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I Took The Pain He Left Me With & Turned It Into Power

On May 26, 2014, my life changed forever. I woke up, got ready, and attended a Memorial Day event with my Fire Science class at my high school. 

Ten years ago, I was sexually assaulted for the first time and then endured months of sexual, emotional, physical, and mental abuse from someone I was supposed to trust and be safe with. I experienced emotional pain from someone I knew at school, where a child is supposed to feel safe. The hell he put me through is something no person should ever endure.

After the event, everyone left, but I didn’t have a ride. One of the instructors offered to drive me home. I didn’t think anything of it and agreed. Who would’ve thought a 13-minute drive would change so much?

Before we left, he told me he had to do something in the classroom to prepare for drills the following day. He said I could sit inside and wait. As I walked through the back doors, his whole temper and demeanor changed. He quickly became mean and grabbed my upper arm. I feared what I was about to endure. He knew no one would be in the building because of the holiday; he knew what he was doing that day and how to break me. 

I begged him with tears in my eyes to please stop, to please let me leave, not to do what he was about to do.

The more upset and scared I got, the angrier he got. He kept saying I would ruin it for him if I didn’t stop. He said I wanted this too and that he’d waited so long for this. He’d comment about my underwear and bra matching, make comments about my body, saying things like, “You’re still a child but almost a woman — it’s the perfect mix of what I want.” 

Every time I tried to protect myself or leave, he would yell and do something else to hurt me. I tried so hard to fight, but he was a grown man, a big man, and I honestly never stood a chance against him. He was so mean and made everything so painful. I’ll never forget how badly he hurt me that day. There are some things I don’t think I’ll ever be able to talk about.

When he finished, he told me to go and clean myself up. I’ll never forget how I felt after. It’s honestly hard to describe. I ran into the bathroom, thinking I’d have a moment to myself, but he quickly followed me. As I wiped myself down and rinsed my face with cold water to try to calm down, he stood there watching me. He smiled and winked at me, so proud of what he did. 

We left shortly after, and that car ride consisted of many threats. 

He threatened my family, my future, and everything in between. I nodded in agreement that I would never tell anyone. When I got home, I sat on the ground in a hot shower, sobbing. That night, he found me on Facebook, and the threats continued. 

He seemed scared of what could happen to him if someone found out, but I was more afraid of him and what he was capable of, and he knew that. I never thought it would happen again because he got what he said he wanted, but the abuse would continue for eight months. He took so much away from me and left me with a lifetime of trauma

After a couple of years of battling a broken legal system, he pleaded guilty. However, he wouldn’t have to serve the full sentence because of his “good character,” involvement in the community, and “good behavior” while in jail.

I was sitting outside one day when I received a phone call. I answered and was told he was being released early. It happened to be May 26 as well. It felt like such a jab. 

This day also means we’re getting closer to parole being up, a fear I wish I didn’t have to face. But I hope I can stand up in that courtroom and share my story when that time comes. 

Even after all this time, he still finds a way to hurt me. Sometimes, it just seems so unfair.

This day is always challenging. My body gets tense, and the flashbacks rush in. I think of every ‘what if’ and wonder how that day would’ve looked if I had never shown up. 

Time is a funny thing because ten years seems so long ago, but for me, this pain still feels so fresh some days. No matter how much time passes, this day will always be hard and unforgettable. 

But I’d also like to take some time to reflect on all I’ve done since. I have come so far in these ten years. I am so proud of the person I’ve become and the life I’ve fought so hard for. He promised to end me if I ever told anyone about what happened, but he didn’t. I’m here healing more each day. He didn’t ruin my life, future, or career but gave me a new purpose.

I am not scared anymore. He will never silence or hurt me again and will never ruin another thing for me ever again. I survived the worst days of my life. I survived him. Everyone will know what he did to me, and he will know that choosing me was his biggest mistake because I will never stop fighting for myself. I survived for a reason. I never let what he did to me turn me ugly; instead, I took the pain he left me with and turned it into power and purpose.

Featured image via Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

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