I am an adult Survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I was sexually molested from the age of three years old up until adulthood. I was sexually abused by my adopted father and two of his brothers. My abuse was at the hands of the same abusers. I knew my abusers very well. The main one, my adopted father, would apologize over and over and say it wouldn't happen again, but yet it still would. For years I thought my foster sister and I were the only victims. After she was rehomed, I thought I was the only one that had suffered at the hands of my abuser. During one of the last conversations I had with this abuser I asked were there others and he said yes. I was so shocked, so surprised and I asked him if there were anyone I knew. He said yes and had a very long list. He really had to think about the ones I didn't know versus the ones I did know. There were so many names. There were even kids he did not remember the names of. He was the maintenance man at a huge apartment complex. He had the keys to every unit. He would go in looking for latch key kids. He did not remember the names of any of the kids from the complex. He did remember the names of his victims in the family.
When he gave me that list of names, I immediately wanted to talk to them. I know them. I have access to them. I always want to talk to them. But it's kind of a weird thing to bring up at a family reunion. How do you go up to someone and say “oh this person molested me and they told me they molested you too”? Especially if it's someone your’e not really close to or know very well. I asked myself over and over what's the point? Why do I feel the need to talk to these people? Why do I want to ask them what their experience was? The answer I come up with is so I won't feel so alone. So, I won't feel so isolated. So, we could possibly offer each other support and comfort even. Then I asked myself what if they don't remember it? What if they moved on? What if me bringing up the past is opening the wound that is, they have closed off?
So, I keep the secret and I remain silent my whole life? I've heard there's power in telling your story. That there is healing for me for telling it and healing for those that hear it. I think I'm just really tired of being alone in this, especially since I have a list of names of folks that I would like to talk to about this. I would like to have these conversations before I die, I'm 42 years old and I'd like to think I have plenty time but maybe the people on my list don't or maybe I don't. You never know how much time anyone has. No one can really predict exactly. So, every day I try to get braver and braver. Every year I try to get braver and braver. I have this list and access to these folks but lack the know-how or skill to actually bring it up. I look at this list over and over and I know some of these people have suffered with addiction. I wonder if the abuse played a part in it. I'm pretty sure it did. I guess all of us have used different ways of coping and surviving. I imagine some of the victims that I didn't know didn't survive at all. I'll never know how many did not survive due to overdose or suicide in some way. Actually, I do know one of his victims that ended her life with an overdose. I never actually met her. I know her sister. I know her sister is a survivor also.