world topics

Children’s Mental Health

In the words of nelson Mandela “Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” It is our job to help shape the young minds of our time. Children will one day be our future doctors, nurses, teachers, policeman etc. The young children of today will one day replace us  expected to keep the world running. To be able to do that they need to be raised right, especially when it comes to their mental health. A person’s mental state of mind determines their behavior and their future.

“Your mental health is just as important as your physical health”A person’s state of mind plays an important role in the choices that we make as human beings. An unstable mind can be detrimental to a person’s prosperity. Having mental issues left untreated especially beginning at a young age will have a major impact on them leading all the way into their adult lives.

I grew up mentally and physically damaged. Since childhood I’ve had depression and anxiety. I’ve always understood what most my age can not and I always knew that something was indeed wrong. I wanted help and so I went and asked for it. But, because I was a child it was put off as if I didn’t know what I was saying. That I was too young to know what that meant. But, I did. The key is to listen. You may think your child is wrong, or that your child doesn’t know but sometimes they do. We know our body better than anyone else ever could, even in childhood. “An estimated 3.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the united states have had at least one major depressive episode.”  Depression  is real and if left untreated can lead to so many other issues; suicide being a major one.

Children can be faced with so many other mental conditions. A common condition is ADHD which is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This was something that I personally never had an issue with but  I watched as my younger brother did. “6.4 million children were diagnosed with ADHD between 2003 and 2011. If left untreated ADHD can lead to lifelong problems ; including adult ADHD or add in their adult hood. ADHD disrupts concentration, and enhances hyperactivity. ADHD is now so common among children and must not be ignored. Treatment is necessary in the growth of our future leaders.  It’s the simple things like Concentration that most people often take for granted because to us it comes so natural. But, that isn’t the case for everyone. No matter how much people with  ADHD try to settle down and be less hyperactive they can’t. With treatment and constructive outlets to channel this extra energy and sometimes behavior it helps to shape and prepare them for understanding and control as they grow older into adult hood.

Autism is another illness that also begins in young children. Autism can begin to manifest and show itself as young as the age of two. Autism like other mental illnesses must be caught early on and treated properly in order for the child to have a chance at leading a normal independent life. This disorder affects the mind of the child. It slows the development of speech and learning disability as well as makes social interaction, communication, and obsessive interests difficult. There is no current cure, but treatment gives people with autism a fair chance at being successful in their adult lives without being dependent on someone else to be able to do so.

There are so many other illness’ that affect children. Children are who will one day take over and teach the future generations to come. If mentally they are unstable they will be incapable of success and taking care of the world. In order for humanity to thrive we have to be ensure that our future leaders are mentally stable and prepared to do so. To my parents; Listen, Pay attention and Take care of your children. These young people are the ones you expect to look after you when you become too old to look after yourself. So, take care of them so that they may be able to one day take care of you. If you hold guardianship over an adolescent my test for you is to Listen to your child, to pay attention  and lastly; learn. To learn the signs to be able to notice when something is wrong.” Our greatest natural resource is in the minds of our children.”Take care of our children as they are young so that they will lead our future to be prosperous when they become adults.

Breaking The Silence

Letter to my Step Father

This was the message that I sent to my step father after he declined to meet with me to talk. I would have rather said everything in person but I wasn’t given the chance :

Drico,

Before I say what I needed to say I gotta know why are you so small?I hated seeing you like that. That’s not the Drico that I know. So what’s going on? I know you probably won’t tell me but I hope you do.. If not I understand.

I Wanted to start by saying that I really do hope you’re taking care of yourself. But for a while I’ve been wanting to talk to you I was hoping you would accept my offer to talk in person. But since you didn’t I’ll accept writing to you. Whether you respond or not doesn’t matter as long as I say what I need to say.

When you first came into our lives we accepted you and loved you. I’m glad that I was fortunate enough to have some good memories with you in the beginning. Things were great. Unfortunately towards the end of you being in our family majority of the memories were bad, things that I wish I could forget. And those are things I wanted to talk with you about now. With all the things you’ve done I still care about u.

