Breaking The Silence

Charlemagne using spanish fly to rape someone

After listening to this podcast I was triggered. He literally bragged about raping a young lady. If you put something  in someone’s drink (Spanish Fly ) without their knowledge that is wrong. If you then proceed to have sex with them without their consent while they are passed out you indeed have raped someone. The fact that he is laughing as he tells this story is disgraceful. From listening to the podcast it seems his knowledge of what rape and consent were off, he has clearly been misinformed. He had to be told that he raped this young lady. As a public figure, a celebrity, and successful black man he should know better and be better informed.

This is America as a minority the odds are always against African-American people especially our black men. This can be a teachable moment for everyone both men and women. Our future generations need to know right from wrong and should start learning  early on. If you have young boys or girls raise them to understand right from wrong. Raise our young women to understand that unless they want to have sex and actually give consent to the person that they do not have to do anything they don’t want to do. Have them to understand being forced to do anything that they do not want to do is rape and is not okay. Raise young men to understand that if a female cannot say yes then the answer is NO! Raise our children to understand what rape actually is, raise them to understand how detrimental it can be to the other person for the rest of their lives.  Our future leaders need to be knowledegable so that they do not to make the same mistakes that we as a country are making right now.

The rape epidemic is on the rise and it should not be that way.  There are many things which could be to blame. One of those is both victims and predators not being knowledgable. The other is these rapist not being held accountable for their own actions. In not being held accountable it shows other predators that they can rape someone and get away with it. Rape is not and will never be okay and that is the way it should be perceived and handled by the world.

Charlemagne should be held accountable for his actions. I have been reading comments left by his fans and followers and it shows just how lost we are. It is believed  he is not a rapist because the woman has not come forward. To anyone with this train of thinking you are wrong. If you listen to the podcast Charlemagne tells the story for her, What he describes is indeed rape! This is not the first time Charlemagne has talked about raping someone but because he is so high in power he hasn’t been held accountable. Power should not be what stops a victim from getting justice. Everyone deserves justice! We as a people need to do better and have to do better so that we can have better outcomes in the future!#BreakTheSilence

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

Chain Reaction

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!

Breaking The Silence

The Repeat Betrayal

In September of 2011, My birthday was only a month away I would be turning 16 on Halloween. My mother was away at work. My younger brother was outside at the park which left My stepfather (Drico )and me alone. He told me he wanted to talk with me and it had to stay between us. ” I want to give you head for your birthday”. I froze and stared at him. “Can I give you head for your birthday, I would rather you learn from me than anyone else.” I said no. “If it were any of those little boys you wouldn’t tell them no, would you?”, he said. “I want to be your first.”Aside from his abuse in power I learned that he too would betray me. Men supposed to love and protect me betrayed me. After an abusive childhood of molestation, Aldrick was supposed to be different but he wasn’t.

Earlier that year I had acted out searching for attention in a home where I wasn’t getting any. I met a friend online and began finding solace in him. It started off as something innocent, and soon turned into something more. At the time I was a virgin and had never had a boyfriend. At home I was alone, I felt alone. This guy was like me we talked about our issues and I thought I loved him. We eventually began exchanging pictures. At one point Aldrick went through my phone and found them. So as expected my phone was taken away and I was grounded. That didn’t bother me what happened afterwards did. Aldrick called a cop friend and had any pictures sent to  his email. He then saved them to his computer and later printed them off and saved them in a folder in his suitcase. I am unsure why he kept them as I’m supposed to be like his daughter. But, in  2015 I  did get hold to ones I had found  and burned them in my backyard.

Aldrick began printing the pictures off and using them as blackmail at one point. The doorbell rang, one of my brothers friends handed me a paper grinning “this is for you”. I opened up the paper to find a picture with a note that read ” I will tell everyone if you don’t meet me at the mat” I read it and placed it into my top drawer and went off to school paranoid. When I returned home Aldrick had my mother go into my room to get the note I received. Which helped me know it was him. Aldrick’s next trick was to tell my father. He sent the pictures to him through text.

