to leave. I was pushing him off of me, but that didn’t work. He pulled my leggings down, I’d pull them up. I said no, several times. He laughed. I was serious in these moments, it was all as if it were a game to him. It seemed to get him off even more because he got more aggressive. He took over, managed to get them down, at this point I said no with his name. He ignored. Tears filled up my eyes and I sucked it up, just kept thinking it won’t take long. He turned me so that I faced the desk, I stared at the wall. He penetrated me, His hand sitting firmly in the middle of my back. He talked during, which was a usual thing for him. But, this time was different. He was more aggressive and very forceful. Staring at the wall I got to thinking about my childhood. Yet again I had come to face what seemed to be the inevitable for me. Another man in my life, hurting me. After finishing I sat in the chair before cleaning myself up, he seemed kind of happy to have released himself though. But me, I was sad, confused and all I wanted to do was go.
After the incident I didn’t know what to do honestly so many thoughts filled my head. Who can I talk to? Where can I go? I went to a close friend’s house and didn’t’ say anything for a while I sat trying to pretend everything was okay. But, he could see on my face that something was bothering me. Apparently, my mouth does this twitchy thing when I’m troubled. So, I went to my notepad in my phone and wrote out what had happened, because I couldn’t say it. We sat there crying together his more fueled by rage and not being able to defend me. The only thing I kept repeating was ” I told him no, and he didn’t listen.” He asked if he knew what he actually did, my answer was I don’t know. I learned later that week that he knew something was off. In a conversation via text he said that during intercourse he could feel that I was tighter than usual and I wasn’t as aroused, he could feel the difference. He also said, he could see on my face that something was wrong and when I sat in the chair I sat down as if it were a chore that I had just completed, but he didn’t say anything. He waited for me to. come to him and even then I don’t think he grasped the seriousness of that incident. From that day on I have been distant with him and we don’t or haven’t really discussed what went on. The thing that bothered me the most after the incident is that I still loved this person who took advantage of me. I wanted to be able to instantly stop loving him, I wanted to hate him but I couldn’t. That night He took away my power, and most importantly he didn’t listen when I said no and No was reiterated more than once. I said no along with his name and that didn’t work. I fought with him to keep my clothes up and that didn’t work. That moment took me back to my childhood. I sunk that night, I waited for it to be over, waited to go home. That night I held back tears.I try not to let to those incidents linger in my mind but the truth is they will. Saying No, didn’t save me and I repeated it over and over. In 2016, the total number of rape cases stood at about 96,000. Of those 96,000 how many of them do you think said no? Think about it, if someone is trying to take something you say no. 96,000 people’s voice didn’t stop them from being victims. No, won’t save everyone from being taken advantage of, Saying No alone won’t prevent rapes, Saying No just won’t cut it.
Yes means Yes is basically a firm form of consent to sex. This is similar to No means No but is better to me to a certain extent. Yet, ultimately I still believe it isn’t effective enough. This is a great campaign in college as students are known to drink, and party. This gives you the option to say yes I want to have sex with you, which is fine. But my question is what happens if you change your mind? If you give full consent in the beginning but you change your mind half way through what happens? We have seen that the word No isn’t firm enough to make everyone less horny or less aggressive, so what do you do? There’s alcohol in play and you have already consented to sex, you then chang your mind and say no. Some people will stop. But, that guy or that girl who has alcohol in their system, They’ve been partying, they’re aroused and ready at your go ahead. So, you tell them no stop, but they’ve been drinking and become aggressive. What do you do? Everyone changes their mind about something at some point so what do you do when you already said yes and now you mean No?
Sex isn’t a complicated matter. I believe a No should be firm enough to mean No. But, As a society what do we do when it isn’t. I have told you my story. In 2016, just 2 years ago 96,000 people had 1 just like mine. We said no and no one listened. No means No was a great start but, it won’t end rape. Neither will Yes means Yes because we are consenting to have intercourse and even if we change our mind that doesn’t guarantee the person will stop. If you ask me, you’re consenting to your own rape. Maybe I am wrong. But, 1 thing I know for sure is that Words alone won’t stop rape. Words alone don’t stop a thief from stealing out of a store, so how can we expect a rapist; someone who is driven by sex mentally and physically to Stop when we say No?
