You Told Me Not to Tell
In the wake of a news week where we hear yet another story of abuse and violence in the form of molestation against young girls, words were written that stopped a whole lot of people in their tracks. A friend and fellow blogger wrote a post that brought people to their feet, asking us to shout with our virtual voices to #CallHimOut – because enough its enough.
It’s time for us to stop being quiet and let the world know that THIS IS NOT OKAY. It is also not okay to protect the perpetrators and abusers. The victims have no reason to be ashamed, and they should never feel as though they have to protect the monster that stole their innocence and violated their bodies.
Today, it is our honor to have Nikki, another brave young woman coming forward to tell her story. It is hard to read. It will make you feel a lot of things you may not like. My own stomach was knotted living through this nightmare with Nikki as an eleven year old child. I applaud Nikki’s stepping up, telling this story, and becoming another voice for those who feel they have none. We would ask you to honor her, as well as our friend and any other victim who has survived this horror. We want you to stand up today and share these stories. Tell the world that this is not okay. It happens too often and the silence is deafening. Stop the silence: #CallThemOut.
***TRIGGER WARNING: THIS POST IS ABOUT RAPE AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR SOME READERS***
You told me not to tell.
…and I didn’t.
Out of all the little girls in the world, why did you pick me? Did I look like a victim, easy prey? I suppose I did. My eyes were already dark with past happenings and misfortunes. I wasn’t fierce anymore. I was fearful and you must have seen it.
You were a sophomore. An athlete – good looking, a football hero to my 11 year-old eyes. You were nice. You asked me my name when you saw me out at the playground. That’s how it all began on that hot summer day. I was under your spell immediately. I introduced myself, all the while wondering why someone so cute would be talking to me out of the blue. We chatted for a bit untill I had to go home. We made plans to meet back up the next day. This was the ritual.
We got close quickly, as kids tend to do. You started getting a little flirty and I was completely oblivious. That must have pissed you off. I wasn’t picking up what you were putting down. Did you think I wasn’t interested? Did you think I was ignoring your advances purposefully? I was 11. You were obviously used to getting your way and I wasn’t giving it to you. Shame on me. Is that what provoked you? Is that why I got what I deserved?
You wanted to meet up at a new park that day. It was one I’d played at before, over near the football field where I’d go to cheerleading practice. There was a path behind the park and next to the field, leading back into the woods to a spot with a secluded cliff. It was an intimidating rock-face to scale for a child, but I’d done it on several occasions. I went eagerly.
“What would you do if I kissed you?”
“I don’t know, that’s a weird question.” wasn’t the answer you wanted.
“I guess I’ll just have to find out then.”
Before I could protest you grabbed my shoulders and shoved me back into the rocks, hard. I couldn’t even cry out, I was too dazed, and then you were on me. Lips pressed against mine roughly, hands pinning me into the cliff-face. I could feel the rocks digging into my back and I snapped to, shoving you away, asking you what your problem was. You didn’t like that. You grabbed me by the throat, and punched me in the stomach. As I doubled over you kicked me to the ground and descended again.
What’s going on. It hurts. What did I do? What did I do?
As I lay on my stomach, tears and dirt staining my face, you pinned my arms and dug a knee into my back until I screamed for you to stop. You flipped me over and slapped me, “Don’t you do that again, bitch, or I’ll kill you.”
“Why are you doing this?” I sobbed as you started trying to take off my shorts. You put your forearm on my throat and pinned my head back, effectively cutting off any more screams. When you lifted your arm to shove my shorts down and I could breathe again, I tried to fight, one last time. The hand that was not trapped by yours came up and connected with your jaw. You beat me. Making sure to steer clear of my face, the blows landed on my stomach and ribs, until my fight was gone.
Just stop. Stop moving. Stop fighting. He won’t hurt me if I stop fighting.
Prying hands, pushing, fingernails dug into my skin, forcing me, holding me down. Please stop! Please!. Pinning my hands at my sides so I wouldn’t strike out again, you took what you wanted.
I was a child. You took my innocence. You took everything.
What did I do? It hurts, it hurts. Is this what it’s like? Why is he doing this to me? Why did I make him so angry? Just take it, he isn’t hitting me anymore. Just be quiet and it’ll be over. How long? How long until he stops? It hurts. Please let it stop.
When you were done you told me not to tell. You told me you’d kill me. You said no one would believe me. I believed you. I lay there for a long time after you left. I didn’t know what to do. I hurt everywhere, I was bleeding and broken. After a while I got up and cleaned myself off in a nearby creek. I moved slowly and carefully, trying not to exacerbate my injuries. When I was confident I could hide what happened I went home. I walked in the door with a smile on my face like everything was fine, I went to my room until I was called to dinner. After dinner I stood in the shower, crying silently. Trying desperately yet gingerly to scrub off what had happened. The dirt washed off, the cuts no longer wept bright red. I couldn’t get rid of the damage, the stains, they were soul deep.
I woke up the next morning a different person.
I was sore for a long time. It took weeks for the bruises to fade, but by the time school was in session I was physically healed. I saw all my friends. I tried my best to act myself, but I wasn’t myself. You stole that from me. You tore my innocence from me and left a deep, jagged wound in its place. I hate you. I hate you for what you did to me. I hate you for what you turned me into. You beat me and silenced me. You broke me.
I’ve spent a long time taking myself back. It’s not an easy task, building a new person from bits and pieces of an old one. I was alone. No matter how many people I’d surround myself with I was forever isolated. I wanted to scream, “Can’t you see what he did to me?! Can’t you see what he stole?” But they couldn’t. I’m too good at hiding. The coward’s way out – I hide it all, bury it deep where no one can see it, and leave it alone.
And so I go through life, slowly gluing pieces back together as others fall off, a constant work in progress. Putting myself back together a day at a time until that one morning I could wake up and feel whole again.
I sometimes wonder who I was supposed to be before I was forever changed. I suppose I’ve had to accept that this is it. This is who I was meant to be. A survivor. Broken but not defeated. Forced to be resilient. Strong because there is no other choice.
Nikki is a lewd and crude wild-child who enjoys reading and regularly trips over her own feet. Self-proclaimed nerd, she enjoys all things sci-fi and fantastical. She’s got a crush on the Hulk but is married to a sailor, branding her a Navy wife. A mother to six fur-babies, you’ll regularly find Nikki near a Jack n’ Coke, controller in hand, telling some video-game boss to suck it. Her blog touches on everything from hilarious tales of working in a porn shop to serious trips into self-awareness, with some Military Wife drama tossed in on occasion. Nikki hasn’t had a natural hair color since she was 12 and intends to keep it that way. Her current educational adventure is taking her into the world of animal medicine but she also hopes to get her bartending license. You can also find her on Facebook.