After all of his mind tricks  Drico had put me through he ended up having  one more  major one  up his sleeve. I was asked to stay home from school 1 day so I did. I was told I would be put on birth control. My mother went off to work, which left me and him alone. Aldrick called me into the living room where I was made to sit and watch porn for hours. If I tried to leave the room he would push me back into the living room and hold me still. After his videos went off he asked me to get naked in front of him or he would post pictures all over my Facebook account. I said no, because I knew he could never get my password. He had been drinking that day, and everywhere I went he would follow me.”Let me see”. He cornered me into my room pushing against me until I fell on the bed. He laid on me with beer on his breath breathing down my neck. He held down my arms and pulled down my pants. He rubbed his hands across my pubic area and then looked at me. He said, ” If I wanted to I could take it, you know that”, ” and Don’t try running to your brother or your mama I told them I was doing this today”. He then looked at me smiled and walked out the room. I spent most of that day locked  in my room going over what had happened and almost did again..

Fast forward to September 2011 when he asked me to be his first. A few days prior we went to the park where he asked if I was still a virgin, which I was. He asked if I felt I was ready to lose my virginity, I told him I didn’t know. At the time The day he asked me to lose my virginity to him, he was so sure I was going to say yes. He smiled as he asked if he could be my first. When I told him no he began to get frustrated as if he didn’t comprehend why I was telling him no. After he’d calm down  he asked me to think about it, trying to be persuasive saying things like “I won’t hurt you, I love you” and ” I’ll go slow”.  As it grew time for my mother to come home he told me that we never had that conversation and I couldn’t tell anyone especially my mother. I tried avoiding my mother most of that day. I avoided her cause in my mind I was contemplating how I was going to tell her that the man she loved was a predator. So I  went outside to the park where I called my older brother. He is who I usually run to when I have a troubled mind. But thus day  I was scared half to death to talk to him. I  eventually told him what Drico had asked me. He said, I needed to tell my mother. Hesitant and scared of the results, I told her what he had requested from me.

While Aldrick was in the restroom I told my mother what he had asked. She cried and made me repeat myself. She banged on the restroom door and asked what he had told me. “Huh”, “what you talking bout?” He tried to stay in the restroom as long as he could. “Shes lying”, he exclaimed as he came out the restroom. “It was just a joke”, he said. My mother furious kicked him out the house. He looked at me and said, ” I don’t know why you told her that, you know that’s going to hurt her”. He then left with a packed bag.

” You can bring a horse to water but can’t make them drink”.  During that time I expected my mother to call the police start investigations,but she didn’t. Instead she let him come back. After the day that he returned I just tried to keep my distance. Love can make you do some strange things and I know my mother was blinded by love. I used to blame her for the things that he did, but it isn’t her fault. I always ask her 1 question though, ” Why” “Why did you bring him back?” She has never been able to answer that for me. Honestly, she doesn’t need to. I know that my mother feels for the things that occurred due to him. I answered things for myself a while ago; hope. The belief that the guy she loved wasn’t this evil man she had grown with. She wanted to remember him  the way he was when she met him, not as the man who tried to have sex with her 15-year-old daughter. When blinded by love people can tell you about all the negative but until you’re ready to see it for yourself it will never affect the way that  you view  someone or something.

Aside from me asking my mother why, we never really discussed it anymore. Sexual abuse in the Black community is something that occurs so often. Yet, when brought up the accusations are not discussed and rarely reported. It is more so frowned upon to discuss incest, molestation or abuse in the family. Black families; like my family would rather things such as these be forgotten or no longer spoken on. Secrets locked away to be forgotten. I am here to say these people, These stories, and these moments should not be forgotten. These stories being “forgotten” allows the predator to win, and be free. It allows them to do the same thing to someone else. They don’t deserve that. The victims don’t either. So, to abuse victims/survivors make them listen, open those locked closets and let out those secrets. Secrets like these aren’t meant to be kept. Telling could save someone else from being harmed as well. It’s time to make a change and   Break The Silence people!!!