In my previous letter to Tevrous I ended it asking him 6 questions, he answered them in this 3rd letter to me.
Look I know I fucked up but didn’t take advantage of it I was doing what people did to me. I was too young and dumb to catch on to them . So, I know how you feel right now. See people think only women can get hurt but men can too. My little brother big cousin Eric used to rape me in the 90’s. I was so fucked up My mind was not right. I tried to get over it I was like 10 or 11 in 99 I moved back to Tennessee. So one day me Kevin and his big cousin Howard T was out having fun it was getting late so we dropped Kevin off at home. Howard t. Was like we can go to his house to get weed and I was like OK. So we go in and I can never forget it. He asked me if I needed a drink but after I downed it I passed out what he put in it I don’t know. So don’t think you are alone. I never got help because I was afraid of what people would think of me.so I took it out on you. I’m sorry for real jade. I was reading this book called longing to tell by Tricia rose read it if u think I’m lying I feel like shit if you like i can send u my book. I don’t live the street life no more I’m tired of shooting people and beating people up. That was my life because this all I believe in. I’m in the nation of Islam now I’m trying To do good in my life. If we never talk when i get home i will never let no body hurt u. I just want us to be cool. How did u get my name and number? The only reason i ask for your number is because i hate writing and I fucked my hand up beating this guy face in. But for you i will write.
1. Why did you do it? : Because I was fucked up in the head i was thinking it was right because it happened to me so i did.
2. How many people have you hurt?: If u don’t believe me only 2 people
3) Do you think you were wrong? : Yes I do look back at it yes i wish i can redo my life and make things right.
4) What have you learned from this? : To think first before i act out because lots of people can be hurt by what i do.
5) Do you think you’ll do it again? :Hell no because I know right from wrong.
6) What are your plans when you get out of prison? : To be a better son, father, brother, husband, and help my pops get this business off and ran the right way. I put all that gang bang shit behind me now.
1. How can I show you I’m a different person now?
2. I wish you would come see me so you can see the hurt in my eyes
Reading this letter I kind of laughed to myself because this letter was very hypocritical to me. I didn’t need time to sit and think before responding to this letter at all. In his letter like most he throws out his alliance to Islam and Allah and that he wants to change. But, he then goes on to say he beat a guys face in. How does that make you changed or better in any way? He answered 6 questions that I previously asked him. Of those only 1 of them was most important to me. Question #2 How many people have you hurt? His answer was 2. I asked him questions to see if I would get the correct answer, I sent off the letter giving him the benefit of doubt and hoping that he would. Sadly, he did not. Maybe he “forgot”. I like most people know of 4 people including myself which were victimized by him. And I made sure to let him know that I knew that in my response to him.
I know that both men and women are subject to abuse. Most men don’t speak on their encounter because of fear of how people will judge them. Do I believe he was abused? Honestly, I am not sure. It wouldn’t surprise me at all but that doesn’t give him the right to continue the cycle. I hope that story wasn’t a lie too. If he was abused that helps me better understand why he did the things he did, still doesn’t make them right,
The other 5 questions I asked were merely to see where he stood on his actions and how he planned to change them. In question 5 I asked if he believed he would do it again. His answer was Hell No because he knows right from wrong. That too I believe was a lie. I say that because in previous letters he has gone to show over expression of love for me even admitting to being in love with 5-year-old me. He knows right from wrong but doesn’t know that it isn’t okay to be in love with your cousin, or to love me the way that he does. Truth is, I believe he will get parole and he will eventually hurt someone else. I think he may try to find me, because his attachment is sickening.
In question 6 I asked him what his plans were after being released from prison. His response was ;to be a better son, father, brother, husband, and help my pops get this business off and ran the right way. I put all that gang bang shit behind me now. Do I believe this?, yes and no. He may come out level-headed with the mind-set of I’m going to this and that but get out and things be totally different. If you take someone out of the environment that they are used to living in then they change and they adapt to the new environment. If he gets out and goes back to live with his father like he is planning then he won’t succeed. I know this because that is where he began abusing people and that is where they looked the other way with this behavior. They still think so highly of him, even still have his pictures up around the home. To them he didn’t deserve time for what he did. To them Tevrous should be home and no one should have anything to say about it. That way is wong and to that I disagree. I think if he does get parole he shouldn’t come back to Tennessee, he should stay in Michigan and seclude himself. Will it happen?, I don’t think so He is a pedophile and pedophilia has no cure.
