Speak Out: Tara’s Story

“Here is my story of how I grew up in a home that was surrounded by domestic violence.Growing up was crazy for me. My parents always argued. Before I was born my mother and real father used to fight always according to what my mother told me and what my sister and brother witnessed. But after I was born my father stuck around until I was like 2 or 3. That’s when my stepfather began raising me. After that my mother and he would always argue. They got physical with each other. They got to the point where my mother would get a knife and try to hurt my stepfather. I remember one time she chased him down the stair and in order to escape from her, he jumped out the window and broke his leg. This happened when I was younger. She has had so much anger in her we didn’t know where it came from. There were other times where she got angry at me and threw figurines at me. One Thanksgiving Day I wanted to spend it at my sister house, this was when I was in middle school, and my mother woke up angry. She had given me permission to stay with my sister for the four day vacation we had from school but that morning she woke up in a bad mood. I blamed myself because I knew she was in a bad mood but I kept asking her if I could stay with my sister but she changed her mind and said no. She had gotten angry and grabbed me by my hair and threw me against the floor and I hit my face on the arm of the rocking chair and I had a bruise on my face. After that incident, my mother allowed me to go to my sister’s house where my real dad saw the bruise. When I went to school the following week, DCF (Department of Children and Family) came to the school to talk to me. I am not sure if it was my father who told or an aunt who was at the house that day. DCF talked to me and told me they had spoken with my mother. When I got home that day my mother had packed up my things and kicked me out. It was hard growing up listening to my mom and stepfather argues. The point that I am trying to make is that I grew up in a home where there was domestic violence involved. But yet I turned out ok. Instead of letting this affect me which in some ways it does, but I am ok. Sometimes I suffer from panic attacks. I can’t deal with people yelling at me. I can’t hear people yelling period but I manage to get through it. I thank God I made a promise that I wouldn’t go down that road myself. Not only did I have to deal with domestic violence but also child abuse and sexual abuse. It was hard growing up around that. When people yell at me or around me, I cringe and feel like a child again. I get nervous and I shut myself away from everyone. I am afraid to say the wrong things to people because I am afraid that they will get angry and scream at me. I try so hard to fit in everywhere I go. I am not sure if those are some of the effects of domestic violence but I believe it may be
Here is my story of sexual violence
Well I’m now 25 years old and last April I started a blog in which I chose to speak out about my abuse. I am a survivor of childhood molestation by my stepfather and my uncle. Before I had spoken out I was silent for over ten years. The reason I didn’t speak out when it first happened was for two reasons. The first is because when I told my mom that my uncle molested me she didn’t want to believe it since it was her brother. It went on for a few weeks. He would touch me in places he should not be touching and then he would kiss my lips. I didn’t know what was going on. I was never taught good touch bad touch. I thought it was ok for an uncle to treat you like that. I’m not sure when this happened but it was around the age of 9 or 10. I say that was the first person who abused me but it was actually the same time my stepfather started molesting me. It started one day when I was sick in bed and I needed some Vick vapor rub to be rubbed on my chest and back. Since my mom trusted him she allowed him to rub it on me. He started to rub it on my chest and when he did that, he began to rub my nipples. I felt really uncomfortable but again I didn’t know that it was an inappropriate touch. After that I’m not sure what else happened. I only remember a few things that happened. The next abuse I remember was again when I was sick. My mom had gone to Florida to visit my sister. She left my brother and me home since we were in school. I had gotten sick and stayed home from school. I was in my parent’s room which was also the living room at the time. I was on the couch resting and trying to watch the television. He began to kiss me on my neck and then made his way up to my lips. Again I didn’t know how to react to that but my body deceived me at that moment. My body liked that attention even though I felt disgusted and scared. I didn’t know what would happen next. Then he would bribe me with money and sweets since I was still young. Again I’m not sure when it happened but it was around the age of 10 or so maybe younger. Anyway I believe it was that same that this next thing happened. I had gotten up to go to my room and he followed me. The next thing I know is that he pinned me against the wall with my back facing the wall and moving his body back and forth as though having sex with me. I can still see the look on his face every time I talked about this part of my story. Smiling like he was proud of what he was doing. I felt really scared and disgusted at it. I didn’t know what to do. Anyway after that moment it was your usual inappropriate touching that lasted until about a year ago or so. Even though he did what he did he would still try to touch me in places he shouldn’t and make