I’ve decided that I’m ready to release some shame I’ve been carrying for very long time. I’ve not told the story I’m about to share with anyone other than my husband. When I was 6 years old, I was being sexually abused by my male babysitter, who was a family friend and my older, teenage cousin. Shortly after it started happening, I remember being at a neighbor’s house and playing upstairs with another little girl who was a little younger than me. While we were playing, I suddenly went to touch her private area, similar to the way mine had been touched earlier that day, but through her clothes, unlike how I had been touched. She innocently looked up at me and smiled, I was in shock.
Knowing it was wrong
I was 6 years old and just as suddenly as I went to do it, I stopped myself and ran as fast as could down the stairs and out of her house never to return again. Even at the age of 6, something in me knew that it was wrong. If I, at the tender age of 6, knew it was wrong, I will never understand how a teenage boy wouldn’t know there is something inherently wrong with touching another’s body in such a way. I don’t buy it. I think they know perfectly well what they are doing and that it is wrong and as far as I’m concerned, it is a violation of not only another’s body, but soul. No one else has the right to violate anyone else’s body in anyway. I knew that at 6. So don’t tell me someone doesn’t know what they are doing and that it is wrong.
Sexual Abuse changes one to the core of who they are. Once they are violated and they will never be the same. From the age of 6, when the sexual abuse began and after the incident with the neighbor girl, I was never the same again. I carried the shame and guilt of that day with me for years. Wondering if by that instantaneous act of playing with her the way I had been ” played” with, I had ruined her or changed her the way that what had been done to me changed me. I prayed to God for forgiveness trying to forgive myself, realizing I was only a child who had been taught that touching behavior was a part of play.
Praying for her
I prayed for her, hoping that it did not affect her and that she was not hurt by it in anyway. I think about her and where she might be and hope that she is well. Then I think about the teenage boy who touched me and had me do things no 6 year old should do. He never once, stopping himself in shame, the way I did knowing at the core of who he, is that it is wrong. I felt something else that day……power. The power to continue doing something that I knew deep within me as a young child was wrong, or to stop! At 6, I had conscious enough to stop something that I knew with every part of me was wrong. Those that abused me could have as well. They chose not to.
I knew it was wrong. Not because anyone had told me. Not because I knew better. How would I? It was being done to me, by two people at that time in my life that I looked up to and trusted. So not only did I carry with me the shame of being sexually abused by two people at that time, I carried around the shame of this dirty little secret as well. Thinking I had ruined someone’s life. I’ve never been able, in over 30 years, to tell this story to anyone other than my husband for the shame I felt around it and the possibility of feeling that by that one quick act at the age of 6, that I had ruined another’s life….until now.
The first step
I would like to help release the shame and that is the first step. Talking about it. As I have said, “The silence feeds the shame.” I am breaking the silence and hoping to start to forgive myself and begin to heal this part of hurt and shame that I have carried around for so long. To God I ask forgiveness, from myself I ask forgiveness and to hopefully realize that I was an innocent child acting out for a moment what had just been done to me with the belief that it was how people “played.” And lastly for a prayer of forgiveness from that little girl to who I am sending healing and love. If I knew her name or how to find her, I would do it in person. To the much older molesters who were not 6 year old innocent children, who knew what they were doing and knew it was wrong, I say it is not my shame to carry. It is yours. Shame on you. I now release it back to you. It is yours to take, keep and ask forgiveness for.