I meant to type this up a few nights ago, but I haven’t been feeling well so a long-form post just wasn’t an appealing idea.
A friend of mine participated in the #ShoutingBack tag on twitter the other night, and I was inspired to do the same. Basically, the idea was for survivors of sexual harassment/assault to let the world know that this is some every day shit, not just a few isolated incidents here and there. It’s pretty powerful stuff. Go check it out.
One of my shout-backs disclosed that I was sexually abused as a child. This was my first public admission of this fact, and I’m pretty sure @misssbelinda is the only person who knew before this tumblr post (btw, shoutout to her for being an amazing support system and running this amazing tumblr for survivors of child sexual abuse and their allies).
I see no reason to go into all the details here, but it’s probably helpful to disclose a few facts:
- Yup, I’ve dealt with this in therapy
- Yes, I’m okay
- I’m still working on not being ashamed/embarrassed about this
- It’s not a secret, but if we’re friends off-tumblr maybe don’t bring it up at a group dinner?
It wasn’t a family member or other adult — my abuser was another child. She was a (slightly older) friend of mine. I believe that she was abused, too, otherwise she would not have known to do that to me. My abuse occurred between ages 6 and 10, but I didn’t recognize it as abuse until much later on.
The abuse stopped because I stopped hanging out with her. I haven’t had contact with her since I was 10. Sometimes I wonder what she’s up to, and I’ve tried to find her on the internet, but girl has her virtual tracks covered.
It’s important for me to “come out” because child sexual abuse is a huge problem in this country, but no one wants to talk about it because of the stigma and shame surrounding the topic. I’m still trying to work through my own shame, but I think Tumblr is a good place to start. Most of you don’t know me IRL, and only a few of the people who do know me actually read this thing.
I’ve always thought it was strange that I have no problem talking about other instances of sexual assault in my life but come to a roadblock with this one. I’m working on tearing down that wall, so, there you have it.