In conclusion, this letter of the 3 thus far brought the least amount of emotions out of me. This letter didn’t make me cry. This letter didn’t make me sad. This letter honestly didn’t even make me angry. It just made me be like, Okay. I had merely no emotion after this letter, I read it and immediately knew what I needed and wanted to say back to him. I believe I sparked a little anger when he read my letter to him because he responded different from he did in the first 2 letters. He got defensive asking how I got any of his information? I know I poked a few buttons by asking questions too….Moving forward I am hoping to gain more answers from him though.
To answer his 2 questions :
1. How can I show you I’m a different person now? :
My Response: He shouldn’t want to change for someone else he should want to do it for himself that is what matters. And He can’t claim he is changing and better and for Allah and still be doing things like beating people up or being okay with telling me he is in love with me or my 5-year-old self.
2. I wish you would come see me so you can see the hurt in my eyes
My response: I won’t be visiting him. After the second letter all thoughts of visiting flew out the window. His letters seem like he was reminiscing or fantasizing. At this point I don’t want him knowing what I look like right now. If he never gets out of prison, meaning his parole is shot down and his sentence is extended to exceed his life expectancy then I will visit him. If I ever visit him I definitely won’t go alone. I will take My eldest brother, whom is a sergeant in the military. He has been so supportive in this journey for me. He has already stated if I go he will go with me. So, the offer is always open. But, for right now we won’t be seeing face to face. ” To see The hurt in my eyes” That there I must say did make me laugh. I laughed because I don’t think he understands hurt. If we traded places my hurt would definitely exceed his. He doesn’t hurt because he is still reminiscing on the sick things he did and his affection for me is still sickening. I say my hurt is greater because what he did to me as a child has affected me my entire life I am 22 years old, 22 and still don’t sleep when I am alone at night because I fear someone is coming in the middle of the night to hurt me. I am 22 and I have had depression since I was a kid because I beat myself up everyday wondering why my cousin chose to abuse me. That’s just to name a few.
The 3rd letter was simple and to the point, I’m curious to know if I steered up any more emotions from him in my last letter to him. I am sure I will find out soon, he is very quick to respond. Guess we will see how things unfold in letter number 4.
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.
How are you doing? I know its been a long time. I just got your letter today I know I fucked up but I hope you can forgive me for the pain I put you through. Yes I will love it if you came and see me I put your name on the list but you have to fill out the application and send it to me. Let me say this I will always have love for you, my mind is so fucked up right now. But tell me about you and how things are good. You are right never in a million years girl but I know Allah works in ways we don’t know. I’m happy to write you talk to you I’m alone send me your number too so i call you. And u set up an account on http://www.jpay.com. we can write like that too and you can send me pictures too, we cant get real pics. I will not lie I need you in my life to help me accomplish my goals in life. I’m not going to lie I cried thinking back. How is Catdaddy and Moe doing? I’m grateful just to have you back in my life. I feel like I betrayed everyone that I loved and who loved me.
P.s. you P.s. u know I’m locked up in Michigan and our visitation days are Thursday and Saturday 830-130
That was the first letter I received from Tevrous. December 17 I went to pick up my mail and saw that he had replied to me. I was hesitant to open it, when I saw that he had even replied, I cried. Him replying to me made this process real. My brother was the first person that I told. I messaged my brother like hey, he replied to me! He was just as shocked as me. In reality no one expected a response from him. After reading the contents of the letter for a while I just sat there to myself crying. I was crying because I didn’t believe I was strong enough to reach out to him. For so long confronting him was a fear of mine. His response to my letter let me know I had over came that fear and that I could now do anything. My past is where most of my obstacles strive from and this moment it’s like I looked my past in the face and kicked it’s ass! This letter brought so many emotions out of me ones I hadn’t felt in a long time. I didn’t know how to respond to his letter and I didn’t for weeks. I sat and pondered well what do I say to this, how do I approach this situation. No one prepares you for communicating with your abuser. Once I read his letter I try not to read it over and over again because, it’ll only upset me. Eventually I did reply to him, it was short and simple. I knew once I started this process I would not stop until I feel I accomplished what I initially set out to do, Win!