these strange noises and facial expressions. I had kept silent for so long and I was tired of dealing with so much emotions and hurt. My mom also wouldn’t let me tell her. She told me she wouldn’t believe me because my sister also was also abused and she didn’t believe her because she also waited a while to come up to my mom. So she believes that since we held it in for so long that we must have enjoyed it. Anyway my mother doesn’t know and as much as I want to tell her I cant right now because she has a heart condition and I do not want to be the blame if something happens to her. So here I am now sharing my story in the virtual world and hoping to help others speak out. I am a psychology major and will become a counselor for victims. Being a survivor of sexual assault has changed my life. Before I couldn’t even admit that I was abused. It was hard to speak out the first time. I tried so hard to deny what had happened to me. I felt so disgusted with myself. I felt like I deceived my body but I know it wasn’t me nor was it my fault. That’s thing we all believe that it is our fault, that we provoked the person to rape or molest us. We did nothing wrong. It’s not our faults. We shouldn’t blame ourselves. We have to stop being so hard on ourselves and stop blaming ourselves. The hardest part of my story is the fact that my mother doesn’t want to believe. I never did tell my mom the full story but I have tried to tell her some things like the way he would look at me which was in sexual ways and such but she just shut me up. Also the fact that not only I was molested my older sister was also molested by our stepfather. She was also silent for a few years and when she told my mother, my mother didn’t want to believe her. So I didn’t bother telling her because if she didn’t believe my sister she wouldn’t believe me. So that is one of the reasons why i didn’t tell her besides the fact that she has heart problems. Anyway even though this is a tragic story it has made me a stronger person. I know most of you reading this must be thinking why and how has this made you a stronger person. Well the way it has made me a stronger person is that I was able to CLAIM MY LIFE BACK!!! So many people have remained silent and will continue to remain because of fear of being rejected or being hurt again. You know what it wasn’t until RECENTLY that I realized that it’s ok if I were to get rejected. If I’m rejected it’s ok. I remember reading this quote and it made a good point. I can’t remember if this is the right way it goes but it said “You can’t go through life thinking everyone you will meet you hurt you in the end” Well as hard or scary that may sound especially for victims and survivors, it’s true. If we continue to go through our life with that fear in the end we are hurting ourselves. We are going to get hurt by people and that doesn’t mean that you are going to get raped again or sexually assault. What i mean is that we should allow ourselves to put our guards down every once and a while and begin to trust people again. Someone along the line will have a similar story to you and will make your life so much worth it and you will be able to get through and move forward. Do not allow yourselves to allow your abuse to control you. Another lesson I learned was that by us remaining silent and allowing our emotions to consume us, it’s like we are giving our abusers the right to have done what they did and the glory. NO WE ARE NOT! We are going to claim back our lives and we are no longer going to allow our emotions to consume us and control us. I’m not saying you have to stop feeling what you are feeling. It’s going to take time to get through it. You are going to have moments that you do not want to continue with your life. It wasn’t until last year when I started to speak out to stop cutting. Well actually until I moved out of the home where I was abused which was last May, I moved in with my sister. I’m from Connecticut and I moved to New Jersey. Anyway I used to cut myself because when i chose to speak out for the first time last year in April I couldn’t deal with the emotions that came with it. For the 10+ yrs. that I was silent, so much emotions and anger was built up that when I wrote about my abuse online I couldn’t sleep at night because I was constantly crying myself to sleep. Trust me it is very hard to keep silent. The way I spoke out was online only. I couldn’t do it publically like most people and to be honestly I couldn’t nor didn’t get or seek justice. I couldn’t for so many reasons. But i got my justice by moving out and SPEAKING OUT. No longer will I remain silent. I chose to use my voice to speak out about my abuse and help others.
The song is an amazing song. It is inspirational because it show you that no matter what you are going through you can survive whether it’s being a survivor of sexual assault, domestic violence, etc. It teaches us that we shouldn’t let people try to hold us down. We shouldn’t have to put up with those who are trying to harm us. Like I stated before I started my blog in 2011 and it has been going well. I have gotten so many people who have been inspired by my story of sexual abuse. I never thought that many people who view me as an inspiration. I am grateful for those who are following my blog. I actually have two blogs. Something happened to my first one so I had to start a new one. Here are the links to my blogs. The original blog link is this tara-nosilence.blogspot.com and my new blog is no-longersilence.blogspot.com. Please feel free to follow those blogs.”

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