Breaking The Silence, Wake up

Twice Betrayed

In 2003 my mother and two brothers(Moe and Jarrett) and I had decided to make the move to Arizona to live with my grandfather. Before leaving the state we sold all of our things and momentarily stayed with a uncle. In the weeks prior to us leaving I didn’t see my first predator anymore but I was confronted with my second. Of the 3 predators I have ever encountered this 1 I never brought up, so here we go…..

The 4 of us lived in the home with 5 other people ( My Great uncle, His wife and their 3 children. This home was the designated home for family gatherings, party’s really everything took place at this home. I can say most of my memories were here. Of all of the good memories there is only one bad and that one sticks with me the most. We expect people to be different, we expect to always be safe but sometimes no matter the circumstances we aren’t.

Unsure of the reason but one night my older brother 2 cousins and I had to share a bed for the night. That night everything started off normal, we all played games as we normally would. We ate dinner and cleaned the kitchen. Then all took our showers and went to bed.

As I have stated before I don’t ever completely sleep throughout the night. This particular night wasn’t any different either. I had been sleeping and awoke to something oh so familiar. It was the familiar unwanted touch but it was by someone new. Another person I trusted my male cousin Randall. After he finished penetrating me and giving me oral he went to the restroom, then returned back to bed and went to sleep. I rolled over in bed and cried myself to sleep yet again. All I could think was it was happening again. This time in a home full of people, in a bed full of people yet again no one knew.

After falling asleep I’m unsure if he did it again or not but when we all awoke my pants and underwear were down. After all of us children awoke we sat around everyone asking why my clothing was that way. My eldest brother especially, I recall him asking why and who did it. My cousin sat around but never said a word. Things were different that day. I saw everyone different that day. I was ready to move away.

Looking back his actions don’t surprise me he had signs. Whenever us children were left alone he often snuck porn tapes out of his parents room to watch. He tried to get us to watch but wasn’t something we were in to. And most prominent was the day he chased us around the home naked. He had on a condom and chased us kids around the house. Looking back I know something could have been done. He showed signs but as children we didn’t know.

I was 7 at the time, he was 5 or 6 years older than me. Another member who became family by marriage. Another male who turned out to be a predator. Looking back I resent not speaking up that day. I knew who had to be the cause of the clothing that wasn’t on me as it should have been. This was my encounter with my 2nd family predator as if 1 wasn’t enough. From that day forward we never discussed what went on. He never tried to do it again, but that 1 time changed my perception of him. I often think back and wonder who else fell victim to him? Also was I his only victim? Those among numerous other questions crowd my mind at times. Yet, I guess I may never know……

Breaking The Silence, Wake up

Abusing power

After my freshman year of high school ended, we moved to an extended stay and  I had to switch high schools (school 2 of 3) . In 2012 we would be moving back to Tennessee, so to save money we went to live at Legacy Suites. After moving schools and checking on the bus routes we were told they did not come out near our temporary home. Which left us with finding other means of transportation for me.  My mother drove in the direction of my school often but My step father (Drico) said I wasn’t allowed to ride in his vehicles. So, everyday I walked. I walked  in rain or the beaming sun to school and back home. From Legacy Suites extended stay to Tolleson High School was 2 miles one way. I’m unsure if those reading have ever been to Arizona but its very hot. 117-124 degrees on the average day. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the exercise at times and being able to get out of the house. But, at other times it was stressful and seemed Drico went out of his way to make sure my life was ran the way he wanted it to be.

I called my grandfather one day as it was pouring raining, and he came and picked me up and dropped me off at home. Drico got angry and said I wasn’t allowed to get a ride from anyone. During the rain or a heat wave I was expected to walk and to turn down a ride when offered. Walking home each day I had to cross the highway where I was honked at continuously. Being a young female especially walking alone can be terrifying. You never know what predicaments you may fall into. A older man followed me all the way home one day.  Looking over my shoulder I could see him pacing behind me, as I turned around he would stop and act as if he needed service. I walked faster and faster hoping I’d make it home to be “safe”.

