There are a few things in this life you should be able to count on, especially when you’re a child.
1. Those who love you will protect you.
2. Cops, lawyers, and judges are safe , good people who will uphold the law.
I’d also suggest teachers, principals , politicians, doctors – those in authority – should be trustworthy. Sadly, sometimes they’re not. This was my stepfather.
I learned that the hard way when I was 15 years old.
At first, I thought it was no big deal and that I was making more out of it than it was. He was from a different place, raised with different values and beliefs. It was a very different culture he was accustomed to. So I figured I was just being silly. After all, I was 15 and I hadn’t been very many places or exposed to different lifestyles.
But it still felt awkward and uncomfortable. Being hugged from behind. He kissed on the mouth. All the compliments about how I looked just like my mama. How I was beautiful like my mama.
I kept reminding myself this wasn’t home. Things were different here. He was raised different.
Then, that day happened.
It started out pretty much the same as all the others. Till he stuck his hand between my legs and began trying to rub on me. I froze. I didn’t know what to say or do. If I said or did anything, would it get worse? Would he hurt me? I was scared. And in that moment, I had already begun to blame myself.
What did I say wrong? What did I do to deserve this? Did I wear something I shouldn’t?
The truth is I did NOT do anything wrong, I did NOT say anything wrong, and I did NOT wear anything wrong.
The only person wrong in this whole thing was my stepdad. He had NO right touching me. He had NO right abusing his position as a police officer. That’s right. I said police officer. He was a cop.
And he put his hands on me in a way an adult man should NEVER touch a child. And yes, that’s what I was. A child.
I see all these comments on social media saying, “Why did they wait so long to come forward? Why now? What have they to gain?” Well, let me see if I can break it down for you a bit.
“Why wait so long?”
At first, for me, it was SHAME. I blamed myself. I thought I must have done something to deserve this. But I didn’t do anything to deserve it. No one does!
Then, you don’t want others to know. I was worried about how my brother, my dad, my sister, and my mama would react. My dad and brother would have killed him. My mama – I was afraid it would rip her heart out. And my sister adored him. I wasn’t sure how she’d handle it.
Then, you just want to forget it happened. Plain and simple. If you don’t say anything about it, you can pretend it never happened. But once you tell, everyone knows and people will say their opinion and they won’t let you forget.
And at some point, it just seems you’ve waited too long.
As for “why now?”
So many people are coming forward right now. It feels safe. For once, you’re not alone. You’re not the poor pathetic creature who sat in their room cuddled under the blankets in the dark, scared it will happen again.
“What have they to gain?”
I can finally take back my sense of security. Of being safe and sound. I can stop feeling like a victim and start feeling like a whole human being again.
I’ve never told my parents or stepmom what happened. To this day, my husband, kids and younger sister (she has a different mom than I do) are the only family members who know. I don’t intend on telling them, either. My stepdad is dead. He died of prostate cancer which, if you ask me, is rather fitting. Karma kicked his ass. I didn’t have to do anything.
I will say this – if you have been through sexual assault or harassment, there’s nothing wrong with getting help. It can make a huge difference. It’s NOT your fault.
And women aren’t the only ones who have been victims. Men can and have been assaulted and harassed too.