First and foremost I do want to say thankyou for trying to talk to me when you all found out about my past. For that I’m grateful you got me to open up and talk about the things that had been done to me. You taught me a few things like how to cook things which I didn’t know before. So thankyou for those things.

But of all the things that you did teach me you also taught me not to trust people. In the beginning of 09 you were a great guy one we all loved and didn’t mind being around. But, it seemed when you moved in with us all of that changed…. You switched like someone had turned a switch and you became a completely different person. One that I really don’t like. In case you don’t remember ill explain.

When first moving to Arizona you threatened to leave my mother after a dish was left in the sink to soak by me. Blaming me for being the reason that you were leaving. In my opinion that’s was very cowardly of you. If you wanted out you didn’t have to use us kids as an excuse to leave. Secondly, You made me sleep on the floor when I had a perfectly good bed because of your own insecurities and no I don’t feel that was right in any way. Moving forward over the years you and I weren’t close. None of us were really close with you, and no one is to blame but you.
You called Jarrett names and mentally abused him on the daily, that I didn’t like nor did he. The things you say affect the people you say them to. Both you and my mom are wrong because you shouldn’t have said it and she should have spoken up for Jarrett. I hope you treat your new family better than you did us.

You used to make us take cold showers only turning the hot water on for yourself or my mom that’s wrong. I dislike that you made us do things we didn’t want in order to even get shoes for school. That was a game to you but wasnt cool. I know how they feel but I can’t speak for moe and Jarrett they’ll have to tell you themselves but for me you ruined what we’re supposed to be some of the best times in my life.

I disliked how I was forced to walk 2 miles back and forth to school each day rain included. It was pouring and I asked granddaddy for a ride one day he brought me home and because of that I got in trouble. With 2 vehicles at the house I couldn’t even get a ride when mama was going that way anyways. That was ignorant on both of y’all. I don’t like that you opened all of my mail before giving it to me. I don’t like that you stole money given to me by my dad it wasn’t yours to keep. I don’t like that you tried to have me help you sale weed in order for me to get money. I asked if I could get a job y’all didn’t want me to have 1 of them either. Unsure why you were so difficult but it wasn’t the right way.

I understand in you being an ex marine you have ptsd. But, You having it and knowing that you do you need to get help. We watched you flip out too many times. Watching as you tore the house apart breaking anything you could. Then you would turn into a child. Going around the house with blood just everywhere looking as if it’s a murder scene. We as children shouldn’t have had to witness any of that. You up yelling until 3 am screaming at the top of your lungs something we shouldnt have to see. You threatening to kill us saying you wish that we were all dead isn’t something we should have to go through. Especially from someone who claims to love us as his own children. You having a problem doesn’t excuse your behavior especially if you aren’t trying to get the help that you need.

With all that was going on in the home I needed an outlet and I found it by talking to other people. That guy I sent the nude pictures to I know I shouldn’t have but at the time that was my outlet my way of asking for help but you and mama as parents were supposed to be there but weren’t. You all were too wrapped in your selves. It was wrong on my end im not saying my behavior was ok because it wasn’t. But I was pushed to go outside to find another outlet. Although I was wrong for taking the pictures the way you handles things was wrong. I know you downloaded and printed the pictures saving them in that folder. That was inappropriate of you as someone who was supposed to be my step father.

Another issue I have with you as a step father you crossed so many lines. You asking to give me head and for me to lose my virginity to you was inappropriate and sick. You know you were wrong because you tried to hide the fact that you asked me that to my mom. You forcing me to watch porn was so wrong on many levels. You trying to make me pull down my pants and touching me was wrong as well. You don’t deserve to have the step father title. My mama was wrong for marrying you, especially with knowing all the things that you did. With you knowing my past knowing that I was molested as a child why would you ruin me even more. As a man in my life, you being my step father you’re supposed to protect me not prey on me! You’re sick for that. In my eyes That makes you just as sick as the men having sex with children! You were wrong and I hope you know it. I want you to know it. On april 30 I will be posting a vlog telling my story I will be saying your name and telling all that you did. You as well as the 3 other men who hurt me. I don’t care how you feel about it. You made the decisions that you did so you have to live with the consequences to your actions. You always said man’s worst fear is being found out, I guess we will see on monday. My one question to you is why?, why did you do it?