One of my first real bad episodes of syncope(Fainting) happened after walking to school one morning. As I was getting closer to the school my vision began to go out. I walked as fast as I could so that I could sit. When I arrived I sat at a bench with my head between my legs to try and get my vision to become clear. For a while it didn’t. When it came to I went to the restroom and cried. I felt sick and weak and knew I needed to go home. But, I knew that meant I’d have to walk to get there. No need in missing a day of school to do the same thing I would have to do anyway. And leaving also meant I’d be be home with Drico alone. So, I waited until things were clear and I continued on with my day.

Drico exercised his power frequently. In moments were it was proper and others were it was not. For my 16th birthday(Halloween)  I got to take my brothers and his friends trick or treating as a “reward”My dad has a tradition of  sending us birthday cards every year with money inside. When it wasn’t my birthday I still received a car with money and vice versa for my younger brother. For my 16th birthday my dad sent cards to me and my brother. My younger brother received his and I was told their wasn’t anything for me which I knew was a lie. So I called my dad and I asked if he sent me anything he said, yes. He then resent me another card with cash in it and this time Drico told me that I wouldn’t get it until he felt i was ready. When I did get my card it was after my birthday, the envelope had been opened and my card was empty. He had done this for several holidays. Any card I got on birthdays or holidays was searched and held until he felt the need to give them to me.

Spring of 2012 I did my first audition to become a model in the model mall search. I was rewarded with a proposal to join the modeling agency with an agent. I was allotted a free photo shoot, and portfolio. I did my free photo shoot and waited for my portfolio to come in the mail. The day that it did I wasn’t allowed to watch the TV featuring every photo I took. . Drico exclaimed that he felt I looked too grown and didn’t want anyone looking at me. When asked what happened to my contract he said it never came. Yet, it did I saw the box on the counter. Til this day I am unsure what he did with all of my things.

Living with Aldrick I was never able to do anything I wanted to do unless he deemed it necessary. When it came to school sports and activities if I had to pay anything it was best to expect not participating. Track and field I was allowed to participate in 8th grade because he was given title of assistant coach. He came and helped us to practice and it was also free. When high-school came around I was not given the same opportunities. Track, Cheer and soccer were sports I was interested in but Drico said I couldn’t because it would be a waste of his money. I offered to get a job even  walked around phoenix and filled out applications, but I was told I could’t do that either. Why?, the question I’ve always wondered.

Power has a way of making people do things to show their true colors. Drico was a man fueled by power and he abused it every chance he got.  If it wasn’t his way it was the wrong way. 3 years we lived with him. 3 years we went through hell because of him wanting to exercise his power. I built a rage for him over those years, wanted him dead at one point. But, I know me being angry is what he wanted. Its as if getting a reaction out of you excited him. Men like this I have put into 1 category and that is category of a coward. I say coward because in the years of knowing this man he never acted this way with men. He preyed on my little brother everyday calling him any name he could think of. Stupid was one he used ever so frequently. “Stupid ass”  he would say whenever my brother did something he didn’t like. Or he would prey on my mother using anything he felt we did wrong as a taunt to her calling her a bad mother. Whenever my older brother or any other male family member was around though he never acted that way with them. Power is ugly and lets you see the truth. Don’t ignore the signs of a coward trying to abuse their  power to justify their own ego.

Breaking The Silence

Say Their Name!!

I was asked if I felt it were wrong to use the real names of people whom have hurt me in my Blogs. Honesty, I don’t believe its a wrong decision. This is My life and I’m telling My story. The name(s) that have and will be used is what makes this real!

In life people have choices some good and some bad but, its their decision to make the right one. All choices have a consequence. If you aren’t comfortable enough to have everyone know you’ve done something then you shouldn’t do it.

