Thursday, July 21, 2011
How I cope with my past of being molested...I VOICE it by: Vanessa Jubis
The last thing that any parent ever wants to think or worry about is their child being sexually abused by anyone. Some of you may or may not know but I was a victim of sexual molestation that started at the age of six. My abuser was a man my Mother had partnered up with and subsequently had a child with. Now most people are often confused about what is considered child sexual abuse because some think that if you were not raped then your case is not serious. Here is the answer: ANY form of a violation to one's body, including genital fondling, is considered 'Child Sexual Abuse.' It is NOT limited to penetration.
My case of molestation included the abuser coming into my bedroom in the late hours of the night, usually after he had engaged in a significant amount of snorting cocaine (he was a drug dealer). He would then sneak into my bed and I was always awoken by him fondling my genital area and telling me that if I told ANYONE, the Devil would come get me and do very bad things to me. I suffered from bedwetting until I was eleven years of age. I was always afraid to get up and go to the bathroom at night in order to avoid stirring his attention.
The very first incident of my sexual abuse occurred after my mother had given birth to my younger sister. He would always strike when my mother was asleep and probably exhausted from caring for a newborn. That day he called me to the back room (the only bedroom) in the small dark apartment we resided in. My Mother had fallen asleep with my sister on the couch. The bedroom door was ajar and he was standing behind the door peeking his head out to one side asking me to walk in. He was standing behind the door with his jeans and underwear down to his knees. When I came around the door and saw what he was doing I was stunned and paralyzed with fear, not being able to utter a single word. Being six years old, my height was directly in front of his genital area and I remember the sour stench of his private area. He wanted me to touch his penis and all I remember doing was nodding my head answering 'no' and wanting to squint my little eyes from seeing the terrible sight of his nakedness. I was afraid, confused and wanting my Mother to wake up and save me. That incident passed and I never told her because I was afraid of her not believing me. For the next five years, just about every single night, my bedroom was invaded by a sexual predator that I was forced to call 'Papi' (spanish for Daddy), I was forced to obey his orders and never talk back because otherwise, he'd threaten to flush me down the toilet or burn my fingers on the stove. He once turned the stove burners on high, they were bright orange, and placed my hand so close to the heat I was afraid that I would never be able to use my hands again. This was his way of 'keeping me in line', something I never understood. His mode of discipline included a cruel and often tormenting style that would leave any child completely dumbstruck. The worst part for me was that I knew that he was NOT my biological Father.
How terrible, huh?! Why would a six year old be afraid of telling the truth? This happens all the time and it's a terrible tactic that the abuser will use to control the child and their sick addiction of abusing an innocent child. My Mother never realized what was occurring right in her home. I've gone through my moments of anger toward her and how she was not completely attuned to my needs and issues. It has taken me many years to process and know that my Mother would have NEVER have allowed for me to be hurt in such a way had she'd been privy to the reality of my nightmare. As as child, I was often recluse in school, I'd shy away from adults and I'd never talk about how I felt, never mind sharing my fear of the bad man that terrorized me when the moon was out and the the house was silent.
Many years later I would find out that Mother too had her own set of traumas and issues that did not and has not allowed her to escape the confines of her own turmoil. It would not be until my Mother was in her early fifties that she would finally confess to me that she too was sexually abused by her very own Brother when she was ten years of age. He would threaten her with sayings like "If you tell Daddy, I'll kill you, Bitch". She would cry and fear for her life as he tried to make her give him oral sex. It's a vicious cycle that continues until one person takes a stand and says 'enough is enough', this cannot continue.
It took me four years after the abuse had stopped for me to come forward and confess to my Mother what had been done to me. It was the Summer of 1992. My abuser had been incarcerated for dealing drugs in the Spring of 1988. Although his jail time was due to drug dealing, I thank his incarceration to feeing me from his prowess as a sexual predator. I mustered up the courage to share my fear and shame with my Mother because I knew he was locked up. The day I told her, I stumbled upon every single word that was uttered from my mouth until it all spilled out of me like a toxic fume under pressure. I was about to implode from the angst and the years of fear that were seared in my mind, body and soul. Upon learning of my story, my Mother exhibited rage and sadness and hatred and a brief moment of denial because she could not swallow the idea of her daughter being harmed in such a way. It was a terrible and liberating day for me.
Today I choose to be open and candid about my experience with childhood sexual abuse. I've suffered the pains of depression, shame and anger for what happened to me. It is NEVER the child's fault and the predator will do everything in their sick power to make that child believe that they have done something wrong because they are the full of sick shame. The very act of talking and sharing my story with all of you helps me to cope with that negative episode in my early life. I am and will continue to be a VOICE and a SAFE HARBOR for anyone who needs support, a compassionate ear, an open heart and a mission to keep the shame and guilt OUT of this horrid experience. My journey to healing my wounds begins with my story and my desire to let this outrage be known to ALL. It is real, it happens and NO CHILD should ever be second guessed when it relates to ANY form of abuse, especially 'sexual abuse.' VOICE your story and STOP the vicious cycle!
I will not stay quiet. I will not give up this fight. I will not allow for another loved one to be violated so long as I have a VOICE. I will not tolerate the SILENCE. I am a Woman, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Niece and Friend and I WILL NOT SHUT UP on this issue...
I will close with one of my favorite quotes by Carl G. Jung:
"I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become"~