In your message you stated I didn’t invite you to my graduation which it seemed was your reasoning for not wanting to meet with me. The last I heard you didn’t want anything to do with us. You didn’t even want us to come to Mississippi to visit our own mother. So no I didn’t invite you to my graduation that’s not something you deserve. People who were there for me were at my graduation and going away party before I went to the military. You never checked on us or anything so how you feel you were right to be at my graduation is beyond me.

Then the next time I did hear from you was after I messaged your friend cameo telling her the truth. And you got mad and refered to me as a “Skinny Bitch”. Yeah I heard that part too, and that you all felt I shouldn’t have spoken about that but I did. Y’all are married but that marriage involves me and my siblings as well because whatever you put her through you put us through too. I told my mother before I did it too. And I did it because I feel if you are Okay With moving on with your life having a new family you should be able to sign some papers to be divorced. She spent her money you didn’t have to Pay anything all you had to do was sign The papers but ignorantly of course you didn’t. Don’t you feel you’ve put our family through enough? You have moved on my mother deserves to be able to do the same.

Overall my point in writing you was to clear my chest of the pain which you have caused. I don’t know what happened to you over the years but whatever it was I pray you never turn into that guy again. I pray that in reading this you reflect over yourself from past to present and are able to become a better person in the future. I wrote you because for so many years I resented you I hated you. But in doing that I know I only hurt myself more. You were once a good man one that I was proud to call my step father, proud you were dating my mother back in 2009. I only wish you could find that guy and be him. That bitterness and evil ness that grew about you isn’t right nor healthy. You hurt people when you become bitter and if you hurt everyone who’s around you who loves you then you will end up by yourself. Some things you did i may never forget i wish i could though. And hopefully 1 day i will. But my point in writing you is to tell you that even with all that you have done I forgive you. I’m forgiving you for myself because holding on to the pain was killing me. I’m a completely different woman from the little girl you knew with a different mindset and personality. I have so many dreams that have been put on the back burner because i was trying to rebuild myself from being hurt in the past. I wish this life on no one. But i have grown so much as a person and found myself and my calling in the process i also found my voice. So, im going to say how i feel no matter what anyone has to say about it; including you. Seeing you the other day was hard because it brought back so many memories. Also because you look so sick, I don’t know what’s going on with you but you need to get yourself together! I’m speaking as your step daughter not as your friend. I care what happens to you even with how our past is.

I hope in reading this I receive a response or you at least understand. Read with the intention of understanding not to reply. You’re a very intelligent man why you chose to sale yourself short I don’t know but I hope you hear me! I hope you understand. And I do forgive you Drico and I hope you take this as criticism and use it to work on yourself. You overall aren’t a bad person you just make bad decisions. My suggestion is you think before you act and think about the consequences to your actions and how it can affect not only you but those around you as well. Its 2018 and in moving forward I hope you learn to forgive yourself as well as let go of whatever it is that turn you into such a cruel human being. You are more than the troubles you face. Instead of holding it in you need to let it out if not you will do nothing but continue to hurt yourself. Now I have said my peace. Have a good day!

-Jade

After reading he replied two days later. He said to me…

“Dear Jade, I remember a very different story, however if you choose to do you then do it. I have no problems with you. Somebody really lied to you because I chose not to pursue. But, it’s okay I am a Christian, which means I am not perfect, So moving forward start whatever trouble you feel like you need to start. But always remember when you plotting revenge does 2.”

It was Short which in all honesty I didn’t expect to hear back from him at all and if I did I expected it to be bad. If you know drico then you know his mouth will cut you deeper than any physical wound could ever do. But, I didn’t get that this time and that both shocks & scares me. I don’t know where things will go from here, I just pray that they get better and not worse.

Breaking The Silence

To vent or not to vent?

Being a sexual assault and now rape victim you can’t always find people who understand you. For the most part people just feel sorry for you or don’t care at all because they can’t understand or can’t relate. You come across a hand full of people who you can talk to and even then, if they havent experienced the things that you have they can only help you so much. So, the question is do you still talk and if so who do you talk to?