I am an abuse victim and survivor and I will say the names every chance I get. I used to be unable to say the names and anytime someone said it I’d wince. I couldn’t bear it. But, Now I’m no longer running from names or problems. They made their choice, now its time to face the consequences.

I believe all Survivors should speak their abusers name. Whether its been 5 years or 50 speak their name. No matter their social class or status SPEAK THEIR NAME! Most women who are abused wait to tell their story and as a result, nothing can be done to the abuser because of the statue of limitations on the crime. So, he/she can’t be charged but, that doesn’t mean you still can’t tell your story. That doesn’t and shouldn’t mean they still can’t be held accountable. Its time to Say Their Name! They won’t forget what they’ve done and shouldn’t be given the opportunity to do it again to anyone else. So, Say Their Name; Government Name, Nickname, Street Name, Social Name. You tell your story and don’t forget to mention anyone who’s involved in it! Its your life and you shouldn’t have to sugar coat especially for Anyone who didn’t respect it enough in the first place.

Breaking The Silence

Growing in Depression

It was at the age of 9 I told my mother I was depressed. Her response “You don’t even know what that is”, but I did. See , I cried myself to sleep every night. Some nights I didn’t sleep at (and still don’t). My depression began at a very young age. After moving to Arizona I was no longer in a position where my abuser could get to me, I was free. Well I thought I was. Although physically he could no longer touch me, in my head he was coming in my room. When the lights went out and everyone was asleep I was up staring at the ceiling asking God “why me?” My body had adjusted to being woken up throughout the night. So every night from childhood til now I have woken up or haven’t gotten a full nights rest. When asked if I slept okay?, I always say “what’s sleep”. A joke to those greeted with my answer, but to me it’s a real question. Sleep is something I have never gotten the ability to enjoy. Sleep deprivation is like my best friend next to insomnia, and I really wish we could go our separate ways!After that occurrence of being told I wasn’t depressed due to being so young , I never brought it up anymore. I am one of those people if you don’t believe me the first time you wont believe me the second. If something so real wasn’t taken serious when I spoke on it then there was no need for me to press the issue.

As a result at the age I began doing things which put me in unsafe situations. It was a moment in which I was tired of crying and worrying. No one believed me or would. Suicidal thoughts began for me during my adolescence. At one moment I remember playing with knives and my older brother caught me. We are 4 years apart so he couldn’t help me. He told my mother and grandfather whom we lived with at the time. I remember them sitting me down and telling me no to play with knives. I don’t believe anyone knew the severity of my situation back then.

Being someone dealing with depression you never feel happy. In the moments that you want to feel and show emotion it’s as if you can’t. My dad and stepmother flew out to Arizona to spend time with me and my brother when I was in elementary school. I hadn’t seen him in years and I’m definitely a Daddy’s girl. That week they spent there would’ve been one of happiest moments as a child but, it wasn’t. I spent the week going to the zoo, the mall, movies out to eat ; getting out of school early. Things every young child loves, but I couldn’t enjoy myself, not like a child should. To me depression mentally hinders emotion. I can say in my 22 years of life I’ve never been able to truly express myself how I’d like.

Growing up like every other issue in my life I never discussed my depression with anyone. Over the years I learned to adapt. When things went wrong in my life I just prepared myself to sink within the Deep D. In 2011 my Grandmother “B” passed away from a diabetic stroke. My grandmother was my favorite person out of everyone in the world, because she never changed who she was. You walk into her home and she always greeted you with a huge hug, smile and asked how her “bugaboo” was doing, and then proceeded to tell you to fix you a plate. My grandmother wasn’t rich she was very far from it, but no matter what she always made sure me and my little brother were okay. Maybe cliché, but my dream growing up was to make it so that I could take care of her like she did me. I saw her as my second mother. So, losing her hurt very deeply, and to this day still does. I lost my Great Grandmother in march of 2011, and then my Grandmother in July of 2011. I was 15 at the time but felt as if I had lost everything. I sunk into a terrible depression that year. I didn’t have anyone to talk to, so I bottled it up.I tried telling myself that everything would be okay, but it wasn’t. At the time I was living in a broken home. As a result, I began searching for love and attention in all the wrong places and people.