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?
A friend once told me,”The truth is, its a lonely road. Sometimes it’s nobody but you and God.” Starting my blogging journey I didn’t know what to expect but, I did Know I wanted to tell my story and help other people to tell their’s. I want people to like my topics and the the things I write but I know not everyone will. I haven’t shared my blogs with all of my family or friends yet. Based off the responses I have gotten from those I have shared with I know some won’t like it.
“They say blood is thicker than water, but ice can be more solid than blood when things get cold.” I’ve learned throughout the years that people don’t care what you do unless its involving them. I know plenty of family who will not support my blog and me telling my story. I know people will talk about me negatively, I know because I’ve been their before and I gave up. This time around I’m here to stay. My story is here to stay. Those names are here to stay! So, when you read this, if you read this, don’t get mad or angry. Anger never solves anything. I’m going to tell my story, that wont change. But, how you react to it can. If you don’t like my blogs I’m telling you now stop reading, go ahead. But, that won’t stop me from telling my truth. Family is supposed to be your backbone, your first supporters. If you can support an inspiring artist who doesn’t even know you exist you can support your family.
I mentioned to my friend how I believed I wouldn’t be backed by everyone. They told me, “At the end of the day it happened to you,whether people say they could have done more or not it doesn’t matter.The situation caused a life to be turned upside down. It’s an unfortunate past and since its your past nobody can say anything about how you decide to handle it.” Truth is, I know everyone will have something to say whether it be good or bad, everyone will want to say their peace and I will listen. All I ask is for everyone to do the same. I’m not trying to dictate your life and how you live it , so I just ask the same. I want to open the closet full of secrets. Secrets never help anyone, they only hinder us from moving forward. Anything done in the dark always comes to the light.
To my family, and my friends who disagree with my way I ask you to be the rainbow among the dark clouds. It’s during my journey that I’ll need you all the most. I have several truths to tell some close family know of, others I’ve never spoken about. Yet, I feel that now is the time. And I encourage my readers to open their closet of secrets and tell your truth too!
” 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…
Every action comes with a consequence some good and some bad. We are able to control the outcome of our circumstances and have the power to correct the consequences from our own actions. But, when we are faced with consequences as a result of someone else’s doing the end result is not the same. Think before you act, because what you do can have an impact not just on you but also everyone around you. Being subjected to someone else’s wrong choices during my lifespan has left me with many unwanted side effects which have put me in uncomfortable circumstances.
According to American Counseling Association “Childhood sexual abuse has been correlated with higher levels of depression,guilt, shame, self-blame, eating disorders, somatic concerns, anxiety, dissociation patterns, repression, denial, sexual problems, and relationship problems.” And, ” 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18.” which means , “There are more than 42 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse in the united states.”42 million people walking around with consequences caused by someone else bad decision. 42 million people who may never be able to live a normal life. 42 million people subjected to predators forced to become a victim, forced to join the survivors. I am 1 of those 42 million who was left with bad side effects. I suffer or have suffered from not 1 not 2 but all of the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse listed above.
As stated in a previous blog post I have suffered from depression since the age of 9. Most days are down days for me. Even with treatment taking medication I still had down days and suicidal thoughts. Depression is by far to me the worst on the list because, its something I have never been able to completely shake. I could wake up in the morning after a good nights rest and start off happy and ready but before the day is over I sink into the funk of depression. But, like stated in my blog its grown with me and I have learned to adapt to the mood of the sinking “Big D”. It shouldn’t be that way though, I should be able to enjoy 1 day without feeling down and losing interest in the things I set out wanting to do the most. It just isn’t fair.
For so long I felt that the way I felt was my fault because I allowed those things to happen. But being a young child against a teenage boy I know there was nothing I could do. Guilt eats away at me because often times I wish I had spoken up or tried even harder to get him to stop. For a while I blamed myself for the things he had done and sometimes still do. I gave him a power over me let him strip away my innocence. I wish more would have been done.
Growing up I was always thinner than everyone around me, and I hated it. It made me feel inferior to everyone else. I tried so hard to gain weight for so long it became a obsession. Hearing everyone comment on me being under weight never helped either. Eventually I grew out of feeling my body wasn’t enough and learned to love every pound that I did have. I now love my size, my shape and everything about me physically.