For me I have so many family members who have experienced sexual abuse just like me but no one wants to talk about it. Everyone wants to suppress the memories and let the pain build but I can’t do that. The only family member I have that will listen and give advice is my eldest brother. He has been very helpful in helping me through this journey and of all the people he’s the only one who said they would be here for me and hadn’t left. He’s never experienced sexual abuse but he helped to raise me so in a way he’s like a father figure and a big brother all in one. He tries his best to understand as much as he can. As far as other family memebers are concerned there’s really no one in the family who will listen or wants to talk about it. So if you don’t have family you can go to who do you talk to?

For me I’ve learned that good friends are hard to come by. So, when you do find a good friend you keep them around. I’ve had a few good friends in my life some I have lost and others stuck around. Those friends are friends I’ll keep forever. When I go to them with any problem they are around to listen. With me discussing my sexual abuse past and present they are good listeners. But, rage often takes over them and by the end of the discussion they’re ready to hurt someone and feeling sorry for me. I hate when people feel sorry for me.

Besides the three people I have to talk with there’s no one else who knows me. My brother and 2 close friends have been the only 2 people I’ve talked with daily about the things that trouble me the most; like my abuse. But what do you do when there’s no one around to understand and relate to you?

In a perfect world I’d have my mother by my side helping me through this experience since she can relate to it but that isn’t the case. I’ve learned by watching and trying to talk to her about how I feel about my past that she isn’t ready. She doesn’t want anything to do with it , I can’t even get her to read my blogs. Can’t lie that really hurts but, you can’t force someone to do something that they aren’t ready for. Of all the people to talk to I’d love for it to be her. I say that because she knows me and can relate and that’s the best combo to come by.

Being a victim we often think the best thing to do is to hold everything in but honestly that isn’t the best option. I wish I had known earlier that talking about it makes you feel so much better. That expressing your rage and emotions is like lifting a weight off your shoulders. The best choice is to talk, and not runaway  it’s helped me a lot. But when you don’t have friends or family where do you go?

There’s an option of counseling but honestly I prefer not to talk with someone who’s main outcome is to get a check. I have found writing to be a great comforter. I’ve also joined social groups where there are millions of people like me. That has been a rewarding experience. Talking with regular people who are also survivors of abuse is like finally finding a home. Finding somewhere that you fit in. Not only does everyone understand but some go through the same things as you. There are people who are around who understand you and don’t judge you or feel sorry for you. They are just people listening and giving advice because they can relate.

The answer to the question when you don’t have family or friends around to lend a listening ear you search and you find someone who will listen. There are people who will not just listen to you but they will understand you as well. I felt lost and unable to vent like I needed to the people i did have so I found people who knew just what to say and just how I felt. Sometimes the best help comes from a stranger.I’ll admit at first I wasn’t sure talking to strangers would help but it has. It’s been comforting knowing that someone finally gets me.

I’m no doctor nor counselor but I am a great listener. I’ve been able to comfort a few people because I’ve been able to relate to them and to really understand. To anyone who feels that they have nowhere to turn and no one to listen search harder there’s always someone even if they are a stranger.

P.s. I Don’t know if itll help anyone but my email is always open! suzieespeaks@gmail.com

Wake up

Misjudged

“Those who judge will never understand and those who understand will never judge” We live in a world where you are judged for being yourself and praised for trying to be like everyone else. We live in a world where people feel they know you based off of what the next person told them about you. Whether you know it to be true or false won’t matter. As stated in the bible “the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” Everyone starts rumors without thinking and speaks without knowing. Before you know it who you really are will no longer be how you are perceived to the world, they’ll see you as the person that everyone else portrayed you out to be.

I’m sure everyone has had moments in their life where they were misjudged by someone who really knew nothing about them. Well, I have been misjudged my entire life, and a few of those moments stick with me the most. When people don’t know everything about you, they make up stories to fill in the blanks. I guess that part is my fault though? I keep to myself to avoid drama and becoming attached to the wrong people. I’ve changed how I went about dealing with people and opened up, just becoming an open book as well. But, both of these things were still met with rumors, and judgment. I’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t win. No matter how far you’ve come and what you accomplish or who you are there will always be someone who won’t like you for you. Because of that stories are made up, rumors are spread and before you know it you aren’t who you’re supposed to be.