In 2014, I joined the Army! In 2015 I was discharged from the army. This was something I prided myself in, something I wanted and loved. I was proud o be the 1% and having that taken away was devastating. After returning home, I put myself into a bubble. The person who left in 2014 wasn’t the same person in 2015. My depression became more severe, and the suicidal thoughts became more constant. I slept almost all day long, I didn’t want to go out and do anything with anyone(family included). I had shut myself out from the world. Again when reaching out for help, I was shot down. I tried talking about how I felt concerning my military discharge but no-one was listening. Here was when I learned that no-one had me like I did them.At this point, I stopped and began to write.

In 2015, I discussed with my doctor my habits and thoughts and feelings. As a result, she diagnosed me with Depression. This never came as a surprise to me because, I knew long ago. Each time something terrible has happened to me I haven’t spoken on it, I’ve kept it locked inside. Each time I sunk lower and lower. Every depressive episode from childhood until now has progressed from small and controlled to edgy and dangerous. I say I have grown in depression because from adolescence up until now depression has stuck with me, whether I wanted it to or not. I have learned to adapt to my depressive episodes. I used to search in the wrong places as an outlet to ease the process.Now, I search for a positive release. In my years of living with the “Big D’ I’ve learned that holding things in doesn’t help the cause. Also, that depression isn’t going anywhere. I can’t get rid of it because, it’s a part of me. It has been here with me through the good and the bad, all I can do is adapt. I’ve learned to turn my bad situations into positive vibes, and energy. When I feel the “Big D” closing in on me I do the opposite of what I’m feeling. I get up, I go out and I talk. I talk to anyone I know will listen. Depression is where I do most of my deep thinking and brainstorming. I can’t change my diagnosis but I can change how I approach it! How do you deal with your depression?

Breaking The Silence

The beggining

As a young female who has faced so many obstacles, I believe its time for me to tell my story! That is why I created this blogging site. I want to tell my story and hopefully help someone else to tell theirs. My life was never ordinary, I never got the chance to live a “normal” life. During my 22 years of living I have endured several acts of molestation by multiple family members, I have lived in an abusive home, dealt with toxic relationships and people.  I have  also battled self-love due to the belief that I wasn’t enough and would never be.

Growing up I never got to tell my story, I was afraid to. I feared opening up to anyone; so  friends were left int the dark. Those close to me who knew of my story never asked, so I never spoke on it. Not speaking on things was not the best idea. Holding everything in led me to have Anxiety. I frequently worry about everything and everyone. Holding  everything in has also led me to have very bad depression. I have not been able to show interest in the things or people who mean the most to me. Depression and Anxiety  work together one is usually triggered by the other, At times it can be Hell! I’m tired of holding onto things that are only hindering me. The longer you hold onto something the deeper it hurts, the more you worry, the more the pain lingers.

I wrote all of that to say this; to anyone with a story, a memory or just someone afraid of letting go, it inst worth losing who you are. It took me 17 years to speak on my journey and the obstacles I have faced along the way,I wish I had said something sooner. After opening up to close friends and immediate family I have felt so much better. I have felt better about myself, my life, and my past. I gained confidence, which is something I didn’t quite have before. To anyone faced with a troubling journey; past or present don’t let it hinder you. Tell your Story!!

I have found that talking about the obstacles I was faced with I gained better understanding about myself. I no longer want to be held back, I’m choosing to tell my truth, telling the stories which have made me who I am. Although they weren’t positive things they were just obstacles that I conquered! The issues I’ve faced I will be detailing in my future blog posts. I’m doing it this way because I don’t want to hide the things I have been through anymore because I know my story does not stand alone. Everyone has their own journey faced with different obstacles, I want people to not be afraid to discuss them freely.I support Breaking the Silence. This is just the beginning. I am telling my story, You should too!