He raped me, and I spent years blaming myself for it.

Spent all my life telling myself I don't need anyone and that I can do everything by myself. In the same breath, I swept my feelings under the rug and let them pile up until they boiled over. Burnt myself out, then repeated the same cycle, and if that was not enough I managed to keep myself constantly distracted.


I spent a lot of time with my girls, away from family because at that point in time home was not a safe space for me. I felt safer in their homes than I did my own. I went out a lot from around the age of 15. Experiencing the adult life much sooner than I should have. Drinking a little too much and spending time with dodge guys who were shady enough to spike the drinks of those younger women.


I was in and out of relationships. I was so "in love" with half of these men, that I spent more time on my phone than I did on myself and my studies. I loved the attention. I lived for the attention! It was a drug that kept pulling me back one hit at a time. Being reminded of how amazing I was, being told I was loved on a daily, the faux affirmations from men who didn't really care about me, who sold me utopian dreams, and that was just about enough to counter my own self-hate. 

A lot of this was due to my childhood, which I had forgotten most of because I had attached it to the abuse I endured from ages 9 to 11, where my cousin raped me. He had just hit puberty and I suppose he needed a cum bucket to dispense himself into. The brain is such an incredibly powerful tool that it is capable of repressing traumatic events and/or memories, which is exactly what mine did for four good years. In essence, I thought I had forgotten about the rape for all those years, forgot it ever happened. I forgot about being defiled and being stripped of my dignity. I forgot about how my "brother" constantly took away my right to choose what was to happen to my body. I forgot about how, at a time where power was not known to me, was used to silence me. I forgot about my innocence being destroyed. I forgot about being silenced at a time where I didn't even need a voice. I forgot, but, it affected me. In more ways than one. The repression kept me in a state of utter happiness, or so I thought. 

At the age of 15 I started dating the first "yellow-bone thang" that came my way, we spoke day-in and day-out. Back when landlines were a thing, I swear it felt as though my mom wanted to strangle me on a monthly basis and because it was long distance we talked about a lot, I still have no idea what I had to say that kept him interested back then, but it worked.


And then, he asked me to tell him something I had never told anyone. Triggered.  


He was my boyfriend, why would I keep such a deep dark secret to the man I "love" and plan to have beautiful babies with? I told him the only secret I had kept. I told him the one thing no one else knew about me besides my perpetrator. I told him I was raped for two years of my life.


The line went dead. Wait, I'm not done!


I called back: "Why would you lie about something like that?" Anyone who knows why anyone would be so vile as to spread false accusations about someone they truly cared about - as a sibling, I'd like you to answer that question please.


To this day I still wonder how ANYONE would lie about something so serious. I love you, but, I don't shiver for love that bad, low self-esteem and all. I tried and cried, told him how true it was, that I'd never told anyone up until that day. I found myself trying to prove my innocence, I literally felt like I was in a dock being cross-examined to prove my "brother's" guilt and then he broke up with me. He left me after I had purged my deepest darkest secret to him. 


The day after that, I took painkillers from my mom's closet and downed a few with some left over whisky. I cried, rushed to the bathroom and puked it out. From that point on, moving forward in life I realized that it all came back to me and I felt more broken than ever.


I hated and blamed myself.


Can you imagine? A rational boy growing into a man spreads my legs open, strips me off my dignity and I spend the most part of my life taking the fall for him?


It's not easy, it hasn't been easy coming to terms with openly talking about this, but for my own sanity, I need to. I need to tell my story about how my "brother" defiled me, by stripping me of my innocence, and I still deal with the self hate of "allowing" him to do that to me. 


He stole me from me, a "man" that was my sibling - a "man" who was supposed to always protect me. 


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