My first, and only attempt at seeking justice for the sexual assault I endured was miserable and humiliating. I was not vindicated. The trade off for the sheer torture of being put on a witness stand was seeing the person who sexually assaulted me put in jail for exactly three months. It has taken more than twenty years to garner the courage to even write the above statement.
I was eleven years old and younger than even I realized. I had a terrible year to start with as my best friend was mauled to death by a bear less than two months previously. It would get worse as my grandmother, with whom I was closer to than my parents would die less than two months afterwards. The final, and almost unbearable addition to the pile of tragedy would be the beginning of five long years of constant and unmerciful bullying from my classmates.
So, right in the middle of all this trauma was a sexual assault that would come to characterize the next twenty years of my life. I am still not really able to write exactly what happened to me, and in truth, details do not matter. What matters is that act would scar me and leave me open to being sexually assaulted THREE MORE TIMES! None of which I remotely even got any justice for whatsoever. It was the reason I stayed with an abusive husband for 14 long years.
I am shaking with rage as I write this! I am feeling sick to my stomach, and my mind is clouded like I am in a fog. Thinking clear-headed about the disgusting things that were done to me is not possible. It has to be through a dark lens. I am trying to face all the hurt and move on, if it’s possible, but how do I do that? Why should I HAVE TO? It’s not fair! It’s complete crap and if I could deal punishment out to these people I would….before you call the police on the deranged lady just know that two are already dead and two have ruined their own lives. There isn’t a lot I can do to them now. It’s just a feeling. An anger that I need to work through somehow and let go of. I have to confess the anger didn’t even come until twenty-five years later. What the living fuck? Really? Why NOW, why so long after? Now what? Well, I could forgive. Yup. I could. I don’t want to though, not right now. I will however, give it to God because I cannot deal with it at the moment.
I could give the details of the other assaults, but there is no point. They happened and the point is: I was set up for more after the first one. My power was taken from me forcefully. I had no idea. Worse still, I had no chance. There were giant holes missing in me and I carried on, unaware. Yes, I know I am slow at figuring myself out. Usually, I just bandage up the wound and move on. Here’s the thing; I survived my life by moving forward instead dwelling on fucked up nightmares that I couldn’t change. I’m second guessing here. Should I have just dealt with the pain and all that then? Could I have? Remember, it wasn’t just the sexual assault. It was sandwiched in between other events that would have been enough to devastate a person on their own.
If you’re here hoping for advice on what to do, I can’t do it. I can’t give you hope based on what happened to me. I can only tell you to lean on God. He is the ONLY REASON I have ever made it through anything and everything. Don’t sit here and give me shit about Him not caring about what I went through because it’s pointless bullshit. We live in a dark, desperate, fallen world. We made it thus, we did! He is not just up there somewhere condemning us or laughing at us. He is up there with an outstretched hand and heart just hoping we’ll take it. He is loving us even though we do not as a species deserve it. We aren’t perfect, we aren’t honest; there is no redeeming quality about any of us once you peel back the pretty layers. We are dirty sinners and that’s why all the sick and depraved acts are committed here on earth. We have fooled ourselves into thinking we are smart and civilized. We are not. One just has to visit an inner city or prison to see that. So, give it God, He can handle what you cannot. He will give you strength, and Peace if you let Him.
Anyway, I am writing this all mostly to say that if you see an abused person staying with an abuser, do not judge! Do not look down on her (or him) unless you are there with an outstretched hand willing to help them up. Who knows, maybe it will be your friendship and support that will ultimately save their life.