Growing up I have been victim to being misjudged by those who never even took the time out to get to know me. I have always been a quiet person and kept my life and personal   business to myself but that isn’t normal in society. People believe they have the right to know everything about you and when they don’t, they create stories to fill in the unknown.

Living in Arizona most of my life put me in a total culture shock when I moved back to Tennessee. I had been to 2 high schools prior to going to this one. When I arrived I for the most part kept to myself I spoke to people but overall I kept to myself because that’s always been me. Being used to moving around a lot you try not to get attached to people, so I didn’t. Everyone knew I was the new girl and not from around here but no one knew me, and honestly they still don’t. But, because they didn’t know me people decided they wouldn’t like me. To this day it’s people I have never spoken to a day in my life that just do  not like me because of something someone else told them.

Each day I kept to myself unless given a reason to do other wise. Rumors had been spread. I had a guy come up to me one day and ask about my three kids that someone stated I had. My senior year in high school I had a boyfriend and still for the most part kept to myself and out-of-the-way. Even with me trying to distance myself from being judged no matter what it still seemed to follow and people sill talked. I Had someone start a rumor that I didn’t like a girl that I actually  considered as a friend. They also stated that I was  basically saying bad things about this girl, someone who I had never had an issue with and because word of mouth and opinions matter more to people than facts she believed them and had begun to dislike me because of it. The only reason I knew any of this was even happening is because someone came up to me and asked me why I was saying all these things and by the time I had tried correcting it, the damage had been done.   I’d say the most irritating  part about things was that I still don’t even know who started those rumors and no one ever bothered to even see if I was true. Popular opinion, it wins every time!

Another time I was misjudged by rumors  is one that will probably stick with me for a while because of all the things people can make up this was one they should have kept. A rumor that I had been sleeping around with someone I considered as family had been started after I had broken up with a boyfriend for cheating on me. The rumor came from someone in his family and a new friend of his.  I’d say of all the things that have been said about me in my life that is the most hurtful. It’s hurtful because as a survivor of abuse I have to be connected with people on an emotional level to even become intimate and older men is something I always steer away from because they remind me of my past. Of course they didn’t know that but that doesn’t excuse the rumor. Another reason that hurt me was because I have been around these people for 5 years and have never even looked at anyone the way I did my boyfriend at the time, especially not family.  I’m the type of person  that if we are dating any and everyone who comes on to me I will tell you about as well. This was another rumor that no only affected me, my life and relationships with people but also affected the lives of other people around me.

I have learned a lot in my 22 years of life, lessons that most people may never learn.  I have learned that no matter how much people claim to like you they will still judge you. I have learned that rumors are usually started by bitter people who are unhappy with their own lives, and want you to feel the same. When it comes to rumors I know the truth, if people care about you like they say then they’ll always come to you for clarity. I have learned that rumors tell you a lot about people and who you can and can’t trust. Rumors are just words, they can’t hurt you they can only make you stronger because other people’s opinion doesn’t determine who you are as a person, as long as you remain true to yourself.

We live in a world where everyone feels its their right to know everything about your life. Family, Friends, Peers, neighbors and society ; Everyone wanting to see who you are and what you are about. No one wants the next person to be better than them so they dilute the image you’ve made for yourself. That isn’t right. You shouldn’t have to work hard to establish yourself just to have that tarnished by someone who probably doesn’t even know you. I wrote  This is for those people who like me have been misjudged and had rumors spread about them throughout their life. Who you are as a person matters and you should not let what other people think change that. Maybe one day they’ll understand that the words they speak and the rumors they start affects everyone around them. Just Stay true to yourself!

Breaking The Silence, Letters From A Pedophile, Wake up

Letter from A pedophile pt. 2

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

Love always tevrous bomer
Write me back

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

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

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

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

Breaking The Silence, Letters From A Pedophile, Wake up

The conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking The Silence

Dark Clouds

      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!

 

 

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…