I just didn’t want to be the raped girl. I didn’t want to be another number. I didn’t want another label. A statistic? No thanks.
I was already the child of divorce. An abandoned daughter. An unwanted step child.
And this is in the 80’s when we still pretended these things were unusual. When “if we don’t talk about it, maybe it won’t be real”.
Life had already taught me I don’t belong, I just don’t matter.
I don’t think I could go there again.
No, I needed to be somebody else. Anybody else. Sandy the honor roll student. Sandy the sweet little girl. Sandy the awesome musician. Anybody else.
Don’t let me be the poor raped girl. Let’s just pack that shit up, and bury it deep. Let’s do that.
That’s what I did. Barely acknowledging it. For years.
But. I. Was.
It wasn’t until we were about to have our home study for our adoption that I dug into it again. See, we had already given our hearts to the little boy would be our son. This was too important. This was not going to get screwed up by only telling the parts of the story that are pretty. We were going to be transparent.
So, when those questions came up, they were answered. Honestly.
You were abused? Yes.
By who? My older step brother, Jeremy.
How old were you? 8
How long did it last? a couple of years
Who did you tell? No one
Well, what do you mean you didn’t tell anyone?
How am I supposed to answer that?
How do you tell them nobody protected me? Even with the stuff they knew about…. why would they protect me about this?
Or that it doesn’t make sense to try to have a healthy conversation with an unhealthy family?
Or that there is a great chance it would be my place in the family that was at risk?
Or that, no matter how wrong they thought I handled it – I handled it as a young child. And they sure as fuck don’t get to judge that.
There had to be good to my life. Value. A reason. Because, if not, what is there? I needed to be more. More than a statistic, more than a number, more than “oh, you know… that poor little girl who was raped.”
But, even in keeping quiet it…. I am.
I am a number…. 1 in the 3 little girls who spend the rest of their lives broken and aching so some sorry excuse of a human can act big, and tough, and powerful for a few minutes.
I am a statistic…. part of the 3/4s of sexual assaults that are invisible, silent, and suffered alone.
That’s not all of me, and it sure as hell doesn’t define me… but it is exactly who I am.