Life

A Letter To Anyone Haunted By Not Being Believed

Dear Loved One,

The loop plays in your brain, over and over again, searching for the place where you went wrong. You are analyzing the spaces in which your body was being violated, and wondering where were the adults who were supposed to be protecting you? Some of you are noting that the adults who were supposed to be protecting you, were the ones stripping away your innocence by penetrating you with their fingers and probing looks of malice and ill will.

You are searching for your younger self and wanting to protect your young body from the predatory hands of someone you trusted but learned far too soon, they were not to be trusted at all. You as an adult never realize when you’ll have a moment of flashback until you’re drowning in tears and unable to catch your breath because you’re being suffocated by the silence and rage you’ve had to swallow for years because NO ONE took the time to make you feel protected, wanted and like they would bring justice to your cries for help. This letter is for all of us who are so scarred by our trauma of not being believed or being brushed off entirely. It’s not your fault.

It is easy to believe that you somehow caused your sexual assault. Somehow you were being too fast, your body was too grown for a young girl, and there’s no way your daddy/stepdaddy/uncle/cousin/neighbor/brother could resist your growth. It’s easy to believe you are at the cause of your own rape and sexual assault when we have grown ass women telling little girls that their bodies are too seductive for grown men.

It’s enough of a dark secret that brings you to your deepest and darkest times, while your partner and your closest friends have no idea what is at the root. You want to share, but you’re being held hostage by the voice in your head and the memory of the pain of not being enough to ever utter a word. You want to say, I was sexually abused, but when I told, nobody did anything about it. For some, it’s not JUST that no one did anything, but you probably had to see your abuser AFTER you told at family functions, holidays and in your nightmares because the secret was out, and it did not matter. You did not matter.

They were supposed to take you into their arms, pull you close and rally around you. Your abuser should have been banished, exiled and humiliated so they could never violate another human being’s life again! Who allowed this? Where were the men who were supposed to beat your abuser’s ass? Where was your mother who is supposed to be your greatest advocate and protector? Where was child services? Where was your therapist and all the people who rally for you like on SVU? Where was Olivia Benson? Nowhere apparently. Missing just like the protection you’ve needed, along with your innocence and trust in anyone.

You MUST step out of the prison you put yourself in when you were protecting yourself. You have to stick up for yourself because you are your own savior. The moment you choose to speak up and speak out, the secret will die. Speak to the shame, the shadows and the haunted way you’ve had to live your life. Then create a damn plan to get your life back because you owe it to yourself. Do this whenever you’d like, but how many more cycles of pain will you need before you there’s no coming back from incredible darkness? How many more conversations at family functions with your abuser being in air shot will you suffer through? Enough. The burden is not yours to carry, but you carry it anyway. It’s time to put this baggage down. Your little self wants to be free and you have the power to release.

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Wild Woman. Carefree Black Girl. Joyfully Audacious. Follow Arihat on Instagram or read more articles from Arihat on Thought Catalog.