I tend to suffer from great physical pain over my entire body at times. I’ve learned the cause to be fibromyalgia and depression. These can be connected to somatic symptoms. Our bodies tend to give off pain when in distress. When my mind is under stress from the depression and anxiety and many other things going on my body becomes distressed as well causing pain. Often times before my body becomes taken over I feel fine and then suddenly its as if my world is sinking and my body is under construction. Pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Depression and anxiety are like brother and sister. At times it seems they tend to work together with one another and other times they go against one another. In my most stressful moments anxiety has caused me to go into a panic mode. Before leaving for basic training I was so nervous, more nervous than I had ever been in life. Sitting over a friend’s house one day I was calm sitting and talking when someone told a joke. I like everyone else laughed at the joke. Only difference is that they stopped laughing. I tried to stop but didn’t I laughed and laughed until I cried until I eventually passed out when I panicked and realized I couldn’t stop. With my anxiety I also begin to worry about things that aren’t or may never even happen. I worry most about the safety of my family. It’s during those times that I message them long text messages or send pictures and check on them more frequently. It doesn’t sound like a bad thing until it begins to worry them because they begin to believe somethings wrong with me because of my actions.
Growing up whenever faced with reminders of my past I would try erase the thoughts from my mind. For a while I repressed the thoughts until I found a picture or would hear their name. I have tried dissociating things and people with the situation. When I am triggered by words or seeing something I space out and go back to those moments. Moments I wish I was able to forget.
When a cousin of mine came out and publicly admitted being abused by the same predator who attacked me I was in shock. For so long I believed no one ever find out. I wanted to forget and get over that dark past. When my mother initially asked me I told her no. I was afraid and I didn’t want to talk about what had been done to me. By this time I was in middle school and was on verge of suppressing every bad moment and memory. I Know denial wasn’t the answer.
Growing into a young adult I have gained experience in dating, relationships and what come with them. In my relationships I have learned alot about myself over the years. I dated the same guy for 5 years, he wasn’t my first boyfriend but was my first real love. In being with him I learned that I am hard to love. I’m needy and need constant confirmation that I am enough and that they want to be around. I like to feel wanted and because of that I am often too honest. I speak on probably everything. I am an open book when it comes to love. But, I can also shutdown and shutout loved ones as well. When I am hurt no matter how big or small I shutdown. As a result my relationships with people becomes broken. I’ve had to mend many broken bridges again and again because of the way I feel at times. Because I was subjected to unwanted actions from others the people I love the most are exposed to my emotions which put strains on any relationship I try to form.
Sexually I have learned that I have my ups and my downs. After first losing my virginity I believed it would be more, I never received that big “omg” feeling or clingy reaction the first time. My first time was me wanting to get it over with, with someone who was a virgin just like me. I honestly wouldn’t do it again. After finding a suitable partner I learned that I enjoyed sex with him because we had an emotional connection. I learned if I am emotionally in tune with someone I am able to actually enjoy intercourse without being triggered about my past. I also learned that partners trying to give “wake up calls” isn’t really my thing. Being touched during the night is a trigger because as a child that was what happened. I learned that at times during mid action I can lose interest because although I’m aroused a certain move or a certain look from my partner can change my mood. On the flip side I have learned that overall I love sex and the power it gives me. Sex is about connection and control shared between two people. At a point it seemed I loved it too much, but that has changed.
I am an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I suffer from many emotional and physical consequences because of it. I know I will never lead a normal life. I may forever suffer from depression and anxiety. My self-esteem may never be where it should. Emotionally I have mood swings that can sometimes be uncontrollable, causing me to hurt those I love. How I am , and the things I suffer from affect the people around me. Because someone chose to betray me my life will never be “normal. I am not alone, I am just 1 of 42 million people who live with symptoms. No one should have to adjust their life and revolve it around symptoms and characteristics caused by the actions of someone else. Its time to raise awareness on sexual abuse! Its time to stop predators from preying. It’s also time to give recognition to survivors and the day-to-day things they are faced with. The effects of abuse are not easy to live with and no one should be forced to live with them. Its time to Give someone a chance to live without suffering. Break The Silence and Raise Awareness!