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Thank you for visiting Violence UnSilenced, a speak-out platform for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. If you are a survivor and it is safe to do so, we encourage you to share your story here. If you are not a survivor but you want to support those who are, please click around this site and find out more about what you can do.
I love you, Wendy. I'm so proud of you for sharing your story. I'm sorry it took so long for me to comment on it, I've just been... sort of hiding lately. Hiding from myself mostly. So I can keep functioning. ;)
Thank you for sharing your story, hon. You did a good thing.
you are no one's victim.
you are a strong, loving, beautiful woman who is a survivior with the courage to share her story. finding your voice is no small matter.
for me, getting counseling at a domestic violence shelter has been invaluable. it's also free. i dont think all counselors or therapists are equipped to help DV survivors. i've been in counseling for almost two years and it helped me change from a victim to a survivor.
i am inspired by every woman who finds her voice.
Through sharing your story there will be more survivors out there that realize that they aren't alone. Thank you.
It's hard to come to terms with what happened when everyone around you acts as if nothing did. They put you in a situation were you were the victim with what went on and their actions. You refused to let it hold you back and grew to be the courageous woman you are telling this story.
There is always a victim on the other side of abuse, your right about that. Having what happened to you doesn't make you weak or less than, rather courageous for standing up for yourself.
Out of abuse (because it was in every shape and form) came the survivor.
Thank you for finding the courage to tell your story. (Hugs)Indigo
What you describe definitely is abuse... but you are a survivor, not a victim. You are so strong to be able to share this. Thank you.
I can really relate to your story Wendy. I remember when my oldest cousin(one of my abusers) died by an accidental, self inflicted, gunshot wound, I was relieved. So many nights I lay awake afraid for his children, and ashamed of myself for never telling.
Hey Lady, thank you for sharing this. I feel sick to my stomach thinking of two girls I knew as a kid who had similar things going. As a kid, I didn't know how to deal with it so I didn't. I had all sisters - was creeped out by other people's brothers. I think it IS too common, and thank you for bringing it back up on my radar. It hurts to read, and I'm sorry for the hurt you have endured. You are brave for sharing and I hope you find healing.
@dianed thank you for saying that. it was worth it then. good luck honey. @freedomfirst he did. way back then. now it's something we never talk about. ever. @simplyleen i still don't sleep. lol. was only thru the help of a friend this past summer that i realized why. and to everyone else... thanks again. if youhave a story to tell, please tell it. we're all survivors of something. i wish i could respond to each of you but so many of you came out to support me that it's too overwhelming. so thanks again.
Somehow, I got led here through another blog at BWE (I'm here -- you, too?). And I stopped breathing while reading this. Thank you, thank you for being so brave. I'm in awe of your courage.
Your story is so very similar to my own. The nights of waking up to being touched were so numerous, I lost count. How well do you sleep these days? I struggle with it most every night, still.
Sometimes, we have to say we're fine... fake it until it's not fake any longer. Eventually, you'll find that place where when you respond "fine", it'll strike you that you truly are just that I've no doubts that day will arrive for you my friend.
Survivor. Abuse. Fine. Family. They're all just words. What they mean to you in your heart is what is most important. However, please, do not discount what happened to you as anything other than wrong.
Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you.
I'm glad you posted this, and your desire to maintain a relationship with your family is commendable; but I would still say that if your brother has never admitted he wronged you and asked your forgiveness, it is not healthy for YOU to have a relationship with him. Not because you are still in danger, but because there is no closure.
I hope this is not the case, and that he understands and admits what he did to you. There is no excuse for it, no matter what kind of mother you/he had or how adorable your feet were. None. Ever. He should have to acknowledge that; it's only right and fair. If he doesn't, he does not deserve a relationship with you. Allowing him to have one is like a passive admission of responsibility on your part.
Take care. I wish you all the best.
Thank you for your bravery and courage in posting your story. I have really been struggling lately with being defined as a "victim". Your post and everyone's comments were like a lightbulb going off in my head...I'm not a victim, I'm a SURVIVOR!! And so are you!!! God bless you, sweetie!!
@ImWendy You were distracted today. Understandable. Just wanted to remind you how proud I am of you. http://violenceunsilenced.com/wendy-2/
I've always known you were one amazing woman and this just confirms it even more. Every time I come to Maggie's site, and read such inspiring stories from wonderful, strong people like you, I promise myself I will give her my story to share with other survivors too. But it hasn't happened yet. Hopefully soon.
You are beautiful and strong and I love you mama!
I avoided coming here all day because I was working. thank you all for the comments. And the love and support. I'm still not really sure how this is supposed to help though. right now it just hurts. As for still loving them... It's family. I can't explain it any better. For me, holding onto the hurt and anger really doesn't help anything. It would just hurt me more. Thanks again y'all. Love you all. oh. And I'm planning to start therapy as soon as my insurance kicks in. Likely with meds.
Thank you for sharing your story - the word abuse really covers so much more than it implies - please do as Krista (she's so smart-she's my daughter) said - wrap it up and put it away - the best part of surviving is that you get to do that - the abuser(s) will always be creeps and must wear that until they die. Please be kind to yourself - you deserve it.
You are an amazing woman. RT @ImWendy: I'm going to pimp it bc it's my story to tell. My Survivor Story http://tinyurl.com/yga449s
You're a survivor, baby. Yes. YOU. ARE. And? You are brave for telling your story.
I'm proud of you and so glad we "met" and even more excited that we WILL indeed meet in just a few short days.
Can't wait to hug you. Can't freakin' wait.
Love you, lots.
