I am a survivor, not a victim
Surviving sexual abuse.
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
It started when I was 7 years old. I'm not really sure how long it lasted as my mind has blocked it out. He was a relative, someone I trusted and someone my parents trusted with me. At first I didn't really know what was happening, all I wanted was to play the computer game and I thought everyone had to do it if they wanted to play. No one had ever told me about sex abuse, why would they? I was only 7.
It was only when the girls at school started to talk about sex that I realised that what was happening to me was wrong. But at this stage it had been going on so long I felt I couldn't stop it.
I remember Christmas that year. All the family were in his house and all the children including myself were in his room taking turns playing the computer game.
I remember thinking that for once I wouldn't have to go through the humiliating tasks that were now occurring at every opportunity that arose. Shortly after Christmas he arrived at my house, my home, the only place I was guaranteed safety. This is where he took advantage of me for the last time. Everyone was out in the garage trying to fix a broken down car, I was alone in the sitting room with him.
I was terrified, confused and humiliated. Things like this aren't supposed to happen. I ran to the garage and cuddled close to my mother. I knew it was time to tell; I couldn't take the pain anymore. I didn't really know whether I was right in thinking that this was wrong, so I told my mother what had been happening and asked her if I had done the right thing in telling her about it. I knew straight away that I had. She picked me up in her arms and held me close while my father and my uncle went inside.
They never told me what happened that night inside the house. The last thing I remember is the conversation between my aunt and my mother 2 weeks later. It cut me really deep to hear them discussing every little detail of my ordeal. I still have nightmares. But now after 10 years I have finally started to rebuild my life. I will not believe that any of this was my fault; he took advantage of me. I will not let one person and one series of events rule the rest of my life. I am a survivor not a victim.