An Open Letter to All Survivors
“Little girls don’t stay little forever, they grow into strong women, that return to destroy your world”. This was a powerful statement that was read out in court to a womans abuser.
The idea that I can never confront my abuser still haunts me. I was robbed of that privilege because by the time I could face him it was too late. He was dead and I wish more than anything that I had that chance.
My abuser was the husband of a care giver. His wife, who was my child minder facilitated the abuse. He was a monster that sexually assaulted me when I was 6 years old. He threatened me by manipulating my love for my family and by telling me he would kill all my family but would leave me behind, alive, and alone. I lived in the deepest fear, the bleakest isolation, and the darkest depression.
Despite what happened, I grew up in a solid, secure, and stable home, which afforded me the chance to get an education, a job and most importantly independence. The independence and space gave me the time I needed to face the echoes of the past, that had been following me for years.
When I decided to finally confront what happened to me all those years ago, I knew that I would be reopening old scar tissue. I knew that I may crumble and may not be able to re-build myself, but I had to do it. I had to stand and fight for myself. It was and still is a lonely journey. Confronting emotions that have the potential to drown you is something no-one should have to face. But I did it because I wanted the people who caused me such torture and anguish to no longer have any control over me, emotionally or psychologically.
I was so young, so scared, and put through so much, for the pleasure of someone else. My abuser and his wife took so much away from me. They robbed me of the safety and security of my family. I used to lie awake at night when I was 6, 7 & 8 years of age listening to cars driving by on my road. I lay awake and alone, long after my parents, my brothers and sister were asleep, listening to all the noises in the house, always fearing they would come into my home and make true on their threat. I stayed awake because I wanted to protect the ones, I loved the most. I was a terrified little girl protecting her family.
The reality I lived with for many years, makes me so angry that I sometimes feel like I may explode. I long exact retribution, and for them to experience a fraction of the pain and anguish they inflicted on me, yet I always go back to the same place. Frustration that I can’t hold them accountable and upset that I couldn’t face them while they were still alive. My voice, however, will not be silenced because my abuser and his wife are dead. Instead I hope it can be used as a megaphone, encouraging others who have the chance to face their abusers, to do so while they are still alive.
I did grow up from being that terrified little girl and I did turn into a strong and successful woman. If I had a chance, I would seize the opportunity to destroy that man’s world, just like he tried to destroy mine. I would face him, and I would face his wife and make them regret everything they put me through. I would stand up in the court and proudly say to them that they did not win.
Strong women, strong men, strong boys, strong girls, learn from my regret. If you are experiencing abuse or if you experienced abuse in the past, report it, own the fact that you lived through something no-one ever should, and make your abuser be the one to experience fear. Please for me and for those who cannot, please go and destroy their world while they still breath.