RT @ImWendy: I'm going to pimp it bc it's my story to tell. My Survivor Story http://violenceunsilenced.com/wendy-2/
call it what you will, it's your call.
you are brave and strong.
i hope the little 8 year old you discovers more than fine.
just flippin do it. even if no comment RT @MaggieDammit: Please support today's survivor @imWendy : http://violenceunsilenced.com/wendy-2/
you are a survivor. and you can call it abuse.
i can hear the strength, the unfortunate strength that we hope our children never have to acquire.
please, do something for me. tonight, before you go to sleep, take your guilt and wrap it up in fabric with a ribbon. stick it under your pillow. and then let it be taken away. the guilt is not yours.
and thank you for telling your story.
What we call fine in AA is F*$&ed -up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional-and in that sense it appears that you are, in fact, "fine." This whole post just made me terribly sad, on a lot of different levels. I hope that writing this has been therapeutic for you, and that it becomes a source of strength that you are not alone.
And what your brother did is, in fact, sexual abuse.
Survivor. NOT YOUR FAULT. & love racheld's comment. So angrifying.
& I think, maybe a movie quote: "Fine means I'm doing shitty, but I'll spare you the details"....
May you find your okay place.
I get the hatred for the "victim" word. But yeah, Survivor is apt. And the boilerplate "I'm fine" response is pretty much standard, I think. I do it, too.
What helps me to ground myself to MY stories is to imagine that someone ELSE is telling me the same exact stuff happened to THEM. Then I acknowledge how truly awful and terrible those things are. If they happened to someone ELSE, I can feel something about it. Anger, sadness, outrage, etc.
But me? Yeah, I tell my own stories like I'm reading a fucking recipe book aloud.
You did good, girl. You had the guts to TELL your mom about it. Most survivors don't do that. Never utter a peep.
And now you had the guts to share your story here. So there's that.
And now I get to be excited that I get to hang with you IN PERSON in a week's time. Because you've grown into one hell of a cool lady. Despite the fucked uppedness of your childhood. Despite the fact that no one sought to protect you when it was happening...that no one sought it even after you reported it.
I'm so sorry for what happened to you. It never should have; it never should happen to anyone. If you ever need anyone to talk to about this stuff, I'm here. And I'm with Mojo - you need someone to remind you how awesome you are, and how much you deserve to be okay (and more), you know where to find me. Love you, honey.
Wendy—Big hugs to you for sharing your story. I think MK hit it on the head with your mom and that makes me so very sad. You are truly and amazing woman and I'm glad to be able to say our paths have crossed.
As a Mother and Grandmother, I'm trying to imagine how on Earth your mother slept one wink in her life after you told her what your brother had been doing. I cannot fathom why she didn't keep watch outside your room in a hard chair, or sleep in there with you; why she didn't lock him in his room, send him to whatever relatives would have him, have him arrested, or go after him with whatever blunt object she could pick up when she found out, maternal instincts be damned. And I cannot give her a pass because of her own history; she had two chances at it---in one she was the victim---all the more reason to step in---JUMP in, when her own child was being hurt.
This is just so angrifying, and I ache for you and your nights of torment, whether your door opened in the dark or not. I see your little cold feet and get too teary to write; whether he accomplished any of his ugly aims, he TRIED. He wanted to abuse you, and he did. He wanted to rape you, and only your courage and strength prevented that. It feels like the Catch 22: A murderer who only TRIED can't be convicted if the victim lived.
I'm even more befuzzled that you can still say you love him. And were sad for that nasty old man and his fumblings. How brave you are, and how sweet and forgiving. Your courage is amazing and your generous spirit even greater. I'm in awe of such forgiveness and caring, and wish you well in all your paths.
I think "I'm fine" is the cookie cutter answer for "How are you?"
I think you are very strong to share your story.
I don't think you are a victim. And I am glad you don't think of yourself that way either.
I am crying for you right now. I have a tattoo across my belly that says survivor and I wear it for me, and for you and for every single one of you all here on this site and everywhere. I wish I could make it all go away, but I wouldn't if I could because it has made us who we are, it wasn't sunshine and roses but you're so strong Wendy and we all are. I'm not making sense now, I'm sorry...
Wendy, you put whatever label on it you want to. It's your story, and you've earned the right to do that. Earned it in an incredibly difficult way that you should never have had to, no matter what your mother told you. Like MK said above, she has her own story to tell, and that makes me sad for her too, but it's not a license to continue the cycle. Unfortunately, she's closer to the truth than you might think in saying "it happens to most little girls". I don't think they are actually a majority, but the numbers are pretty staggering.
But even if she were correct in saying what she did, it doesn't make it any more right. More to the point, it doesn't make it any less wrong.
I want you to take one thing from this if you take nothing else. Do not waste one more moment on guilt. Not one. Not for leaving your feet uncovered, not for your brother being farmed out to your grandparents, not for any of the fallout from your revelations and not for keeping it to yourself for as long as you did. You have no guilt in this, no shame, no culpability. Not in this. I'm sure you can find something worthy of your guilt somewhere else if you try hard enough. But it isn't here, in this story. Not ever.
And to you, now and the 8-year-old girl who lives inside you, I send much love. And much hope that you'll find your way to that "okay place". And if you ever need reminding how special and wonderful and worthy of that you are, you just look me up.
Wendy, I'm so sorry about what happened to you. Thank you for being brave enough to share.
I hope you find peace within yourself, now and in the future.
Am lost for words. I understand why you say what you said about abuse and victim...so I will say though you are a survivor and I am glad you shared your story...I think it will help others who have had similar situations.
Even though all our stories our different we all share the common factor of wanting to have the strength to be a survivor and no longer a victim. Good for you for finding that strength and hopefully inspiring others to do the same.
Thank you for writing and sharing. The story of Papa - well, it must be where your mom thinks "it happens to all little girls" and that breaks my heart for her as well as for you.