~ PERSONAL HARM STORY BY SARAH T. – 19 years old ~
WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT
I grew up in a fairly big family in which I had three brothers and two sisters. I was the youngest of all of them. My family was fairly religious, and I always viewed my life as “perfect.” It wasn’t until I was in fourth grade (nine years old) that my life changed forever.
The youngest of my brothers, Ryan, who was sixteen at the time, invited me to a movie sleepover in the basement of our house. This was exciting for me because it wasn’t often that Ryan was this nice to me, or that I was able to stay up late in my own home. I gladly accepted, and we watched a couple of movies.
I was on one couch and Ryan was on the other. The couches were fairly close to each other — within arms’ reach. I remember Ryan kept leaning over and looking at me, and I never understood why — until the night was over. He had planned in his mind that this was the night he was going to sexually abuse me.
After the movie was over I started falling asleep. I looked over, and it appeared Ryan was asleep as well, but his hand was in an odd place and was resting on the couch I was laying on. After he thought I was asleep is when he started to perform the rest of what he had planned.
I was too scared to open my eyes. I truly wanted to believe that Ryan was sleeping, and that he believed I was someone else. I was afraid, and didn’t know what to do or believe.
The next day I didn’t quite understand everything that had happened to me. I had run to my room in the middle of the night and managed to fall asleep there. Right when I woke up I took out my journal and wrote down everything that had happened to me in detail. I read it over and cried. I couldn’t help but believe that it was my fault for everything that had happened.
Later in the day I had an urge to share this experience with someone. I gave the journal to my older sister Ashley, and I ran into the bathroom crying while she read it. I was so ashamed.
Ashley knocked on the door of the bathroom. I opened it and I saw that she too was crying. She then told me that she had been also once been sexually abused by Ryan. Ashley then blamed herself for not telling our parents, because she believed that if she had told them right away after she was sexually abused, then I wouldn’t have had to have go through it as well.
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