Being a high school student was a scary time for me. I spent hours upon hours wondering if I was walking past my attacker every day. Maybe he was sitting in the same classroom as me, watching my world come down in shambles. There was one guy I remember specifically. He was new to the school, but it wasn’t the fact that I had never seen him before that made him stand out. The first time I heard his voice it hit me like a ton of bricks. It sounded so familiar, but there was nothing good about that. I tried to keep my distance because his presence alone made me uncomfortable. Was it him? I mean, I couldn’t just assume. But there was something about him that never sat right with me, and a part of me was afraid to know what.
Avoiding him was my best bet. He made passes at me here and there but I always chose to walk away. As much as I wanted to say that this was the guy who changed my life, I just didn’t have what I needed to confirm that. And for those of you wondering, that was the main reason why I didn’t open up to anyone. I missed out on the one thing that would’ve put him away, and without that I felt like no one would believe me. All we ever want to hear, as victims, is “I believe you.” The fear of not hearing that pushed this event into the back of my mind, making its appearance again every so often.
I know this has come off as a shock to pretty much everyone following along. While I have been able to officially move on from what happened, it’s probably still being dangled over your heads as if you were supposed to do something. Please, if you are wanting to focus on one thing, let it be how much I’ve grown since then. I wouldn’t change a thing about what I’ve been through because I wouldn’t be who I am today. I have been blessed with a pair of eyes that has seen it all. I’ve been to hell and back, a couple of times. But that’s what has kept me alive and aware for all these years. I’ve had my setbacks, but who doesn’t? The only thing we can do is come back stronger with a backbone that is ready for war. And that’s exactly what I have.
I was hesitant to share this specific story because I was afraid people would start feeling bad for me. But that’s not my purpose in putting myself out there in ways that I can’t take back. My goals are very important to me and doing this has reminded me of them everytime I hit the “post” button. I want others to be aware of their worth. If you have been through something similar and sharing your story scares you, let this be your way out. Allow my words to speak for you, but also accept what you’ve been through. Although I am not always grateful for the hard times, I am proud of not allowing them to completely bring me down. Be proud that you came out as a survivor. Don’t shut yourself out because you feel different. I use this word like it’s the only one I really know.. but can you guess it?
We, as survivors, are unique in our own ways. We may have similar stories but each and every one of you are special for different reasons. My goal, again, is to help you see that. Look at where you are now and think about what has happened in the past that brought you here. What has made you into a wall that can’t be broken down? What has pushed your shoulders back and prepared you for what else is to come? I am ready to hear, from all of you, when you are ready to share.
Let this be an eye opener for you. Wake up, watch the sun rise above you and just be thankful that you saw another day. We are all here for our own reasons.. and mine is to help you move on. That has been one thing I’ve been best at, but I do it as I share these words with you. Can you do the same?